Song Stories

“Dirty Blvd. ”

Lou Reed | 1989

Lou Reed often drew inspiration from the streets of New York, but he seldom depicted the city's poverty as directly as he did on "Dirty Blvd.," representing the Big Apple through the eyes of a down-and-out character named Pedro. When it was issued as a single, the lyrics were toned down a bit, with the words "piss" and "suck" taken out. "I did the blipping," Reed told Rolling Stone. "I didn't want the promo people to feel defeated before they ever went in." Asked if the compromise bothered him, he replied, "It would bother me if the other version didn't exist."

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Song Stories


Tune-Yards | 2011

The opening track to Merrill Garbus’ second album under the Tune-Yards banner (she also plays in the trio Sister Suvi), “Bizness” is a song about relationships that is as colorful as the face paint favored by Garbus both live and in her videos. Disjointed funk bass, skittering African beats, diced-and-sliced horns and Garbus’ dynamic voice, which ranges from playful coos to throat-shredding howls, make “Bizness” reminiscent of another creative medium. “I'd like for them not to be songs as much as quilts or collages or something,” Garbus said.

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