Archive for John Cale

Video Du Jour: John Cale

Posted in News with tags , on September 5, 2012 by 30daysout

John Cale, former member of the Velvet Underground and producer of punk pioneers The Stooges, has a new solo album coming out. Shifty Adventures in Nookie Wood, coming out Oct. 1, features “Face To The Sky” and the accompanying strange video.

John Cale official web site

WTF: Crazy Cover Versions

Posted in Rock Rant with tags , , , , , on July 7, 2012 by 30daysout

We all love cover versions of our favorite rock songs, if only for the fresh perspective the covering artist brings to familiar material. Cover versions are particularly entertaining when they come out of left field – like when an artist jumps genres for material. Remember when Pat Boone covered metal songs? Yeah.

One of our favorites is of course the AOR darlings the Carpenters, covering Klaatu’s “Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft.” Klaatu was a Canadian prog-rock outfit, and they are perhaps best remembered for a rumor that went out in the 1970s that Klaatu were actually the Beatles recording under a pseudonym. Take one listen to any Klaatu record and you know that’s not true. Nevertheless, they put out “Calling Occupants” in 1976 and the next year popsters Karen and Richard Carpenter covered the song. They had a modest hit out of it, too.

Sebastian Cabot, thinking about Bob Dylan.

There was a time when TV actors made a few bucks by releasing albums with their cracked covers of Dylan, the Beatles, et. al. William Shatner is perhaps best known for doing that, but we’ve included a lesser known actor today – Sebastian Cabot (a British gent who played butlers and such) – doing a Dylan tune.

Country artists taking rock songs to the barnyard is also a disturbing recurring phenomenon. Here we have the great Willie Nelson doing the Beatles from a 2003 comp. Finnish black metal rockers Children of Bodom have a sense of humor; they do covers all the time, including this one of an Eddie Murphy groaner.

Legitimate rockers like those cover versions too, especially when they can totally make ’em over – hence, Pearl Jam doing the death-rock classic “Last Kiss,” John Cale deconstructing Elvis’ “Heartbreak Hotel” and Eric Burdon going totally over the top on a Stones cover.

Don’t have much else to say here, it’s just an excuse to share some of these out-of-the-blue covers. Hope you like ’em – if you don’t, you always have the originals!

MP3: “Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft” by the Carpenters

MP3: “Like A Rolling Stone” by Sebastian Cabot

MP3: “One After 909” by Willie Nelson

MP3: “Lola” by the Raincoats

MP3: “Sympathy For The Devil” by Louis Prima

MP3: “Good Vibrations” by Floyd Cramer

MP3: “Party All The Time” by Children of Bodom

MP3: “Last Kiss” by Pearl Jam

MP3: “Heartbreak Hotel” by John Cale

MP3: “Creep” by Scala Choir & Kolacny Brothers

MP3: “Paint It Black” by Eric Burdon & the Animals

Your Sister’s (Record) Rack: The Velvet Underground?

Posted in Lost Classics! with tags , , , , , , , on January 4, 2010 by 30daysout

I’ve been sneaking into my big sister’s room to check out her record collection for some time now, and I have begun to notice that her musical tastes might be changing.  Where’s that coming from?  I will explore that later – today, I found a record – an import, no less – that on first sight made my heart jump.  But when I listened to it …

It’s Squeeze, which came out in 1972 as an album by the Velvet Underground.  Wow! I thought, a lost Velvet Underground album … but no.  The album is really a solo effort by bass player Doug Yule, who replaced John Cale in the Velvet Underground after Cale quit around 1969.  Yule had a nice voice and a bit of a pop music sensibility to balance the experimental impulses of Lou Reed, who was more or less the Velvet Underground’s front man.  Reed bolted from the group upon finishing Loaded in 1970, leaving drummer Maureen Tucker and guitarist Sterling Morrison as the only original members left.  Morrison soon left, though, to pursue a degree then a professorship at the University of Texas.

