Tag Archives: Velvet Underground

Eddie Yang Encompasses Soulful Sound With Split The Night

17 Mar

Eddy Yang debuts with his newest single Split the Night and it encompasses everything one could think of when thinking of an artist with soul power. The sound of his music can only be characterized as reflective, yet has a full and folk inspired rhythm. Influenced by a wide variety of artists ranging from Beach House to Kanye West, Yang gives himself just a start into a peek in his debut upon the indie music scene. Eddy Yang proves himself as an indie musician who gives listeners a raw and full sound destined for greatness in the future.

For more listening:

The World Will Miss You, Lou

28 Oct

Lou Reed

“There’s only X amount of time. You can do whatever you want with that time. It’s your time.” — Lou Reed

I was watching TV around a week ago when I heard the instrumentation of Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day” in a Playstation 4 advertisement. In it, two friends take on different competitive video game roles and sing the song to each other. Considering that the deceptively complex song is most likely about some combination of Reed’s sexuality and drug use, I found it funny that it was used in a commercial about mindless simulation. A week later, Reed is dead, and I am here writing a post I do not want to write. Seventy-one years fit the variable in Reed’s apt quotation, and, while the years seem cut off too soon, Reed once stated that he always believed he had something important to say, and there is absolutely no doubt that he said it.

Without Lou Reed, music is radically different. The underground New York rock scene of the 1960s – an extension of the crafty Beat generation – was instrumental in dynamically changing the face of music as an art form, and Reed had perhaps the grandest impact on this. One of the main reasons behind this shift was Reed’s uncensored lyrics. His sobsersided voice crooned about unconventional topics like heroin, drug dealers, withdrawal, and sex. While some musicians in the mid-1960s hid these elements under cheeky metaphor and symbolism, Reed just came out and said it. The Velvet Underground’s debut album, The Velvet Underground & Nico, saw barely any commercial success, but is now considered one of the greatest albums of all time. Reed, who wrote all of the songs (by himself or with other bandmates), scripted songs that still penetrate listeners like the cold tip of a needle. “Heroin,” for example, features lyrics like:

‘Cause when the smack begins to flow 
Then I really don’t care anymore 
Ah, when the heroin is in my blood 
And that blood is in my head 
Then thank God that I’m as good as dead 
Then thank your God that I’m not aware 
And thank God that I just don’t care

Lyrics like these were unheard of. Reed was the unmitigated voice of a popular underground of perpetual drug users, prostitutes, and eccentric virtuosos. The album, aptly recorded during Andy Warhol’s Exploding Plastic Inevitable tour, was a work sticky with Warhol’s artful experimentation (including the iconic album cover) and, despite its small initial draw, was so inspirational that Brian Eno once famously proclaimed that of the 30,000 albums sold, 30,000 bands were created. Quite simply, Reed and his bandmates (especially viola player John Cale) were almost fatidic – like musical Nostradamus.’ They bent conventions and complacency and engendered the youth to rise up and talk openly about topics that were affecting them. It should come to no surprise to anyone that Punk aficionados consider Reed to be a Godfather figure.

Not enough can be made of Reed’s impact and intelligence. He was a rare breed of musician – a transformer. He shook away common conventions and formed his own music to tackle his own personal feelings and demons. His religion was rock ‘n’ roll and guitar, as he said, and he was damn good at it. And while Reed was the first to admit that everything happens for a reason and when it’s your time it’s your time, it still is very hard to say goodbye to a musical legend like Reed. His music will forever live  with every clandestine artist, closeted individual, and so-called misfits, helping those in consternation understand that the only people who have issues are those who spew hate.  He opened up a safe, artistic community for everyone living in the “underground.” So … while there may be no consensus on what “Perfect Day” is explicitly about, I will reach to the lyrics “you just keep me hanging on” and hold on to Lou Reed as a musical inspiration. The world will miss you. I hope you are enjoying your walk on the wild side.

Fall 2012 Music Preview

29 Sep

 

Fall is not only Oscar season. Some of the best albums are also released. This Fall is no different. There are several promising albums coming out. I often find it is difficult to keep track of all the albums that are being released. Often, an album is released, and you don’t find out about it until it is already old news. And, come on, I know everyone likes being a Hipster and knowing about things “before they are cool.” So, consider this your Hipster Fall 2012 primer. Here are some albums you should be looking forward to.

