Shilpa Ray Seconds that Emotion

It’s fitting that Shilpa Ray’s signature instrument, the harmonium, is also called a pump organ. Her attachment to the accordion-keyboard hybrid is so corporeal that it’s “like an appendage,” Ray says of the machine whirring through her songs. But for all of its physicality, in Ray’s hands the harmonium is most remarkable for instilling a heartfelt pathos in her songs.

Ray plays at Circle Bar Friday to promote her two-song EP Make Up, released last month. 

A Perfect Day?

I can identify the exact moment when I stopped paying attention to Lou Reed - 2:40 into “Hello It’s Me” at the end of 1990’s Songs for Drella. The tribute to Andy Warhol performed by Reed and Velvet Underground bandmate John Cale ended with the line, “Good night Andy,” but Reed sang it “good NIGHT anDEE,” forcing it into two awkward iambic feet at odds with the sing-speak that had been his trademark throughout his years with The Velvet Underground and his solo career up to then.