Posts Tagged ‘Electric Lady Studios’

Image result for Adam Granduciel images

When Adam Granduciel croons “He never gonna change; he never gonna learn,” it’s vague, like the best Americana lyrics, easy to try on like a coat in the mirror of Goodwill, it fits just right. You can imagine the War on Drugs changing, but don’t count on it. When he sings “Now I’m headed down a different road,” its obvious that he isn’t talking about music or writing choices. The War on Drugs are here to stay, wearing in this sound like a butt groove on a 1970’s leather couch. Granduciel still sings like Bob Dylan, and rocks like Bruce Springsteen. In every promo photo he looks like he just smoked a pack of Marlboros in his worn-in jeans and is ready for an apple pie. He is as American as the long dusty highways and grain filled horizons his songs emulate. This one in particular, like the best songs on his last two records, spends its energy in an exercise in repetition and consistency.

The War on Drugs performs “Holding On” live at Electric Lady Studios Recorded 6/6/17

Fleet Foxes have announced a special Black Friday release edition 10″ EP available exclusively at independent record stores starting on Record Store Day’s Black Friday, November 24th, 2017.  The EP features four songs, thoughtfully selected from a WFUV session recorded at the historic Electric Lady Studio in New York on June 13th, 2017, days before the band’s new album, “Crack-Up”, was released.

Side A of the vinyl includes “Cassius,-“ and “- “Naiads, Cassadies” while Side B includes “Mearcstapa” and “On Another Ocean (January / June).” Each pair is recorded and cut as one long track to reflect the intentional fluidity between these songs, on both the album and in live performance. In addition to the announcement, Fleet Foxes have released a Classic Album Sunday Q&A which premiered via Record Store Day,

WFUV (90.7 FM) has been a noncommercial, member-supported public media service of Fordham University in New York for 70 years. WFUV has received national recognition for its award-winning weekday format of adult album alternative music, award-winning local news and sports, and a diverse weekend lineup. Electric Lady Studios is the oldest working and thriving recording studio in New York City. Made famous by Jimi Hendrix and classic 70s sessions with The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Stevie Wonder, David Bowie, and Patti Smith, among others, the studio maintains its reputation as hallowed grounds for recorded music.

Live recording from Electric Lady studios

A:  1.  Cassius, 2. –Naiads, Cassadies.  B:  1.  Mearcstapa 2.  On Another Ocean (January / June)



Electric Lady Studios has announced the launch of Electric Lady Records, an ongoing series of carefully curated and limited edition vinyl releases. On August 26th, 2015, the newly formed record company teamed with Patti Smith for a live, recorded performance of her landmark debut LP, Horses, itself originally recorded at the facility in 1975. Recordings from the in-studio appearance will be released on double 180g vinyl for the first time on Record Store Day as the first offering from Electric Lady Records.

Patti Smith’s Horses: Live at Electric Lady Studios doesn’t sound like a live album, and that’s a good thing. Too many concert recordings sound surprisingly flat. Even the most adventurous band can suffer from an audio engineer sticking mics in front of the amps and then leaning back while the tapes roll, ultimately making a glorified bootleg.

The new version of Horses, meanwhile, benefits from being live album cut in a recording studio in front of an audience. Patti Smith and her band celebrated the 40th anniversary of her breakthrough debut, with a performance of the whole record before a small yet excitable crowd of fans and VIPs (Michael Stipe, Liv Tyler, Dakota Johnson) in the mythic space where she originally recorded it, New York City’s Jimi Hendrix–founded Electric Lady Studios.

Their new versions can be raucous “Gloria”, resplendent “Break It Up”, morose “Free Money” and sobering “Elegie”. Smith warbles, growls, hollers and speaks with dramatic effect throughout, as guitarist Lenny Kaye wrests bluesy phrases from his instrument, making each song sound inspired and fresh. The rest of the band – drummer Jay Dee Daugherty, bassist-keyboardist Tony Shanahan and keyboardist-guitarist-bassist Jack Petruzzelli – makes the music swell around Smith’s voice. But the best thing about it is the way it sounds on vinyl, the medium Electric Lady chose to release it on in an effort to preserve its fidelity.

Other than crowd noise at the beginnings and ends of songs – a positive side effect of a reverent audience – it sounds like a studio album, but with the unbridled energy of a concert. The sound of the guitars travels between speakers for a more psychedelic impact than the original studio album, and the whole experience is crystal clear, from the squeak of Kaye’s guitar pick striking his strings to Smith’s vocal intricacies.

