Various Artists

The East Village Other: Electric Newspaper

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ESP-Disk released some freaky discs. That was kind of the whole idea of the label, in fact. But of all the discs they released, none were freakier than The East Village Other Electric Newspaper. A mind-bending sonic collage, the 23-minute disc consists of a radio report of First Daughter Luci Baines Johnson's wedding on August 6, 1966 (coincidentally, and prophetically, to the staff of the pioneering underground newspaper the East Village Other -- the 21st anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima) overlaid with a variety of underground oddities. These include a song fragment by the Holy Modal Rounders' Steve Weber, a two and a half minute improvisation by free jazz saxophonist Marion Brown, a song by Tuli Kupferberg of the Fugs, a ten-minute chant by Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky, a reading by Ishmael Reed from his novel The Freelance Pallbearers, a gossip section by Warhol superstars Gerard Malanga and Ingrid Superstar, and, most famously, a 1:44 instrumental by the Velvet Underground aptly titled "Noise." This was the very first Velvets recording to be released. Obviously, this is much more of a curio than anything anyone will want to listen to regularly, but, as curios go, it's oddly fascinating.

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