Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Eden's Hour chats with Ezra Reich! #19

This blog has been a little neglected lately because I've been a little tied up as you can see from the May 24th post. I've been coordinating the first David Lynch Foundation benefit concert coming up July 16th at the Key Club in Hollywood. And I've just been super busy with my assistant being out of town I've been running my shop by myself AND I'm moving AND I'm selling a car AND yada yada.

The car that I'm selling? I don't know what to do about it. The stereo won't give me back my favorite cassette tape! The one tape that I can listen to non-stop and never get sick of ...Crush by OMD. That cassette has gotten more air time than any other that I've ever owned and now it will forever live in the tape deck of my soon to be sold car. I hope whoever buys it has a thing for Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark.

I guess I'll have to let go of that trusty old cassette tape and focus on my latest musical crush ...Ezra Reich! Ezra recently sent me his CDs including a yet to be released album of songs he recorded in 2007 with his New York based band. I admit that at first I wasn't sure if his music was too cheesy for my sensitive pallet, but I loved the feeling. And let's face it, I kinda have a thing for cheese ...OMD's Crush? Hello!

I don't like to compare bands to other bands ...so I won't, but I can safely say that the more I listened to Ezra's latest album it became more clear to me that this could be one of those albums that I could listen to a million times. There is just something so timeless about his music. I was fortunate enough to catch up with Ezra in an ongoing email conversation that slowly evolved into an interview ...the very first Eden's Hour blog interview no less.

Pic by Rudy Archuleta
Do you lace your music with crack or any other illegal substances because I'm seriously addicted to your songs...

One hundred percent. Two to three minute high and then you have to repeat. Seriously, I think its a matter of making the best melodies out of each element of the arrangement of a song. And than a certain feeling coming through that.

The 2007 songs that you sent me are golden. Are there any plans to release your latest material as an album?

I am hoping so.

I hope so too! It's seriously good stuff. How do you keep up with your musical projects since you have moved to LA and your band is still in NY?

I hid the band in a storage unit when I came out here and gave them a drip to drink from. No. I actually have taken a little break from performing live. I have been writing/recording/ and producing a few other singers. Its always fun to try writing for other people. My band in NYC included an all female string quartet. I'll get everyone together for something good sometime soon. Promise.

Great. Counting on it! I'm guessing from the range of styles that I hear in your music and some of the timeless inspirations like Roy Orbison and others that music has been a huge part of your life. What shaped your musical interests in your early years?

Music that gets to me makes everything in life better. I used to annoy kids in my class in early grade school by making this droning mantra like sound while I played. Just that kind of vibration and tonality always made me feel more right with the world. I was exposed to lots of classical/ show tunes/ and minimalist new music as a kid. My dad is composer (ed note: hear Ezra's dad here) and his mom had been a pop/stage singer in LA. But it was really around the age of five that I heard Ritchie Valens singing "C'mon Lets Go" on the 1980s radio show 'kids america', on WNYC, that I caught the music bug in a big way. I went out and bought Ritchie live at Pacoima Valley high on audio cassette. About a month after that I heard Roy sing "Only the Lonely" on the radio. That late 50s early 60s pop music has been absolute magic to me since those moments and the innocent yet obsessive quality of it have influenced me greatly. Other early music heroes included Pete Townshend and Tom Petty, who were the reasons I begged for a rickenbacker guitar for my twelfth birthday.

Who are some of the musicians that you could listen to endlessly and is there an album that will be with you to the grave?

I could listen to Roy Orbison sing endlessly. I could also listen to a mix of all the work Phil Spector was invloved in and I'd be OK musically on a desert island. Oh and The Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1....That's a take it to the grave kinda record. That and Somebodys Baby by Jackson Browne. And 16 Reasons by Connie Stevens.

Thanks Ezra! A Roy Orbison and Ritchie Valens loving cheeseball... you're a man after me own heart :) Looking forward to seeing what happens with your latest collection of songs.

Click HERE for the complete playlist for 06/07/08 and the re-broadcast on 06/14/08

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