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angel corpus christi | Louie Louie

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Pop: with Electronic Production Pop: Delicate Moods: Mood: Dreamy
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Louie Louie

by angel corpus christi

12 songs by for and about Lou Reed
Genre: Pop: with Electronic Production
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Louie Louie
4:26 $0.99
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2. Caroline Says II
3:45 $0.99
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3. Tell It To Your Heart
4:39 $0.99
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4. She's My Best Friend
4:05 $0.99
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5. Disco Mystic
3:04 $0.99
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6. Banging on My Drum
2:58 $0.99
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7. I Want to Boogie With You/Je T'aime
4:56 $0.99
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8. Lou Reed's Hair
4:08 $0.99
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9. Femme Fatale
5:04 $0.99
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10. Rock and Roll Heart
3:26 $0.99
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11. The Day John Kennedy Died
3:58 $0.99
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12. I'm Set Free
4:12 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Angel Corpus Christi
LOUIE LOUIE
(Gulcher 601)

"There are many kinds of love letters: "I think you're cute" passed by a friend between classes; flowery prose delivered through the mail; stalker-like obsessions; and the backhanded "I love you despite your flaws" approach. One couldn't ask for a more thorough love letter than San Franciscan pop accordionist Angel Corpus Christi's dedication to Lou Reed. In 48 minutes, she rewrites and reinterprets ten Reed songs from across his career, ranging from the Velvet Underground ("Femme Fatale," "She's My Best Friend," I'm Set Free") to the best of the cut-out bin ("The Day John Kennedy Died," "Banging On My Drum"), and tosses in "Louie Louie" and an original titled "Lou Reed's Hair" for good measure. Christi, it would seem, loves her Lou despite his weaknesses. She understands. And to prove her heart, she embraces some of the spottiest moments in the man's career. And the man's career has been an odd one. Wavering between intellectual and anti-that, he has been looking for a home in the rock canon for four decades now. Few people have at once been so influential and so easily dismissible. But Christi isn't here to do "Walk on the Wild Side" and "Sweet Jane." She's made a name for herself by creating a new pop songbook for the accordion, having previously recorded tracks by Richard Hell, Patti Smith, Motley Crue, The Rolling Stones, Donovan and others (see especially her excellent unaccompanied record Accordion Pop Vol. 1). Her approach is novel, but it's more than a novelty. Most tellingly, she adds lyrics to Reed's most¬ly instrumental "Disco Mystic" to remind him of the time she was working at Tower Records and he came in barely able to walk and the time she opened for him at The Knitting Factory and he sent her to get him a beer. Her arrangements of his songs are so thoughtful that one can almost imagine her writing "Angel Corpus Reed" over and over on her school notebook. Her husband, Rich Stim (MX-80) plays guitar, so it might all be innocent enough, but Laurie might still be wise to change the locks on the Tribeca loft."
by Kurt Gottschalk
from Signal to Noise Magazine (Issue #40)

12 songs by for and about Lou Reed

1. Louie Louie
2. Caroline Says II
3. Tell It To Your Heart
4. She's My Best Friend
5. Disco Mystic
6. Banging On My Drum
7. I Want To Boogie With You/Je T'aime
8. Lou Reed's Hair
9. Femme Fatale
10. Rock And Roll Heart
11. The Day John Kennedy Died
12. I'm Set Free

Performed by angel corpus christi and Rich Stim,
with Dean Wareham, Britta Phillips, Sonic Boom,
George Earth, Matt Price, Don Ciccone and Luther
Blue. Produced by Dave Nelson, A&R and Sonic
Boom.

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David Keenan/Volcanic Tongue (UK)

Angel Corpus Christi is part of a maverick tradition of American street-corner..
The performer known as Angel Corpus Christi is part of a maverick tradition of American street-corner that includes the sidewalk stylings of Dion & The Belmonts, Louis Hardin aka Moondog's one-man band, Alan Vega and Martin Rev's electric doo-wop and the songs of Lou Reed. Despite spending extended periods beneath the radar, Angel has emerged as one of the premier proponents of the accordion as a viable drone/pop instrument in the past few decades. In fact it's tough to think of anyone outside of Tara Burke of Fursaxa who has so beautifully reconciled the instrument's inherent psychedelic qualities--its ability to generate lungfuls of drone--with a melodic, often melancholic, approach to popular song.

