Posted in music | pictures on January 21, 2013

photos by Greg Cristman

John Cale & Wordless Music Orchestra @ BAM, 1/18/2013
John Cale & the Wordless Music Orchestra

Q. Of all your albums, why are you revisiting "Paris 1919"?

A. It happens to be the one album where I finished all the songs before I went in to record. I wrote them when I had just moved to Warner to work in A&R. I took an office job and I was there every day, and I was writing these songs. After a while I realized, "This is nostalgia, pure and simple: I'm writing about the stuff that I miss about Europe." I wasn't writing to the album's title; I gave it the title afterward, and what it meant was: "Here we are in the height of the cold war; how did we get here?" This album seems to be about how we got there, looking back to the Versailles Treaty [signed in France in 1919]. - [NY Times]

Former Velvet Underground member John Cale played three shows at BAM in the last week as part of the Academy's Next Wave Festival. The first was a star-studded tribute to onetime VU singer Nico on January 16 featuring the vocal talents of Greg Dulli, Kim Gordon, Sharon Van Etten, Peaches, The Magnetic Fields, Joan as Policewoman, Meshell Ndegeocello and more.

Then on Friday and Saturday (1/18, 1/19) Cale collaborated with the Wordless Music Orchestra to perform his 1973 album, Paris 1919, in full, plus other songs from throughout his long musical career. Pictures from Friday's performance are in this post.

More below...

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John Cale & the Wordless Music Orchestra

John Cale & the Wordless Music Orchestra

John Cale & the Wordless Music Orchestra

John Cale & the Wordless Music Orchestra

John Cale & the Wordless Music Orchestra

John Cale & the Wordless Music Orchestra

John Cale & the Wordless Music Orchestra

John Cale & the Wordless Music Orchestra

John Cale & the Wordless Music Orchestra

John Cale & the Wordless Music Orchestra

John Cale & the Wordless Music Orchestra

John Cale & the Wordless Music Orchestra

John Cale & the Wordless Music Orchestra

John Cale & the Wordless Music Orchestra

John Cale & the Wordless Music Orchestra

John Cale & the Wordless Music Orchestra

John Cale & the Wordless Music Orchestra

John Cale & the Wordless Music Orchestra

John Cale & the Wordless Music Orchestra

John Cale & the Wordless Music Orchestra

John Cale & the Wordless Music Orchestra

John Cale & the Wordless Music Orchestra

John Cale & the Wordless Music Orchestra

John Cale & the Wordless Music Orchestra

John Cale & the Wordless Music Orchestra

John Cale & the Wordless Music Orchestra

John Cale & the Wordless Music Orchestra

John Cale & the Wordless Music Orchestra

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Comments (36)

Tom Waits meets James Coburn

Posted by Anonymous | January 21, 2013 3:21 PM

Very enjoyable. Wish a few songs from the new album were swapped out for VU material, but can't really complain.

Posted by Anonymous | January 21, 2013 3:26 PM

It was a nice show. Great to see The Man in person. I was hoping for a few more tunes that I knew besides the Paris 1919 ones. They finally rocked out toward the end but it was just a tease. Venus In Furs was great. Anyone have a setlist?

Posted by Anonymous | January 21, 2013 3:41 PM

stunning, stunning, stunning show. Plus Venus and Furs was sublime!

Posted by Anonymous | January 21, 2013 3:52 PM

Hey, 1994 called. They want their soulpatch back.

Posted by Anonymous | January 21, 2013 4:25 PM

Reminds me of Barry Manilow.

Posted by Anonymous | January 21, 2013 4:27 PM

any videos of this?

Posted by Anonymous | January 21, 2013 5:02 PM

Setlist (from http://werksman.home.xs4all.nl/cale/setlists/2013_01_18.html):

Child's Christmas in Wales
Hanky Panky Nohow
The Endless Plain of Fortune
Andalucia
Paris 1919
Graham Greene
Half Past France
Antarctica Starts Here
Macbeth
---intermission---
Hedda Gabler
Captain Hook
The Hanging
Living With You (JC on viola)
Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night
I Wanna Talk 2 U (with additional backup singers)
December Rains (with additional backup singers)
---orchestra leaves stage---
Nookie Wood
Venus In Furs (JC on viola)

Posted by Anonymous | January 21, 2013 5:17 PM

Show was great, but I wish the show was louder.

Posted by Anonymous | January 21, 2013 5:31 PM

Barry Manilow? Cale does not look anything like BM. Manilow has had so much silicone injected into his face it looks like a human butt plug.

Posted by Anonymous | January 21, 2013 5:44 PM

Show was a real snooze.

Posted by Anonymous | January 21, 2013 5:50 PM

Are you serious? Here we go again ... BV troll postings with snark comments on Cale. Do yourself a favor, read up on this man's history. Before he even founded the VU, he was a master musician performing with the best of the best.

