Smith and Reed Offer Middle-Aged Mellow Print
Music - Music News
Written by John M. James   
Wednesday, 18 April 2007 02:12

Patti Smith and Lou Reed - two grandparents of punk - have seriously mellowed out and are releasing surprisingly mature new works next week.

Smith, recently inducted in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the singer behind the electric shivers of "Pissing in a River" from 1976, lays new hands on a dozen classics, keeping the simmer under a bubble and basking in the warmth of a great tune. The Columbia Records CD, simply titled Twelve, is Smith's first all-covers affair, sort of an anti-American Idol collection of personal selections that lifts up each song to the light. A back-porch acoustic chugga-chugga incantation of Jimi Hendrix's "Are You Experienced?" that churns into a tsunami, a tender pluck through Neil Young's "Helpless," and the cough-syrup banjo stroll of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" highlight the collection, and these personal selections whisper sweetness but have a real danger lurking underneath. Other artists under the knife include the Allman Brothers, Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, and Jefferson Airplane, with special guests Tom Verlaine of Television, Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Rich Robinson of the Black Crowes. Other notable tracks include Tears for Fears' "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" and Stevie Wonder's "Pastime Paradise."

Want to really get mellow? Whatever you do, don't reach for Reed's Metal Machine Music from 1975; that one's best for clearing out droopy party guests. But who'd have thought that meditation would someday become Lou's medicine of choice? It's true, as Tuesday the Gemini Sun Records label releases Hudson River Wind Meditations, Reed's new album of mind-washing, minimal electronica, produced by ace knob-twiddler Hal Willner. Reed says he's out "to replace the everyday cacophony with new and ordered sounds of an unpredictable nature."


Television Alert:


The Tonight Show with Jay Leno hosts OK Go on Thursday and Friday, and Amy Winehouse on Tuesday; The Late Show with David Letterman welcomes Son Volt this evening, Regina Spektor on Friday, and Corinne Bailey Rae on Tuesday; Late Night with Conan O'Brien boasts Paul Weller of The Jam on Monday overnight; Last Call with Last Call with Carson Daly presents G. Love this evening overnight and The Mims on Thursday overnight; Jimmy Kimmel Live flips the switch for Killswitch Engage this eveing overnight, Morrissey on Friday overnight and Iggy Pop & The Stooges on Tuesday overnight; The Henry Rollins Show's musical guest this weekend is Ryan Adams; and Saturday Night Live's musical guest this weekend is Bjork. And look out for The Ellen DeGeneres Show next week, as the host keeps the fur from flying by featuring Stevie Nicks on Tuesday and Lindsey Buckingham on Wednesday.


New Releases Coming Tuesday, April 25:

... and like the winds, young grasshopper, are subject to change.


Arctic Monkeys - Favorite Worst Nightmare (Domino) also available on vinyl LP

Bill Callahan - Woke on a Whaleheart (Drag City) new from the man behind the curtain of Smog, with guitarist Pete Denton and Neil Michael Hagerty of Royal Trux

David Clayton-Thomas - In Concert: A Musical Biography (Justin Time) recorded live in Toronto in 2005, featuring many of his hits with Blood Sweat & Tears and a cover of Billie Holiday's "Don't Explain"

Deerhunter - Fluorescent Grey (Kranky) CD EP featuring the video for "Strange Lights"

Dntel - Dumb Luck (Sub Pop) fractured electronica with guest vocalists Jenny Lewis, Conor Oberst, and Grizzly Bear's Edward Droste

Evil Dead: The Musical - original off-Broadway cast recording (Time Life) a new musical based on the horror cult classic

Fishbone - Still Stuck in Your Throat (Sound In Color) all new featuring "Party with Saddam" and a cover of Sublime's "Date Rape"

Robert Fleischman - Look at the Dream (Spirit Box) new solo album from the pre-Steve Perry Journey vocalist and singer with the Vinnie Vincent Invasion

Charlotte Gainsbourg - 5:55 (Vice/Atlantic) domestic issue with guests Neil Hannon of Divine Comedy, Jarvis Cocker, and Air

Layfayette Gilchrist - Three (Hyena) storm-chasing jazz piano from this young Baltimore native and boxer, who traded in his gloves for 88 keys when he was 17

Rick Holmstrom - Late in the Night (M.C. Records) featuring a wild, bleating blues cover of Bob Dylan's "Rainy Day Woman #12 & 35"

Kingspade - P.T.B. (Suburban Noize) duo of D-Loc and Johnny Richter of the Kottonmouth Kings

Maria McKee - Late December (Cooking Vinyl) sixth solo album from the former Lone Justice vocalist, featuring the triumphant "Destine" - a soaring, layered rocker that would have fit well on Queen's "Night at the Opera"

Messer Chups - Hyena Safari (AeroCCCP) Russian duo raised on American horror movies and bad science fiction

Alan Morse - Four O'Clock & Hysteria (Inside Out) new instrumental album from the Spock's Beard guitarist

The Nightwatchman - One Man Revolution (Epic)

Yoko Ono - Open Your Box (Astralwerks) dance-floor remixes from Danny Tenaglia, Pet Shop Boys, Bimbo Jones, Basement Jaxx, and more

Porcupine Tree - Fear of a Blank Planet (Atlantic) with guests Robert Fripp of King Crimson and Alex Lifeson of Rush

Lee Sanders - A Promise of Peace (Renaissance) concept album about World War II from the Crystal Void founder

Simply Red - Stay ( all new and super-smooth, featuring a gorgeous cover of Ronnie Lane's "Debris," and the romantic new single "So Not Over You"

Snatches of Pink - Love Is Dead (8th House Records) all new from this college-radio favorite from the 1980s, still snarling and sinewy with a Chapel Hill-meets-Rolling Stones swagger

Avey Tare & Kria Brekkan - Pullhair Rubeye (Paw Tracks) looped and shuttered experimental recordings from this collaborative duo from members of Animal Collective and Múm

The Toasters - One More Bullet (Stomp) with guests Bufford O'Sullivan of the Easy Star Allstars and Greg Robinson of Mephiskapheles

The Veils - Nux Vomica (Rough Trade) return to the contorted angst and dangerous, glorious days of British pop, with nods to The Auteurs, Blur, Nick Cave, and Screaming Jay Hawkins; featuring hypnotic vocalist Finn Andrews, raised in a nifty musical petri dish as the son of Barry Andrews of XTC and Shriekback

Dale Watson - From the Cradle to the Grave (Hyena) terrific, old-school country packed with parables and pain, channeling the spirit of Johnny Cash in the title track

The Wedding Present - The Complete Peel Sessions (Castle/Sanctuary) six-CD set featuring 12 BBC sessions with DJ John Peel and a handful of rare covers of songs by Paul Revere & the Raiders, Orange Juice, and Lonnie Donegan

various artists - Our Impact Will Be Felt: A Tribute to Sick of It All (Abacus) with cover contributions from Hatebreed, Madball, Napalm Death, Bleeding Through, Rise Against, Bouncing Souls, and Ignite

various artists - A Tribute to Joni Mitchell (Nonesuch) with cover contributions from Elvis Costello, Prince, Bjork, James Taylor, and Sarah McLachlan

various artists - For New Orleans: A Benefit for the Musician's Village Habitat For Humanity (C/C Entertainment) two-CD set with exclusive songs from Jeff Buckley, Indigo Girls, Paul Westerberg, and Marshall Crenshaw

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