John Cameron Mitchell & Eyelids team for Lou Reed tribute EP (listen to “Waves Of Fear”)
Hedwig creator John Cameron Mitchell has teamed with Pacific Northwest indie rock group Eyelids (which includes members of The Decemberists, Guided by Voices and The Jicks) for an EP of Lou Reed covers titled Turning Time Around. Profits from the EP will go towards the care of John's mother, who is suffering from Alzheimer's Disease. The EP was produced by REM's Peter Buck and here's more from John:
Lou Reed is probably my favorite musical artist. Hal Willner and Laurie Anderson asked me and my "Anthem: Homunculus" composer Bryan Weller to sing "Turning Time Around" (from Lou's album Ecstasy) and my favorite Velvet Underground ballad "I Found a Reason" at a special Lou Reed Day at Lincoln Center. I extrapolated on Lou's melody and, inspired by performance artist Justin Vivian Bond, mashed it up with WB Yeats' poem "The Second Coming" rewriting "what rough beast slouches towards Bethlehem to be born" as "what orange beast..." Who could that refer to I wonder? My buddy Chris Slusarenko, who produced our Hedwig tribute album "Wig in a Box", invited me to sing Turning with his wonderful Portland Oregon band Eyelids. Bryan suggested we record it as a benefit disc for my Mom's Alzheimer's care. We added "I Found" and my late boyfriend Jack Steeb's favorite Lou song "Waves of Fear" (Jack used to work for Lou). REM guitarist Peter Buck hopped on as producer, Hedwig designer Miguel Villalobos came up with killer cover art and here we are! I love Eyelids and Lou and my Mom and I hope you will too.
The EP is out December 13 and you can watch an animated video for their version of "Waves of Fear" (from Lou's 1982 album The Blue Mask) below. As John mentions above, the EP also includes covers of The Velvet Underground's “I Found a Reason” and Lou's “Turning Time Around” from his 2000 album Ecstasy. There are three different colored vinyl variants to pre-order in addition to digital versions.
In other news, JCM is doing more "Songs of Hedwig" shows that also benefit his mom's health care. He was recently interviewed on WBUR's Here & Now about his new musical podcast, "Anthem: Homunculus," which is out via Luminary. Bryan Weller, who composed the music, was on as well, and they brought out Ezra Furman to perform Hedwig song "Origin of Love" together (which Ezra also did on Netflix' Sex Education). You can watch that talk, and the performance, below.
Meanwhile, Eyelids will release new album The Accidental Falls (also produced by Buck) on Valentine's Day.