Hear Brian Eno's Reverent Velvet Underground Cover

April 21, 2016

Brian Eno had been wanting to release his cover of the Velvet Underground's "I'm Set Free" for 12 years before he ultimately found a place for it as the closing track on his upcoming record The Ship. Today, he's giving the track – officially titled,...


Tony Conrad, Pioneering Musician and Filmmaker, Dead at 76

April 9, 2016

Tony Conrad, an artist, experimental filmmaker, composer and influential figure in the world of avant-garde, minimalist and drone music, died Saturday. He was 76. The Buffalo News confirmed Conrad's death – he taught at the University of Buffalo's...


See John Cale's All-Star 'Velvet Underground & Nico' Gig

April 4, 2016

John Cale hosted an early 50th anniversary celebration for the classic Velvet Underground & Nico Sunday at Paris' La Phihamonie, with the cellist recruiting artists like Animal Collective, the Libertines' Carl Barat and Pete Doherty, Mark Lanegan,...


John Cale on Lou Reed and Remaking 'Music for a New Society'

February 2, 2016

When John Cale looks back at his experimental solo album Music for a New Society, all he remembers is personal chaos and turmoil. Since exiting the Velvet Underground in 1968, he had explored different hues of art rock, minimalist classical...


Hear Julian Casablancas' Noisy Velvet Underground Cover

February 19, 2016

The Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas' noisy, raucous take on the Velvet Underground's "Run Run Run" is now streaming. The track appears on the soundtrack to the HBO show Vinyl, which is out now. The song in its native form, on the 1967 record...

Album Review

M:FANS / Music for a New Society

January 27, 2016

Like many musicians, John Cale tends to excel in collaboration – see the Dream Syndicate, the Velvet Underground, albums with Nico, duets with Terry Riley and Brian Eno, and production for the Stooges, the Modern Lovers and Patti Smith. Cale's...


Album Review

The Complete Matrix Tapes

December 8, 2015

There are many Velvet Undergrounds – the avant-pop shockers of The Velvet Underground and Nico, the proto-punk noisemakers of White Light/White Heat, the folk-rock redemption-seekers of the self-titled third LP, the coulda-been mainstream...

Album Review

Loaded: Re-Loaded 45th Anniversary Edition

October 30, 2015

The Velvets' last album is generally seen as their least. It suffers dubious production and lacks drummer Moe Tucker, due to her pregnancy; Lou Reed left the band before its release and, as he'd later complain, his songs were hacked down (notably "Sweet...


Velvet Underground to Reissue 'Loaded' as Deluxe Box Set

August 25, 2015

The Velvet Underground will continue their series of box set reissues this fall with a six-disc, deluxe edition of their final album with Lou Reed, 1970's Loaded. The package will include stereo and mono versions of the LP, outtakes, live recordings...


Watch Patti Smith's Poignant Lou Reed Rock Hall Induction

April 19, 2015

Friends, colleagues, poets, sometime label mates and full-time figureheads (and survivors) of one of New York City's most vibrant and violent eras, Patti Smith and Lou Reed occupied a similar stratum of rock history. But Smith — who first...


Remembering Bob Dylan's Pioneering Producer Tom Wilson

November 4, 2015

The Velvet Underground rarely played offices, but Lou Reed and John Cale made at least one exception about 50 years ago. Hauling Reed's guitar, Cale's electric viola, and an amp into Columbia Records' midtown headquarters, the two set up in an executive's...


Hear Velvet Underground's Alternate 'I'm Sticking With You'

October 16, 2015

When the Velvet Underground were recording their fourth album, Loaded, their lineup was not fully intact. Moe Tucker was pregnant at the time, so a number of other drummers sat in. She nevertheless came into the studio to record vocals on a song that...


Read Laurie Anderson's Moving Rock Hall Speech for Lou Reed

April 19, 2015

Erudite and articulate as he unquestionably was, Lou Reed could also be a man of few words, depending on his mood. In 1996, when Reed was first inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Velvet Underground, he kept his acceptance...


Lost Lou Reed Interview: 'I Never Liked the Beatles'

February 17, 2015

Lou Reed recalled his vision for the Velvet Underground and his derision for that band's contemporaries in a recently rediscovered interview that PBS has animated as part of its Blank on Blank series. The singer told music executive Joe Smith in...


Album Review

The Velvet Underground (Super Deluxe Edition)

November 25, 2014

When Lou Reed talks about "the sorrows of the contemporary world, which I know we all know so well" during a 1969 live performance included in this magnificent six-CD repackaging of the Velvet Underground's pivotal third album, he could be introducing...


Hear the Velvet Underground Play an Early 'Sweet Jane'

November 20, 2014

Although the Velvet Underground didn't issue a studio version of "Sweet Jane" until their 1970 album, Loaded, the group had begun playing the song live the previous year. A recording of one of these performances (made at San Francisco venue the Matrix...


See John Cale's Touching Lou Reed Tribute

October 27, 2014

John Cale has released a video for a re-recording of his song, "If You Were Still Around," which now pays tribute to many of his friends and collaborators who have passed away. His onetime Velvet Underground bandmate, Lou Reed – who died a year...


Velvet Underground Reflect on Most Profound LP

November 24, 2014

When Maureen Tucker, the refreshingly frank former drummer of the Velvet Underground, looks back on the group's self-titled third album, released in 1969, she still remembers the trepidation she felt going into it. In late 1968, the band's moody...


Hear Velvet Underground's Live 'I'm Waiting for the Man'

November 5, 2014

A casual-sounding live version of the Velvet Underground's "I'm Waiting for the Man," which the group recorded at the San Francisco venue the Matrix in 1969 is now streaming online. The song – the group's warm ode to a heroin dealer that first appeared...


Velvet Underground's Third Album Gets Deluxe Reissue

October 1, 2014

The Velvet Underground's self-titled third album will be reissued as a six-disc "super deluxe" set to celebrate its 45th anniversary this fall. The record, which was the group's first without founding violist John Cale and is home to the single...