Lester Bangs vs. Lou Reed
Cheap Trick, Dream Police
Wild Flag, Wild Flag
The Raincoats, Odyshape
Lizzy Mercier Descloux, Press Color
Pipilloti Rist, Soundtracks
The Human Leauge, Reproduction
Lester Bangs blew this taco stand 30 years ago today. I don't know if I would put him as my favorite music critic, but he's one of my favorite writers - one of the writers that made me want to do this thing. His review of Astral Weeks sent me bolting out of my chair to buy a Van Morrison record, something you would have never convinced me I might do.
I remember painfully well. We were good friends -- he was an auxiliary member of my pre-Borbeto band Sick Dick and the Volkswagens. Best memory: he came, very drunk, after a Birdland reheasal upstairs to sit in with SDVW @ the Ear Inn, the night before I first played with Jim Sauter & Don Dietrich. At the bar after our last set (with him screaming "ANGEL DUST! ANGEL DUST!" into BrianDoherty's ring modulator) he snarled at me "Why haventchoo assed me ta be in tha band fool time?" To which I responded "Why haven't you asked me to be lead guitarist in Birdland?" "HOOOSE yer Guitar Hero, huh?" "Albert Ayler!" Pause..."Yer hired!"Someone else said Human League's Dare was on the turntable when he died. I know that was the first record I ever played with the express purpose of impressing a girl, ifs\ that means anything. I don't know if writing about records means anything, but it's a thing I love doing and I might never have made the jump to doing it without reading Lester Bangs.
I'm not such a fan that I think everybody should go read Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung, but for that ratty few, it is essential. I can't bring myself to that plasticine wonder of Dare, but I did wind myself up to the Dignity of Labour this afternoon, both the song and the state. Cheers!
Lester Bangs vs. the Human League. The humans won.