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Actress Lisa Edelstein, best known as Dr. Lisa Cuddy on the hit show “House,” unveils the first song that made her feel sexy, her deep desire to understand prog rock, and the Rolling Stones song that bonded her with co-star Hugh Laurie. She also dedicates a track to the real life characters of the NYC club scene that she was a part of at the end of the Warholian era and beginning of the AIDS crisis, as well as a rallying cry for revolution. “House” is currently in its fifth season.
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1. Carole King - I Feel the Earth Move
2. Yes - And You And I
3. The Rolling Stones - Melody
4. Lou Reed - Walk On the Wild Side
5. Gil Scott Heron - The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
Eric J. Lawrence: Hi, this is Eric J. Lawrence from KCRW and I'm here in the studios with actress Lisa Edelstein.
Lisa Edelstein: Hello
Eric J. Lawrence: You are, of course, one of the stars on the critically-acclaimed smash hit show House, as well as many other projects for television. Today, we're having you in to talk about some of your favorite music that has crossed your stereo through the years. This is the KCRW's Guest DJ Project. Well, the first selection that you've picked for today's Guest DJ spot is something from a little older era. It is a classic from Carole King.
Song: Carol King's song "I feel the earth move under my feet" .29-.37
Lisa Edelstein: "I Feel the Earth Move” was the first song -- I think I was about six -- it was the first song that I freaked out over. I think I freaked out over it because it made me feel sexy and a six year old doesn't really know what to do with sexy. So, what I did with sexy was I choreographed my whole bunk at camp. I choreographed everybody who was around me to dance to "I Feel the Earth Move" and in sexiness, all I could really do was run around in circles and jump up and down; do hand stands, do cart wheels, spin a lot. You really don't know what to do with all of that energy, so anyway that was my relationship with "I Feel the Earth Move."
EJL: Did you choreograph the entire “Tapestry” album?
L.E.: No, just that song. I didn't really care about the rest of that album.
EJL: Just that song, really?
L.E.: Yeah, but there was something about that song that was like…It just got under my skin. I thought it was the most exciting thing that I had ever heard. And I grew up listening to The Beatles, and even Pink Floyd and, of course, Monster Mash, The Nut Cracker; real wide range of music before the age of six, so for some reason "I Feel The Earth Move" really did a number on me.
Song: Carole King’s "I Feel the Earth Move"
EJL: The next selection you have on the list here is a prog rock classic from Yes.
L. E.: The story behind this is I had five dollars saved,I was seven. I walked into the record store very proudly with my money and I said ‘I want a rock and roll album’ and the snotty little teenager handed me a progressive rock album, “Close to the Edge,” -- which I didn't know what that was -- so I take it home and I'm super excited because it's the first album that I actually bought and I unwrap it. You know, you take it out of the sleeve, it's a whole thing when you really have an album.
EJL: The Roger Dean pictures are a very important part of that.
L.E.: Yeah, so you take it out of the album and you put it on the record player. My mother was with me. She was very excited that I had made my first purchase. Turn the record player on, I put the needle down and this music starts that neither one of us could understand at all. And it was such a beautiful moment because I was seven, my mother was 36, and the two of us really wanted to be people that understood this music because I wanted to be cool because I bought it and she wanted to be cool because she wasn't quite a hippie. She was a mom in the suburbs and I remember the two of us trying to find the beat -- “And You and I" is the one song on that album that actually had a beat.
EJL: For at least part of the segments.
L.E.: Yeah, so that was the one song I could understand, so there you go.
EHL: Well here's an excerpt from the ten minute long epic from Yes, the track "And You and I"
Song: Yes’ And You and I"
EJL: The next selection that you picked here for the Guest DJ Project is from rock ‘n’ roll bad boys, this is The Rolling Stones and actually one of their prettier songs. A song entitled "Melody."
L.E.: "Melody" is off an album called Black and Blue. I don't remember when I bought Black and Blue, but it's my favorite Rolling Stones album and a lot of people have never even heard of it for some reason. And certainly this song, so many people have never heard this song.
Song: Rolling Stones’ Melody
L.E.: I've been obsessed with this song. Like "I Feel the Earth Move." This song carried me through another decade or two of just, really, every time I've heard it I loved it as much as I did the first time. And it turned out that Hugh Laurie feels the same way about this song. It's his favorite Rolling Stones song and when we discovered that, it was really exciting. It was a little bonding moment. The first week that we knew each other when we were shooting the pilot (for House).
EJL: We're chatting with Lisa Edelstein about music, her favorite songs, and she is one of the lead actresses on House. The next selection you have on the list is a classic from Lou Reed, "Walk on The Wild Side."
L.E.: Yeah, this was a hard segment. It was trying to encapsulate my feelings about New York and the world that I was enamored with there, and there are so many choices. But I picked this one because Holly Woodlawn's in it and she is one of the people that I ended up getting to know in the scene that I was in, in the city, and it was very exciting because these people lived incredible, weird, delicious lives and not enough people know about their whole experience. So, I was please to kind of have a musical concept of that world and to also live in that world.
Song: Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wild Side”
L.E.: Warhol was still alive. A lot of the kinda Warhol, Warholian creatures were either dying off or disappearing. But several were still around when I was around. That world still existed. It was at the very end and then AIDS hit really hard around that time so we were going to memorial services a couple of times a week for several years. But I just got the tail end of that incredible time period where artists and strange people just congregated at night. They had no value to the outside world, but they were incredibly talented and textured and interesting.
EJL: The next selection that you've got here is another classic from Gil Scott Heron, sort of poetry set to music: "The Revolution Will Not be Televised"
LE: I was hesitant to put this on my list because I want to clarify that I don't think I'm a young black woman in Harlem in the '60s. But I do think that this is an incredible rallying cry and I think it still holds up. I think it is beautiful poetry, it's really funny, it's really ahead of its time in terms of the style of the song and it's really about the revolution coming from inside of yourself. A truth that will continue throughout all time. So I absolutely love this song.
Song: Gil Scott Heron’s "The Revolution Will Not be Televised"
EJL: Thank you for coming down and sharing some of your selections with us.
LE: Thank you so much. It was a great pleasure.