Lou Reed Poetry Collection ‘Do Angels Need Haircuts?’ Set for Release

Lou Reed Poetry Collection ‘Do Angels Need Haircuts?’ Set for Release


Book accompanied by 1971 recording of Velvet
Underground singer reciting poems at New York church

A collection of unpublished Lou Reed poems will be released this spring as Do Angels Need Haircuts? The book will be accompanied
by a 1971 recording of the Velvet Underground singer reciting the works at New York’s St. Mark’s Church.
“The Lou Reed Archive has been keen to publish some of the rare and unique material from the diverse and extraordinary
collection of Lou’s life’s work, and we decided to start with these poems,” archivist Don Fleming told The Guardian.Do Angels
Need Haircuts?, due out in April, features 12 poems and short stories from Reed’s public archive as well as Reed’s introductions
to the poems and an afterword by the singer’s widow Laurie Anderson, The Guardian reports. Of the dozen works, only three
have been released, including one as The Velvet Underground spoken word song “The Murder Mystery.”
“Lou was a writer at heart, and during this period he considered giving up music to follow this path. Finding Lou’s own cassette
tape in the archive, that he recorded at the event, was very exciting because we knew about the reading but had little idea of
what he had read. His introductions to the pieces also gave us great insight into his creative process.”
“Playing Music is Not Like Athletics” and the political “We Are the People” are among the Reed poems published for the collection,
which mainly covers the six-month period in 1970 after Reed left the Velvet Underground and briefly quit music (and
pursued poetry) before embarking on his long solo career.

Lineup for
Final Run

All Time Low, Simple Plan, Sum
41, Taking Back Sunday, the Used
among returning acts!

The Warped Tour has announced its 2018 lineup. The tour’s
final cross-country run includes several bands that have performed
over the tour’s past 24 years, including All Time Low,
Simple Plan, Sum 41, Taking Back Sunday and the Used.

“I sit here reflecting on the tour’s incredible history, what the
final run means for our community,” he continued, “and look
forward to what’s to come as we commemorate the tour’s historic
25th anniversary in 2019.”Last November, founder Kevin
Lyman announced that 2018 would be the end of Warped
Tour as a traveling unit, but he left the door open to celebrate
the tour’s quarter of a century mark in 2019. “Today, with many
mixed feelings, I am here to announce that next year will be
the final, full cross-country run of the Vans Warped Tour,” Lyman
wrote on the fest’s site.
Other returning artists for the tour’s swan song include Reel
Big Fish, 3OH!3 and Less than Jake, among many others. As in
previous years, up-and-coming acts will also be featured. Two
stages, the newly named Mutant Red Dawn and Mutant White
Lightning, will host heavy and hardcore artists. Additional special
guests will be announced at a later date.
Warped Tour kicks off on June 21st in Pomona, CA, and weaves
around the country before culminating in West Palm Beach, FL,
on August 5th.

Free Speech,
White Supremacy

Piece arrives after Kweli canceled
show at venue that also booked
controversial Norwegian black
metal band!

