With the latest Life during quarantine playlist Nick Triani discusses 'Sister Ray' during a week of personal and communal turmoil.
The power of the word
I was going to write in depth about The Velvet Underground and the influence of voices I trust and who I follow, but this week has been too distracting. Still, I will mention the 36 minute version of ‘Sister Ray‘ that ends this week’s playlist – as much a tribute to John Doran‘s excellent article a few months ago for The Quietus as it would be for the brilliance of the Velvet Underground song. It took me a while to come round to the charms of ‘Sister Ray’. I never quite understood it. Nowadays there exist enough versions of the song in a live setting that suggest it may not only be the VU’s creative peak but the reason the band existed, to reach that moment on The Matrix Sessions where they play that take of the song. ‘Sister Ray’ remains a touchstone for so much music in a similar vein and its influence over me has been profound.
My concentracion has been distracted by events near and far this week. Worrying news regarding relatives occupy my thoughts. More senseless police violence in the US where a certain level of injustice, approved from the top seems to have deepened the malaise. I’m so sorry for my friends that live there.
Meanwhile coronavirus seems to have really returned in a big way in some countries, inching its way into becoming normalized and just another hazard of everyday existence. Covid-19 is a hurdle we have to try and overcome, as if this daily grind isn’t enough as it were. On social media people are arguing over a straw, polarities seem wider than ever at a time where we need to be together. A growing sense of unrest home and abroad continues to divide.
And then in this year of complete misery, the beautiful and inspirational Chadwick Boseman passed away unexpectedly to the shock of the world. It hurts. The young King has gone, Autumn is here and darkness is coming. The evening lights I turn on at home offer warmth.
Nick Triani is an editor and contributor to One Quart Magazine.