WBEZ | Velvet Underground http://www.wbez.org/tags/velvet-underground Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en John Cale channels his inner Snoop for a classic http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2012-10/john-cale-channels-his-inner-snoop-classic-103010 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/1new%20cale.jpg" style="height: 632px; width: 620px;" title="" /></div><p>If there&rsquo;s a single thread running through John Cale&rsquo;s incredibly diverse output since splitting from the Velvet Underground&mdash;a body of work that now includes 15 studio solo albums, four inspired collaborative efforts (including one with Velvets co-founder Lou Reed and another with Brian Eno) and innumerable EPs, live recordings and side projects&mdash;it&rsquo;s that the Welsh singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist always has been fearless in pushing the sonic envelope and embracing the new, yet in a way that never sounds less than 100-percent Cale.</p><p>Few artists in their 70s carrying such storied laurels have shown this sort of courageous curiosity; in fact, we probably can count them on one hand (Dylan, Neil Young, Eno&hellip; and, um, the list is starting to trail off there). Yet even as a lifelong fan, this listener was dubious when Cale <a href="http://www.soundopinions.org/archive/2007/october.html#guestjohncale">appeared five years ago as one of <em>Sound Opinions</em>&rsquo; first guests on Public Radio</a> and waxed rhapsodic about the revelation he had while listening to Snoop Dogg and Pharrell Williams collaborating on the track &ldquo;Drop It Like It&rsquo;s Hot.&rdquo; (Cale and his new band will be featured on the show again in the coming weeks.)</p><p>How would the Snoop/Pharrell fascination square with and influence the work of the artist who gave us <em>The Academy in Peril, Fear, Words for the Dying</em>, and <em>Songs for Drella</em>? Well, Cale has been showing glimpses of the direction he was heading on scattered tracks in recent years&mdash;relying more on the groove, incorporating the hip-hop version of <em>musique concrete</em>, toying with loops and electronics and even applying a (non-egregious) use of Autotune&mdash;but it comes to full fruition on <em>Shifty Adventures in Nookie Wood</em>, a startlingly fresh, incredibly intense set of songs that sound like 2017 yet are completely in line with everything that Cale has had a hand in since &ldquo;European Son&rdquo; in 1967.</p><p>Much of the buzz has centered on the Velvets legend joining forces with Danger Mouse, a producer every bit as noteworthy for his recent work as the rock giant has been for his (helming influential discs by Patti Smith, the Modern Lovers and the Stooges, to name but three). Yet their joint &ldquo;I Wanna Talk 2 U&rdquo; is no more extraordinary than the rest of the dozen tracks that Cale produced on his own.</p><p>Thematically, these alternate between a childlike sense of illicit but electric discovery&mdash;best exemplified by the title track&mdash;and a sense of paranoia about and alienation from the modern world, a la &ldquo;Scotland Yard,&rdquo; a rumination of last year&rsquo;s riots in the U.K., or &ldquo;December Rains,&rdquo; which bemoans the way we&rsquo;re killing the planet. Meanwhile, the music evinces just as striking a dichotomy, with the classically-trained, baritone-enhanced love of timeless melody that Cale long has brought to his ballads contrasting powerfully with the harsher eruptions of fractured rhythms, sampled noises and unsettling atmospherics or the more chaotic and harder-hitting up-tempo songs.</p><p>Ever wonder what &ldquo;Sister Ray&rdquo; or &ldquo;Sunday Morning&rdquo; might have sounded like if they were written and recorded today? Here&rsquo;s your answer.</p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/1Cale.jpg" style="height: 620px; width: 620px;" title="" /></div><p><strong>John Cale, <em>Shifty Adventures in Nookie Wood </em>(Domino)</strong></p><p><strong>Rating on the four-star scale: 3.5 stars.</strong></p></p> Tue, 09 Oct 2012 14:24:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2012-10/john-cale-channels-his-inner-snoop-classic-103010 Oh, Moe, say it ain’t so! The Velvets’ drummer hates Obama http://www.wbez.org/blog/jim-derogatis-music/oh-moe-say-it-ain%E2%80%99t-so-velvets%E2%80%99-drummer-hates-obama <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2010-October/2010-10-21/tucker.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img height="356" width="288" alt="" src="http://wbez.org/sites/default/files/blog/insert-image/2010-October/2010-10-21/tucker%5B1%5D.jpg" /></p> <p>Let&rsquo;s get this straight right up top: Moe Tucker is one of the coolest women who&rsquo;ve ever lived, as well as one of the greatest drummers in the history of rock &rsquo;n&rsquo; roll&mdash;pioneering for her role as a serious instrumentalist in one of the most influential bands ever, sure, but more importantly, the perfect mix of furious primitive and sensitive percussionist who gave the Velvet Underground the exact rhythms it needed at every turn, on stage and on its first three legendary albums.</p> <p>But geez, does she seem to be a bonehead when it comes to politics.<!