“Vicious, you hit me with a flower. You do it every hour. Oh, baby you’re so vicious.”

13 08 2012

Patience can be a weakness or it can be a strength. People will use it against you. People will always for the most part, use your good traits against you. Example, say if you have a kind heart- people will bruise it. If you seem to be the kind to help others, they will take advantage. What good comes from being bad? I wish I was tough, but then if I was I wouldn’t be who I am. And who I am, well I don’t know if it is good or bad. My heart is too big, and I should break away some pieces so it shrinks and contains all that matters. What exactly matters? Well, you can only find that in your heart. So maybe I’d be defeating the object if I did something like that.

You give parts of you away. Sometimes you give them to the wrong ones, sometimes you give them to the good ones. Maybe you only learn your lesson when it is too late. You can go back in time in your head which causes you to break your own heart. Then what do you do? You simply owe it to yourself to not mourn the things you had no control over. We all seek some form of control. It can be in good things, it can be in bad things. Do not judge them. Never judge. We’re all different but we all fight to stay alive. Sometimes it can be such a drag, but it’s alright. It’s quite alright.

As I get older, I don’t mind it. I don’t mind it at all. Sure my body feels bruised and broken at times (I think 80 minutes on the treadmill today may be a vital part in this) and my head feels like it may explode from frustration- but if I let it all matter, then I won’t know what to do. You’ve got hide sometimes. The panic attacks may increase over here, but I’ll get out.

So why long for something that just isn’t there? Is it even there? That’s why I love old old old music you know? It is like THEIR frustrations and their love and their lust and all in-between was written in a much deeper tone. It went beyond all that is around now. I mean sure I love the bands I listen to that are new, of course. I love the euphoric journey they send me on. But there is something about hearing something from the 60s about losing something/someone that just sound much more vulnerable than anything around now. I admire anyone who writes so honestly that they are pretty much letting every raw feeling out. Maybe that’s why I write like I do. The things I write here are the things I say to nobody. Why would I? I have no need to. I don’t wish to. I’m too stubborn, but I use it for the good rather than bad. For the most part. I’ll always believe I was born at the wrong time, always. However, I’m not going to dress like a hippie, spin around a few times and hug everyone. No no. I’ll stick to what I wear and listen to what I like.

I have no idea why I wrote any of this, maybe I had to let it out. So to the one person who may happen to read this. I’m sorry, here are some songs to make up for my idiotic ramblings that are far too frequent yet scattered.

Velvet Underground-Venus In Furs.

29 06 2012




“Strike, dear mistress, and cure his heart.”

There’s always a band, a song, a record that changes everything for you. It can be specific point in a song that just makes you think “Oh shit..this is it .THIS IS IT.” You don’t care if the end of the world comes because you’re in the midst of hearing something truly incredible. It doesn’t have to be a song from decades ago. It could be a song you heard this week, there’s no time constraint on this. It’s all about that moment, and how it makes you feel. For instance, most of these intense feelings for me, come from hearing Warpaint. Certain songs have precise moments that conjure up this feeling. Beach House too. But if we’re going back in time, I’m taking it back to the time of Velvet Underground.

Velvet Underground indulged in drug riddled, sexually fuelled and decadent lyrics. Thing is, these things are only seen as decadent by those who are small-minded and prudish, you know? No good ever came from being small-minded. I’m not saying let’s all go have drug induced orgies in the street. Can you imagine if that ever happened? “Yeah what happened was..I was err…well, Lou Reed’s voice just turned me on and this happened.” It could happen. Let’s hope it does, just to shock everyone.

I remember first hearing Venus In Furs when I was very very young. My uncle is a HUGE fan of anything Lou Reed has ever done (doubt he rates the Metallica thing.) And I remember one day being played the first Velvet Underground record. It was like some kind of epiphany. I wasn’t just hearing a collection of songs. I was hearing poetry. I was hearing music that would go on to play such a huge role in my life. It is Lou’s lyrics in general that have this wonderful grip on me.

Venus In Furs is a song that hypnotises you. There is something about the way it creeps up on you, swirls itself in and out of you. Then it eventually wraps itself around you like a serpent, holding onto you for the rest of time. You don’t allow yourself to feel this strongly towards any other song because this one..man this one just makes you come alive.