Just to be clear, Mumford and Sons released their second LP Babel earlier this week. Ben Folds Five released their comeback album the week before, and the Killers released Battle Born on 9/18 as well. These albums are not on the list because they have already been released. Here are some more that have been recently released for your consumption

– Green Day album Uno (bet you can guess what the follow-up is going to be called)

– Bob Dylan’s Temptest (soon enough, his albums will be composed of one 60-minute poetic narrative)

– The Avett Brothers: The Carpenter

– Pete Seeger: Peter Remembers Woody AND A More Perfect Union

The Mountain Goats – Transcendental Youth – October 2

What is it?: The Mountain Goats’ ambitious 14th album

Why should I be excited?: Because lead-goat Darnielle is a lyrical master and the Goats’ music has just become more diverse and creative. This supreme cult-band is among my favorite acts, and the album will most likely be crafty, original, and depressing (like all good Mountain Goats albums).

Muse – The 2nd Law – October 2

What is it?: Muse’s 6th studio album featuring “Survival” which was the official song of the London Olympics this year

Why should I be excited?: Muse has been working on this article since last September. This is their first release since 2009, and that album featured the incredibly popular “Uprising.” The band is comfortably in the zone of solid releases. The album combines their blend of symphonic rock with dubstep and synth pop. Will it overtake the popularity of their last release. I don’t know. Check it out to see.

John Cale – Shifty Adventures in Nookie Wood – October 2

What is it?: John Cale, of Velvet Underground fame, is releasing his first studio album in seven years.

Why should I be excited?:  John Cale is a talented musician, and he is combining his alt/rock electronic talents with a staff of uber-talented musicians – Danger Mouse, Mike Jerome, Dustin Boyer. This is one of the more interesting releases on the list, and I am anticipating some handy work by these guys

Other Releases to be Excited About:

10/2

  • Flying Lotus: Until the Quiet Comes
  • The Wallflowers: Glad All Over
  • Chris Rene: I’m Right Here

10/9

  • Freelance Whales: Diluvia

10/18

  • Jason Lytle: Dept. of Disappearance

10/30

  • Andrew Bird: Hands of Glory

11/13

  • One Republic: Native

 

March 1967 Madness Continues – 2 vs. 15, 3 vs. 14, 4 vs. 13

13 Mar

Did you know that UCLA won the 1967 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament? The 3-seeded album of our tournament was created by a man that would have one of the most amazing live performances in California come June of that year. Let’s continue with our tournament. Will we see an upset in the first round. Can our 13 seed take down the heavily favored four.

REMEMBER: In order for this to work, vote, vote, vote for your favorite!

#2 seed: The Doors by the Doors vs. #15 seed: Days of Future Passed by The Moody Blues

A solid first round match-up. The albums are both exceptional in their own right. Days of Future Passed is an early example of progressive rock. It has their most famous song “Nights in White Satin.” But, the Doors’ debut album will be tough to beat. The album is stacked with big-time songs like “Light my Fire” and “Break on Through.”

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#3 seed: Are You Experienced by The Jimi Hendrix Experience vs. #14 seed: Procol Harum by Procol Harum

Are You Experienced features some of the best work by Hendrix and his band. The jam-packed album is rock n’ roll history. It is one of the greatest albums of all time (and it is a third seed – shows you how good 1967 was). In the North American release, songs like “Purple Haze,” “Hey Joe,” and “Fire,” spin off the record in mind-blowing fashion. But, do not underestimate Procol Harum. Procol Harum, the band’s first release, features an interesting mix between psychedelic rock and classic elements. “A White Shade of Pale” is one of the more beautiful, haunting songs ever released. And, Robin Trower‘s guitar work is great. Obviously not what Jimi Hendrix was doing, but still excellent.

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#4 seed: Magical Mystery Tour by The Beatles vs. #13 seed: The Velvet Underground With Nico by The Velvet Underground

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do I smell an Andy Warhol banana upset. The Velvet Underground and Nico (also a debut album) features the work for pioneers Lou Reed and John Cale who, with this album, pretty much created the genre of protopunk and set the foundation for the late 70’s. “Heroin” and “I’m Waiting for My Man” are two pieces of lyrical candor and genius by Reed. Magical Mystery Tour, the Beatles’ second appearance on our list (released in December of 1967) does have “I Am The Walrus” and “Strawberry Fields Forever,” two psychedelic masterpieces. This is going to be a tough battle.

 

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