Results for Lou Reed

interviews

Bob Ezrin

Back in 2011, Jim and Greg were joined by super producer Bob Ezrin. When we say super, we're not just referring to his commercial success, but to his sound. Bob Ezrin makes big, epic albums like The Wall, Destroyer and collaborated on a staggering 10 records with metal god Alice Cooper. He also produced Lou Reed's Berlin and the self-titled solo debut from Peter Gabriel. He talked with Jim and Greg about reuniting with Cooper for Welcome 2 My Nightmare and shared studio tidbits. Now we know what a prankster Roger Waters was and how Ezrin captured the crying sounds in "Oh Jim." And who knew Peter Gabriel had such a good sense of humor? This interview was one of our favorites so we thought we'd share it again.

Go to episode 630

John Cale

John Cale is known for many things: co-founding The Velvet Underground, producing major albums for The Stooges and Patti Smith, and doing one of the best covers of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah." So when John Cale was touring in support of his most recent album Black Acetate in 2006, Jim and Greg wanted him to stop by the Sound Opinions studio to be their first guest on public radio. Now almost 100 episodes later, we wanted to revisit that terrific conversation.

During Cale's visit, the three men covered everything from Brian Eno to Lou Reed to Snoop Dogg. And, Cale played two of his songs live: "Set Me Free" and "Gravel Drive," which he names as his favorite track on the record. He explains to Jim and Greg that this song was his way of talking to his daughter about some complicated issues, and why“Dad”sometimes wasn‘t around. Greg notes that despite Cale’s admitted anger, and his undeniable punk rock attitude, a number of the songs on Black Acetate are equally heartfelt and beautiful.

Go to episode 98

Bob Ezrin

Jim and Greg are joined by super producer Bob Ezrin. And when we say super, we're not just referring to his commercial success, but to his sound. Bob Ezrin makes big, epic albums like The Wall, Destroyer and 10 with metal god Alice Cooper. He also produced Lou Reed's Berlin and the self-titled solo debut from Peter Gabriel. He talked to our hosts about reuniting with Cooper for Welcome 2 My Nightmare and shared studio tidbits. Now we know what a prankster Roger Waters was and how Ezrin captured the crying sounds in "Oh Jim." And who knew Peter Gabriel had such a good sense of humor?

If you enjoyed Bob Ezrin's conversation with Jim and Greg, here are some of our other favorite“behind-the-scenes”interviews:

Go to episode 305

Joan As Policewoman

Joan As Policewoman, otherwise known as Joan Wasser, stops in for a visit this week. The singer/songwriter has many fans, including Lou Reed, Rufus Wainwright, Antony Hegarty of Antony and the Johnsons, and of course Jim and Greg. It's easy to hear why after her live performance, which includes songs from her latest album, Real Life. Joan, who began as a classically trained violinist, describes her music as "American Soul."

Go to episode 148

Art Brut

This week's guests are the members of Art Brut: Eddie Argos, Ian Catskilkin, Jasper Future, Mikey B., and Freddy Feedback. Sound Opinions was anxious to get these Brits on the show after seeing them play at the SXSW Festival in Austin, TX. The band, which got its name from a French theory of outsider art, was in Chicago as part of its first U.S. tour, and just released its first album, Bang Bang Rock and Roll, in the U.S. earlier this week.

After lead singer and songwriter Eddie Argos warns the kids to "stay off the crack", we hear a bit of music by Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers. Richman was a major influence on Argos as a songwriter. Argos explains that his career as a musician did not really come easily. After his former bandmates all left to go to university, Argos moved to London for a second try. But there were not many takers, because, as Argos explains, he is not much of a singer and can't play an instrument. Lucky for us, an inebriated Argos was able to convince a few people to join him, and so emerged Art Brut.

What Argos may lack in singing talent and musical ability, he certainly makes up for in personality. In the vein of singers like Damon Albarn and Lou Reed, Argos knows that attitude, wit and a voice are more important than formal training. That voice comes through in songs like "Formed a Band," where he expresses delight in the sheer act of forming a band.“Why not?”he explains to Jim and Greg.“Why can't we get on Top of the Pops?”People who have seen the band (who tours in a 40-foot tour bus) play live know that is a valid question indeed.

