Lou Reed and John Cale
Songs for Drella
Last week, annoyed by recently released audio clips of Lou Reed’s dreadful, across-the-board embarrassing collaboration with Metallica, I set out on a journey through the considerable Lou Reed portion of my iTunes library in hopes of finding something to get the taste out of my mouth. I wound up spending some time with Songs for Drella, a 1990 album by Reed and John Cale based on the life of Andy Warhol. Even in spite of a handful of predictably clunky lyrics, I can’t shake the feeling that, if it’s not the single best, most insightful account of Warhol’s life (which I think it probably is), then it’s at the very least an inspiring portrait of an artist who constantly questioned his art but never his commitment to it. At its best, it comes off like an instruction manual for creative living, with lines like, "I hate being odd in a small town/ If they stare, let ‘em stare in New York" from "Small Town," and the simple, devastating, "I really care a lot, although I look like I do not," from "Nobody But You."