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Posts Tagged ‘Lou Reed’

THE SONGS IN YOUR HEAD…

This list will probably include some of my all-time favorite songs but the truth is this week I was lazy and didn’t feel up to or really had the time to write a proper post so instead I compiled a brief off-the-top-of-my-head list of songs whose lyrics stay in my head long after the song has stopped playing.   I also probably should mention who the songwriters are, but maybe at some point I’ll come by and add that info. There are many more songs like this spanning most genres but I gave myself 15 minutes to write down whatever came to my head and here you have it:

The Box Tops – “Whiter Shade of Pale”

I know Procul Harem popularized this song, but I much prefer the Box Tops version (I’ll almost always prefer Alex Chilton’s version of anything).  Their version makes it one of the most perfect songs ever written/composed in my book.

“We skipped the light fandango
Turned cartwheels ‘cross the floor
I was feeling kinda seasick
But the crowd called out for more
The room was humming harder
As the ceiling flew away”

The Rainman Suite – “59 Days”

This song belongs to a time that I have fond memories of. Times when the songs were all about either each other or people we knew.  It’s the perfect example of how relationships can suffer when constant touring is involved.  Josh Robinson is one of my favorite people and favorite songwriters.  If you never listened to this local band when they were playing out you should check out some of their other songs like “Cahuenga Blvd” and really listen to the lyrics.

“Tell me one more time how I’ve gone astray, by this time tomorrow I’ll be two states away”

“My poster’s hanging lonely on your wall.  You’d take it down, but you’d rather see it fall.”

The Replacements  – “We Know the Night”

Paul Westerberg is one of the most perfect un-perfect individuals in my book.  I’d definitely consider him one of the genius songwriters of our time.  So many lyrics he’s penned get stuck in my head upon hearing his songs.

“With scissors and a comb I cut my lawn
And there’s no one in the world I’m counting on
There’s a war ragin’ outside – I hope my grass stays green”

“Best things always come when your mind’s at rest
In the afternoon, my mind ain’t sleepy, it’s preoccupied
Till the day is late and we let out a sigh
‘Cause we know the night could fall at any time”

Garth Brooks – “Much Too Young (To Feel this Damn Old)”

I don’t get a lot of sleep.  I used to say that I was too busy to sleep but the truth is I’m just a night owl who somehow manages to function semi-efficiently during the day.  Even being as young as I was when this song hit the airwaves I could still relate.

Also, I grew up on the late Chris LeDoux (when I was little I really gravitated towards the more upbeat Western/Texas Swing styles of LeDoux and George Strait’s music) so I have a soft spot for any song that mentions his name as he was a “Cowboy” who not only sang the songs of that lifestyle but also lived it with his Rodeo Cowboy background.

“Sleep would be best, but I just can’t afford the rest”

“The worn out tape of Chris LeDoux, lonely women, and bad booze
Seem to be the only friends I’ve left at all”

Chris LeDoux and Garth Brooks collaborated in the early 90’s on a track called “Whatcha Gonna Do With a Cowboy

However, here’s Chris LeDoux with “Country Star”

Trisha Yearwood – “Sleep While I Drive”

I like this version better than Melissa Etheridge’s original. I find this song to be so sad. For some reason this part of the song is what always lingers in my head.

“I’ll buy you boots down in Texas, a hat from New Orleans
And in the morning you can tell me your dreams”

The Randies – “Wrecking Ball (The Shovel Song)”

Again, a band from another time, when the songs were about us.  Also great songwriters especially with their early stuff like “Hyperion” and “Boys in Stereo”

“I tried to build a strong foundation based on moral fabric, but then I met someone whose image fit the shape of my bad habit.  And like construction in reverse I’m taking down the timbers one by one they come undone…the thrill of demolition.”

Camera Obscura – “The Sweetest Thing”

This is L.A.  Half of the people we know or have dated have been in a magazine or on T.V.

“My love, you’re in a magazine
My love, you’re doing fine, you’re on TV”

“On the bus radio, “Fifty ways to leave your lover alone”
I laughed at the irony
But life is stupid, the irony’s all lost on me”

Talking Heads “Uh-Oh, Love Comes to Town”

This line always makes me laugh.

“I’ve been to college, I’ve been to school
I’ve met the people that you read about in books”

Devendra Banhart – “Queen Bee”

I just really like this song and for some reason this is what sticks.