Go to episode 24
specials

Presidential Rock

On January 20th, thousands will celebrate the Inauguration of President-Elect Barack Obama. But before that Jim and Greg wanted to host their own celebration by playing the best songs ever written about the office of Commander-in-Chief.

Here's a collection of songs to kick off this new administration:

Go to episode 164

Remembering Lou Reed

Rock legend, poet and Velvet Underground founder Lou Reed died on October 27 at age 71. That week Jim honored him with the addition of the Velvet Underground track"Candy Says" to the Desert Island Jukebox. But, this influential singer, songwriter and guitarist deserves more than just a few minutes of our time. He helped shape 50 years of rock music, perhaps more than any single figure, according to our hosts. And so they wanted to explore why news of his death made such waves and why fans are still mourning. The best way to do this, of course, is through the music, and these five albums in particular:

Go to episode 417
classic album dissections
The Velvet Underground & Nico (45th Anniversary Edition)The Velvet Underground & Nico available on iTunes

The Velvet Underground The Velvet Underground & Nico

According to Jim and Greg, few albums are worthier of the Classic Album Dissection treatment than The Velvet Underground's 1967 debut, The Velvet Underground & Nico. Songwriter and guitarist Lou Reed teamed with avant-garde violist/bassist John Cale in the mid-'60s to form the core of the band, joined by guitarist Sterling Morrison and drummer Maureen Tucker. The sonic assault of their live performances caught the attention of Andy Warhol. Warhol provided the funding for their debut album in 1966 and created the iconic banana cover art. He also insisted on featuring German chanteuse Nico on several tracks.

The Velvet Underground & Nico was released in March 1967 against a backdrop of psychedelia, the Summer of Love, and Sgt. Pepper's Loney Hearts Club Band. Its noisy, stark depictions of junkies and sadomasochism in New York City didn‘t fit well with that San Francisco feeling, and the album didn’t sell. But over the past half century, its reputation has grown to the point that, as Jim and Greg argue, it's become the most influential album in rock history. Each track has launched an entire genre, from the goth rock of "Venus in Furs" to the noise rock of "European Son" to the proto-shoegaze in "Heroin." It's hard to imagine bands like Sonic Youth, the Ramones, or Radiohead existing without The Velvet Underground & Nico. On the album's 50th anniversary, Jim and Greg tell the history of the band, give a detailed examination of each of the album's songs, and share their thoughts on its legacy.

Go to episode 597
reviews
LuluLulu available on iTunes

Lou Reed & Metallica Lulu

In the list of rock collaborations we never thought we'd witness, Lou Reed and Metallica are right at the top. A pioneer of punk has joined forces with pioneers of thrash metal for Lulu, an album inspired by the writing of German expressionist playwright Frank Wedekind. Yep it's as strange as it sounds, though Jim reminds us that Reed has gone metal in the past, and well. But here, he is just talking his way through the vocals. And Metallica isn‘t doing him any favors. Jim compares their virtuosity to the kind you’ll hear at Guitar Center. To Greg the album is so dashed off and improvised, its sound like raw demos with no actual songs to be discerned. And he's especially critical of singer James Hetfield's backing vocals. Greg calls Lulu one big raised middle digit to fans; Metallica and Lou Reed get a double Trash It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 311
Berlin: Live At St. Ann's WarehouseBerlin available on iTunes

Lou Reed Berlin

Twenty-five years after releasing the original version of Berlin, Lou Reed is back with a live version, as well as a film recording. Back in 1973, the record was almost universally panned, but Jim and Greg both believe that it deserves a second look, and this live album is the perfect way to do it. Greg describes the songs as harrowing, but also beautiful. It's not an easy album to listen to, but Reed brings his old songs new empathy. He gives it a Buy It rating. Jim thinks fans are better off purchasing this album than the first one, especially when you consider that Berlin 1973 wasn't recorded very well. He also gives Berlin: Live at St. Ann's Warehouse a Buy It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 149
Real AnimalReal Animal available on iTunes

