The Mid-Week Beat: RIP Lou Reed

lou-reed-lou-reed-31564770-1024-768So, if this was a normal Halloween, I would be writing about all the upcoming Halloween music events but when a musical legend dies, it’s the duty of the music fan to pay tribute. This last Sunday morning, we lost probably one of the most influential musicians of the past 40 years and an artist that had a tremendous impact on me: Lou Reed.

Any fan of “alternative” music owes a huge debt to Reed. Starting his musical career in the era of “free love” and psychedelia, Reed was churning out discordant, droning songs about violence, hard drugs and life on the streets of New York City; far removed from what was going on in hippy meccas like London or San Francisco. Reed believed that rock and roll could push boundaries and challenge audiences just like the literature of the Beat Generation or the art of the avant garde.

Therefore, it’s not surprising that he found a confidante and ally in Andy Warhol, who took Reed’s band the Velvet Underground under his wing, giving them a home at his Factory, an entourage of “superstar” fans and a dark, surreal aesthetic that struck a deep resonating chord for the music fans that would later develop the punk ethos. The famous saying goes that the first Velvet Underground album sold very few copies, but everyone that bought it, formed a band.

After the demise of the Velvet Underground, Reed continued to experiment, creating the proto-industrial record Metal Machine Music, penning probably the first Top 40 hit about transsexuals (“Walk on the Wild Side”) and becoming a major influence and star of the glam rock scene of the early 70s. Of course, by the mid-1970s punk was in full swing and Reed was regularly credited as one of the founders. His songs were covered by bands like Joy Division, The Modern Lovers, Slaughter and the Dogs and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, who all obviously owed a huge debt to Reed and the Velvet Underground.

Reed continued to make challenging music up until his death on Sunday, collaborating with Metallica and the Gorillaz, among others. Needless to say, the music world is a lot emptier without his presence and for this week’s Mid-Week Beat, I thought I’d highlight shows and musicians that owe a debt to Mr. Reed and the music he created. Thanks for everything Lou. We’ll miss you.
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Artist Ticket Picks: Indie Cello Rock, David Bowie, a Heavy Metal Opera and More!

289071-250Welcome to this week’s Artist Ticket Picks! The Artist Ticket program gives our customers a way to donate to causes that we care about.

If you’re an event producer, you can allow your ticket buyers to purchase limited-edition tickets printed with original artwork in your event settings. The ticket buyer will pay a small, additional charge of $0.25 and receive a limited edition, collectible ticket imprinted with original artwork. The current charity of our choosing will receive 100% of the additional charge. Physical tickets must be enabled on the event.

If you’re a ticket buyer, you can check to see if the limited edition ticket is available to you at the beginning of the ticket checkout process or by visiting the Artist Ticket page. You receive a small piece of collectible art and support a valuable cause just by checking the box in the Artist Ticket widget when you’re purchasing your tickets!

See a full list of events carrying the tickets on the Artist Ticket page, as well as find out more about the beneficiary for the current run of Artist Tickets.

So, without further ado, here are this week’s Artist Ticket picks:

Friday, November 8 I Eastern Bloc Party with Ashia & The Bison Rouge, Clearly Beloved and Bucharest Drinking TeamSeattle, Washington   Ashia Grzesik’s songs and compositions, written and sung with the cello, reflect her longing for her Slavic roots, while adding the pop, rock, indie folk and the classical music from the land she grew up in. This comes naturally from being born in Wroclaw, Poland, raised in the US, and performing internationally. Her belief is to bring and celebrate Polish and Slavic culture and ancestry for new audiences, as well as using the cello, non-traditionally, as an instrument of accompaniment and melodic lead.

Her sound and voice, at once ethereal and demanding, are pop/rock, yet, exude classical and folk influences. Portland Monthly said: “…one can’t help but hear a collage of influences. Grzesik can certainly give Joanna Newsom a run for her whimsy, she possesses the old-world charm and quirky dramatics of Regina Spektor and the cello-punk instincts of Bonfire Madigan, and her voice vacillates between the throaty alto of Amanda Palmer and the ethereal soprano of Maria Callas. Simply put, she’s got a little bit of everything.”

Ashia & The Bison Rouge will be performing with Clearly Beloved and the Balkan-brass insanity that is Bucharest Drinking Team! Don’t miss this one kiddies!


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