“I saw everything I’ve seen
And I meant everything I mean”

Of Montreal – “A Sentence of Sorts in Kongsvinger“

“I spent the winter with my nose buried in a book (more…)


JUKEBOX IN MY MIND: MAC DUNLOP’S JUKEBOX PICKS (PART II)

Our Guest Dj Mac Dunlop (who you may know from L.A. Band The Letter Openers) took over the intraffikradio studios recently to bring us his music picks –songs that he feels every jukebox should have in its repertoire.

In Part II of his “Jukebox in my Mind,” Guest DJ setlist Mac Dunlop re-visits some of the greats that have influenced countless modern day musicians, reminisces about Select Magazine, and even manages to include an Ol’ Dirty Bastard Track in the set!

Playlist

David Bowie- “Hang on To Yourself” (Live at the BBC)
Bob Seger and the Heard - “Heavy Music (Part II)”
Love - “Gimi a Little Break”

The Kinks – “Set Me Free”
The Who- “Heaven and Hell (Live at Leeds)”
Badfinger - “Give It Up”

The Flame - “Get Your Mind Made Up”
T. Rex – “Carsmile Smith and the Old One”
Lemonheads- “My Drug Buddy”

Wynonie Harris – “All She Wants to Do is Rock”
The Four Tops- “Seven Rooms of Gloom”
Frank Black – “Freedom Rock”

Allen Toussaint- “Electricity”
Ol’ Dirty Bastard- “Got ‘Cha Money”
Judee Sill - “The Kiss”

Steve Earle and Lucinda Williams - “Still Standin’ There ”
The Rolling Stones - “Fool to Cry”
The Bellrays-  “You’re Sorry Now”
Seneca Hawk - “Hooker”
Lou Reed – “Halloween Parade”

Listen to www.intraffikradio.com today at 10:30 am (PT) for a re-broadcast!


DELTRON 3030 RECOMMENDED: Various Artists ‘Adventureland’

adventureland 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The marketing campaign for this movie lied to me! It wasn’t the fun loving goofball comedy that I was expecting. Instead the movie was full of broken hearts, broken homes, and broken promises. I was bamboozled! I’m guessing it tested poorly so the studio decided to do some re-shoots, adding in the multiple punches to the groin that were peppered throughout the movie. I lost count but there were at least five separate fist to balls in there. Comedy Gold. Needless to say I was a bit letdown by the movie. Even still I gave this movie three stars in my netflix account…. all based solely on the power of the kick ass soundtrack. Top to bottom it is chock full of goodness. The true test of a soundtrack’s skill is if it effortlessly blends the obvious hits (“Your Love,” “Just Like Heaven,” “Rock Me Amadeus”) with some lesser known neglected songs (I’m in Love With a Girl, Modern Love, Don’t Want to Know if You Are Lonely”. It’s like making a killer mix tape. You want to rope them in with something they know, then when you have them entranced with a sense of security and familiarity you drop the knowledge on them. Two people in film today stand out in my eyes for soundtrack mix tape building: Tarantino and Cameron Crowe. Their consistent mixing excellence makes them the measuring sticks for all other Hollywood mix tape makers. Whoever worked on Adventureland’s mix is now right up there with them. The movie single handedly made me go home and download a few albums I probably already should have had: (more…)


Satellite of Soundtrack Love: or How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love being as Lazy as Wolfgang.

(feel free to listen to the songs from this week’s column via the above music player)

After reeling from another kickass episode of “Lost” last week I let the TV lag and spill into Life on Mars. The show opened with a long montage set to Lou Reed’s Satellite of Love“. That song and Michael Impeiroli’s badass stache were almost enough to keep my interest. I avoided temptation. I just can’t add another TV show to my dvr. Mind you I will make an exception for when The Duel 2 comes on MTV in April. Hearing the song reminded me of a conversation I had recently. Not counting Stillwater’s Feverdog” or Steel Dragon’sStand Up (and shout)” I asked someone to come up with a list of songs that they discovered through the power of the movies. Personally for me Lou Reed’s Perfect Day“, as heard in Trainspotting, is a perfect example of a song I was unaware of till it was featured in a film. I ran out and bought that album immediately after seeing the movie and was pretty floored by its quirky charms. I’d like to say the same thing occurred after I watched St Elmo’s Fire and heard “Man in Motion“…but, as you people know, that album is not as awe inspiring. Hell of a theme song though. With a click glance at my DVD collection I give you:

My top 5 song discoveries through film (eat it, Facebook!)

