For me, the thing about Lou Reed’s music that is most significant is not that it made me fall in love with Lou Reed’s music, it is that it opened up my mind to the possibilities of what music could be. It started this life-long quest for what is next and what else is there. Certainly, I did fall in love with Lou Reed’s music both in and out of the Velvet Underground, but I didn’t stay there. I don’t know how many posts I say in the hours after the news of his death broke about Lou Reed being the doorkeeper or gatekeeper. It was also so gratifying to see a very diverse list of people who acknowledged the influence that Lou Reed had on their music.
See, I don’t write Ear to the Ground to make money – I would have quit long ago if that were the case, and I don’t write to make friends with so many cool artists – although that it is a pretty nifty side-effect. I write Ear to the Ground (and I keep writing on those days when I am not sure anyone is reading) because music moves me. Lou Reed’s music moves me and the band who you’ve never heard about – there music moves me. And the music that is being made somewhere in the world that I haven’t heard yet – that moves me. See, I’m passionate about music. I write Ear to the Ground because even if I stopped writing this blog, I would still be thinking about music and wondering what was next and what else was out there waiting for me to hear.
“Lillian, Egypt” (LIVE) by Josh Ritter (from Live at the Iveagh Gardens. I dig Josh Ritter. He writes cool songs and he has a great voice. That’s pretty much enough for me sometimes.)
“Desperado” by Linda Ronstadt (a cover of a then still recent Eagles song from her fourth studio album, Don’t Cry Now. I’m honestly not a huge Eagle’s fan – but to tell the truth, Linda Ronstadt could have been singing the phonebook, and I would be listening. Beside, while listening to this song I found my self staring into the horizon like Karl Farbman on Seinfeld.)
“May the Road Rise to Meet Your Face” by James Crawford (from his self-titled debut. I think this is a traditional Irish Toast. I have to say it is really cool when some you have known for a long time makes a truly great record.)
“Temporary Though Exchange (AKT Vocal Version)” by Its Teeth with Travis Orbin and Gabriel from The Gabriel Construct (from Divided – which you can get here – CD Sold out digital still available – One of the reasons I stay open, not only to genres and styles of music but to the various ways that music reaches my ear holes, is that I never know… Earlier this year I was introduced to The Gabriel Construct by a music promoter – one of the best in my opinion and thus discovered one of the best, most challenging albums of the year. Gabriel recommended this album which includes his collaborator Travis Orbin and on which Gabriel contributed vocals to this track. I never know… if I had dismissed the submission for The Gabriel Construct because it had come from a promoter – not only would I have missed out on that album, but more than likely I never would have heard this amazing record either.)
“Dixie Fried” by The Howlin’ Brothers (from The Sun Studio Sessions. Nashville’s own, The Howlin’ Brothers start off their album recorded at the famous Sun Studios in Memphis with a cover of a song by one of the legends who came out of that storied, tiny building on Union Avenue – the late great Carl Perkins.)
“New Boy” by The Connells (from New Boy. The title track from the Mid 90s EP by this great and perhaps underrated band from North Carolina.)