Entries tagged with: Velvet Underground

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We already got to read John Cale's tribute to his former Velvet Underground bandmate Lou Reed, who passed away in October, and now VU drummer Moe Tucker has written a lengthy obituary on The Observer. An excerpt reads:

I had no idea how ill he was. I knew he'd had the liver transplant and he probably wouldn't be his old self, but I really wasn't prepared for the news. It was hard. It is hard.

We were on an adventure back then and it took the world a while to catch up with what we were doing. It was word of mouth because you could not get the records outside of New York. I think that was a good thing, too, because we didn't spend all the royalty cheques when we were young and foolish. (Laughs).

We had a lot of fun, and a lot of fun upsetting people. We used to joke that we knew how good the gig was by the number of people who left the room. I think now that they were perfect times in a way. We split when we should have, and we left behind just a handful of great albums. It wasn't a career. We didn't keep going on and on like a lot of groups, but we influenced a lot of people.

Now Andy's gone, Sterling's gone, Nico's gone and Lou's gone. It feels strange. I miss them all, but I really miss Lou.

You can read the rest here.

2013 NYC Village Halloween Parade (more by Chris La Putt)
Lou Reed Halloween Parade

This Halloween is something to be sure
Especially to be here without you

There's a Greta Garbo and an Alfred Hitchcock
And some black Jamaican stud
There's five Cinderellas and some leather drags
I almost fell into my mug

There's a Crawford, Davis and a tacky Cary Grant
And some homeboys lookin' for trouble down here from the Bronx

And there's an Andy Warhol, a Nico and a (tacky?) Lou Reed, with a halo...

Continue reading "Someone was Lou Reed (with a halo) at the Halloween Parade"

Lou Reed at 2012 Tibet House Benefit (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
Lou Reed

Lou Reed, one of the most important, influential, and beloved musicians of our time, has passed away today at 71 years old, reports Rolling Stone. You know him as a key member of iconic experimental rock band The Velvet Underground, a prolific solo artist, and one who has remained active for almost fifty years, having recently performed with Metric, Philip Glass, Metallica, his wife Laurie Anderson, and many more.

The cause of death is not yet known, but he did enter a hospital for a liver transplant earlier this year.

Countless musicians have had rewarding careers making music directly inspired by Lou Reed's own, and he's made fans out of countless others. Rest in peace, Lou. Your music and its impact will always be remembered.

Stream some classic Lou Reed below...

Continue reading "Lou Reed, RIP"

Akron/Family at LPR in 2010 (more by Anna Scialli)
Akron Family

Freaky folkies Akron/Family released Akron/Family II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT in 2011, and they've announced that they're planning on releasing a followup in 2013. To help fund the new record, the band meanwhile released a limited edition (1,000 pressings) live double CD which comprises a recording from their show at the Drunken Unicorn in Atlanta from January 2012 and some experimental pieces recorded in El Paso later in the year. You can purchase that CD at the Akron/Family webstore for $20. Each copy was handmade and hand-stamped by the band.

We also spoke to Akron/Family member Miles Seaton about his top albums of 2012. Miles recently moved from NYC to LA, had to get a car, and ended up getting one with a cassette player. So rather than listing his top 10 albums that were released in 2012, he listed the top 10 cassettes he acquired this year to play in his car stereo. His full list with some commentary is below.

Continue reading "Akron/Family released a live album ahead of new studio LP; Miles Seaton tells us his top cassettes played in his new car"

Velvet Underground Tribute

As mentioned, John Dwyer's Castle Face label is releasing a tribute to Velvet Underground & Nico on November 6 with covers by Ty Segall, Thee Oh Sees, Blasted Canyons, The Fresh & Onlys, White Fence, and more, and they're rolling out the tracks gradually this month. We've got one of them in this post, the Blasted Canyons very psychedelic cover of "Venus In Furs," featuring Jeremy Cox of Royal Baths. You can stream it below.

The tribute album is part of Velvet Underground & Nico's 45th anniversary, which is being celebrated this year. In honor of that anniversary, the album is also being reissued and you can pre-order the remastered CD, deluxe edition, or super deluxe edition of that reissue.