This is just musically. Lyrically it’ll leave you weeping into your hands because you know that there is no other song in the world that has been written like this since. Others probably try to write something as powerful as this. The lyrics in this song are sheer poetry.

The song oozes ideas of bondage and submission. The way Lou delves into this world is in a way that, anyone else would probably make it so smutty and degrading. He does it in a way that sounds like something that just happens, anyone else would make it extremely perverse. Maybe at the time it was.

The intro of the song is carried throughout the song. It sounds a bit like nails on a chalkboard. It makes your face crease up, you squirm. Like you are writhing about in pain. But do you turn away? Nah. Far from it. You keep going. You stay with this. There are parts of this song that mean more to me than any other song I have ever heard. Lou manages to sum up exactly how I feel in one verse. No other song can actually get to the core like he did with this song :

“I am tired, I am weary. I could sleep for a thousand years. A thousand  dreams that would awake me. Different colours made of tears.”

I just adore this so much. I guess it is because I constantly feel like this. Tired. Always tired. The rest of the song? I cannot relate to. But, like I’ve stated- this song changed everything for me. It just makes you appreciate music in a different way. It’s on a different level to anything before or after it.

The song is full of sinister lines that make you smirk. If you just listen to the song casually and take nothing in, you’re not listening to it properly. I’ve played the song so many times, and every time I notice a different line to just love.

“Taste the whip, in love not given lightly.”

I think even if you weren’t sure on the subject matter of this brilliant track, this line sums up exactly what it is about. Dark and twisted. Would you have it any other way? Of course you wouldn’t.

If I was going to introduce someone to Velvet Underground (I’d take much pleasure in doing so I reckon) this would be the song I’d use firstly. I suppose if this didn’t do anything for them I’d be hurt in some way ha. Maybe it is THE ultimate Velvet Underground song. I’ll always regard it as one of the greatest songs ever written. I do think though, my heart has a firm attachment to Run Run Run (hence the blog name Gypsy Death And You…reference to The Kills of course!) I just have so much love and respect for Velvet Underground.

Songs as deep and as raw as this do not exist anymore. They do not have that intense build-up within them. I am fascinated by how the intro is throughout and makes you squirm. Play this song to the most uptight and prudish person you know, watch their reaction. You’ll want to film it. Unless they are not a deep thinker. If that’s the case, they won’t get it will they. Shame.

Velvet Underground are a band I feel that when you listen to them for the first time- that’s it. You’re hooked. It doesn’t matter at what point in your life you are turned onto them, their music is timeless. GOOD music is just like that. You still feel part of it no matter what. They started something no one else has managed to even compete with. Those that are influenced by them carry their importance around and spread the word. Velvet Underground went beyond being just a band. Venus In Furs has all these different layers to it then you truly get from listening through headphones. Something takes you over. Hooked and hypnotised. Just how it should be. When a song like this comes from a band’s debut record, you know you have found something life-changing and inspiring.

Happy Birthday Lou Reed!

2 03 2012

70 years today one of the greatest musicians of all time entered the world- LOU REED.

Deny is talent, well you must be mental. His song-writing skills have influenced so many. His music is perfection- whether solo or with Velvet Underground. There’s nothing I can say about this GOD that hasn’t already been said. Velvet Underground are one of my biggest loves, they are one of the few bands I felt this instant connection with from the very first listen. The haunting sounds of Venus In Furs just drew me in. That debut record is a masterpiece. I have mixed feelings about Warhol, its best if I don’t explore them. Lou is just everything.

The way he explored so many subjects in his songs..so freely and in such a poetic manner has always been an inspirational thing for me, personally. He was part of the reason as to why I did part of my dissertation at Uni on the relationship between with Punk and Poetry.

I know most say it (and lets face it they are right) Transformer is one of the best albums ever made. If I was the kind of person to have the will to stick to a list of my favourite albums of all time- it would be up there. I always change my mind. Sure it is a solid, but I’d end up faffing around with the list.

I honestly don’t need to go on and on about how important Lou is, you should already know that. So with that…Happy Birthday Lou. Thank you for EVERYTHING.

Lou Reed-Transformer.

2 01 2012

If you cannot see that Lou Reed is one of the greatest singer/song-writers ever, then you are a fool. I’ve ignored the fact that his record with Metallica was one of the worst things to have ever happened. Obviously there are worse musical disasters, but seeing as its Lou Reed; all is forgiven.

