Bootstrap Example


For me, Avant-Garde music is the challenging kind which is devoid of conventional structure; too strange or wild to be included within regular genre tags. As always, primary genres always hold the ace card; I'd be very unlikely to tag a Post-Punk record as Avant-Garde, unless it wandered way off the beaten path e.g. the VU's “Sister Ray”.

The Jukebox Pick (of 1,637):

 Sister Ray

 (Lou Reed, Sterling Morrison, John Cale, Maureen Tucker)

 The Velvet Underground

 10 out of 10 “Utterly perfect” Avant-Garde

 From their album “The Velvet Underground” in January, 1968. The whole scene is black; the cover, the lyrics, the humour, the shades, the clothes. The Velvet Underground’s response to the disappointing sales of their debut album was illogical; this aggressive and beastly follow-up was devoid of normal pop charm. It was “consciously anti-beauty” said John Cale. The seventeen minute sonic assault that is “Sister Ray” typified the approach. “By this time, we were a touring band” Cale explains. “And the sound we could get on stage – we wanted to get that on the record. In some performances, Moe would go up first, start a backbeat, then I would come out and put a drone on the keyboard. Sterling would start playing, then Lou would come out, maybe turn into a Southern preacher at the mike. That idea of us coming out one after the other, doing whatever we wanted, that individualism – it’s there on Sister Ray, in spades.” Literate, expressive and insanely exciting – these four were easily the World’s smartest, coolest rockers in 1968.

Some favourite artists:

Ken Nordine, The Velvet Underground, Nico, Ivor Cutler, Laurie Anderson, Glenn Branca

The Jukebox pick:


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