The two hundred and fifty-first album: #251 Lou Reed - Transformer

I don't think I really knew how David Bowie's influence towered over music in the early seventies. This album is clearly Lou Reed's, a follow up to his work with Velvet Underground, but it also feels aggressively glam in places with tracks where the pop genre is really coming through. Perfect Day features as the third track and it's such a good pop song that it continues to stand well here. Following up with the very rocky Hangin' Round, almost a throwback, shows the range this album is aiming for.

The tracks still focus on the lyrics, which feel just as strong - Perfect Day and Walk on the Wild Side both show this as there is a lot of meaning in them, and throughout the album addresses issues that were controversial at the time. Following Candy on an earlier Velvet Underground album, there are several tracks that address LGBT icons, with the ones that (at least for the time) positively focus on trans characters. I can't say whether they still work in the current context, but it feels like it speaks of it quite tenderly. David Bowie's image, at least at the time, feels like it influences this part too - perhaps not through the lyrics, but by encouraging its content. However it worked later, this album on its own works like a lovely piece of music.

The ninety-first comic: #431 Life In Hell

Life In Hell is Matt Groening's comic, started over a decade before he created the Simpsons. Other than showing a few character designs that (vaguely) match the design of those characters, there isn't really much of an overlap there, with Life In Hell aiming for a less family friendly vibe even if it stays within newspaper boundaries. Rather, it is a collection of conversations or shorter stories between some set characters, or one panel gags that comment on a situation. I believe it's also one of the first to feature a gay couple without that ever being remarked on (they might be brothers, but there's clearly a relationship here). The reason was so Matt Groening couldn't be accused of bias or taking sides, but it does feel like a small step.

The comics are fun, at times dated as it reports on current events, and often enough a bit bizarre. Not something I'd chase down further, but as they a number of them currently online at it's easy enough to check out.