Angel is also an accomplished interpreter of other people's material. Much of her 80s output concerned itself with the idea of New York as some kind of mythic construct as well as a place where some of the most vital culture of the 20th century lived and died and as such she incorporated cover versions of underbelly anthems like Suicide's "Dream Baby Dream," Richard Hell's "Blank Generation" and themes and monologues from Martin Scorsese's TAXI DRIVER into accordion/vocal suites that were as idiosyncratic and personally American as any of Harry Partch's miniatures.

Anyone who spends any considerable time thinking about the idea of New York will at some point have to wrestle with the back catalogue of Lou Reed and The Velvet Underground. And throughout her career some of Angel's best work has been her re-scoring of Reed tracks like "The Day John Kennedy Died," "Femme Fatale" and "Rock And Roll Heart." But until now, she has never attempted a long-form tribute to the premier (albeit self-appointed) poet of the New York streets.

Titling the set--and starting it off with--"Louie, Louie," Richard Berry's pubescent call-to-arms, is a masterstroke, simultaneously a love poem to Lou and a situating of Lou's works in the pantheon of early American rock'n'roll. Back when they were still active, Reed would often insist that The Velvet Underground were simply a rock'n'roll group from Long Island, and all of the most astute contemporary commentators--Lester Bangs, Wayne McGuire, Fusion's Robert Somma--were quick to draw comparisons between The Velvets and early vocal groups like The Moonglows, The Drifters and The Crystals. Indeed, it was lunatic dance tunes that Reed penned for Pickwick back at the dawn of The Velvets in 1965, tracks like "The Ostrich" and "Sneaky Pete." Besides, Reed has always had an affinity for indecipherable vocal codes, and "Louie, Louie" ranks up there with "Sister Ray," "European Son" and "The Murder Mystery" as one of the most consistently mis-heard and endlessly suggestive lyrics of all time. And that's how Angel approaches the source material here; reducing Lou's songs to their most primal phonetics, re-arranging them as weepy ballads and strident pop songs and making overt their basis in Lou's rock'n'roll heart.

Over the course of LOUIE LOUIE, Angel's track choice is pretty astute, displaying the kind of insider knowledge of the various unlikely highs and endlessly rewarding lows of Reed's back catalogue that only a true fan could boast. So there's no "Heroin" here, no "Perfect Day." There is, however, "I Wanna Boogie With You," one of Reed's sharpest/dumbest lyrics from one of his best--if still critically unsung--albums, 1979's THE BELLS. Here, with the help of Galaxie 500/Luna's Dean Wareham, she segues it into a stoned version of Serge Gainsbourg's "Je T'aime," turning Reed's threats to "do" your baby sister into something a little more, uh, persuasive. "Disco Mystic" is another inspired shot. Not sure if Angel checked with Reed's collected lyrics for the words to this one but she has the whole LA-cocaine-guru-wraps-a-funky-porn-shoot feel down to a thudding tee. Her versions of "Femme Fatale" and "I'm Set Free" are both instrumental and as such feel more like codas or extended atmospheric postscripts than straightahead cover versions. The melancholy reading of "Femme Fatale" now feels more like the end credits on an inexorably ill-fated love affair, while "I'm Set Free," originally one of Reed's most poignant lyrics, gets a real ride-in-the-sun treatment complete with some wowing old-wave guitar from Chinaboise/MX-80's Rich Stim, whose fingerprints are all over this disc. For "Caroline Says," Angel plays against the icy feel of the lyrics with some comparatively up-beat drum machine and bass that lend the track a whole other kind of shiver, while her inspired version of "Tell It To Your Heart" effectively rescues it from the wretched clutches of Reed's jobbing bassist/occasional vocalist, Fernando Saunders.

Besides all of the covers there are a clutch of Angel-penned lyrics that function as great stand-up sketches of the man himself, from memories of him drunk and coming-on in his local branch of Tower Records to perhaps the most-timely and close-to-the-bone cut on the album, an investigation into the vagaries of Lou Reed's hair, with some particularly pressing questions directed towards the do he wore to The Velvets' induction into the Rock+Roll Hall Of Fame. It was "a real eyesore," says Angel. Let's hope Lou still listens to his fans.

So forget alla that opera and alla them French movies--and while you're at it, take 50 minutes out from alla those noise cassettes and free-folk CDRs--and take the time to re-acquaint yourself with the source: the songs of Lou Reed, in the form of an Angel. Amen to that.
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