Pod Picks for Nov. 7, 2013

November 6, 2013 

Lou Reed. Courtesy photo.

A little more than a week ago, we lost music pioneer Lou Reed to liver disease. With a career spanning from the 1960s, Reed deserves a Pod Pick for every decade he touched.

"I’m Waiting for the Man" by Velvet Underground

Reed’s debut was made on 1967’s “The Velvet Underground & Nico.” This is a catchy little ditty about buying dope in NYC. Reed’s steady strumming and his deadpan vocals sound seasoned by life already.

"Vicious" by Lou Reed

This is the first track on the groundbreaking “Transformer,” Reed’s 1972 solo album. With its lightning shock of a guitar riff and its Andy Warhol-inspired lyrics, this batch of songs made Reed a glam rock sensation and a New York legend in the making – all that didn’t seem to matter much to him.

"Dirty Boulevard" by Lou Reed

A surprising hit for Reed in 1989, he veered away from the flamboyance of the ’80s and threw down a simple rock record with sing-song/spoken-word poetry with lyrics like, “give me your hungry, your tired, your poor, I’ll piss on ’em.”

"Finish Line" by Lou Reed

Released in 1996, this was a tribute to Sterling Morrison (Velvet Underground’s guitarist), who died in ’95. The song talks about death, about the fleeting moments, about how life marches on towards the finish line.

"The Bed" by Lou Reed

In the ’00s, Reed’s aesthetic was the same, but his voice got even starker. This comes from “The Raven,” a concept album featuring Edgar Allen Poe’s stories and poems mixed with music from Reed. Another version of this song was on 1973’s “Berlin.” The first version was full of echo and innocence. This is Reed and his guitar telling a sad story, all alone.

"Cheat on Me" by Lou Reed and Metallica

This was his only release in the naught-teens, although his song “Perfect Day” has been in commercial loops for a couple of years now. Most of this collaboration was a throw-away, but this song sticks to the ribs. Guitars screech over a steady groove, James Hetfield yells out a chaotic chorus, and Reed rambles lyrics like a wise old poet, like a New York legend.

Derrick Bracey, for Weekly Surge

Derrick Bracey, for Weekly Surge

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