Friday, November 01, 2013

Whither A Tribute To Lou Reed?

It's the least I can do.  All week long folks at the station have been playing Lou Reed & Velvet Underground songs.  I'm sure it's been happening all over the world, except on commercial radio stations, where they're probably only playing "Walk On The Wild Side," since that's his "hit."

I'm going to play a few songs about Lou Reed & lots of covers.  There's that thing Eno said about not many people buying The Velvet Underground & Nico but everyone that did formed a band.  Well, I'm going to play some of those bands tonight - the ones who were inspired enough to cover Lou Reed songs.

It's happening from ten to midnight on 88.1 fm in Lexington, & online at wrfl dot fm.  & I'll probably play a cover of "Walk On The Wild Side"!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Preface To A Tribute To Lou Reed: Why I Cried When Lou Reed Died

It's Halloween but the weather in Lexington is awful - a storm's coming, the winds are crazy - & I'm sitting here thinking about the best way to show how much I loved & admired Lou Reed.

Neil Gaiman wrote this beautiful piece & c'mon for fuck's sake I'm going to be able to say anything better than Neil Gaiman?  I feel a little unworthy when I say we shared the same experience.  I'm not a musician or a writer but I know that feeling - that feeling that happened when you first put on The Velvet Underground & Nico - the first time you heard "Sunday Morning" - your brain changed for good.  Forever.  For good.  The rest of the album confirmed your greatest hopes & fears: music would be forever changed.

I remember lying on the floor late at night listening to "Sister Ray."  I was just a teenager, I didn't know what the fuck was going on.  I was mesmerized but unlike most mesmerism my brain was working fine, all the synapses firing twice their normal speed.  I wasn't hypnotized I was made to think & to feel & to understand.

Later on, much later on, I remember seeing a shitty band opening up for Elvis Costello, I think I was with my friend Stacy, & I told her, "Why are these assholes listening to late 70s classic rock radio & writing songs like that?  If they want to learn how to write good pop songs, they should be listening to the third Velvet Underground record!"  I made a promise then & there - a promise I of course never kept - to always carry a copy of that CD to throw on stage to encourage shitty bands not to be so shitty.  Shitty bands!  Listen to that record!  You will learn how to write good songs!

& I grew up listening to classic rock radio.  I grew up with older brothers who, when some song like "Takin' Care Of Business" came on the radio, they nodded wisely to themselves & said, "Mm, good song."  Because they never knew there was anything else.  How could they?  All they knew was on commercial radio!  This past week I was reminded that at one time I said to someone whom I've forgotten, I said, "Do you know?  The Velvet Underground made Loaded to demonstrate what a classic rock album should be."

I don't want to discount the many years after the Velvets that Lou Reed made music.  I paid attention, I did, & I've enjoyed reading all the articles about how Transformer brought gay culture into the mainstream & how Metal Machine Music is an example of how to make music entirely from spite.  I loved how Lou approached everything & even if I found it unpalatable ("I Wanna Be Black"? Was that ever funny?) I appreciated his leaning & reaching & digging & discovering.  I will spend the rest of my life going over the Lou Reed I haven't spend so much time with.

(Before he died, I was listening a lot to The Blue Mask.  I didn't know about his liver transplant.  I didn't know anything about his current situation.)

Here's the thing: I do this dumb radio show & it's filled with music I love & I can say with certainty a frightening amount of the music I love would not exist if Lou Reed hadn't become roommates with John Cale & started writing from his heart.  From his broken soul.

That's why I cried when Lou Reed died.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


Though I did just post my recent Halloween show - the one about HELL!, I have also archived a number of old shows guaranteed to ruin or otherwise foul up any Halloween party (which probably already happened - who parties on Thursdays?).  Have a look:

Here's last year's show about NIGHTMARES!  It'll haunt your dreams!

Here's a show about GRAVEYARDS!  Try whistling past this one!

Why visit one when you can stay in the insecurity of your own home visiting HAUNTED HOUSES?

& oh no!  Just in time for the apocalypse is a show about ZOMBIES!

Maybe next year I'll put up the other shows - I only just thought of this now.  Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Halloween 2013: Hell!

Hello - no pun intended! - my name is Lucifer.  You may know me as Satan, or the Prince of Darkness, or the Dandy of the Underworld - but you do know me.  I have been asked by the not-terribly-saintly Gary to introduce this radio show he's done about my "hood" - Hell.  So, here's his radio show.

Can I say how incorrectly he described where I live?  It's not a vast fiery wasteland filled with tormented souls!  It's more like a planned community, with gates, & lots of McMansions, the mortgages of which you'll never pay.  You know what John Milton (the realtor in Pasadena) said: "It's better to rent in heaven than to own in hell!"  Pools of eternal flame are one of the perks.

Anyway, you'll be here soon enough so I won't keep you.  Just be aware you can listen to this show at the hellishly dull Self Help Radio website, or, much like you can choose to end your life to come to me much faster than dying of old age (when you'll still come to me), you can listen to the show directly by choosing either part one or part two.  He puts a list of songs below for you to look at.  I wouldn't!  I'd put it in a room full of vipers.  But I have a sense of style that Gary lacks.

Oh yes, I'll see you in hell!

kisses, Lucifer


(part one)

"This Is Hell" Elvis Costello _Brutal Youth_
"This Could Be Hell" Funhouse _Out Of Control 7"_
"Go To Hell" Nina Simone _Nina Simone_

"Ain't It Hell Up In Harlem" Edwin Starr _Hell Up In Harlem_
"Hell" James Brown _Hell_
"(Don't Worry) If There's A Hell Below, We're All Going To Go" Curtis Mayfield _Curtis_

"Special Dispensation - Heaven, Hell, Purgatory & Limbo" George Carlin _Class Clown_
"There's A Place In Hell For Me & My Friends" Morrissey _Kill Uncle_
"Hellbound" The Breeders _Pod_
"Highway To Hell" Ed Kuepper _The Wheelie Bin Affair_
"Aloha From Hell" The Cramps _A Date With Elvis_

(part two)

"Straight To Hell" Betse Ellis _High Moon Order_
"Everything Goes To Hell" Tom Waits _Blood Money_
"A Season In Hell" The Would-Be-Goods _Brief Lives_

"Heaven & Hell" The Who _Live At The BBC_
"Private Hell" The Jam _Setting Sons_
"Solid Gold Hell" The Scientists _Absolute_
"All Hell Breaks Loose" The Misfits _Walk Among Us_

"Hell" Streetlight Manifesto _99 Songs Of Revolution Volume One_
"New Maps Of Hell" Ron House _New Wave As The Next Guy: The Moses Carry Out & Twisted Shouts Years, 1978-1981_
"Gidget Goes To Hell" Suburban Lawns _Gidget Goes To Hell_
"A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Hell (I Got Saved, Saved, Saved)" Sammy Hall _A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Hell (I Got Saved, Saved, Saved)_

"New Face In Hell" The Fall _The Complete Peel Sessions 1978-2004_
"Season In Hell" Dum Dum Girls _End Of Daze_