WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
 

It’s Never Too Late

Garland Jeffreys’ successful second act continues at age 71

0 Comments · Monday, November 3, 2014
Veteran singer/songwriters stop performing and recording for all kinds of reasons — health, fatigue, lack of success, too much success or changes in music trends all sometimes figure into it. But the reason the New York City-based musician Garland Jeffreys, who will be performing Wednesday at Southgate House Revival, didn’t issue a U.S. album of new material from 1992 until 2011 because he wanted to spend time with his daughter.   

Britney: Torture or Gospel?

Plus, YouTube launches messy music awards and James Blake and Lou Reed name mixups

0 Comments · Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Britney Spears' music gets used as a pirate repellent and to tell the story of Jesus, the YouTube Music Awards were an unfocused mess, some dumb social media users mix up their Lous and James Blake wins the Mercury Prize, then gets dissed during his introduction.  

Worst Week Ever!: Oct. 23-29

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Cincy: Let’s Get Wasted in Public: Sometimes questions kind of answer themselves, like when you’re offered a sample of a little cracker in the grocery store and you feel like eating a cracker. An Enquirer headline today prompted a similar response, as its story titled, “Want to drink in the street?” was likely met by most readers with an excited, “Sure, when?”   
by Zohair Hussain 10.28.2013
Posted In: Music Commentary, Music History at 02:11 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
lou_reed

All Yesterday's Memories, All Tomorrow's Parties

Remembering Lou Reed

I was a few months shy of 16 when I first heard the lucidly stark voice of Lou Reed stream over the airwaves. I was just another suburban weirdo, looking for a justified rebellion to call his own. I had spent those “formative years” sleeping around with any album loud enough to drown out my inner white noise, moving through a steady stream of Hardcore, Punk, Metal  — if they were screaming it, I was buying it. As it turns out, though, what I was really looking for was a quieter sort of revolution, and at the helm was Mr. Lou Reed, telling me with a frank honesty that there was freedom in the composition. It was, like any great lesson, one I’d come to learn in time. To say I enjoyed those first striking chords of “Heroin” would be an understatement. It was on a snowy night in 2007, crammed in the back of a friend's Yaris Liftback, when I first heard it. I can’t remember exactly where we were previous to that moment, when that raw melody first came in. All I can remember is how I suddenly became more aware of myself than ever before. Everything I knew about music, about artistry, about writing — all of it would change with that first overlap of beautiful melody. I was mesmerized, shaken from a stupor of conditioned knowledge and thrown into a concoction of John Cale’s haunting strings with Lou Reed’s candid crooning. By the time Maureen Tucker’s drumming kicked in, sparse in its reverberation, my resolve would be just as stripped, replaced by a wily knot that would take years to untie. Though, right then, the song was just “fucking awesome.” It would only be years later, waking up to a chilled October morning in 2013, that this memory would even begin to matter. As the headlines would come to read, “Lou Reed Dead at 71,” so, too, would the horizon appear most clearly. I’ve always been a firm believer in the crossover of influences, the collaboration of mediums in shaping any sort of artistry. As a writer, I can proudly say that the recorded sound has had just as much influence on me as the written word. And when I heard the Velvet Underground for the first time, it became clear that they believed in a similar marriage, affirmed on the morning of Oct. 27. With the news of the passing of a legend came an onslaught of anecdotes from around the arts world, plastered against my computer screen. Amidst the mass of legends, one story stood out in particular. As according to Rolling Stone, it was 1965, and the first few months of the Velvet Underground playing under their iconic moniker. They had began a residency playing in New York’s Café Bizarre and in the beginning stages of developing their distorted and chaotically composed sound. Management was set on having performers play more contemporary numbers, and warned the band not to play their original composition “Black Angel Death Song.” They went on to perform the number anyway, fit with all the chilling accidentals in its string arrangements, and were fired immediately.Though they would emerge from that loss victorious (it led to their introduction to Andy Warhol, the man who would come to produce their record and put them on the map of the underground art scene of ‘60s New York), there was something bigger about that moment, something more pressing in my association with it. Incidentally, “Black Angel Death Song” was the first thing I clicked on Sunday morning when I heard the news of its writer’s passing. The strings were suddenly more haunting, and the story seemed all the more important. It was yet another quintessential moment in the life of Lou Reed, a man who sang with unbridled frankness, who played with unencumbered passion, and who inspired me with the tirelessness of his dedication to honest expression. It transported me back, seven years and a lifetime ago, to that night in December 2007, when I first pricked my ears with another of his songs, that found, all at once, both comfort and chaos within itself. Though I’d spend the lapsed time between 2007 and 2013 finding appreciation for the 40-plus years of Reed’s prolific career — from “Black Angel Death Song” and “All Tomorrow’s Parties,” through “Satellite of Love” and “Pale Blue Eyes” and even up until his Hudson River Wind Meditations — it would always be that compositions that would stay, forever imprinted in my mind.“Heroin” became, for me, a love song to the in between — it was everything I’d been listening to up until that point and nothing I’d ever heard before; it was the sentimentality of Indie Rock, the calm before the double bass in hardcore, the simplistic, chord interplay of Punk and its cleaner cut cousin Pop. And, at the same time, it was also the recklessness of avant-garde, the soundtrack to the colors of an underground New York I’d only experience in preserved murals and snapshots. It was everything I’d known, and everything I would come to know about music, about art, about sound and about writing. There are moments that comprise your past, songs that take you to a memory you thought you’d left. And then there are moments that define your future, songs that propel you forward into infinity. Lou Reed, and what he accomplished before, with and after the Velvet Underground, stood as a symbol for finding freedom in ones composition, and pushing the statements made to work in a fashion of success. It was a lesson I would learn time and time again in my own work, as I moved through the progression of my writing and my own performance techniques. I would come to face my own obstacles, fight my own battles against normative expectations. And it would be in those times I fell the deepest, my resolve threatening to falter, that this education would come back to me, mysterious in its origins, all the while growing, like a backbone that stood rigid for honest experimentation and freedom in the composition. Even now, as this mystery’s been unearthed, its inductor put to rest, ahead of me remains miles and miles of still shrouded possibility. But against that wall of lessons I’ll stand, riveted, staring towards the looming unknown. And I’ll try for a different kind of kingdom, if I can.
 