Continue reading "listen to Blasted Canyons feat. Jeremy Cox (of Royal Baths) cover The Velvet Underground's "Venus In Furs" from tribute LP"


Industrial vets Throbbing Gristle are finally getting around to completing their "reinterpretation" of Nico's Desertshore, an idea of member Peter "Sleazy" Christopherson, who has since passed away. The record, finished by Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti, is being billed as TG's "nascent, and final, studio album," will come out on November 26, two years after Christopherson's death. It's set to include guest vocals by Antony Hegarty, Cosey Fanni Tutti, Blixa Bargeld, Marc Almond (who was a member of Soft Cell and also collaborated with Christopherson's other band Coil), and Sasha Grey. The band have two teaser videos for the album, which you can watch below.

Speaking of tributes to albums that Nico took part in, there's a Velvet Underground & Nico tribute on the way which features Ty Segall and Thee Oh Sees (who both just played The Well and will play Death by Audio tonight [9/24]), plus The Fresh & Onlys, White Fence, Kelley Stoltz and others. The album will gradually surface digitally across various websites from October 15 to 29 and will be out on vinyl on November 6 via John Dwyer's Castle Face label. The tracklist is below.

Antony and the Johnsons - 'Cut The World'
Cut the World

Speaking of Antony Hegarty, he released his new album, Cut The World, last month via Secretly Canadian. The album features "live symphonic performances" of songs from his first four albums which were recorded on September 2 and 3, 2011 at the DK Concert Hall in Copenhagen. The title track for the album is a new one, however, and it will be featured in The Life and Death of Marina Abramovi, directed by Robert Wilson and staring Antony, Marina Abramovi and Willem Dafoe. He also just made a video for that song, directed by Nabil (Frank Ocean, Bon Iver, Kanye West). Watch that video below. You can read an interview with Antony and Nabil about the video at Pitchfork.

All videos are below.

Continue reading "Throbbing Gristle releasing Nico tribute; Thee Oh Sees & more on Velvet Underground tribute; Antony has a new LP & video"

This remains a legal-to-buy accessory
Velvet Banana

A judge has peeled back one of The Velvet Underground's legal claims involving the use of the band's famed banana logo.

Manhattan federal Judge Alison Nathan tossed the legendary band's request for a court order declaring that the late artistAndy Warhol's foundation doesn't hold a copyright on the iconic image.

Nathan said a promise by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts not to sue the Velvets for using the design had "eliminated any live controversy" over the copyright.

Her ruling didn't affect three other claims filed by the band, which is seeking unspecified damages for alleged trademark infringement and a court order barring the foundation from licensing the logo. - [NY Post]

Lou Reed and John Cale sued the Warhol estate last year after the famed banana began being licensed for iPod cases and other items not deemed cool by the Velvet Underground members. Of course, people have been talking on a banana for years, as seen below.

Meanwhile in less litigious VU news, John Cale's new album, Adventures in Nookie Wood, is out October 2 on Double Six/Domino and you can watch the first video from it, "Face to the Sky," below. Cale also has two musical works debuting at BAM Next Wave fest next year.

Continue reading "The Velvet Underground lose lawsuit against the Warhol estate over rights to banana image"

DOWNLOAD: Velvet Underground - live from the New York Public Library (MP3)

Lou Reed

Lou Reed, John Zorn, Sonic Youth and others will play a benefit concert for Tuli Kupferberg, the Beat poet and original member of the Fugs, at St. Ann's Warehouse in Brooklyn on Jan. 22. Mr. Kupferberg, 86, has had two strokes over the last year, which have left him blind -- although he still manages to regularly post video jokes to YouTube -- and the tickets for the concert, which is being produced by Hal Willner, will help pay his medical expenses. Among the others performers are the singer John Kruth; Ed Sanders, Mr. Kupferberg's fellow Fug; and Peter Stampfel of the Holy Modal Rounders (who also played on early Fugs albums). Tickets are $75 to $125 and are available at stannswarehouse.org or (718) 254.8779. [NY Times]
Hal Willner, who's putting together the show, also organized the "I Gotta Right to Sing the Blues?" night at the Lincoln Center's American Songbook Festival, which is coming up on Wednesday, January 27th (featuring Rufus Wainwright, Bill Frisell, Van Dyke Parks and others).

