Listen to Brian Eno's new cover of the Velvet Underground

Today, Brian Eno released his reimagination of the Velvet Underground's track "I'm Set Free." The cover, titled “Fickle Sun (iii) I’m Set Free,” is from Eno's new album The Ship, coming April 29. Below, the Velvet's original version of the song, from their third album The Velvet Underground (1969).

Eno says:

“The first time I ever heard [The Velvet Underground] was on a John Peel radio show… it was when their first album came out and I thought “This I like! This I want to know about!”. I was having a huge crisis at the time. Am I going to be a painter or am I somehow going to get into music. And I couldn’t play anything so music was the less obvious choice. Then, when I heard The Velvet Underground I thought, “you can do both actually”. It was a big moment for me.

“That particular song always resonated with me but it took about 25 years before I thought about the lyrics. “I’m set free, to find a new illusion”. Wow. That’s saying we don’t go from an illusion to reality (the western idea of “Finding The Truth”) but rather we go from one workable solution to another more workable solution.

Subsequently I think we aren’t able and actually don’t particularly care about the truth, whatever that might be. What we care about is having intellectual tools and inventions that work. [Yuval Noah Harari in his book “Sapiens”] discusses that what makes large-scale human societies capable of cohering and co-operating is the stories they share together.

Read the rest

The FUGS First Rehearsal and Lou Reed's Earliest Known Recording of 'Heroin'

Lou Reed writes Heroin by Ethan Persoff and Scott Marshall
A cameo-filled page from John Wilcock, New York Years. With Ed Sanders' Arts Magazine, Edie Sedgwick arriving in NYC, and Nico fainting on stage.

Velvet Underground & Nico lost studio recordings now on vinyl!

In 2002, a fellow paid 75 cents at a New York City flea market for a curious acetate recording of the Velvet Underground. Turns out, the acetate contained early recorded takes and mixes of songs that in different form eventually became my favorite album of all time, The Velvet Underground & Nico. As I posted in 2006, the acetate landed on eBay with an insane $155,401 closing bid. No surprise, but the bidder bailed. The acetate was relisted, finally selling for $25,200. After multiple bootlegs and digital files circulated (like the above YouTube clip), the "Scepter Studios Acetate" was officially released last year on the "45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition" CD box set of The Velvet Underground & Nico, which I included on the Boing Boing Holiday Gift Guide. Well, now you can finally buy an officially vinyl release of the Velvet Underground Scepter Studios Acetate. In fact, I just did! Velvet Underground & Nico: "Scepter Studios Acetate" Read the rest