Lou Reed lashed out at new modes of audio technology, saying that "people have got to demand a higher standard" than current MP3s during his keynote session today (March 13) at the South By Southwest Music Festival + Conference in Austin, Texas.
Later in the day, he made a heck of a racket of his own by guesting at his own tribute concert at the invite-only Fader Fort.
Reed was interviewed by friend and acclaimed music producer Hal Wilner, who recently worked with the veteran rocker in producing the opulent "Berlin" concerts. Those are the subject of "Lou Reed’s Berlin," a documentary by Academy Award-winning director Julian Schnabel that had its American premiere at SXSW.
In typically glib and dry-witted form throughout the wide-ranging 55-minute conversation, the bespectacled Reed bemoaned the current state of audio and other digital technologies, noting that "it’s like the technology is taking us backwards. It’s making it easier to make things worse.
"Here’s our song reduced to a pindrop — what, what, what?!" Reed explained. "It’s like if no one knows any better or doesn’t care, it’s gonna stay on a really, really low level and people who like good sound are gonna be thought of as some kind of strange zoo animal. It’s like saying it should’ve stayed ‘the Chevy at the levy — look down, don’t look up.’"