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Posts Tagged ‘Lou Reed’

Music Journo Never Got a Thank You from The Clash, Elvis Costello

ThereGoesGravityCoverW magazine contributor Catherine Hong has shared a fabulous preview of There Goes Gravity: A Life in Rock and Roll, the April 22 memoir from trailblazing female music journalist Lisa Robinson.

When the interview subject has the kind of stories that Robinson does, the Mick Jagger lede pretty much writes itself. Not to mention the killer, second-paragraph, anecdotal follow:

In the ’70s, when Robinson proved she could tour with the hard-partying Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones and file juicy behind-the-scenes stories without pissing anybody off — or, as she contends, having to sleep with anybody — the New York native established herself as music journalism’s ultimate insider. Robinson was the cool girl who introduced David Bowie to Lou Reed and shielded Patti Smith on the side of a Central Park stage so she could pee. She helped The Clash and Elvis Costello get their first record deals (“Never got a thank-you,” she notes tartly) and even lent Jagger a pair of her best lace underwear for a show in Toronto because his pants were too sheer.

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New York Post Maps ‘Lou Reed’s Town’

It was a close Hardeep Phull one-two race. But ultimately, we sided with the Post freelancer’s December 21 compilation of NYC Lou Reed locations over his December 20 item “The 5 Worst Celebrity Christmas Albums.”

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Phull highlights just under a dozen Manhattan spots, adding in fun, breezy observations and trivia notes. Our favorite Reed region:

Corner of 125th Street and Lexington Avenue

Of all the New York City locations in Lou Reed’s lyrics, this is the most famous. In the Velvet Underground song “I’m Waiting for the Man,” it’s mentioned as the spot where Reed meets his heroin dealer with “$26 in my hand.” The corner is a place of pilgrimage for Reed fanatics — although the only man you’re likely to wait for on that corner now is the pharmacist behind the counter at the Duane Reade.

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Velvet Underground Fans Give Thanks for New Live Track

The song, “I’m Not a Young Man Anymore”, was recorded live at New York City’s The Gymnasium on April 30, 1967, when Lou Reed was just 25. Although a recording of the live show surfaced in bootleg form a few years ago, next month’s release by Universal Music of the box set White Light/White Heat 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition will mark the first time the composition has seen the official light of day.

For its coverage this week, Dangerous Minds excerpts a remembrance of The Gymnasium, a former Czechoslovakian health and social club, from Blondie member Chris Stein. As a teenager, Stein saw the Velvet Underground live there.

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Lou Reed Reviews Kanye West

And really, what else do you need to know?

The review appears on NYC-based The Talkhouse’s beta website and is a must-read. It doesn’t matter if you have already, plan to or never will listen to Kanye’s newest. Yeezus, people; this is Lou Reed reviewing! From Lou’s first para:

There are moments of supreme beauty and greatness on this record, and then some of it is the same old shit. But the guy really, really, really is talented. He’s really trying to raise the bar. No one’s near doing what he’s doing, it’s not even on the same planet.

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Clive Davis Would Like to Hear a Little Less Dance Music

There are some bonafide music industry legends lined up for Sunday’s Grammy show – Mick Jagger, Bob Dylan, Barbra Streisand. But towering above them all, per usual, will be current Sony Music maestro Clive Davis, whose Saturday night party at the Beverly Hilton is a bigger deal for the artists than the show itself.

Earlier this week, the New York Times did a brief Q&A with the 78-year-old Davis on the occasion of the Grammy Museum in downtown LA christening a 200-seat auditorium in his name. Along with explaining how hard it has become to say no to some of those who want to attend his party (“This year I really can’t go out to public restaurants”), Davis had some interesting thoughts on the state of the music industry. He says while the singles industry has come back with a vengeance, the radio end of things is in bad shape:

What I do find challenging is that radio is more restrictive these days, in changing Top 40 to rhythm, almost totally and exclusively. It’s fine to have dance music, it’s fine to have rhythmic music. But we must have our troubadours. We must have our poet laureates. We must have our new Dylan’s and new Springsteen’s.

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WNYC Debuts Live Broadcasts in The Greene Space With Lou Reed Concert

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Photo credit: Scott Ellison Smith

On Tuesday afternoon, we were lucky enough to catch a live performance of Soundcheck with John Schaefer at WNYC‘s new downtown performance space, The Greene Space. The show — featuring a discussion between the host, Santi “Santigold” White, Lou Reed, and Mary Rowell from the string quartet Ethel — and performances from the latter two artists — was the first live broadcast in the room’s history. It kicked off a 10-day festival celebrating the new venue, which got a nice write-up in The New York Times last week. Additional live radio shows in the near future include The Brian Lehrer Show (with guest Paul Krugman) and The Leonard Lopate Show.

The Greene Space, which is located at street level on the corner of Varick and Charlton Sts., is a multimedia space that includes video cameras, LCD screens, and room for a live audience. Programs can be streamed live on the Web, as well as shown via video feed.

During the discussion portion — you can hear the audio on WNYC’s Web site — the host and guests debated whether the downtown art scene was dead. All agreed that there were a couple places in Manhattan where the art scene is still alive (notably The Stone on Avenue C), but most of it has moved to Brooklyn.

At one point, Schaefer posited that this wasn’t a new occurrence. “Didn’t the Village Voice declare it dead in like 1978?,” he asked. Reed, who was appropriately sporting a Coney Island t-shirt, drew laughs with his answer: “They can’t even sell the Village Voice. Who cares what they say? That’s why they have to give it away.”

To end the show, Reed played his song, “Juliet Had Romeo.” He seemed to take a punk rocker’s glee in using a couple of choice four-letter words. WNYC’s producers used the delay to blip them. Everyone went home happy.

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Photo credit: Matthew Arnold

Salman Rushdie Launches PEN World Voices Festival

GalleyCat caught up with Salman Rushdie yesterday at the launch of the PEN World Voices Festival held on the patio of the Instituto Cervantes. The festival, which is celebrating its fifth year — if you build it they will come! says Rushdie — runs from April 27 to May 3 in New York City and will feature 160 writers from 40 different countries. Some names you might recognize include Paul Krugman, Adam Gopnik, Neil Gaiman, Parker Posey, Lou Reed, Laurie Anderson, and Francine Prose. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Check out the entire line-up here.