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Counterbalance No. 4: 'The Velvet Underground and Nico'

The Velvet Underground & Nico's self-titled debut album started as all hype thanks to Andy Warhol, but it somehow managed to become one of the most influential records of all time. Has this record outlasted its 15 minutes of fame? Peel slowly and see.

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Music

The 10 Most Famous Albums That Never Saw the Light of Day

Here's 10 albums that never happened but are still discussed among fans and often recreated in some shape or form by the original artists, inspired musicians, or just hungry fans.

Books

Time Out of Minds: Interview with Author Ryan Walsh on Van Morrison's 'Astral Weeks'

Ryan Walsh chronicles the making of Van Morrison's Astral Weeks and the chaotic Boston scene that gave birth to it and tells us all about it in this expansive interview.

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'Astral Weeks' and the Making of a Van Morrison Classic

Ryan H. Walsh's Astral Weeks beautifully captures a not-so-distant era of free-form radio playing the "boss-town sound", people living communally, thriving underground newspapers -- and a 22-year-old Van Morrison coming into his own.

Books

Lou Reed Gets the Gritty '70s-era New York Treatment in 'A Life'

Rolling Stone contributing editor Anthony DeCurtis has written an arresting, confrontational, and oftentimes beautiful biography of the notoriously cagy musician.

Visual Arts

Maximal Minimal: The Legacy of Versatile Artist Tony Conrad

The former member of Lou Reed's The Primitives yearned to free himself of composition, to strive toward a new paradigm found in minimalism.

Music

Persona and Modern Music in 17 Songs

Persona -- the “I” of the song -- has evolved, broadened, and expanded to more fully represent a diversity of experiences as well as emotional, political, and cultural orientations.

John Amen
Music

Bowie, Dylan, Little Richard Among the Best Pop Music Boxed Sets

Here are some of the most notable boxed sets this year in rock and pop...

Greg Kot
Music

The Case for the Velvet Underground's Sterling Morrison

Even as the Velvet Underground has graduated from cult favorite to part of the '60s canon, guitarist Sterling Morrison has largely faded from public view.

Richard Buxton
Music

The Best Album Re-Issues of 2014

The music world saw reissues from all over the genre map, spanning classic rock titans to electronic music legends.

Music

Counterbalance: 'The Velvet Underground'

Put jelly on your shoulder, lie down upon the carpet and dig into the Velvet Underground’s eponymous third album. A 1969 classic is this week’s Counterbalance.

Music

Lou Reed Owned the '70s

Perhaps because it represented his formation as a solo artist, his manifestation of “Lou Reed”, as opposed to “Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground”, Reed owned the '70s more than any other decade.

Music

1967 and the Prog-Rock Progenitors

If 1967 characterizes a high point where rock music could be appraised as Art, it also initiated an explicit realignment of what was henceforth possible.

Books

The Straightest of Rock Bios: 'Seeing The Light: Inside The Velvet Underground'

Rob Jovanovic’s main contribution to The Velvet Underground story may be the attention he devotes to the post-Velvet Underground lives and careers of individual band members, particularly Sterling Morrison, Maureen Tucker and Doug Yule.

Music

Seeing the Light: Inside the Velvet Underground

With exclusive new interviews from Velvet Underground, this is a captivating account of one of the most influential groups in rock history.

Rob Jovanovic
Music

"A Fanatical Fan with Fanatical Opinions": An Interview with Jim DeRogatis

Noted pop music critic Jim DeRogatis discusses much with PopMatters, including getting into fights with Wayne Coyne, why Lou Reed is frustrating to talk to, and why Lollapalooza is Wal-Mart ...

Music

Time for a Repress: ‘The Gilded Palace of Sin’

For people lucky enough to stumble upon the Flying Burrito Brothers, they made country cool. The music's simplicity and emotive directness, often derided and mocked by hipsters, could now be valid, vital and mean something to a modern audience.

Music

Day One: Frank Zappa to The Band

A Sgt. Pepper's-inspired satire…a platter of pure soul sizzle…the second act of rock's Warhol-weaned avant-garde…the beautiful noise of two voices in unison…and a backup 'band' comes into their own. Five definitive LPs -- five statements of solid rock royalty.

Music

All Tomorrow's Parties: The Warhol Years 1965–1967, Part Two

In the second of two exclusive PopMatters book excerpts from The Rough Guide to the Velvet Underground, Hogan offers a who's who of Andy Warhol's Factory people.

Peter Hogan
Music

All Tomorrow's Parties: The Warhol Years 1965–1967, Part One

In the first of two exclusive PopMatters book excerpts from The Rough Guide to the Velvet Underground, Hogan details the energizing effect that meeting Andy Warhol had on the Velvet Underground's career. Stay tuned for part two tomorrow.

Peter Hogan
Reviews

The Velvet Underground: Under Review [DVD]

Yes, it would have been nice if the Velvet Underground had made 10 million dollars, but it's even better that they made music that still influences people today.

Charlotte Robinson
Reviews

The Velvet Underground: Velvet Redux: Live MCMXCIII [DVD]

That these concerts happened was an amazing thing and this is a fitting, worthwhile document.

Jon Langmead
Music

The Velvet Underground: Gold

Every track is going to absolutely slay you, but there's so much more to be had. You can buy this album if you want, but you have to promise me you'll buy their other ones too.

David Marchese

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