Saturday, May 12, 2007

LCD Soundsystem vs Velvet Underground vs Joy Division vs Franz vs Nilsson

May 21st a new batch of LCD Soundsystem singles are released, like so:

7" Part One (with free poster)
All My Friends (John Cale Version)
All My Friends (album version)

7" Part Two
All My Friends (Franz Ferdinand Version)
All My Friends (edit)

Enhanced CD
All My Friends (Edit)
All My Friends (Franz Ferdinand Version)
Freak Out/Starry Eyes
All My Friends (video)

Monday May 28th sees the release of a 12" containing:

12" All My Friends (album version)
All My Friends (Harvey Mix)
Freak Out/Starry Eyes

DFA has a nice little E-card with track previews and purchase links, right about here. John Cale, one of the founding members of The Velvet Underground, covers their newest single "All My Friends" and does a damn fine job of it. Headphone Sex has some words about that collaboration along with the song in question, and Muzak For Cybernetics does likewise for the Franz Ferdinand version.

The LCD cover of Harry Nilsson's "Jump Into The Fire" has been in heavy rotation around these parts lately, having originally been a B-side on the "Daft Punk Is Playing at My House" single. I think that tune, along with their cover of Joy Division's "No Love Lost" are the two LCD Soundsystem songs that lean the most toward rock.

LCD Soundsystem - "No Love Lost" (Joy Division cover)

LCD Soundsystem - "Jump Into The Fire" (Harry Nilsson cover)

Check out some live evidence...

If you hadn't already heard, LCD Soundsystem are indeed one of the confirmed acts on the Austin City Limits Festival website. Rejoice, rejoice. Here's a look at the rest of their tour:
  • May 14: Webster Hall - New York,
  • Jun 10: The El Rey - Los Angeles
  • Jun 11: The El Rey - Los Angeles
  • Jun 16: Hyde Park Festival - London
  • Jun 17: Wireless Festival - Leeds
  • Jun 30: Wertcher Festival - Wertcher
  • Jul 1: Heineken Opener Festival - Gdynia
  • Jul 4: Super Bock Super Rock - Lisbon
  • Jul 5: Roskillde Festival - Roskillde
  • Jul 13: Summercase - Barcelona
  • Jul 14: Summercase - Madrid
  • Jul 18: Ibiza Rocks Festival - Ibiza
  • Jul 20: Vieilles Charrues
  • Jul 21: Angouleme Festival
  • Aug 3: Lollapalooza - Chicago
  • Aug 4: V Festival - Washington DC
  • Aug 17: Route Du La Rock - Saint Malo
  • Aug 24: Carling Festival - Leeds
  • Aug 25: Creamfields Festival - Liverpool
  • Aug 26: Carling Festival - Reading
  • Aug 31: Electric Picnic - Ireland
  • Sep 1: Mandela Hall - Belfast
  • Sep 2: Connect - Inverary Castle, Scotland

While we're sort of on the subject of The Velvet Underground I will take the opportunity to talk about them for a minute, something I've been meaning to do. I bought my first Velvet Underground album (White Light/White Heat) sometime in 2004, and it has taken about three years for me to gain a strong affection for them. This long stretch leading to fanship wasn't born of unwillingness, it just takes time to reach some sort of familiarity with their music and history, and now that I have experienced much of this I'm able to really appreciate some the things that The Velvet Underground did.

I first heard in 2005 about Norman Dolph's original acetate pressing of the the Scepter Studios recording, which was a studio session recorded in 1966 at a decrepit recording studio where the band would cut the very first versions of the songs that would eventually end up on their debut album. The acetate, which is believed to be the only one of its kind in existence, was discovered at a flea market in New York with a price tag of 75 cents and eventually sold on eBay for over $25,000.

Here is some interesting text on the subject from Wiki:

"Actual recording at Scepter was done rather quickly in about two business days (roughly 8-10 hours) while the third was spent listening to the material and the fourth was spent mixing. Soon after, Dolph sent an acetate disc of the recordings to Columbia in an attempt to interest them in distributing the album, but they declined, as did Atlantic Records and Elektra Records. Eventually, the MGM Records-owned Verve Records accepted the recordings with the help of Verve staff producer Tom Wilson, who had recently moved from a job at Columbia."

"It wasn't until decades later that the album received almost unanimous praise by numerous rock critics, many of which making particular note of its influence in modern rock music. In April, 2003, Spin put the album at the number one spot of their list of the "Top Fifteen Most Influential Albums of All Time." Rolling Stone placed it at number 13 on their list of "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time" in November 2003. In 2006, Q magazine readers voted it into 42nd place in the "2006 Q Magazine Readers' 100 Greatest Albums Ever" poll, while The Observer placed it at number 1 in a list of "50 Albums That Changed Music" in the July of that year. It ranks at number 7 on Rate Your Music's top albums of all time and number 1 for the year of 1967."

The nine tracks on the Scepter Studios Norman Dolph Acetate are recordings that would make it onto the final version of The Velvet Underground's debut album, though many are different mixes of those recordings and three are different takes entirely. Certainly this is not the best starting point for someone looking to familiarize themselves with The Velvet Underground, but this recording is not only the band's starting point, but what's even more interesting is that this is how they wanted these songs to sound in the first place, before producers and record labels added their own influence.

Quoted: "With the affirmation of a label, three of the songs, "I'm Waiting for the Man", "Venus in Furs" and "Heroin", were re-recorded in two days at a stay in Hollywood later in 1966. Tom Wilson then edited and mixed the tapes to polish some of the rough edges, somewhat against the wishes of the band. As the record's release date was bumped back time after time because of production problems, Wilson also took them into a New York studio in November 1966 to add a final song to the track listing, the prospective single "Sunday Morning." The production on that song is far more professional and lush, aimed as it was at radio playtime." Check out two selections from the album below, and if you're into it I've heard that the rest can be found at zShare.

The Velvet Underground - "Femme Fatale" (Different Mix)

The Velvet Underground - "I'll Be Your Mirror" (Different Mix)