Endless Loop: Femme Fatale

velvetundergroundHave you ever had one of those songs that gets stuck in your head for days…weeks…years? Sure you have. These are the songs that always make the cut. The songs on repeat. We all have them. I have a ton. Welcome back to Endless Loop.

“Femme Fatale” by The Velvet Underground

And so, here we are at the end of another year.  It feels so different.  It all feels the same.  And it seems that I’ve ranted on for long enough.  I’ve been writing this column for a long time now (190 entries!), and I can feel it winding down.  I’ve got 10 left in me I think.  After that I’ll be taking a leave of absence from Joup for a while, not going away entirely, but certainly not showing up on a weekly basis anymore either.  I’m about to turn 40, and I feel like there’s a whole lot of things I’ve been neglecting to take care of.  There’s just so much that I haven’t done or made or accomplished or even attempted yet that I thought I would have in the bag by now.  Call it a midlife crisis if you want, it’s really more of a reallocation of time and resources.  And there’s so much to do.

But there will always be songs to listen to.

It wasn’t until my freshman year of college that I got in to The Velvet Underground (eternal gratitude to my dormmate for making it happen).  I was aware of them, knew some of Lou Reed’s solo work, and understood how important and influential they were, but had never really sat down to absorb any of it.  Then my roommate brought home The Velvet Underground and Nico and everything changed.

That album’s a masterpiece, and it’s probably not even their best record (Loaded possibly?), but its mix of pop and noise and poetry, along with Reed’s New York swagger, Nico’s icy croon, and Andy Warhol kitsch makes for an absolute monument of sound, a record that naturally didn’t sell, but that affected everything that came after.

At any given moment, I have a different favorite song from the album, but the one that really grabbed a hold of me first was the Nico sung “Femme Fatale,” a kind of quirky little nugget that felt like a detached version of ‘60s pop music.  It somehow manages to be warm and glowing and cold and aloof all at the same time, and like the rest of that wonderful record, led me to the extended works of Reed and Cale and Nico.

And that’s how I’m ending my 2018.  Cheers to you all.

 

Thomas H Williams

Thomas H Williams

From a bunker somewhere in Central Texas, Thomas H. Williams spends most of his time with his wife, his two sons, and his increasingly neurotic dog. He listens to a lot of music, drinks a lot of excellent beers, and gets out from time to time. For even more shenanigans, visit heavenisanincubator.blogspot.com.

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