This week the Chronicle remembers that, after a negative review in that paper from 1966, Lou Reed once called the city of San Francisco "tedious, a lie, and untalented."
But in the liner notes to a series of 42 tracks — released today — from two nights with the band over the course of an 18 day SF residency, Rolling Stone's David Fricke discovers that Reed may have relented. Said bandmate Doug Yule: "[Lou] had calmed down a bit" by the time the band played the Matrix, the performances from which the tapes spring. "It's funny," said Yule, "We got a lot of response from California that we couldn't get anywhere else.'"
Before the Matrix was what it is today — namely, a would-be chichi establishment owned by Gavin Newsom's PlumpJack Group — it was a pizza restaurant turned music venue. Opened in 1965 at the hands of Jefferson Airplane's Marty Balin, the Marina District venue hosted Lou Reed et al. on November 26th and 27th, Thanksgiving Day, in '69.
Perhaps that makes the release timing of the tracks, mostly captured on a four-track recorder, all the more appropriate. Those, being called "The Matrix Tapes, are now available for purchase.
Pitchfork writes that the collection's highlights include previously unreleased versions of "Some Kinda Love", "Sweet Jane", and "After Hours." But here's another cut uploaded to Youtube which I enjoyed.