5. Almost Famous: Thunderclap Newman Something in the Air“. The easy answer is “Tiny Dancer”, but I’ve always liked this song better. Pete Townshend played bass on this one hit wonder led by a Who roadie. Who knew!? (No pun intended. Seriously)

4. Boogie Nights: Night Ranger - “Sister Christian.” Boogie Nights was so chock full of music that it required two discs. This was a new song to me. Thank you, PT Anderson. He took the cue from Tarantino and tried to fill his soundtrack with as many lost gems as possible. On the flip side I noticed the soundtrack to The Girl Next Door might be the laziest soundtrack ever. Here are some highlights:

· “Under Pressure” by Queen and David Bowie

· “The Killing Moon” by Echo & the Bunnymen

· “Something in the Air” by Thunderclap Newman

· “Take a Picture” by Filter

 · “Sweet Home Alabama” by Lynyrd Skynyrd

· “What’s Going On” by Marvin Gaye

· “Lapdance” by N.E.R.D.

· “Baba O’Riley” by The Who

 

All great songs. All have appeared in countless movies already. You are a lazy man Mr. Wolfgang Amadeus. Nope, I’m not making that name up. You made a mix tape of your favorite songs from movies. Shame on you, Wolfgang. Can I have your job please? What The Girl Next Door lacked in musical creativity it made up for with its underrated humor and a semi clad Kim Bauer.

3. Napoleon Dynamite: When in Rome - “The Promise”. If I happen across this movie and it’s close to the end I’ll leave it on and embrace this song and imagine playing tether ball and drawing leigers for my own Deb.

2. Trainspotting: Lou Reed“Perfect Day.”

1. Donnie Darko: Echo and the Bunnymen“The Killing Moon”. I was hip enough to see this film opening night, but not hip enough to have known this amazing song. It was instant love. Since then Richard Kelly released a director’s cut which removed “The Killing Moon” from the opening and replaced it with “Never Tear Us Apart” By INXS. If that wasn’t proof positive that Richard Kelly is a loose cannon who can’t be trusted, go rent Southland Tales. What a mess of a film. Justin Timberlake lip syncing The Killers on the Santa Monica Pier? Yeah, let’s green light that bad boy. Even after that bloodbath of a film turd I’m still looking forward to his next film, The Box, simply because The Arcade Fire will be providing the original score and bombastic and preachy is exactly how I take my scores. Thank you, Win Butler.


Behind the Song – Talking Heads “Psycho Killer”

Note from Siria: Each month we’ll bring you the story behind the making of one song most of you will know.  Most of the stories will have been previously published elsewhere and will do our best to provide links to all sites to rightfully give credit to the appropriate writer. We’ll start this off with the story behind one of my all-time favorite songs:

 
Making of Talking Heads “Psycho Killer” 

(Originally Published Aug 1, 2002 12:00 PM, By Blair Jackson on www.mixonline.com)

 

The new wave movement of the mid- to late ’70s and early ’80s had such broad tentacles and encompassed so many different kinds of bands that more than two decades down the line, it’s sometimes difficult to see what united The Ramones with Graham Parker, Pere Ubu with Blondie or The Stranglers with Talking Heads. A lot of it was an attitude, of course: a dissatisfaction with the commercial status quo — which seemed to favor country rock, disco and indulgent progressive rock — coupled with the embrace of an egalitarian DIY aesthetic — anybody could be (and should be!) a rock star.

The Talking Heads came from the art school wing of the new wave: Guitarist/singer David Byrne, drummer Chris Frantz and bassist Tina Weymouth met at the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design. Byrne and Frantz played in a group there called The Artistics, “who sounded like Television, only crazier and not as messianic,” Frantz once recalled in an interview. “The aesthetic,” according to Weymouth, “was called Mondo: There was a lot of black leather. The Artistics wore all black, and David had a leopard skin guitar.” Though a musician herself, Weymouth wasn’t in The Artistics, “but I went to every performance and every rehearsal. They were very loud.” The Artistics covered songs by borderline-trashy rockers like The Troggs, The Knickerbockers and Sam the Sham & The Pharaohs, and also played a smattering of odd originals, including this month’s Classic Track, “Psycho Killer,” co-written by Weymouth and Byrne. Incredibly, it was the first song Byrne ever wrote.
Byrne noted many years ago, “‘Psycho Killer’ was written as an exercise with someone else’s approach in mind. I had been listening to Alice CooperBillion Dollar Babies, I think — and I thought it was really funny stuff. I thought, ‘Hey, I can do this!’ It was sort of an experiment to see if I could write something.”

