Shortly after the news was broken by RollingStone.com, I learned about the death of Lou Reed via an email from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, which was seeking help in putting the contributions of the 71-year-old musician in perspective.
Plus Jim DeRogatis’ remembrance and an archival interview.
“With tunes such as the ferocious “Overflows,” the insinuating “Trees of Barcelona,” the pounding “FOH” (a shout-out here to super-drummer Jon Wurster) and that killer anthem “Me & You & Jackie Mittoo,” with its timeless image of a band in a van with the musician riding shotgun putting his or her feet up on the dash while dialing in the perfect sounds on the stereo, I Hate Music is as great a gift as any the group ever has given us.”—Jim DeRogatis loves Superchunk’s I Hate Music
“Perhaps it’s just the nature of the Old Country Buffet smorgasbord model that as a festival becomes increasingly successful, well-established, and ever more commercialized, the ethos upon which it was founded becomes increasingly obscure. The greater meaning, if ever there was one, slips further and further away. Any role that the fest had in both reflecting and stimulating a musical community inevitably erodes. And everything is reduced to mere entertainment.”—Jim DeRogatis on Pitchfork Music Festival 2013
“The impact in my experience is devastating. I’ve seen young ladies as recently as a year or so after something like this has happened, 18 or 19-year-old girls, and I’ve seen women decades after this has happened, women old enough to be my mother decades after this sort of thing has happened, and what I see is that there is this lasting effect on things like self-esteem, self-worth, but also sometimes some serious diagnoses, things like depression, various anxiety disorders, even post-traumatic stress disorder. So there’s definitely this lasting effect that in some cases lasts for decades.”—psychology professor Charmaine Jake-Matthews in The Kelly Conversations
“I have never thought of music as a challenge — you always figure, the audience is at least as smart as you are. You do this because you like it, you think what you’re making is beautiful. And if you think it’s beautiful, maybe they’ll think it’s beautiful. When I did Metal Machine Music, New York Times critic John Rockwell said, ‘This is really challenging.’ I never thought of it like that. I thought of it like, ‘Wow, if you like guitars, this is pure guitar, from beginning to end, in all its variations. And you’re not stuck to one beat.’ That’s what I thought. Not, ‘I’m going to challenge you to listen to something I made.’ I don’t think West means that for a second, either. You make stuff because it’s what you do and you love it.”—Lou Reed reviewsYeezus for The Talkhouse. (via pitchfork)
“Last night I went to bed at 1:30 and got up this morning at 9:15, just enough time to get to Terry Gross at NPR. I love Terry Gross to death. One of my favorite journalism moments is her versus Gene Simmons. He’s trying to do his usual shock shtick and she hung in there like a champ. It was Muhammad Ali against George Foreman, Rumble in the Jungle. He was arrogant and tried to bully her and she would stick him and lunge and move away. I don’t mess with Terry Gross.”— Questlove in an interview with Paper Magazine
“Chicago doesn’t need to have a Music Office just to have a Music Office. It needs to have a Music Office to work as the liaison between the real local music businesses—record stores and recording studios as well as clubs and promoters—and city government, to look out for their interests not only in the bureaucracy, but in the brutal competition with those giant out-of-town festivals and mega-corporate promoters that Emanuel favors but which are squeezing the little guy out of business.”—Jim DeRogatis on why Mayor Emanuel’s calling Chicago the “City of Festivals” doesn’t excuse not having a music office.
On Wednesday, former Destiny’s Child member and solo artist Kelly Rowland released “Dirty Laundry,” a highly emotional, personal, and startlingly blunt song about her career and personal life. Production-wise, “Dirty Laundry” is as clear and straightforward as the lyrics. Structured with steady, yet ominous piano chords and a static drumbeat, “Dirty Laundry” plays like some of the best confessional r&b songs. Rowland sings:
Started to call them people on him/I was battered/He hit the window like it was me/Until it shattered/He pulled me out and said ‘Don’t nobody love you but me/Not your mama not your daddy and especially not B’
In the song, Rowland talks about her feelings in the industry and a violent relationship with an ex, but her situation is applicable and relevant to the circumstances of her listeners. According to a study from the U.S. Department of Justice in a compilation of statistics from the American Bar Association’s Commission of Domestic Violence, “Black females experienced intimate partner violence at a rate 35% higher than that of white females, and about 22 times the rate of women of other races.” As a singer in the r&b genre with audiences largely both black and female, Rowland’s release can act as a call for action and a means of shedding light on an issue that still receives little attention.