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SXSW: Day Two. Lou Reed

Posted by Joan Anderman  March 13, 2008 04:22 PM

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Lou Reed gave the keynote address, or rather participated in a freewheeling keynote conversation with veteran record producer Hal Wilner, at the Austin Convention Center this morning. In less than an hour Reed managed to alienate his host state ("How do you say 'turn off your cell phone' in Texas?" Reed snapped in response to a beeping sound, "Howdy? Shove it up your cow?), a large portion of the audience (he described his song "Rock Minuet" as "powerful and beautiful, just the sort of thing music critics would hate"), and new technology ("It's taking us backwards, making it easier to make things worse"). Reed also found time to repeatedly point out how ahead of his time and under-appreciated he is as an artist -- Julian Schnabel's film of Reed performing his much-maligned 1973 opus "Berlin" screened at the festival -- which may be true but that sort of bitter self-aggrandizement just smells bad.

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