There is no doubt at all that Transformer is one of the best albums ever created. From start to finish, it is just a sheer magnificent work of art. It just marks the end of the Velvet Underground (sadly) and the start of something equally are perfect and bloody influential. I know a debut record is probably THE record to cement an artists’ career, but with someone like Lou Reed- all he had done with Velvet Underground was enough to put him in the position as being one of the greats. His second solo record, Transformer just has everything a record needs to have.

The way he tells stories in his songs is something not many have mastered the art of. There have been very few storytellers of this level. Bob Dylan being one of them. Artists such as Captain Beefheart, Townes Van Zandt, Tom Waits- they are all excellent songwriters who have evidently influenced so many. Personally, I hold Lou Reed as highly as I hold them all. He has this stunning way of making you feel you are part of everything he is singing about on this record.

I absolutley love the bones of Make Up. I love how Lou can make you picture everything in this song. It is full of wonderful imagery. It’s more than a song; it’s a bloody wonderful piece of literature. Most probably love Perfect Day. I love how sarcastic it comes across, but for me- it will always be Make Up. I love everything about it. If this record was a woman, I’d have a civil partnership with it. It’s just one of the best albums ever made. You can tell I love it, right?

If you’ve never heard this record before (and why on Earth haven’t you!?) then every time you listen to something else, you will probably compare it to this. You’ll die a bit inside because you know NOTHING will reach the level of excellence that Transformer is on. It’s got to be one of the most influential albums ever made. It makes me wish I was a decent writer so I could create something a little bit as fascinating as this. It’s so pure, and touches on subjects many prefer to shy away from- mainly because they are small minded.

Transformer makes you wish you were in New York during the 70s, just floating around the city taking everything in. Every little detail. From the stunning cross dressers to the Punk kids waiting to lose their mind to their favourite band. You don’t get that from music anymore. The only band to possess this kind of innocence mixed with brutal tones are of course, The Kills. No one else has that edge or that sound that makes you feel that way. It’s just a flippin’ fantastic emotion to have when you listen to music. If you can find it, hold onto it. If you’re still looking for it- just listen to Transformer. You’ll find it all there. It will always be there in this record. It is perfect and timeless.

What I love about Lou Reed is that, he makes you feel part of everything he is singing. He makes you feel as if you are with him during Perfect Day- feeding animals in the zoo. He makes you imagine hitting someone you don’t like with a flower, or avoiding them in the street in Vicious. Walk On The Wild Side, bloody hell. This one, you can just see everything. You can see the men turn into women for the night in this song. Pulling up their tights, applying make up whilst riding the Subway. It’s all there; and you see it oh so clearly. You know, many gay people may turn to Lady Gaga as their gay icon with her songs. Fuck that. I cannot relate. The homosexual references in this record by Lou Reed are ones that really grab my soul, and make me feel proud to be gay. Not that I need a record or musician to do that-all comes from within. But, Lou Reed’s music has always provided a sense of comfort for me. His voice is so rugged but calming. Whether his solo work or Velvet Underground; I always feel part of the world I want to be part of. I don’t belong in this era.

What I’m trying to get at here, to anyone who reads this, is that Transformer is quite simply brilliant. The production, the music, the lyrics, his voice, the background singers- everything is just perfect. It is an honest and open record. You don’t have to be part of a certain scene to fall in love with this record. It’s evidently obvious that this record is one of the greats.

Punk And Poetry.

21 07 2011

A couple of years ago, I was in my last year of university. Struggling to think about what to do my final project on. I was heartbroken and I was consolling myself by getting drunk and watching The Wire. I went to the occasional gig to attempt to pick myself up again. So, I had some kind of brainwave one night as I was listening to Morrissey. I decided to do my project on lyrics. One article in particular was on Punk and Poetry. The link between the two has always owned my heart. Punk music and poetry are two of my greatest loves and throwing myself into an article where I got to express my love, and just listen to music in such great detail meant a lot to me. We had to send the articles off to get published, and as ever- I was rejected. So, I might aswell put the article here :

When you think of Punk, what is your first thought? That all Punks were not educated and spat in the streets? That all Punks beat up folks and started riots just for the hell of it?

If it is, then I wish to enlighten you. Punk music was one of the most influential genres of music. The passion, the angst, the love, the despair- everything about it seemed so raw and beautiful.

