Saturday, October 20, 2007

Gettin' a Bang Out'ta Lester Bangs

First From Blondie, Lester Coffeetable Rock Book

On Blondie's Parallel Lines, a Poem by Debbie Harry:
"I still refuse to believe that any of the songs on this album are about anything. The general gist of many of Blondie's lyrics and perhaps their whole stance might be summed up in the lyrics from an unfinished song by Deborah after which the album was named. They're printed on the inner sleeve, and they probably make more sense as a poem anyway; aside from some babble about someone named evangeline, the idea seems to be that whether we're talking about the song, the prined page, the mosaic blear that comes of the external coaxial umbilical, or you and me, there is no reconciliation possible: 'it's parallel lines that will never meet.'" [page 64, Blondie, Lester Bangs, Simon & Shuster 1980.]

"What it [Lou Reed's album Berlin, RCA, 1973] really reminds me of, though, is the bastard progeny of a drunken flaccid tumble between Tennessee Williams and Hubert (Last Exit From Brooklyn) Selby, Jr. It brings all of Lou's perennial themes--emasculation, sadistic misogyny, drug erosion, twisted emotionalism of numb detachment from 'normal' emotions--to pinnacle.

"It is also very funny -- there's at least one laugh in every song -- but as in Transformer you have to doubt if the humor's intentional. Transformer was a masterpiece at least partially by the way it proved that even perverts can be total saps -- whing about bein hit with flowers, etc. -- and this album has almost as many risible non sequiturs as that did: the heroine gets up from a beating and says that it's 'no fun ... a bum trip,' and the protagonist's plaints draw a laught just when they're most spiteful." [Review of Lou Reed's Berlin, CREEM, December 1973.]

That's just great writing, folks. We love that "risible non sequiturs"!!!! (Scott Fitzgerald said you were laughing at your own jokes when you used exclam marks--and that's what we're doin', laughing at Lester's joke. We're being risible.

for The Daily Growler Late Night Edition

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