Archive for Lou Reed

Bah, Humbug! Merry Christmas!

Posted in Christmas, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 12, 2011 by 30daysout

OK, now is about the time you start wishing the whole thing was over with already.  You know, they should have Christmas in January – that’s when they have all the good sales!  Ho, ho.

Here’s a Christmas blowout:

MP3: “Four Shopping Days Left Until Christmas” Ad jingle

MP3: “Stop Giving Me Crap For Christmas” by Bobby Gaylor

MP3: “Santa’s Too Fat For The Hula Hoop” by Thurl Ravenscroft with the Pixies

MP3: “Ho Ho F***ing Ho” by Kevin Bloody Wilson (Not Safe For Work!)

MP3: “This Time Of Year” by the Mighty Mighty Bosstones

MP3: “Don’t Believe In Christmas” by the Sonics

MP3: “Child Of Winter” by the Beach Boys

MP3: “Season’s Greetings” by Ozzy Osbourne

YouTube: “Winter Wonderland” by Ozzy Osbourne and Jessica Simpson

MP3: “Holiday Message” by Lou Reed

MP3: “Christmas Eve Sarajevo 12-24” by Savatage

MP3: “Christmas All Summer Long” by Deer Tick

MP3: “I Farted On Santa’s Lap” by the Little Stinkers

MP3: “Seasons Greetings” by the Fabulous Thunderbirds

MP3: “Merry Christmas Darling” by the Fabulous Thunderbirds

MP3: “Santa Claus Wants Some Lovin’ ” by Mack Rice

MP3: “Back Door Santa” by the Holmes Brothers

MP3: “Here Comes Santa Claus” by Bob Dylan

MP3: “The Holly and the Ivy” by Annie Lennox

MP3: “I Wish It Was Christmas Today” by Julian Casablancas

MP3: “Lord Of The Dance” by Arthur Brown

MP3: “I Believe In Father Christmas” by Emerson, Lake & Palmer

MP3: “Silver Bells” by Arlo Guthrie & Ed Gerhard

MP3: “Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town” by the Crystals

MP3: “Silent Night” by Phil Spector & His Artists

YouTube: “Marshmallow World” by Dean Martin & Frank Sinatra

Bonus YouTube: “The Digital Story of the Nativity”


Welcome to Hell … or Houston – it’s all the same

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on August 18, 2011 by 30daysout

It was this hot at 6:30 in the evening!

Houston hit its 17th or so (I lost track) consecutive day of 100-degree-plus temperatures today. That’s wild for Houston, the TV weatherman said, and I wondered: do they have weathermen in Hell?

Let’s hope so, because imagining every one of those dipshits frying up crispy in Hell’s Fry Baby is just about the only thing that brings a smile to my heat-parched lips these days.

Oh, I should tell you many of us in heat-fried Texas spend most of our time indoors, where the air conditioning is running full blast. And we ain’t too bad about keeping the cold beer and the cool rock and roll flowing, as well.

MP3: “Summer In The City” by the Stranglers

MP3: “Great Balls Of Fire” by the Misfits

MP3: “Heat Wave” by the Who

MP3: “White Light/White Heat” (live) by Lou Reed

MP3: “Ring Of Fire” by Eric Burdon & the Animals

MP3: “Hot Summer Day” by It’s A Beautiful Day

MP3: “Summer In The City” by Butthole Surfers

MP3: “Hot Hot Hot” (Radio Edit) by Buster Poindexter

MP3: “Hot Fun In The Summertime” by Sly Stone w/Bootsy Collins

MP3: “Summer’s Cauldron” by XTC

MP3: “The Heat Is On” by Glenn Frey

MP3: “Smooth” by Carlos Santana with Rob Thomas

MP3: “City Too Hot” by Lee “Scratch” Perry

MP3: “Hot Mess” by Cobra Starship

MP3: “Set the World On Fire” by Black Veil Brides

MP3: “This Wheel’s On Fire” by the Byrds

MP3: “Heaven, Hell or Houston” by ZZ Top

MP3: “Summer In The City” by the Lovin’ Spoonful

Back from NYC: A Rock and Roll Tour

Posted in Rock Rant with tags , , , , , , , , on July 24, 2011 by 30daysout

An iconic wall of stickers and fliers, preserved under glass at what used to be CBGB's.

Remind me never to go back to New York City in the dead of summer: walking along the city’s sidewalks as the sun sizzled temperatures to near 97 was just as hellish as any August day in our hometown of Houston. But it wasn’t just the heat that reminded us of Texas – it seemed everywhere you turned, there was music in the big city.