Talib Kweli penned an incisive essay on Medium that tackles
the new debate over free speech, especially as it pertains to
racism, fascism and white supremacy. The piece comes after
Kweli canceled a performance at the Riot Room in Kansas
City because the venue had also booked the Norwegian black
metal band TAAKE, whom Kweli said “sympathizes with racism
and bigotry.” The group has been accused of writing anti-Muslim
lyrics while the band’s singer reportedly once performed
with a swastika painted on his chest.
On Wednesday, TAAKE canceled their North American tour
and shared a lengthy Facebook post in which they compared
the backlash against them to “the McCarthy witch hunts” and
blamed the cancellations on “a small minority of left wing agitators
[who] are able to force their agenda on the majority, and
deprive music fans of their freedom to attend concerts and go
about their day to day activities without the fear of reprisals
and retaliation.” The group also criticized Kweli, claiming his
decision to cancel his Riot Room show was influenced by anti-
fascist activists known as Antifa.
Kweli doesn’t mention TAAKE in his essay, but focuses instead
on the issue at the center of the band’s complaint about “left
wing agitators”: Free speech. Kweli opens his piece with the
story of Jeremy Christian, who harassed a teenage Muslim
girl for wearing a hijab and then slashed the throats of three
men who tried to stop him (two of the men subsequently died).
At his arraignment, Christian shouted, “Free speech or die,
Portland. You got no safe place. This is America. Get out if you
don’t like free speech.”
While Kweli recognizes that Christian and others like him are
extremists, he argues that “many on the far right, the side adjacent
to white nationalist and Nazi types like Christian, use
the principle of free speech as an excuse to say whatever
they want without consequence. Like Christian, they think free
speech applies only to what they want to say and hear.”
Kweli goes on to discuss the contours of this new debate,
specifically how right-wing free speech advocates accuse anti-
fascist activists of being “the real Nazis.” The rapper suggests
that the right views Antifa’s efforts to stop racism and
fascism as more dangerous than actual racism or fascism.
He also argues that the right refuses to acknowledge how
fascist and racist rhetoric inherently breeds violence.Kweli
adds that this kind of free speech advocacy “is disingenuous
at best and, at worst, insidious. This is an invented oppression…
What today’s right-wing free speech advocates are
truly advocating is for Nazis, the KKK and other white supremacist
organizations and sympathizers to have additional,
special rights the rest of us do not have: the right to say
whatever they want without dissent, argument, pushback, or
“Those who believe in ethno-states and are anti-diversity
are, frankly, anti-human,” Kweli writes. “The sole way to
achieve that goal is through violence and extermination of
others. It doesn’t matter if the speaker who supports ethno-
states and hates diversity is polite… Hating a person for
how they were born is illogical and hateful, and hate does
not always deserve a debate.”
Kweli deftly ties the current debate over free speech to the
free speech controversy that engulfed the music industry,
especially hip-hop, when he was a teenager. In the late-Eighties
and early-Nineties, Tipper Gore – wife of then-Senator
Al Gore – launched a campaign to censor explicit content
in music. While Gore went after musicians from all genres,
for Kweli, Ice-T became the most prominent target, especially
after his rock band Body Count released their infamous
song, “Cop Killer.”
Kweli also notes that just as one North Carolina police precinct
vowed not to help any record store selling Body Count
albums, police did little in 2017 to find the white supremacists
who beat up DeAndre Harris and killed Heather Heyer
at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville.”As much as
one could within the business, Ice-T martyred himself for
the culture in the name of freedom of speech,” Kweli writes.
“Today’s self-proclaimed right-wing martyrs for freedom of
speech are not gangsta rappers. They are political talking
heads who align themselves with white supremacist rhetoric.”
“Being a free speech absolutist in this era is a white privilege
pushed by those who believe, like Trump, that there
are ‘very fine people’ who march with KKK and Nazis,” Kweli
writes. “Claiming to be oppressed by opponents of freedom
of speech allows these white supremacists to claim they are
just as oppressed as the people they oppress. They are jealous
of the strength shown by the oppressed; it looks fun and
sexy from where they sit.”
At the end of his essay, Kweli touches on how this new free
speech debate has played out on college campuses and social
media. In both arenas, far-right activists have claimed
their speech has been inhibited, whether it’s university administrations
disinviting controversial speakers, or Twitter
banning users for hate-speech. However, Kweli argues that
neither of these are legitimate violations of free speech
(rather, he quips, those who get kicked off Twitter for harassment
likely violated the site’s own terms of service that all
users must agree to).
“Freedom of speech in America simply means the government
cannot arrest you for what you say,” he says. “This I
agree with. This doesn’t mean I must tolerate or listen to
what you have to say, and it doesn’t mean that your misinformed
opinions must be treated as fact or with respect,
either in the flesh or on social media… There are places in
the world where free speech is truly being suppressed. Your
Twitter account is not one of them. Your college campus is
not one of them. Use your free speech to show solidarity
with those who are actually being oppressed instead.”

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