Selected by Dan Grunebaum

Lou Reed

Lou Reed
Courtesy of Udo

Four years since his last visit, the rock elder statesman who gave the world "Sweet Jane" and invited us to "Walk on the Wild Side" returns to Japan to promote his new album Ecstasy.

His first studio album since 1996' Set the Twilight Reeling, Ecstasy arrived in April to mixed reviews. The album was hailed by some as a return to favored themes (sex, drugs and New York) and panned by others as a lackluster effort. Although Ecstasy's is a lyrical tour through a nightmare underworld just beneath the surface of everyday reality, Reed told Sonicnet that the lyrics aren't necessarily negative. "I like giving the listener a tour of stuff that they might not see. You know, it's like, not many people have had sex on the street. Is that bad? Is that good? Is it neither good nor bad? It just is? Does it tempt you?"

In the nearly 30 years since Reed quit the Velvet Underground to launch his solo career, the 58-year old has given us classics such as "Walk on the Wild Side" and "Dirty Boulevard." But more than that, he has provided a dose of unvarnished reality at a time when rock has often tended to veer off into the self-gratifying fantasies of heavy metal and the pap of idol bands like Boyzone more recently.

Reed has been supporting Ecstasy on tour with a bare-bones band that includes Mike Rathke on guitar, Fernando Saunders on bass and Tony Smith on drums. A recent London show at Albert Hall was hailed by The Times of London as "a set of thunderously epic dimensions."

Lou Reed plays Akasaka Blitz on October 25 and Shibuya Kokkaido on October 26.

Concert Listings
394: Regurgitator
393: Art Garfunkel


392: Belle and Sebastian
391: Super Furry Animals
390: Ben Folds
389: Elton John
388: Dido
387: Papa Roach
386: Beast Feast 2001
385: Summersonic
384: David Sylvian
383: Maxi Priest & Big Mountain
382: Fuji Rock Festival 01
381: Roxy Music
380: Bo Diddley
379: John McLaughlin & Zakir Hussain in Remember Shakti
378: Paul Weller
377: Coolio
376: Backyard Babies
375: Marcus Miller
374: Black Crowes
373: Megadeath
372: Dionne Warwick
371: Arrested Development
370: Mouse on Mars
369: Duran Duran
368: Linkin Park
367: Maceo Parker
366: Japan Blues Carnival 2001
365: Ben Harper
364: Cheap Trick
363: Stephen Malkmus
362: Mogwai
361: Weezer
360: Marilyn Manson
359: Green Day
358: AC/DC
357: Richard Thompson
356: Bob Dylan
355: J. Mascis
354: Leigh Stephen Kenny
352/3: Limp Bizkit
351: Boyz II Men
350: Reef
349: Park Tower Blues Festival
348: Roni Size
347: Compay Segundo
346: Incognito
345: Jimmy Page and The Black Crowes
344: Bad Religion
343: Japan Soul Festival 2000
342: Rocktober 2000
341: Richard Ashcroft
340: Motorhead
339: Festival Halou
338: Ricky Martin
337: Taj Mahal
336: Asian Dub Foundation
335: Lou Reed
334: Earth, Wind & Fire
333: Sting
332: No Doubt
331: Camel
330: Fuji Rock: Smash Talks
329: Summer Sonic
328: Mt. Fuju Aid 2000
327: Salif Keita
326: Buena Vista Social Club
325: Bill Frisell
324: Maxi Priest
323: Lenine
322: Rage Against the Machine
321: Tommy Flanagan Trio
320: Smashing Pumpkins
319: Pet Shop Boys
318: Japan Blues Carnival
317: Gipsy Kings
316: Steely Dan
315: Pshish
314: Big Night Out
313: Femi Kuti and the Positive Force
312: Harry Connick Jr.
311: Sonny Rollins
310: Speech
309: Santana