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The Velvet Underground - Music 116

Group project for Rock Music I
by

Zoe Valencia

on 30 May 2013

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Transcript of The Velvet Underground - Music 116

Rock Music History I May 30th, 2013 Presented by: Zoe, Kari, Nhu and MAi Who are the Velvet Underground? Musical style:
Alternative/Indie Rock
Experimental Rock
Proto Punk Who made up the Velvet Underground? HeroiN Went against the accepted standard of music as far as subject matter goes. Lou Reed
Lead vocals,
& (ostrich) guitar, songwriter John Cale
Backing vocals, viola,
bass,& piano Maureen "Moe" Tucker
Drums Sterling Morrison
Backing vocals, & Electric/Bass guitar Instrumentation The recording may have been sped up in order to give Reed a more innocent/tranquil sound to his voice. Influences Avant-garde art
Modern literature
Bo Diddley
Bob Dylan
Chuck Berry
Delmore Schwartz
James Brown
La Monte Young
Little Richard
Ornette Coleman Alice Cooper
David Bowie
Iggy Pop and The Stooges
Jim Morrisson
Nirvana
Patti Smith
R.E.M
Sex Pistols
Sonic Youth
U2 The Beginning After earning his BA in English, Reed worked as a songwriter for Pickwick Records where he met John Cale. "The Primitives" "The Ostrich" While attending Syracuse university, Reed hosted his own college radio show and played in many bar bands. Met Sterling Morrison and Jim Tucker. 1964 - 1965 "Our aim was to upset people, make them feel uncomfortable, make them vomit." - John Cale Active during the 1960's to the early 1970's Formed in 1964 in New York, NY. Signed to Verve Records. The Beginning (continued) Written by Lou Reed and John Cale. Originally intended for Nico to sing, but Reed decided to change this last minute and sing lead himself. Written/sung by Lou Reed. Wrote the song while attending Syracuse University A lengthy 7:12 minutes long Lyrics describe the effects of the drug, while neither condemning it nor condoning it. Onomatopoeic Sunday MorninG Venus In Furs 1967 1967 I don't know just where I'm going
But I'm gonna try for the kingdom, if I can
'Cause it makes me feel like I'm a man
When I put a spike into my vein
And I tell you things aren't quite the same

When I'm rushing on my run
And I feel just like Jesus' son
And I guess that I just don't know
And I guess that I just don't know

I have made big decision
I'm gonna try to nullify my life
'Cause when the blood begins to flow
When it shoots up the dropper's neck
When I'm closing in on death

You can't help me now, you guys
And all you sweet girls with all your sweet talk
You can all go take a walk
And I guess I just don't know
And I guess that I just don't know

I wish that I was born a thousand years ago
I wish that I'd sailed the darkened seas
On a great big clipper ship
Going from this land here to that
Put on a sailor's suit and cap....... Heroin, be the death of me
Heroin, it's my wife and it's my life
Because a mainline into my vein
Leads to a center in my head
And then I'm better off than dead

Because when the smack begins to flow
I really don't care anymore
About all the Jim-Jims in this town
And all the politicians making crazy sounds
And everybody putting everybody else down
And all the dead bodies piled up in mounds

'Cause when the smack begins to flow
And I really don't care anymore
Ah, when that heroin is in my blood
And that blood is in my head
Then thank God that I'm as good as dead
And thank your God that I'm not aware
And thank God that I just don't care
And I guess I just don't know
Oh, and I guess I just don't know Features a more professional sound/production than the rest of the songs on the album. Very pop-like. 1967 Helped in creating a relationship between the punk rock culture and the BDSM lifestyle. Sung and written by Lou Reed. Influenced by beat books. Good example of a counter culture song Influenced Dolph sent the recordings to Columbia in an attempt to interest them in distributing the album, but they, Atlantic Records and Elektra Records all declined. Eventually, the MGM Records-owned Verve Records accepted the recordings with the help of Verve staff producer Tom Wilson, who had recently moved from a job at Columbia. Production Shiny, shiny, shiny boots of leather
Whiplash girl child in the dark
Comes in bells, your servant, don't forsake him
Strike, dear mistress, and cure his heart