In December, Lou Reed took part in the NYPL talk with fellow VU members Maureen Tucker and Doug Yule. A recording of that night is posted above. Coming up, Reed's "Metal Machine Music" is going to be performed by Fireworks Ensemble at Columbia's Miller Theatre on Friday, February 5th. Tickets are still on sale.

Tuli was one of the Fugs who played a benefit show at the Bell House in April.

Some of the above mentioned Tuli videos are posted below...

Continue reading "Fugs' Tuli Kupferberg benefit show w/ Lou Reed, John Zorn, Sonic Youth, more ++ Velvet Underground 'reunion' audio"

"ANARCHY at www.nypl.org/ 2night when the Velvet Underground is oversold and hits max. capacity early. Even tkt holders not allowed in!" - Nerida Brownlee

David Fricke, Lou Reed, Maureen Tucker & Doug Yule @ tNYPL (by Jack Martin)
Velvet Underground

"Yes, the interview conducted by David Fricke at the NY Public Library last night with the remaining members (sans John Cale) of the Velvet Underground was very very good, although it did leave something to be desired. The night began with everyone seated...as the lights were dimmed the volume of the background music increased to an ear piercing level. "Heroin" was played for the entire audience (studio version) at a loud level which was a nice effect and a good way to start the night.

After the song ended and everyone was able to collect themselves (i get the feeling everyone in that audience must have heard Heroin at least a hundred time each because nobody really looked shocked) Lou, Doug Yule, Mo and David Fricke took to the stage.

As far as interviews go this was rather entertaining considering who the subjects were, but to be truthful, Lou was not nearly as candid as I would have liked. A lot of the questions from David were somewhat superficial and re-hashed what is already well documented. However, there were some great moments. You can really tell that Lou appreciates and loves Mo as a friend the way they were able to just "kick it" up there and chat as if nobody else was in the room. Doug didn't speak that much and his answers were very concise. The best part of the night by far was when all three stayed after and signed the book (awesome book!) they were pushing there. They all signed my copy and I was able to shake hands with Lou and tell him how much I appreciated his work, I also told him "shalom" and that sparked a smile on his face.

I'll just add at one point Mo was going on how she thinks the arts are suffering greatly in the city right now, partially due to expensive rent. Lou chimed in saying that there were alot of great bands right now coming from the Brooklyn area and that its lucky for them because all they need is software to generate and record....also Lou stated that he didn't think any other current band out there has the druthers, talent or style to pull off the sound and aesthetic that VU captured....i think Mr. Bradford Cox might take exception to that point.

There were also many references to Warhol. You can tell just the way Lou and Mo spoke about him that they truly loved him and believed he was the seminal figure for the group." [Anonymous]

Some people who bought tickets were given refunds before they even received their ticket. Some were just turned away at the door. Did you get in?

John Cale wasn't there, but you can catch him at an upcoming event at the Museum of Modern Art.

Continue reading "Lou Reed, Doug Yule & Mo spoke to David Fricke @ the NYPL (many people got in, many were turned away at the door)"

by Andrew Frisicano

All Hopped Up

After canceling his October 19th appearance at MoMA because of a "sports-related injury," John Cale has rescheduled his talk at the museum for Monday, February 15th. The event connects with the museum's now-closed Looking at Music: Side 2 exhibit. Tickets for the event, billed as a film screening, must be purchased in person. Information on how to get them is posted below.

John Cale won't be playing any music there (that we know of) but he did have a show recently - he played his 1973 album Paris 1919 in full on Friday, November 21st in Cardiff, UK. Videos from that are posted below too.

Some other Velvet Underground members (Lou Reed, Maureen Tucker and Doug Yule) are appearing at NYPL's Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on Tuesday, December 8th. Hopefully you already have a ticket because, as documented in the comments, not only is the event sold out, but due to a human error, some people who bought tickets were later informed that the event had sold out before their purchase

While at NYPL, get in the holiday spirit by checking out Charles Dickens' own copy of "A Christmas Carol", marked-up by the author for his own public performances of the book.