 

Lou Lives, "Love" Bytes and Daft Pink/Puck/Punk

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 5, 2013
What’s weirder — that Joy Division has inspired a video game or that the free, browser-based computer game actually captures the essence of the legendary U.K. gloom rockers perfectly?  
by Mike Breen 03.02.2012
Posted In: Music History at 12:31 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
hankballardking

This Date in Music History: March 2

A look at the legacies of R&B pioneer Hank Ballard and kid lit god Dr. Seuss

On this day in 2003, proto-Rock & Roll singer/songwriter Hank Ballard died after a battle with throat cancer. One of the under-heralded heroes of the development of Rock & Roll, Ballard's career is inexorably tied to Cincinnati, where he recorded for locally-based King Records (as well as the related Federal imprint). Ballard was a member of early ’50s Doo-wop grope The Royals, which had an R&B hit with the Federal single "Get It" in 1953 (despite it's alleged "sexually-suggestive" lyrical content). The group became The Midnighters and landed a No. 1 R&B hit with Ballard's "Work With Me, Annie," another risque tune that was banned by the FCC from radio play. In 1959, the group became "Hank Ballard and the Midnighters" and moved to the King label proper. A 1959 B-side written by Ballard was covered by Chubby Checker and became a No. 1 smash on the Pop charts in 1960 and again in 1962. The song and accompanying dance (said to have also been developed by Ballard) became an international craze. The book Behind The Hits: Inside Stories of Classic Pop and Rock and Roll called the song's success "a major turning point for adult acceptance of rock and roll music."Despite having one of their songs co-opted and turned into a cultural phenomenon, the early ’60s did bring Ballard and the Midnighters several Pop chart hits, including "Let's Go, Let's Go, Let's Go" and the Grammy-nominated "Finger Poppin' Time." Ballard began a solo career in the late ’60s (despite support from James Brown, it never fully took off) and performed with a version of The Midnighters off and on until the year before he died. In 1990, Ballard was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (without his Midnighters). The footage is a little rough, but here's a cool clip of Ballard from 1989 performing "Work With Me, Annie" on one of my favorite live-music TV shows ever, David Sanborn's Night Music. Click on for Born This Day, featuring Lou Reed, Chris Martin and … Dr. Seuss?

Read More

 
 

The Sacred Triangle (Review)

Sexy Intellectual, 2010, Not Rated

0 Comments · Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Here’s a shocking discovery for Cincinnati Pop-music historians: Did you know it was a legendary Iggy Pop performance here in 1970 that inspired David Bowie to create his Ziggy Stardust character and thus turn the British Glam Rock movement into a worldwide phenomenon? That’s one of many perceptive insights in this new documentary.  

Prince Down on the Internet, Folks Are Down on Lou Reed and Whitesnake Pays Out

0 Comments · Wednesday, July 7, 2010
The Artist Formerly Known As Prince Then As An Unpronounceable Symbol and Now Prince Again gave an interview to Britain's Daily Mirror (which gave away his new album for free with a recent edition of the paper) and made the bold prediction that this crazy "Internet" trend was "completely over." Prince, who won't sell his albums online and has shut down his official Web site, told the paper that "all these computers and digital gadgets are no good."  

0|1
 
Close
Close
Close