Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

The Velvet Underground: Live at Max's Kansas City (Deluxe Edition) [Atlantic/Rhino, 2004]
Recorded in notorious lo-fi from the table of Warhol hanger-on Brigid Polk in 1970, Lou Reed's last Velvets show until 1993 is one of the few collector's items to gain patina with the remastered, bonus-cutted, double-disc overkill of the CD era. Although the basic effect is still that of hearing a band from the back of a noisy bar, the audio is crisper and more forceful. Although John Cale and Mo Tucker are gone, Reed does sing songs performed in their official studio versions by Nico and Doug Yule. And although Live 1969 remains the essential document, it is kinda cool to hear Brigid's buddies chatting obliviously about Nixon and Tuinols as punk's forefathers go gamely into that good night. [Blender: 3]