The summertime is perfect for live music in New York, and there are plenty of “canned” live music events to satisfy any tourist, including but not limited to the Friday-morning TV-ready “concerts” staged for the network morning news shows. We didn’t do those anyway – we had our hands full with all the other things going on.

New York City is of course a cradle of rock and roll history. You can go to about 100 places that have some significance in music history, from the Brill Building to the Iridium Club (where Les Paul used to play live on a weekly basis) to the Strawberry Fields-John Lennon memorial in Central Park (along with the adjacent Dakota apartment building).

Hard Rock Cafe exhibit is a reminder of our great recent loss.

We got the tourist stuff out of the way first, heading to the big Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square which is an attraction not for its food but for its rich store of rock memorabilia. No shortage of Beatles stuff here – from the actual doors from the Abbey Road studios, to early Beatles matching stage costumes, to beautiful album art covers autographed by all four Beatles, it’s a Fab Four mother lode.

We were lucky enough to sit right under a Bruce Springsteen exhibit with a Boss guitar, a Little Steven guitar and a Clarence Clemons saxophone. We paid tribute once more to the Big Man – a great, great artist. Did you know that the Hard Rock is located in what used to be NYC’s Paramount Theatre, where rock and roll pioneer Alan Freed staged some of his seminal shows back in the day? It’s also the place where Elvis’ first movie Love Me Tender had its world premiere in 1956.

We also walked into Greenwich Village, and in Washington Square park there were at least seven bands playing for tips along the sidewalks. Soon we were on Bleeker headed for the former location of CBGBs on Bowery St. The seminal punk club closed in 2006, and virtually overnight the owners uprooted just about anything that wasn’t nailed down for a possible rebirth of the club someplace else.

I’d never been in the neighborhood before,  it didn’t seem the kind of place that hordes of mohawked and safety-pin-pierced punks would frequent, but I understand many things have changed since 1977. Right now the old CBGBs is an upscale fashion boutique ($800 for a leather jacket, and not a cool one at that!) and pretty much the only concession to history are some patches of wall that still sport hundreds of stickers and fliers from the punk daze, protected under a clear glass window.

Pretty much everywhere you turn in Greenwich Village, you see written on the subway walls and tenement halls two words of graffiti: “Lou Reed.” In one three-block stroll on the way to the former CBGBs, I think I must have seen that name scrawled at least 100 times. I surmised that the graffiti had been created by Lou himself, after some sort of guerilla-marketing brainstorm (or a six pack). No matter – Lou Reed is perhaps the No. 1 rocker that comes to mind when I think of New York City.

Like I said: it's written everywhere in Greenwich Village.

Lou is also the unofficial King of Coney Island (King Neptune), and the next day we found ourselves on the D train headed for Brooklyn and Coney Island. There was a free concert on Coney Island the night before, with San Antonio’s Girl In A Coma and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts headlining, but nobody wanted to ride the subway back late at night. So we arrived on the Boardwalk right about high noon, and there were smells of suntan lotion, hot dogs and cologne everywhere. I looked around for Lou, but no luck; I did, however, catch a few bars of “Coney Island Baby” emanating from Cha-Cha’s Bar & Cafe.

Later that night, back in Manhattan, we cleaned up and attended “Spider Man: Turn Off The Dark” on Broadway. Although Bono and the Edge were rumored to be in town for an appearance on David Letterman, they were no-shows at the play. We particularly enjoyed one scene, where Peter Parker and Mary Jane dance in a club to U2’s “Vertigo.” It is the best song in the show.

Then, finally, the next night we headed for the Bronx to see some guy sing Beatles songs in Yankee Stadium. You can read all about that below; even the part about the guest walk-on by Billy Joel, who Paul McCartney called “a friend of New York.” I would have to agree with that – mostly. Nobody asked me, but if you want Mr. Rock and Roll New York, go down to Greenwich Village and read the graffiti.

MP3: “Coney Island Baby” (live) by Lou Reed

Your Sister’s (Record) Rack: The Velvet Underground?

Posted in Lost Classics! with tags , , , , , , , on January 4, 2010 by 30daysout

I’ve been sneaking into my big sister’s room to check out her record collection for some time now, and I have begun to notice that her musical tastes might be changing.  Where’s that coming from?  I will explore that later – today, I found a record – an import, no less – that on first sight made my heart jump.  But when I listened to it …

It’s Squeeze, which came out in 1972 as an album by the Velvet Underground.  Wow! I thought, a lost Velvet Underground album … but no.  The album is really a solo effort by bass player Doug Yule, who replaced John Cale in the Velvet Underground after Cale quit around 1969.  Yule had a nice voice and a bit of a pop music sensibility to balance the experimental impulses of Lou Reed, who was more or less the Velvet Underground’s front man.  Reed bolted from the group upon finishing Loaded in 1970, leaving drummer Maureen Tucker and guitarist Sterling Morrison as the only original members left.  Morrison soon left, though, to pursue a degree then a professorship at the University of Texas.