Brooklyn Central Library has events coming up as well (which are free). It hosts a conversation between Suicide's Alan Vega and music writer Tony Fletcher on Thursday, December 10th. The event, in lower level of Dweck Center, is free. (The VU event promotes "The Velvet Underground: New York Art," while this one coincides with Fletcher's new book "All Hopped Up and Ready to Go," described as a "history of the NYC music scene from 1927 to 1977.") Vega & Suicide played ATP NY in September. They're going to be at ATP UK (with Iggy & the Stooges) in May.

The Brooklyn Library event is one of a few upcoming promotional appearances for Tony and his new book (another is at Cake Shop). Flyer below.

The BK Central Library has some noteworthy live music too (vs. these talks about music): on the afternoon of Sunday, December 20th (4pm) it presents "Classical Interludes: yMusic"...

This uniquely configured chamber ensemble, comprised of string trio, flute, clarinet and trumpet, is equally comfortable in the often overlapping classical and pop music worlds. This concert is the premiere of Gabriel Kahane's Concerto for Trumpet and Small Ensemble and a new work by British composer, Simon Hale. The rest of the program will draw on contemporary classical works by composers such as Arvo Part and Nico Muhly and arrangements of instrumental pieces by Sufjan Stevens and Ryuichi Sakamoto.
yMusic is a sextet whose members have backed Sufjan, The National, Doveman and many others. Rob Moose of the group plays a solo show at the Stone two days before. The group will be at Archipelago series at Galapagos in April (the next Archipelago on December 18th features NOW Ensemble, which shares flutist Alex Sopp with the group).

John Cale videos, MoMA ticketing info and more, below...

Continue reading "John Cale's rescheduled MoMA visit, Tony Fletcher's new book on music from NY, Alan Vega in a library & more"

Velvet Underground

Former Velvet Underground members Lou Reed, Maureen Tucker and Doug Yule will make an extremely rare joint public appearance on Dec. 8 at the New York Public Library. The three will discuss the Velvet Underground's music and legacy with rock journalist David Fricke as part of the "LIVE from the NYPL" series.

The unprecedented reunion of the legendary New York band comes on the heels of the publication of "The Velvet Underground: New York Art," a new compendium of previously unseen photographs, poster and cover designs by Andy Warhol, Lou Reed's handwritten music and lyrics, underground press clippings and other reviews, flyers, handbills and posters. The book, published by famed Italian book house Rizzoli, contains a recorded conversation between Reed and Tucker as well as contributions from Vaclav Havel and Jon Savage.

The event will take place in New York City at the Celeste Bartos Forum in the NYPL's Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on 5th Ave. and 42nd St. General admission tickets are $25, and $15 tickets are available for library donors, students and seniors through the NYPL website. [Billboard]

It's tricky wording ("unprecedented reunion of Reed, Tucker and Yule, on Tuesday, December 8th, LIVE from the NYPL!", but I guess we have to assume that the three band members will NOT be playing music. Anyone know for sure?

The book that the library event is celebrating (The Velvet Underground: New York Art), is not the one pictured above. The pictured book is another new one (by music critic Jim Derogatis) called The Velvet Underground: An Illustrated History of a Walk on the Wild Side.

The Velvet Underground changed lineups many times. Notably missing from the library event are John Cale (alive and well) and Sterling Morrison (RIP). The band formed in 1965. Doug Yule replaced John Cale in 1968. Lou Reed left in 1970, and then the band didn't even break up until February of 1973. Drummer Maureen Tucker was in the band the longest (though technically she's not an original member - the very first drummer was Angus MacLise - RIP).

Lou Reed is playing (or maybe not actually playing) music at Columbia's Miller Theatre on Friday, February 5, 2010.

On October 30th, Lou Reed joined Metallica at the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame concert at MSG in NYC for a rendition of "Sweet Jane". It will be aired on TV Thanksgiving weekend, but you can watch audiences videos of it below. Metallica just returned for two headlining shows at the same venue the other day.

Moby performed "Take a Walk on the Wild Side" at a concert in Paris on November 13th. Video below.

