The East Village Other Electric Newspaper review

Various Artists
The East Village Other Electric Newspaper

OK, this is interesting, though it is to be approached with trepidation. What we have here is the first North American CD release of an album originally put out on vinyl back in the ’60s. The Electric Newspaper was a counterculture ‘happening’ in New York that saw artists, beat writers and anti-music musicians gather to be all counterculture-y and beat-y. So (genuinely) legendary names like the Velvet Underground, Andy Warhol and Allen Ginsberg can be found on here alongside names like Gerard Malanga and Peter Orlovsky, and the results are usually interesting but not always good. So we get a collage of radio news reports, poetry and freeform jazz. The Velvets track, “Noise,” is their first recording, though here it’s just another piece of the crazy jigsaw rather than a hint at the brilliance they would achieve later. There’s an Andy Warhol track called “Silence” listed, though it doesn’t really exist. Warhol simply stood silent in the studio for a while. Whatever your name is, that’s fucking stupid.

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