So the group toured Europe with Yule, Tucker, and a couple of replacement dudes when the Velvets’ sleazeball manager scored the group a record deal with Polydor in Europe.  To save money, Tucker and the replacements were sent back to the States (pretty much ending their membership in the Velvet Underground) and Yule wrote, sang and played all the songs on the album Squeeze along with drummer Ian Paice of Deep Purple and some other, anonymous studio players.  The album was released in Europe and it was pretty much a flop; it never came out in the United States.

And it’s no wonder, when you start listening.  Yule is certainly no Lou Reed, and his pop-music approach sweeps away all of Reed’s glorious dark explorations with songs that sound like rejects from Loaded (“Little Jack,” “Caroline”), songs that rip off the Beatles (“Crash”) or songs that try and fail miserably to replicate Lou Reed’s sound (“Mean Old Man,” “Dopey Joe”).  So Squeeze is definitely not a Velvet Underground album – honestly, it’s a Doug Yule solo record and not a very good one, at that.

MP3: “Little Jack”

MP3: “Caroline”

MP3: “Crash”

MP3: “Mean Old Man”

MP3: “She’ll Make You Cry”

MP3: “Louise”

Sampler Daze: The WB/Reprise Loss Leaders, Part 14

Posted in Lost Classics! with tags , , , , , , , on October 8, 2009 by 30daysout

eclipse troublemakers

And so we reach a new decade, the third decade in which Loss Leaders samplers appeared, and a radically changed landscape from the old hippie daze.  To get your hands on Eclipse, the first two-LP sampler from 1980, you had to pay three dollars now, only a buck more but a 50 percent increase from 1979 prices.  The liner notes had the air of a valedictory: “Eclipse is the first Warner Bros. sampler of a new decade and commemorates the occasion by presenting vital works by several artists whose careers span the lifetime of the entire ‘loss leader’ project … as well as material by artists as new as the decade itself.”

Sure enough, there’s Van Morrison with “Troubadours” and Randy Newman with “It’s Money That I Love,” a long way from their appearances on the first Loss Leaders album in 1969.  Perennials include Bonnie Raitt, with a cover of Robert Palmer’s “You’re Gonna Get What’s Coming”; Ry Cooder, with “Little Sister”; Leo Sayer with “When The Money Runs Out” and good ol’ Little Feat going “Down On The Farm.”  Then there was Carlene Carter, who had some of the best bloodlines in music: the daughter of country music greats June Carter and Carl Smith, her stepfather was Johnny Cash and her husband at the time was Nick Lowe.  The husband had perhaps the greatest influence on her music, as she turns in a version of Elvis Costello’s “Radio Sweetheart.”

And there’s good old rock and roll: former Doobie Brothers frontman Tom Johnston crunches through “Outlaw” while the Dukes ask “Who’s Gonna Tell You.”  The Dukes comprised former members of Brit rockers Stone the Crow, Savoy Brown and Be Bop Deluxe.  One member, former Wings guitarist Jimmy McCullough, died just as the band’s first album was released.  Funkadelic offers “Field Maneuvers,” while Woodstock veterans Sly and the Family Stone check in with “Remember Who You Are” and Bob Marley and the Wailers give up “Wake Up and Live.”  Talking Heads, with “Drugs” and the Ramones, with ” I Want You Around,” point the way for the future of American music – and for the Loss Leaders.  Eclipse would be the final sampler that showcased artists with mainstream styles.

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Lost Classics! The Modern Lovers

Posted in Lost Classics! with tags , , , , on October 21, 2008 by 30daysout

Most people think the Ramones led the U.S. punk rock vanguard in the late 1970s, but they’re wrong.  Jonathan Richman and his band the Modern Lovers were there first.  The classic lineup of this band was Richman on lead vocals and guitar, drummer David Robinson, keyboardist Jerry Harrison and bass player Ernie Brooks.  The group made a splash in their native Boston in 1971; influenced by the Velvet Underground, their songs spotlighted Richman’s cracked sensibility.

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