Alejandro Escovedo Real Animal

Alejandro Escovedo has been making music since the late '70s, and now he's back with a new album called Real Animal. Escovedo has had a checkered career that's been mostly under the radar, but has worked with some of the most influential musicians in rock history. A lot of these names pop up on Real Animal, but as with other releases, Jim doesn‘t think Escovedo delivers the goods on record. He’s much more impressive live. Jim can hear the riffs pilfered from Iggy Pop, David Bowie and Lou Reed and doubts he'll ever listen to this album again. He gives it a generous Try It. Greg thinks Jim missed a good deal of the album. To Greg, the pilferings are more homages, especially to Mott the Hoople's Ian Hunter. The emotional temperature of this album is so high that Greg thinks listeners should Buy It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 134
Saturday Night Wrist (Bonus Track Version)Saturday Night Wrist available on iTunes

The Deftones Saturday Night Wrist

Next Jim and Greg review The Deftones' fifth release, Saturday Night Wrist. This Sacramento band came out of the nü metal explosion of the mid '90s. That's“nü”with the umlaut, Jim likes to point out. He feels the rap-rock genre that combines heavy metal with a DJ is played out, much like the gangsta rap genre mentioned earlier. But, he explains, The Deftones moved away from nü metal into a more inventive sound with their 2000 release White Pony. Jim witnessed their evolution first hand when he interviewed the band years ago for a Guitar World magazine interview. Now the band has hired producer Bob Ezrin, the man behind Alice Cooper's albums and Lou Reed's Berlin. Greg considers this“an interesting record in terms of tone and texture,”a“plush-sounding record”that would sound great through headphones, and he applauds the band for making such progress. Yet Greg feels the songwriting lacks substance, so he can only rate the album a Burn It. Jim disagrees and gives it a Buy It. He feels the album is for anyone interested in "hard rock that is trying to push the envelope and redefine itself."

JimGreg
Go to episode 53
I'm Going Away (Bonus Track Version)I'm Going Away available on iTunes

The Fiery Furnaces I'm Going Away

In just six years the brother-sister duo The Fiery Furnaces have released eight albums. But, as Jim points out, being prolific doesn't make you infallible. He admires lead singer Eleanor Friedberger's Lou Reed singing style, but otherwise was put off by their newest album I'm Going Away. Its hyper-literary and overly orchestrated songs gave Jim a headache, and therefore prompted a Trash It rating. Greg couldn't disagree more. He calls I'm Going Away one of the great pop albums of the summer. He admits that much of their previous work was a little obtuse, but he thinks The Fiery Furnaces have channeled their energy into a less frantic, more melodic record. Greg calls it art rock on a budget and gives it a Buy It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 192
dijs

Jim

“Save the Last Dance For Me”The Drifters

Not to completely dis Lou Reed, Jim decides to present the musician's softer side during the Desert Island Jukebox segment. Reed has an enviable encyclopedic knowledge of rock and roll, and he showcases his fandom in a recent issue of Rolling Stone. He talks about one of his, and Jim's, favorite songs: "Save the Last Dance For Me" by The Drifters. The song was co-written by one of Reed's heroes, Doc Pomus, and Reed schools even our critics by describing the song's inspiration. Pomus, suffering with Polio, is unable to dance with his wife at his wedding, so he jots down the lyrics on a place card (which was later gifted to Reed). The song became a classic, and one Jim wants to take with him if stranded on a desert island.

Go to episode 311

Jim

“Candy Says”Velvet Underground

It's safe to say that few artists did more to establish rock and roll than Lou Reed. In fact, both Jim and Greg said as much in their obituaries of the music legend, who died last week at age 71. He deserves more than just a track in the Desert Island Jukebox, but for this episode, one will have to do. It's "Candy Says," a song by the Velvet Underground writen by Reed that, Jim explains, highlights the songwriter's contributions to Slowcore and his amazing sense of compassion.

Go to episode 414
lists

Rock Operas

For many music fans, when you hear "Rock Opera," you probably think of The Who's 1969 album Tommy. But, Jim and Greg assert that Tommy is neither the first, nor the best, Rock Opera. Credit for the first goes to S.F. Sorrow by The Pretty Things in 1968. Credit for the best? Well, there's a long list throughout music history, including those listed below. But whatever your favorite, just don't call it a concept album!

