Every day this week, on my way to work, I've walked by the Orpheum Theater, whose marquee announces Lou Reed's upcoming performance. For some reason, this excites me every time I go by. Why is this? I'm not going to see the concert. I don't really want to see the concert. I haven't bought an album of his since Songs For Drella
. It's simply the thought, "Lou Reed is Coming to Town" that thrills me. I wonder if it's the not-so-secret desire to live in New York as opposed to Boston. For one day, Boston will have Lou Reed, not New York! Does Jonathan Richman still live here? He moved years ago, didn't he.
Listening to Dancing on the Street
reminds me of the ambivalence I've had with Motown for the past 2 years, ever since getting the Hitsville 1959-1971
box set. Songs that sound fantastic on the radio, cassette, or mp3 don't seem to excite me nearly as much on this set. Is it the sound of the CDs themselves or the lame packaging. Black and white, one-page booklets printing only the names of the songs and the track numbers. The mono mixes as opposed to the stereo versions available elsewhere? It's a similar case with Spector's Back to Mono box set, which he supposedly oversaw the transfer of himself. In this case, though, I had only been impressed by a few of the big Spector classics, and it was a more tempered (adulterated?) love. I've heard that they sound best on the original 45's, and it's true that they do, but I don't think it's good enough to support his legendary producer-god status. I am thus much indebted to Marcello Carlin's article (link will be posted when I can find it). In terms of influence, he's amazing, but for pure quality he cannot live up to his name. The Spector vs. Wilson argument is practically undefendable. I'll go into it some other time, but rest assured, "Sonny" Wilson wipes the floor with him. And while Brian still holds some wonder, Spector has been pretty well dissected. There are plenty of Spector-inspired songs that stand up to Spector originals. I'd name some, but I'm (sigh) nowhere near my stereo.