Occasionally, with eyes open, you can stumble upon something hidden in plain sight. It may even be something of unique beauty – something that didn’t mean much in years past.
Lou Reed and the Velvets were pretty important in a sometimes-wild youth for me. Less understandable was his stuff after the 1970s. I’d give albums after Coney Island Baby a few spins, but it always sounded awkward, his crooning over occasionally-pretty melodies.
But this 1982 album, The Blue Mask, which never made much sense in the riotous days of wine and women and song, now makes more sense to a middle-aged guy living in a stone-foundation house with a new daughter in the upstairs bedroom.
Lou sings from his perch west of here, in the untapped wilds of New Jersey around Blairstown. But I am relating very much to his channeling the spirit of a dead mentor, the beauty of a domestic retreat away from the bustle of the city, the “waves of fear” that come from a turbulent world out there, even being an “average guy” out in a baffling America.
I can say I have not fallen down the stairs and slept under a bottle of booze, however.