  • The Who's Quadrophenia
  • Genesis' The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway
  • Green Day's American Idiot
  • Willie Nelson's Red Headed Stranger
  • Janelle Monae's The Archandroid
  • The Pretty Things's S.F. Sorrow
  • The Kinks' Arthur
  • Lou Reed's Berlin
  • David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust
  • Frank Zappa's Joe's Garage
  • Pink Floyd's The Wall
  • The Decemberists' Crane Wife
  • Neil Young and Crazy Horse's Greendale
  • Andrew Lloyd Webber's Jesus Christ Superstar

Share your favorite at 888.859.1800, at interact@soundopinions.org or on Facebook and Twitter.

Go to episode 455

Anti-Love Songs

With the ghost of St. Valentine looming over us all, this week's show is dedicated to those music fans for whom "Love Stinks." Jim and Greg discuss their favorite anti-love songs and hear some listeners' picks. Here are some songs to get you out of the mood for Valentine's Day.

Go to episode 11

Songs About Dad

Rock and roll is filled with father figures–some dear dads and some deadbeat dads. But the male parent doesn't get nearly as much song time as Mom. So in honor of Father's Day, Jim and Greg decide to give the fathers some. Here are their favorite Songs About Dad.

Go to episode 289

The Best Songs of 2008 - Mixtapes

At the end of the year, many music fans take on the challenging task of making a mixtape. And, Jim and Greg are no exception. They've both made compilations of their favorite songs of 2008.

Go to episode 162

Work Songs

Despite the fact that most musicians spend their lives avoiding a“real job,”there are a number of great songs about the drudgery and the glory of hard work. For this Labor Day episode Jim and Greg play their favorite Songs About Work.

Lou Reed

Go to episode 197

Songs About Work

Despite the fact that most musicians spend their lives avoiding a“real job,”there are a number of great songs about the drudgery and the glory of hard work. During this Labor Day episode Jim and Greg play their favorite Songs About Work.

Go to episode 301
news

Music News

Every year it's interesting to look at what albums took the top slots on the Village Voice Pazz & Jop poll. This is a much more accurate barometer of any given year in music than the Grammy Awards. However, this year Jim and Greg actually gave negative reviews to a lot of the Pazz & Jop winners including Watch the Throne and Let England Shake. But they were happy to see Tune-Yards' Whokill at #1.

Members of the Velvet Underground including John Cale and Lou Reed have filed a lawsuit against the Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts over the famous banana featured on their 1967 album cover. Warhol served as producer of the album and gave the band the image, however it was never copyrighted. And now the Velvets want to prevent the banana from going Apple.

Jimmy Castor isn‘t a household name, but chances are you’ve heard his music, or at least samples of it. He had a pop-funk hit with "Troglodyte (Cave Man)" in 1972, but also a string of funk and soul gems that ended up being sampled by hundreds of hip hop acts. Castor died this week at age 71, so to honor the late musician, Jim and Greg play one of the often-sampled tracks, "It's Just Begun."

Go to episode 321

Music News

Casey Kasem, a voice of musical authority almost as well known as Jim and Greg, passed away earlier this month at the age of 82. For nearly four decades Kasem counted down the county's biggest hits on his syndicated radio program American Top 40. While Kasem was born in Detroit, he drew on his family's Lebanese storytelling traditions to inject colorful commentary in between the songs on his countdowns. His unique contribution to music history is matched by his contribution to television history – Kasem voiced the character of Shaggy on Scooby-Doo for over thirty years.

Another memorable voice gone this month belonged to contralto jazz vocalist Jimmy Scott. Though small in stature (Scott's growth was stunted pre-puberty by Kallmann's Syndrome), his voice resonated through the decades with artist as varied as Lou Reed, Marvin Gaye, and Frankie Valli. For nearly 66 of his 88 years, though, Scott was unknown to most people, as he was often not credited for his work singing on other people's records. He‘d nearly faded into obscurity when a record executive heard Scott sing at a friend’s funeral and offered him a solo recording contract that brought Scott's powerfully melancholy voice back to move a whole new generation. In his honor, Greg plays the song "Sycamore Trees" performed by Scott in the final episode of the television series Twin Peaks, which was created by another one of Scott's admirers, David Lynch.