Downy sins of streetlight fancies
Chase the costumes she shall wear
Ermine furs adorn the imperious
Severin, Severin awaits you there

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

Kiss the boot of shiny, shiny leather
Shiny leather in the dark
Tongue of thongs, the belt that does await you
Strike, dear mistress, and cure his heart Severin, Severin, speak so slightly
Severin, down on your bended knee
Taste the whip, in love not given lightly
Taste the whip, now plead for me

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

Shiny, shiny, shiny boots of leather
Whiplash girl child in the dark
Severin, your servant comes in bells, please don't forsake him
Strike, dear mistress, and cure his heart The velvet Underground with andy warhol And nico Recruited Sterling Morrison for guitar and Angus MacLise for drums. Performed under the name the "Falling Spikes" and the "Warlocks" until Reed suggested they go by "The Velvet Underground" Rehearsed and performed in New York City recording demos for "Heroin", "Venus in Furs" and many others tracks. First paying gig ($75) to play at Summit High School. Group took the gig but MacLise left the group, disliking the idea of being paid to play music. Maureen "Moe" Tucker, the younger sister of their Syracuse friend Jim Tucker, was recruited to play drums. 1965 -– 1966 1965 - 1966 Took residency at Cafe Bizarre in Greenwich Village. Andy Warhol - A Documentary Film PBS American Masters "The Banana Album" was recorded in April, 1966 at Scepter Studios in New York City. The recording session was financed by Warhol and Columbia Records' sales executive Norman Dolph. Warhol caught the band at Cafe Bizarre and assumed management of the group, using them for his performance art ensemble, the Exploding Plastic Inevitable. 1966 Written by Lou Reed and sung by Nico Inspired by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch's novel of the same name about the character Severin. All about last minute changes At the request of Andy Warhol, Reed wrote this track about Edie Sedgwick, whom they considered a femme fatale. Sunday morning
Praise the dawning
It's just a restless feeling by my side
Early dawning
Sunday morning
It's just the wasted years so close behind

Watch out the world's behind you
There's always someone around you who will call
It's nothing at all

Sunday morning
And I'm falling
I've got a feeling I don't want to know
Early dawning
Sunday morning
It's all the streets you crossed, not so long ago

Watch out the world's behind you
There's always someone around you who will call
It's nothing at all
Sunday morning
Sunday morning
Sunday morning The album only reached number 171 in the charts, and that's as high as any of their LPs would get upon original release. The Velvet Underground and Nico album faced many complications... Wasn't issued until nearly a year after it was finished, due to record-company politics and other factors. Lou Reed didn't want Nico to sing at all. The band was reluctant to have her join them in the first place. Nico caused conflict amongst Reed and Cale as well. Achieved very little commercial success Here she comes, you better watch your step
She's going to break your heart in two, it's true
It's not hard to realize
Just look into her false colored eyes
She builds you up to just put you down, what a clown

'Cause everybody knows
(She's a femme fatale)
The things she does to please
(She's a femme fatale)
She's just a little tease
(She's a femme fatale)
See the way she walks
Hear the way she talks