I thought I would write a song about a very dramatic subject the way [Alice Cooper] does, but from inside the person, playing down the drama. Rather than making it theatrical the way Alice Cooper would, I’d go for what’s going on inside the killer’s mind, what I imagined he might be thinking.I wanted it to be like Randy Newman doing Alice Cooper. One way of telling the story would be to describe everything that happens — ‘he walks across the room, he takes so many steps, he’s wearing such-and-such.’ That tells you everything that’s going on, on one level, but it doesn’t involve you emotionally. The other extreme is to describe it all as a series of sensations. I think that sometimes has more power and affects people a little stronger. It seemed a natural delusion that a psychotic killer would imagine himself as very refined and use a foreign language to talk to himself.”talking-heads

 The Artistics broke up in late 1974, and Byrne, Frantz and Weymouth (the latter two were boyfriend and girlfriend and later married) moved to New York and formed Talking Heads as a trio, with Weymouth playing bass. “Psycho Killer” and a couple of other Artistics’ tunes (such as Byrne’s “I’m Not in Love” and “Warning Sign”) became part of the new band’s repertoire, and after nearly half a year of rehearsal, they started gigging, primarily at lower-Manhattan’s budding punk/new wave emporium, CBGBs. The band’s first show there, in June ‘75, was opening for The Ramones.

From the outset, it was clear that this band was a little…er…different. They weren’t as thrashy as their true punk brethren, but their music did have drive, a certain angularity, and a weird, undefinable pop undercurrent. Byrne was the strangest front man imaginable — all jittery and full of nervous energy; geeky but kind of handsome; no wonder he could put across a song like “Psycho Killer.”

I wanted to strip away the artifice of stage performance,” he explained. “Part of the idea was to use language that wasn’t being used in pop songs — everyday language, the way people talk — kind of direct, but also kind of fragmentary. And I thought the music should be as simple as you could make it and still have a song.”

Their reputation spread by word-of-mouth around New York City, and by the middle of 1976, they’d made demo tapes for Beserkley Records, Columbia Records and, at the suggestion of Lou Reed, RCA Records. Later that year, Talking Heads invited Jerry Harrison, a 77Harvard graduate and former member of the Boston group The Modern Lovers (led by the quirky Jonathan Richman), to play some gigs with them, and the chemistry was evident immediately. While Harrison agonized over whether to join the Heads or go to architecture school, the group signed a deal with Sire Records. In December ‘76, still as a trio, they cut their first single with producers Tony Bongiovi, Lance Quinn and Tommy Ramone (nee Tom Erdelyi), and engineer Ed Stasium: “New Feeling” and “Love Goes To Building on Fire.” The following spring, the same team (minus Tommy Ramone) began work in earnest on Talking Heads debut album, 77, with Harrison joining full-time shortly after tracking began.

Sessions for the Heads’ album took place at Sundragon Studios, where The Ramones’ Leave Home was also cut. “It was a wacky joint,” remembers engineer Stasium, a New Jersey native (like Bongiovi) who had been working at Le Studio Morin Heights in Quebec for a year before returning to New York area in August 1976. “I think Tony’s the one who found Sundragon. He was working at Media Sound, but he had already started his search for the building that would become Power Station. Sundragon was this odd little place on 20th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues. It was basically a jingle place owned by a fellow named Ned Lieben and his partner, Michael Ewing. It was in a loft and they both lived in the loft, which was on the eighth floor and this building had the slowest elevator in New York City. The elevator was this tiny thing, maybe four-by-four, and the more equipment and more people you tried to cram into it, the slower it went. It was unbelievable! There was this huge locked door right on the other side of the elevator, so you couldn’t just zip out of the elevator — you had to ring the bell, wait for someone to answer, and they’d come answer and then you could get out of the elevator, holding the elevator door open as you dragged the equipment out.”Then, as you walked past Michael’s bedroom, which was on the left-hand side facing 20th Street, you’d always be overwhelmed by the smell of pot smoke. Later, he went into real estate and made millions of bucks. There was a little equipment room with an EMT plate and a few other things, then you’d go through a door and then you were in the studio itself, which was really tiny — probably about 15 feet across and 30 feet wide with maybe a nine or 10-foot ceiling — and it was really dead: carpeted and blanketed, very 1970s. There was a separate, very small control room; you couldn’t fit more than two or three people in there. If you walked through the studio, then you were in the kitchen, which is where the tape storage was, and then you’d be in the part where Ned lived, which is where the tape storage was. The other unusual thing about this place is that on one wall, there was this huge aquarium — it had to be 10 feet long and four feet wide. So it was kind of strange, but it ended up being a pretty good place to make records.”