Go to episode 447

Music News

Just when Taylor Swift is shaking off Spotify, her friend and singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran is embracing it. In 2014, Sheeran was the most streamed artist on Spotify with over 860 million listens. He also sold more than 1 million copies of his album X in the UK alone, proving it is possible for an artist to have albums available to stream, while still selling physical copies. Sheeran says Spotify helps him do what he does best, and he is embarking on a world tour starting out at Wembley Stadium in July.

Bill Withers, Lou Reed and Joan Jett are just a few of the musicians about to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015. However one selection in particular has Jim and Greg scratching their heads: Green Day. The band becomes 1 of only 48 H.O.F. members who were admitted in their first year of eligibility. This feat is normally reserved for the Willie Mays-like musical figures, so this choice left our critics a little confused. Also, Greg and Jim note glaring omissions with the bands Chic, Kraftwerk and Nine Inch Nails.

Go to episode 473

Music News

The Magic Shop, a recording studio in SoHo in New York, will be closing its doors soon after 28 years. The studio was a favorite of David Bowie, Lou Reed, Arcade Fire, Sonic Youth, and more. Jim and Greg have noticed a number of high profile recording studios that have closed in the past decade. To examine what's driving this trend, they speak with Larry Crane, owner of Jackpot! Recording Studio in Portland and founder/editor of Tape Op Magazine. Crane argues that the commonly told story that digital recording is killing the industry is a misdirection – home recording has really been around for more than half a century, after all. Issues like gentrification and real estate are playing just as big of a role. While changes are indeed happening acrossthe industry, Crane is optimistic that there's still a place for recording studios of all sizes in the future.

Go to episode 536

Music News

Go to episode 594

Music News

This week saw a major turn of events for the music industry. For almost as long as rock has existed, Elvis Presley has been“The King.”He earned this moniker not just for being worshipped by fans, but also for being the reigning leader in record sales. Well, it looks like the king is about to be overthrown…by Garth Brooks. According to the RIAA, the country star is only 2.5 million copies shy of reaching Elvis‘ record of 118.5 million albums sold. Jim notes that some“fuzzy math”is responsible for this achievement (as is often the case when electing new leaders). Brooks’ recent five-CD boxed set, The Limited Series, has been repackaged and remarketed, and while profits have not been huge, each boxed set actually counts for five separate sales. So at that rate, Brooks (and Gaines?) is sure to catch up to our original down-home legend. Greg is concerned that come Armageddon, when we are judged not by our sins, but by our music purchases, we will all face a very dark fate.

Residents of the Sydney suburb Rockdale face no less dark a fate. It was recently announced that for the next six months, the music of Barry Manilow will be blasted throughout the streets in order to curb the bad behavior of the local riff-raff. The city council hopes that this "daggy" music will send the young "hoons," who enjoy cruising the streets and blasting their own "doof" music, back home where they belong. The idea has been tried before down under with the the un-cool croonings of Bing Crosby. But Jim and Greg have their own ideas of musical torture. Jim thinks that the relentless cacophony of Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music, would send citizens running. And for Greg, it's simple—he only needs to hear the opening violin riff in "Ants Marching" by the Dave Matthews Band, and he's gone.

Soul singer and keyboardist Billy Preston passed away this week at the age of 59. Preston is best known as "The Fifth Beatle," because of the recording credit he received for performing "Get Back" with the band. But, as Jim and Greg explain, this title overshadowed his other contributions to music. Preston had his own hits with "Will It Go Round in Circles" and "Nothing From Nothing", and he co-wrote Joe Cocker's chart-topper, "You Are So Beautiful." He also recorded with The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, and Sly & the Family Stone, and earned the distinction of being the first musical guest invited to appear on Saturday Night Live. Greg will particularly remember Preston's pioneering use of the synthesizer in songs like "Outa Space."

Go to episode 28