So the group toured Europe with Yule, Tucker, and a couple of replacement dudes when the Velvets’ sleazeball manager scored the group a record deal with Polydor in Europe.  To save money, Tucker and the replacements were sent back to the States (pretty much ending their membership in the Velvet Underground) and Yule wrote, sang and played all the songs on the album Squeeze along with drummer Ian Paice of Deep Purple and some other, anonymous studio players.  The album was released in Europe and it was pretty much a flop; it never came out in the United States.

And it’s no wonder, when you start listening.  Yule is certainly no Lou Reed, and his pop-music approach sweeps away all of Reed’s glorious dark explorations with songs that sound like rejects from Loaded (“Little Jack,” “Caroline”), songs that rip off the Beatles (“Crash”) or songs that try and fail miserably to replicate Lou Reed’s sound (“Mean Old Man,” “Dopey Joe”).  So Squeeze is definitely not a Velvet Underground album – honestly, it’s a Doug Yule solo record and not a very good one, at that.

MP3: “Little Jack”

MP3: “Caroline”

MP3: “Crash”

MP3: “Mean Old Man”

MP3: “She’ll Make You Cry”

MP3: “Louise”

Springsteen appears on “Spectacle” with Costello

Posted in Bruce Springsteen with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 20, 2009 by 30daysout

apolloBruce2-724033

UPDATED: Read about the magical night at the Apollo at Backstreets Magazine.

Let me start off by saying “Spectacle” featuring Elvis Costello on the Sundance Channel is the best music program on TV…hands down. Costello asks insightful questions, artists like Lou Reed, Herbie Hancock, Kris Kristofferson, Smokey Robinson, Rosanne Cash and The Police, looked comfortable talking about themselves, and then there is the music. Costello usually plays with the artist, and whether they are his songs or their songs, the performances are outstanding.

This year’s guest list will feature, among others, Bruce Springsteen. The Boss is set to tape his segement at the Apollo Theater in Harlem on Sept. 25. It will be interesting to see if he spills the beans on the future of the E Street Band and to see what they play together. Costello recorded an excellent version of “Brilliant Disguise” and Bruce played “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding” on the Vote for Change Tour a few years ago, so we can probably count on at least those two. All I know is that whatever they play, it will rock. There is no air date at this time, but stick with us and we’ll let you know when it will come to a TV set near you.

Elvis Costello Official website

Bruce Springsteen Official website

Official “Spectacle” website

The Sundance Channel Official website

“London Calling” – Springsteen/Costello/VanZandt/Grohl

New Show: “Spectacle: Elvis Costello With…” – Sundance Channel

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on November 12, 2008 by 30daysout

spectacle

On December 3 at 8 p.m. CST, the Sundance Channel will debut “Spectacle: Elvis Costello With …” It’s being billed as a unique talk show experience that “fuses the best elements of talk and music television and invites the enjoy intimate conversations between Costello and his guests.” This should be good.  Costello was great a few years back when he filled in for David Letterman, throw in some special musical appearances, and you have the makings of a great show.  Some confirmed guests include “Sir” Elton John, Lou Reed, Tony Bennett, The Police and former President Bill Clinton. I hope he doesn’t bring the saxophone because he’s much better when someone else is doing the blowing.

Sundance Channel Official Website

Friday Is Boss’ Day: Bruce’s Guest Shots

Posted in Bruce Springsteen with tags , , , , , , , , on May 29, 2008 by 30daysout

Bruce Springsteen and Joe Ely, Houston 2008.  Photo courtesy of Backstreets.com

It was certainly an electrifying moment during Bruce Springsteen’s recent Houston stop: Texas music legend Joe Ely stepped up to join Bruce in a rousing version of “All Just To Get To You.”  It wasn’t the first time Springsteen performed that song – he and Ely have performed it together frequently ever since 1995, when it first appeared on Ely’s Letter To Laredo with Springsteen on backing vocals.

Bruce has popped up on a handful of other artist’s recordings, playing guitar and singing duet or background vocals, and in many cases the song is one of the better tunes on that artist’s album.  So today we take a look at some of these … with a few notes.

Continue reading