One of the biggest influences of artists such as Iggy Pop, Patti Smith and Richard Hell was the French 19th Century poet, Arthur Rimbaud. After reading a lot of his work, it is plain to see as to why he was such an influence.

His words had love, hate, disgust and despair. As I am quite crap at reading French, I managed to stumble across some (accurate) translations of Rimbaud’s work. This is poetry that should be studied in schools. This is poetry that comes straight from the heart. Reading his work, it’s plain to see as to why he is such an influence on the mentioned artists.

Take, Night In Hell for instance, “I have just swallowed a terrific mouthful of poison. –Blessed, blessed, blessed the advice I was given!” It probably reads better in French, but how great is that? A Season In Hell is probably Rimbaud’s best work, it is so good

Richard Meyers became Richard Hell. However, the influence did not just end there, oh no! His band mate (and front man) from Television, Thomas Miller became Tom Verlaine, after Paul Verlaine whom Rimbaud had an affair with.

Labelled as the “Godmother Of Punk,” Patti Smith has mentioned Rimbaud numerous of times in both songs and poems. Land is one of her greatest songs. The way it is free flowing is just magnificent, it is a truly remarkable song- and poem. Throughout the song, you can hear “Go Rimbaud, go Rimbaud.” Reading through Patti Smith’s song lyrics, it is easy to see why and how she loves Rimbaud’s work.

Without Rimbaud, would there Patti Smith? Who knows, regardless of who has influenced her- she is still a motivation force to many female singer/songwriters today, and not just songwriters, poets too.

Godmother, or Goddess of Punk- whatever you wish to call Patti Smith, you cannot deny just how relevant she will always be. Her words, whether in song or poem, hypnotise you and send you to another world.

Although Because The Night was originally by Bruce Springstein, he couldn’t find a place for it on his album. Luckily Patti Smith took it and made it not only one of the best love songs ever, but it reads as a beautiful poem.

Imagine someone being so in love with you, that they recited this song to you. Astounding.

She has influenced a vast amount of people from Shirley Manson to Morrissey, who is known to occasionally cover Redondo Beach at some of his concerts.

If Patti is the Godmother of Punk, then who is the Godfather? Lou Reed or Iggy Pop? Everyone has their own opinion on it, maybe there’s no right or wrong answer. Both are equally as influential as each other.

Lou Reed’s Heroin is punk at its poetical best. Not moved by it as a song? Then read it, you will see just how heartbreaking it is but at the same time, it is a fine piece of poetry. Picking out a standout line from Heroin is hard, every line moves into another perfectly, so to just pick one is probably going to cause me another headache! I think, “I have made the big decision, I’m gonna try to nullify my life” may just sum up the whole song. It’s so sad, especially that line.

Some may say Lou Reed’s music is an acquired taste, if that’s the case then I urge anyone who dislikes his songs to just read the lyrics. Read the lyrics and you will see that this man is a poet, and not many can compete with his writing ability- especially nowadays.

Say what you want about Iggy Pop (would you buy car insurance from him?!) but the guy is timeless.

The Stooges were THE best punk band, and the opening riff to I Wanna Be Your Dog will always be the best intro to a song ever! God Bless you Ron Asheton.

Iggy Pop may not have created poetry in the same sense as Patti Smith or Lou Reed, but the guy has given us a lot of one-liners that just take you by surprise, like “Did HE just say that?!” His on stage (and off) antics may have caused some to immediately dislike him, but Iggy is charming. You can tell just by reading his lyrics. I will declare my love for I Wanna Be Your Dog for the rest of my life, so I won’t bore you right now with it. The Passenger as a song is Iggy at his best, read it lyrically and you’ll see just how good a song writer he is, a flawless piece of music and words.

I’m Sick Of You is the perfect “leave me alone, I can’t stand you” kind of song. For the angst side of punk, Iggy And The Stooges blessed us with a number of songs releasing their frustrations and disappointment with every day life. In a few weeks Iggy will be putting out a new album which is like nothing he has done before- it’s self described as “quieter album with some jazz overtones.”

There will never be another genre of music quite like punk, just like there will never another Patti, Lou or Iggy- and that’s just fine. They’re all in their 60s now and still going, something tells me they will still be an influence to so many regardless of what they do, and the type of music the ones they influence do.

Punk may be dead, but it’s still relevant.