--more--></p> <p>Earlier this month, the Internet started buzzing about a local TV news clip of a conservative anti-tax rally near Albany, Georgia, in the spring of 2009 that featured, 2:40 in, a woman identified as &ldquo;Maureen Tucker, Tea Party Supporter&rdquo; saying, &ldquo;I&rsquo;m furious about the way we&rsquo;re being led toward socialism. I&rsquo;m furious about the incredible waste of money, when things that we really need and are important get dropped, because there&rsquo;s no money left.&rdquo;</p><p style="text-align: center;"><object height="379" width="473" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6,0,40,0" classid="clsid:d27cdb6e-ae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000"> <param value="true" name="allowFullScreen" /> <param value="always" name="allowscriptaccess" /> <param value="http://www.youtube.com/v/HEt-IaRbcVY?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US" name="src" /> <param value="true" name="allowfullscreen" /><embed height="379" width="473" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" src="http://www.youtube.com/v/HEt-IaRbcVY?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"></embed></object></p> <p>I first became aware of the clip via the wonderful music news aggregator <a href="http://www.thedailyswarm.com/headlines/velvet-right-tea-partyer-or-not/">The Daily Swarm</a>, which had picked it up from <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/05/moe-tucker-former-velvet-_n_750838.html">the Huffington Post</a> and <a href="http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/the_big_picture/2010/10/the-velvet-undergrounds-moe-tucker-is-having-a-party-a-tea-party.html">the Los Angeles Times</a>. Anyone who clicked through knowing the Velvets&rsquo; work and thinking that they knew Tucker&mdash;who had struggled as a single mom to raise a family slaving away in a job at Walmart during the lean years after the band broke up and before it was rediscovered by the rock underground of the late &rsquo;70s and early &rsquo;80s&mdash;had to scratch their head and ask if the musician who hung out with and embraced the freakiest dregs of society at the Warhol Factory, who played drums on &ldquo;Heroin,&rdquo; &ldquo;Venus in Furs,&rdquo; and &ldquo;Sister Ray,&rdquo; and who freaking helped to invent punk rock could really be one of those ill-informed Tea Party nut jobs running around ranting about socialism when they don't even have a clue what it actually is?</p> <p>Alas, it&rsquo;s true, and cudos to my old friend Mike Appelstein for getting Tucker to talk on the record about her political views <a href="http://blogs.riverfronttimes.com/atoz/2010/10/moe_tucker_interview_2010_politics_tea_party_velvet_underground_video.php">in a piece for the Riverfront Times</a>. Here are just a few of the quotable highlights&mdash;though I warn you, if you&rsquo;re at all like me, they may make you cry.</p> <blockquote>No country can provide all things for all citizens. There comes a point where it just isn't possible, and it's proven to be a failure everywhere it's been tried. I am not oblivious to the plight of the poor, but I don't see any reason/sense to the idea that everyone <em>has to</em> have everything, especially when the economy is so bad. I see that philosophy as merely a ploy to control. <br /> </blockquote><blockquote>My family was <em>damn</em> poor when I was growing up on Long Island. There were no food stamps, no Medicaid, no welfare. If you were poor, you were poor. You didn't have a TV, you didn't have five pairs of shoes, you didn't have Levi's, you didn't have a phone; you ate Spam, hot dogs and spaghetti. We all survived! I am not against food stamps, welfare or Medicaid, if only they would oversee these programs properly!... <br /> </blockquote><blockquote><em>What specifically about the current administration do you disagree with?</em> <br /> </blockquote><blockquote> I disagree with spending / borrowing / printing -- <em>damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead</em>! I disagree with the &quot;we won&quot; attitude, which is the cowardly way of saying <em>f--- you</em>! I disagree with an administration that for twenty months blames Bush. If the President and his minions are so damn smart, why didn't they know the severity of the situation? The president has actually said (and I saw it on video) that they didn't know! <em>What would you like to see change?</em> The current administration!... <br /> </blockquote><blockquote><em>What are some misconceptions that people have about Tea Parties (and their attendants) in general?</em> <br /> </blockquote><blockquote>That they're all racists, they're all religious nuts, they're all uninformed, they're all stupid, they want no taxes at all and no regulations whatsoever. Those &quot;arguments&quot; are presented by the Dems in order to keep <em>their</em> base of uninformed voters on their side. In my opinion, as soon as you start name-calling, your opinion is immediately deemed invalid! <br /> </blockquote><blockquote><em>Have you always had conservative views?</em> <br /> </blockquote><blockquote>To be honest, I never paid attention to what the hell was going on. My always voting Democrat was the result of that. My philosophy was and is <em>all politicians are liars, bums and cheats</em>. I make decisions on an issue by issue basis. I'm far more of an independent than a conservative or liberal. I don't agree with <em>all</em> of either side, and I think anyone who claims to is either a fool or a damn liar.</blockquote></p> Thu, 21 Oct 2010 22:04:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/jim-derogatis-music/oh-moe-say-it-ain%E2%80%99t-so-velvets%E2%80%99-drummer-hates-obama