November 10, 2004 |
Listeners got something more than mere songs from avant-garde rock pioneer John Cale during his Monday performance at the Key Club. It was art. And music. Art music. Two great tastes that tasted great together -- at least, as mixed by this master.
June 3, 1993 |
Given a title like "Vintage Violence," listeners might expect some pretty fierce lyrics and music from this album. But instead John Cale, emerging for the first time since he'd left the Velvet Underground in 1968, transmitted the toughness of the era in quite classical terms. Cale was and is a rare bird in pop music: a trained musician. A native of Wales, he first came to America on a Leonard Bernstein scholarship, and his classical training illuminates this beautiful record.
February 3, 1994 |
One of the great benefits of the compact disc revolution is that hundreds of underappreciated--indeed, previously deleted--albums have been given new life. Among them: John Cale's "Paris 1919," an inspired, sometimes elegant work, arguably the iconoclastic Welshman's most accessible effort. Some of the melodies here are so rich and enticing that it's hard to understand why this album didn't make more of a commercial dent when it was released more than 20 years ago.
September 29, 1994 |
Few rock musicians have pursued an agenda as diverse as John Cale's. His hugely influential first band, the Velvet Underground, was marginal in its time (1965-70) but since has become a rock-cultural monument. The Velvets are recognized as the cornerstone of the "alternative" rock movement that, shockingly, has come to occupy a penthouse suite in the commercial edifice of '90s pop.
September 29, 2010 |
Whether featuring Pavement, the Pixies or the Police, reunion concerts have become the default when it comes to live music. John Cale's restaging of his classic 1973 album "Paris 1919" ? hitting UCLA's Royce Hall on Thursday ? transcends a mere nostalgia trip, however. For one, "Paris 1919" doesn't have the mainstream consumer awareness of, say, "Zenyatta Mondatta": It remains as challenging a work as it is gorgeous and nuanced. In a 9.5 Pitchfork review of the album's 2006 reissue, critic Matthew Murphy praised the album's "stately, haunted grandeur," concluding, "For better or worse, Cale has never again made another record quite like 'Paris 1919,' at least in part, one suspects, because so many in his audience have since longed for him to do so. " As such, many consider "Paris 1919" the idiosyncratic pinnacle to Cale's thrilling yet perverse career, despite the fact it never topped the charts.
August 29, 2005 |
You don't often hear the name John Cale and the words "street fair" together, but that was the case Saturday when the Velvet Underground veteran was among the top acts playing Day 1 of the annual Sunset Junction Street Fair.