You're put down in her book
You're number thirty seven, have a look
She's going to smile to make you frown, what a clown
Little boy, she's from the street
Before you start, you're already beat
She's going to play you for a fool, yes it's true 'Cause everybody knows
(She's a femme fatale)
The things she does to please
(She's a femme fatale)
She's just a little tease
(She's a femme fatale)
Ooh ooh oh
(She's a femme fatale)
Ooh ooh oh 'Cause everybody knows
(She's a femme fatale)
The things she does to please
(She's a femme fatale)
She's just a little tease
(She's a femme fatale)
See the way she walks
Hear the way she talks Femme Fatale Much of the album's sound was conceived by John Cale. Sound was propelled by Reed and Nico's deadpan vocals, Cale's droning viola, Morrison's rhythm and blues influenced guitar and Tucker’s simple but steady beat. Andy Warhol And Nico Warhol insisted the quartet include Nico, whom the band (mainly Cale and Reed) accepted rather reluctantly. Reed remained lead vocalist, but Nico did sing three of the group's songs on the album. Often, the guitars were tuned down a whole step, which produced a lower, fuller sound that Cale called "sexy". Estimates for the total cost of the project vary from $1500 to $3000. Each of the 4 songs we looked at are very similar in many ways... "Femme Fatale", "Venus in Furs" and "Sunday Morning" incorporates constant mellow rock instrumentation while "Heroin" has a varying tempo and time signatures. Both "Sunday Morning" and "Femme Fatale" combine mixed acoustic and electric instrumentation (Sunday Morning also uses mallet percussion and the use of the celesta) while "Heroin" incorporates electric rhythm guitars, solo strings and a prominent percussion. "Sunday Morning" and "Femme Fatale" are both composed in terms of melodic style, while "Heroin" is sporadic. Sound Sunday Morning - Rosalind Stevenson The Exploding PLastic Inevitable Performances of this song took an exploration into darker side of BDSM Andy Warhol's superstars were a clique of New York City personalities promoted by Warhol during the 1960s and early 1970s. Andy WArhol's Superstars Some of these people included...
Billy Name: photographer & filmmaker
Brigid Polk: artist
Edie Sedgwick: actress, model & heiress
Gerard Malanga: dancer
Mary Woronov: dancer & actress
Ondine: actor
Paul Morrissey: filmmaker Recorded fairly large band ensembles and thus made the studio very crowded. All the members had to stand while recording. Warhol didn't have the technical skills to "produce" a record. Though, he was able to finance recording sessions and kept the band afloat. Dolph also shared the costs for recording with Andy. Production (continued) Andy Warhol influenced their sound somewhat, though it was mainly through encouragement. Born in Germany, Christa Päffgen (a.k.a Nico) was a model, actress featured in Andy's films, and was the Velvet Underground's chanteuse. She was brought into the group to dominate media coverage over them, which heavily displeased Lou Reed. Nico
Lead/Backing vocals Andy Warhol
Producer, Manager Since his solo Pop-Art exhibit in Manhattan, Warhol had become the single most discussed name in the New York art world. He began making films in the foil-lined loft building (The Silver Factory) and was looking for new ways to express himself. The Velvet Underground entered his life at the right moment. "After seeing us, Andy wined and dined us. He had booked two weeks at the Cinémathèque and wanted to have dancing and films and wanted to have a band. He knew we had all these strange songs and asked us to be that band." -Sterling Morrison The first night they played "Heroin" two people fainted. "This girl leaped up, started clapping hysterically and then boom, she's out. I wasn't sure if it was drugs or emotion. The audience was wild and there was a spillover on the stage." -Sterling Morrison Group was barely visible onstage. Performed in front of Andy's visuals of slides and films while projected strobe lights danced across the walls. Gerard Malanga, Edie Sedgwick and many others were on stage dancing with bullwhips, giant flashlights, hypodermic needles, barbells and large wooden crosses. A "seductively bittersweet" melody. Similar to "I'll Be Your Mirror", Nico croons downbeat lyrics of an icy, remorseless master heartbreaker: Edie Sedgwick. Sedgwick was being ostracized from the factory during the time this song was written. Two other superstars, Ondine and Brigid Polk, would walk through the crowd to give the audience real injections of amphetamines. Lou Reed (1962) - Merry Go Round During a show, Gerard Malanga and Paul Morrissey would be in the audience and later inform Warhol of the band. These people appeared in Warhol's artwork, films, accompanied him in his social life and were a major part of the Exploding Plastic Inevitable. Album is recognizable for featuring Warhol's print of a banana. Early copies of the album allowed you to peel back the banana skin to reveal a flesh-colored banana underneath. Released same year as The Beatle's Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, the album was, essentially, universally ignored. The Velvet Underground and Nico Recorded:
April 1966, Scepter Studios, New York City, NY
May 1966, T.T.G. Studios, Hollywood, CA
November 1966, Mayfair Studios, NY Released: March 12, 1967 Meeting Andy "The first Velvet Underground album only sold 10,000 copies, but everyone who bought it formed a band." - Brian Eno
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