The control room had a Roger Mayer custom-made console,” Stasium continues. “He’s the guy who had built a lot of Hendrix’s electronics, including the first phaser ever made. It was a really good-sounding board. It had some compressors built into it; it was transformerless and the clarity was unbelievable on that Talking Heads record — the top end is marvelous. It couldn’t have been more than 20 inputs; maybe 3-band EQ, I don’t remember exactly. The studio also had a nice-sounding Studer A-80 16-track machine and one of the old Studer remotes. Later, they got a 24-track, but we did The Ramones and Talking Heads on the 16-track. I think we cut most of the tracks before Jerry was in the group. We did most of it as a trio, and then all of a sudden, Jerry was there. We cut everything live. We made big boxes for the amplifiers out of these huge pieces of foam rubber and blankets to prevent leakage into the drum mics. Chris [Frantz] was in the corner, on the far side of the room, with his drum kit. David would always do a scratch vocal, but we redid all of the vocals later.”

Asked if Byrne’s offstage personality was at all similar to his onstage persona, Stasium says, “He was just about the same — a very quirky fella. It’s funny, he didn’t want Tony Bongiovi in the control room when he was doing his vocals; I’m not exactly sure why. Knowing Tony, though, he was probably trying to tell him how to sing, or give him some ‘emotional guidance,’” he adds with a laugh.
As for the miking scheme on the sessions, “I’m sure the drums were the old standards — 57 on the snare, 421s on the toms, 421 on the kick, 451 on the hi-hat, 87s on overheads,” Stasium says. “There were no room mics because there was no room for them. On the guitar amp, it was probably a 57 and an 87 in various positions. I know we did some overdubs at ODO Studios, too. I remember doing all of the percussion there with Jimmy Maelen, who was one of the top players in town and a great guy; he worked with everyone.”

Mixing was at Media Sound on the Studio A Neve 8078 console. “Because Sundragon was so tiny, there was no ambience there, so what I did for mixing at Media — not for all the songs, but I do remember it for ‘Psycho Killer’ — is I pumped the drums back into the big room at Media and miked them — just cranked them through some Crown DC-300s or something, brought them back up through some mic inputs and went back live into the mix. It gave it a nice punch.”

It was also during the mix process that the bass intro for “Psycho Killer” was lengthened (the old-fashioned way — by splicing), and Stasium also recalls having some input on the instrumental ending: “I always put my two cents in,” Stasium says. “Originally, the ending went on and didn’t really do anything — there was none of the feedback; it needed more excitement. So I suggested putting the power chords on, and then I remember saying to David, ‘Just do a wild thing, like the solo in “I Can See For Miles.”’ And he went, ‘Huh? What’s that?’ He didn’t know The Who or Pete Townshend. I’m saying, ‘Let’s get some feedback and go crazy on the end!’ So that was inspired by me telling David to imitate a solo he’d never heard. I probably even picked up a guitar and demonstrated it. David was mostly using a Gibson then, but I think there’s some Strat on there as well. Tina was definitely using her Mustang bass.”

There were actually two versions of “Psycho Killer”: the electric version that appears on the album, and an acoustic version that used most of the same basic tracks, but also had overdubbed acoustic guitars (by Byrne) and cello (by Ernie Brooks of the Modern Lovers). The latter came out as the B-side of the single of “Psycho Killer,” released in January 1978. (And the version that opens the extraordinary Talking Heads concert film Stop Making Sense is like a hybrid: It has Byrne on acoustic guitar playing to some pre-recorded tracks.)

Talking Heads were never really a singles band, of course. “Psycho Killer” only made it to Number 92 on the Billboard Hot 100, but the song was an FM/college radio favorite almost immediately, and it really helped establish the group outside of New York. Today, “Psycho Killer” is one of a dozen or more Talking Heads songs that can be rightfully regarded as true rock classics (and eventual fodder for this column). The band would undergo tremendous transformations over the next several years after this fantastic debut, as their sound matured and took on exciting new dimensions with the addition of various ethnic and avant-garde shadings. The group never made a bad album, and most are downright brilliant. There’s no question, though, that there is a rawness and an innocence on 77 that the group never quite recaptured. It’s the sound of a band learning about who they are: American originals.