Posted by Anonymous | January 21, 2013 6:07 PM

the show was uneven. there were some magical moments, but he also changed the arrangements on a number of the paris 1919 sacred material.

the guitarist for the band was a terrible wanking player for the second half of the show. poor choice.

some great stuff though from my favorite album.

Posted by Anonymous | January 21, 2013 6:10 PM

Paris 1918 is a top 20 album of all time in my opinion. Wish that I would have gone to this.

Posted by Anonymous | January 21, 2013 6:34 PM

No Lou No Value

Value ... get it? ... VU? .... no VU ? .... ????

Posted by Anonymous | January 21, 2013 6:46 PM

^
Uh, ok, John Cale has no talent. If that's what you think, stick with Animal Collective concerts or whatever it is you actually like little kid.

Posted by Anonymous | January 21, 2013 7:22 PM

That was an amazing show! I cannot believe he did Captain Hook - one of my favorites. Paris 1919 is definitely one of his best albums (but not quite on par with Helen of Troy). The arrangements for the Paris 1919 songs were fantastic, especially Graham Greene, Half Past France, and Macbeth!

Posted by JasonNYC | January 21, 2013 8:27 PM

6:10 pm is right. The guitarist was a wanker, all about overwrought, overloud school of rock solos. Judging from the NYT review the blend of orchestra to electric band must have worked from the orchestra seats, but in the balcony the strings were inaudible. It was all wanking guitar & muddy bass. Wish I stayed home & just listened to the album.

Posted by zeke | January 21, 2013 10:39 PM

A shame that he didn't perform "I Keep a Close Watch". One of the best songs ever written.

Posted by beamish13 | January 22, 2013 12:21 AM

anon425 People have been wearing facial hair every which way since the beginning of time. Why 1994?

Posted by Anonymous | January 22, 2013 4:30 AM

anon 646 I'll take Cale over Lou Reed anyday. He's put out more decent albums over his career. Lou peaked early on. He's been lame for years now. Metallica? How weak!

Posted by Anonymous | January 22, 2013 4:33 AM

Show was a real snooze.

Posted by Minsk | January 22, 2013 5:40 AM

433

Ecstasy is great. The Raven has some good songs. Lulu is a mess but it has it's moments.

Posted by Anonymous | January 22, 2013 6:41 AM

great show and a great job by Cale blending the orch with the band. Sound was great from 10th row center. HAd no problem with the guitarist either nothing wrong with some small solos, you young ones need to get over the whole guitar solo is wanking crap.

The Nico tribute was also a great show shame no BV coverage of that show.

Posted by Anonymous | January 22, 2013 9:14 AM

Sound definitely got better as the night went on. Unfortunately, Child's Christmas in Wales didn't pack the punch it should have since it was the opener for the entire evening. Couldn't really hear the strings from where I was in the balcony on that one.

Posted by Anonymous | January 22, 2013 9:20 AM

Seems like Velvet Underground is quite the hipster heraldee here.

Posted by Anonymous | January 22, 2013 11:27 AM

Loutallica >>>>>>>>>>>>> VU

Posted by Anonymous | January 22, 2013 12:33 PM

I'm a huge Cale fan, but the sound and the mix for him at BAM was/were just awful. We were in the orchestra on Saturday night and the show was pretty much inaudible. How can BAM not have a great sound system for stars like Cale?

Posted by C. McP | January 22, 2013 1:09 PM

Cale sounded incredible. I agree about the strings though...barely heard them in the mezz.

Also, the guitar player was certainly talented but his 80s tone and shred licks were a bit much.

Still, it was amazing to see the man perform one of my favorite albums.

Posted by Anonymous | January 22, 2013 2:13 PM

oh right, barry Manilow is the OTHER guy with pink highlights in his hair that plays the viola.

Posted by Anonymous | January 22, 2013 2:24 PM

10:39....I was far right close the the stage and all I heard were strings...no drums, no guitar...it was obviously an un-ideal sound position. These types of shows I always try to by tix near the soundbooth, which is usually in a decent sight and audio position.

Posted by Anonymous | January 22, 2013 3:32 PM

Barry Manilow rules. Who's this faggot?

Posted by Anonymous | January 22, 2013 4:09 PM

no dancing shrek stage show = no good review

Posted by Anonymous | January 24, 2013 12:00 AM

Second the opinion on "Captain Hook". Was so happy to hear what is probably my favorite John Cale song, although yes, the guitarist was a bit overwrought in playing the intro. I also found it interesting that he changed the wording: from "Can't keep living like this no more" to "Can't keep living like this any more". Did a former English teacher give him grief at some point?

I was in the second row on Saturday night and the sound was perfect.

BTW, John Cale is so much more talented than Lou Reed it's not even close.

Posted by Doug Chance | January 24, 2013 1:38 AM

Thanks for writing about the 7" + shows coming up! Just one small correction; I live in NY now, not Toronto

Posted by medafile | April 14, 2013 9:55 PM

This is the type of music my mom loves and I actually like it too. Beautiful music is what you call this. John Cale is legendary.

Posted by mike | May 10, 2013 2:15 PM

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