The Velvet Underground

The Complete Matrix Tapes (Universal)

Gift Guide 2015: The Boxing Lesson

You can practically count every person in the room by listening to the handclaps on this essential live documentation of the Sixties' most influential, unsung rock & roll band. Sounds like maybe 10 people tops witnessed NYC proto-punk noiseniks the Velvet Underground assaulting a San Francisco club co-owned by the Jefferson Airplane's Marty Balin across 18 nights in late 1969. Thanks to the foresight of one of his partners constructing an on-site four-track recording facility, cultists are now treated to the best-recorded live VU documentation ever. This being the post-John Cale lineup with Doug Yule on bass, the 4-CD Complete Matrix Tapes bleeds less distortion than what White Light/White Heat fans might expect, but highlights including a 35-minute "Sister Ray" going through multiple transformations while expanding on Lou Reed's speed-and-homosexuality shock mantra delivers. All three versions of "I'm Waiting for the Man" get slowed down to a creepy-crawl blues, "Rock & Roll" and "Sweet Jane" get aired on their way to appearing on Loaded, and one can finally hear exactly how this band worked together, in full, glorious high fidelity.


A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Velvet Underground
Box Sets
The Velvet Underground
Velvet Underground: 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition (Record Review)

Tim Stegall, Dec. 12, 2014

33 Revolutions Per Page
Seeing the Light: Inside the Velvet Underground
Old hat for Velvet vets, but knowledge for newcomers

Michael Toland, June 15, 2012

More Music Reviews
Review: Holy Wave, <i>Five of Cups</i>
Review: Holy Wave, Five of Cups
Five of Cups (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Sept. 1, 2023

Review: The Bright Light Social Hour, <i>Emergency Leisure</i>
Review: The Bright Light Social Hour, Emergency Leisure
Emergency Leisure (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Aug. 4, 2023

More by Tim Stegall
The Riverboat Gamblers' <i>Something to Crow About</i> Turns 20
The Riverboat Gamblers' Something to Crow About Turns 20
The album that made Austin's apex punks earns anniversary vinyl remaster

Aug. 11, 2023

Remembering Teresa Taylor, Stand-Up Butthole Surfers Drummer With a Memorable Role in <i>Slacker</i>
Remembering Teresa Taylor, Stand-Up Butthole Surfers Drummer With a Memorable Role in Slacker
The Texas percussionist and “Madonna Pap smear girl” has died at 60

June 20, 2023


Velvet Underground

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle