On April 16, 2004, I decided to listen to Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music, and two Merzbow albums in their entirety on a bus ride to New York City. I would also take notes, detaling my thoughts during the experiment. Unfortunately, three minutes into Merzbow's 1930, I gave up, having completed only Metal Machine Music. The notes for this album follow:
14:42 - Experiment in Progress
It's not so bad actually. Once the initial shock wears off, Metal Machine Music is almost soothing in a way. Of course, there's still sixty plus minutes to go...
As others board the bus, I think of the concept of iPod Jacking - in which you exchange headphone connections with a stranger. I wonder what they would think of Metal Machine Music.
They would likely run screaming. Yeah.
OW! Loud screechy bit!
It has calmed down a bit now. I'm getting an odd look from the man next to me. Don't worry, friend, you're safe. I'm the one with the weird noise in his ears.
Pause count: 1
Part 1 finished
The bus is leaving now.
This is where the fun begins. My noise now competes with the road, the engines, and the air conditioning. Not to mention the TVs.
The music has almost become ambient background noise. Odd.
It sounds like the tape deck is having an aneurysm. I have to wonder what the studio engineers thought of this mess when it was recorded.
It is too nice a day for this.
I should be listening to something quiet and pastorial. Pink Floyd's "Grantchester Meadows" comes to mind. This is the soundtrack to a monsoon.
A monsoon, or hurricane with tornadoes too. Wind and rain and disaster, not sunlight and springtime.
Still, it's bearable. I will survive. Hopefully.
Parts of this album sound like human voices screaming in terror.
This makes perfect sense.
End Part 2
You know what? Add "war" to the list of things this is a soundtrack to.
Parts sound like machine gun fire, and the explosion of cluster bombs. Planes fly overhead, buildings explode, people DIE
Not pleasent. Not at all.
It's hard to believe that all this noise came from guitars.
I'm... I'm numb
No thoughts. Nothing.
End Part 3
OK... This last part ic COOL.
It sounds like an auroral apocalypse. The world is ending, I can hear it!
For some reason, there is a noise in the background that reminds me of an ice cream truck.
Lou Reed, I hate you.
I also love you.
OW! This bit is just a weird thudding hiss over and over, with a high pitched whistle accompanying. It can't be much longer, can it?
End of Metal Machine Music.
There you have it. Pure, raw, and evil noise. This is not an album for the faint of heart, or faint of butt. You have been warned.