One day later (11/14), Lou himself performed in Prague with the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Jirí Belohlavek. It was a concert in honor of the 20th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution (not to be confused with Lou's band with a similar name). Renee Fleming joined Lou for a beautiful and operatic version of "Perfect Day". Suzanne Vega also performed at that show. Check those videos out below too...

Continue reading "3 Velvet Underground members reuniting in a NYC library, Lou Reed played w/ Renée Fleming (video) + 2 new VU books "

Big StarKeep An Eye On The Sky is a 4-CD box set of rarities from Big Star, and is in stores Tuesday. The band plays the Brooklyn Masonic Temple in November.

Another rarities compilation that stands out this week is Local Currency, an album that collects obscure tracks by singer-songwriter Franklin Bruno from 1992-1998. As an added bonus, buyers of Local Currency receive a download coupon for a covers EP of Franklin Bruno songs, with contributions by Lou Barlow, Laura Cantrell, Mac McCaughan, Jennifer O'Connor, and Mecca Normal.

The 7-disc Velvet Underground box set of 7"'s, The Singles 1966-1969 is incredibly tempting, even if I already own most of the songs in multiple formats.

New music I can recommend this week includes The Dodos' Time To Die, Grand Archives' Keep In Mind Frankenstein, Scotland Yard Gospel Choir's ...And The Horse You Rode in On, Simon Joyner's Out Into the Snow, and Slaraffenland's We're On Your Side.

Scotland Yard Gospel Choir are playing the Bloodshot BBQ in Brooklyn later this month.

Two remastered Sunny Day Real Estate (now reunited) discs, Diary and LP2, are available today. Other interesting reissues include six Doors albums on 180 gram vinyl and five New Order LPs.

What new music can you recommend this week? What's on your shopping list?

Continue reading "Largehearted Boy's Interesting CD Releases This Week"

Willie Alexander and the Boom Boom Band

Willie "Loco" Alexander (born 13 January 1943 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is an American singer and keyboard player based in Gloucester, Massachusetts.

He played with The Lost, The Bagatelle and The Grass Menagerie before becoming a member of The Velvet Underground in late 1971, joining fellow Grass Menagerie alumni Doug Yule and Walter Powers and replacing Sterling Morrison, who had gone off to pursue an academic career.[Wikipedia]

Brain Surgeons (Debbie Frost) - 2008/09 Tour Dates
Dec 26 @ ReHab w/ the Black Angels
Dec 27 @ Maxwell's w/ Boston's legendary Willie Alexander & The Boom Boom Band
Jan 02 @ Don Hill's w/ the Dirty Pickles

December 27th is also the seventh night of Hanukkah. It would be amazing if Lou Reed were also the special guest that night (although Lou and Willie were never actually in VU at the same time, so maybe not).

Metal Mountains are opening the eighth. John Zorn and Marc Ribot opened the third.

Boom Boom video below...

Continue reading "Willie Alexander & The Boom Boom Band w/ Deborah Frost opening for Yo La Tengo on Chanukah night seven"

Lou Reed

Lou Reed will be making a special appearance to read from his new book, Pass Thru Fire: the Collected Lyrics. Containing a body of work that spans more than three decades, Pass Thru Fire is a stunning collection of the lyrics of an American original. He will also take questions and sign books. This event (Wednesday, December 17, 2008 @ Housing Works Bookstore Cafe) is free.

Lou Reed @ Highline Ballroom

Lou Reed played a show to help celebrate the opening of Highline Ballroom in NYC last year on April 30th (2007). John Zorn was his special guest. I went and took some pictures, but never posted them. Now I have the perfect excuse. Lou Reed is playing Highline Ballroom again - this time to help celebrate their one year anniversary. $85 tickets are now on sale (and presale) for that May 5th show (2008). More photos from last year below.....

Continue reading "Lou Reed playing Highline again ($85) + pics from last time"

DOWNLOAD: The Velvet Underground - Rock and Roll (MP3)

Lou Reed & The Killers

Last time I posted this, it was just the song. Now here's the real video along with some behind the scenes clips where Lou Reed talks about his love for the song and the Killers...

Continue reading "Lou Reed, The Killers, Matt Pinfield - Tranquilize videos"