Smith was in her late 20s when she recorded Horses. Now, in her late 60s, her voice has taken on more depth and grit, deepening the power of every song. You can hear her panting before the final “Gloria” (a surprise at the end of “Land”), and you can hear the tickle in her throat when she raves, “Tonight is a night to party/ We want to have a good time” in “Land.” It’s an album resurrected and living dangerously.

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1. Gloria 2. Redondo Beach 3. Birdland 4. Free Money 5. Kimberly 6. Break It Up 7. Land (pt. 1 “Horses” pt. 2 “Land Of a Thousand Dances pt. 3 La Mer(de) 8. Elegie

“…[for] her hour-long, emotionally captivating performance of Horses in its entirety, the room grew silent…”
Interview Magazine

“…the intimate concert from the peerless rock icon was full of more life, fire and spit than practically any other show I’ve ever seen.”

“[She] wore an Electric Lady T-shirt under her signature black vest and jacket, sound[ing] almost invariably the same as she did on the record…”
Rolling Stone Magazine

“…deep into the record’s three-movement penultimate track “Land”… it became transcendent: Smith stepped off the small stage, onto a couch and shoved the mic into the face of a fan to sing ‘Gloooriaaa’ euphorically before hugging him. The fan was Michael Stipe.”
Rolling Stone Magazine

Patti Smith Performed Horses at Electric Lady Studios

last Wednesday, August 27th marked, to the day, the 45 anniversary of NYC’s famed Electric Lady Studios which was originally built by Jimi Hendrix. To celebrate, Patti Smith, who was there the day it opened and recorded her classic “Horses” After recording her first single “Hey Joe/ Piss Factory” at Electric Lady Studios in 1974, in the facility’s Studio A, gave a private performance of “Horses” in its entirety to an celeb/industry crowd that included Michael Stipe, Alexander Skarsgard, Liv Tyler, Win Butler, Darren Aronofsky, Alison Mosshart, Dakota Johnson and more. Watching Smith and three-quarters of her original band, including guitarist Lenny Kaye and drummer Jay Dee Daugherty, blaze through Horses live wasn’t a one-off experience; Patti Smith and her band has already been touring the globe doing just that, and will be coming back to New York’s Beacon Theatre on November 10 for a similar show. (She’ll also be touring with her new book, M Train, a collection of essays about her travels.) But there was something about being surrounded by Electric Lady’s ghosts that seemed to energize the singer.

But it’s spite of all the numbers and anniversaries, nothing felt nostalgic, or even comfortable, about the performance. From the moment Smith spat out the first G of “Gloria” (not to mention the multiple times she literally spit sizable gobs on stage and into the audience), the room — big for a studio but incredibly intimate for a concert — crackled with a nervous, exhilarating ecstasy. It’s thrilling enough to hear Smith’s uncompromising sneer on record; it’s awe-inspiring to see her bellowing a full-throated “Glooooo-reee-a!” into the microphone just feet away from you (btw, her voice hasn’t diminished with age). For the first time in my life, I understood what the Old Testament describes as the terrifying glory of God  

Given the nature of the album and the event, the concert could have been a rather serious (albeit rocking) affair, but Patti Smith made sure it wasn’t. She joked about flipping over the record from side A to B after wrapping a fiery “Free Money,” and after mangling a word at the top of “Birdland” (which starts with, “His father died and left him a little farm in New England”), she told the band to start over and deadpanned, “His dad is gonna have to die again.”Before wrapping with “Elegie,” Smith explained how she wrote the delicate dirge after finding out about Jimi Hendrix‘s death — fitting, since the show was to celebrate the 45th anniversary of Electric Lady Studios opening (which Smith was present for, as detailed in Just Kids). She extended the three-minute album track into a longer tribute to lost rock warriors, respectfully reading their names — including her late husband Fred “Sonic” Smith and King of New York Lou Reed — into the microphone.

Despite ending with a list of the lost, the intimate concert from the peerless rock icon was full of more life, fire and spit than practically any other show I’ve ever seen. It will be interesting to see if that comes across on wax when Electric Lady Records issues the concert on vinyl as its first-ever release, or if it’s one of those situations where the electricity was more in the air than on the recording.

Four decades after it entered the world, Horses remains the most exciting union of rock and poetry on record — and its power to make you feel fully alive hasn’t diminished one iota.

If you were like us and not there, Patti Smith’s Horses performance will be released on vinyl and will be the first LP to come out via Electric Lady Records. Release date TBA. (She’ll also be performing Horses at the Beacon Theatre in November which is already sold out.