Label: Staubgold, Cougouyou Music
In process of stocking: Release date: 23 June 2023
For the world premiere of his latest book Linger On: The Velvet Underground — published by Eva and Thurston Moore’s Ecstatic Peace Library — Catalan music journalist Ignacio Julià wanted to relive the New York band’s original dynamics, that creative friction between an American noise-guitar player and poet, Lou Reed, and a radical, lyrical European pianist and songwriter, John Cale.
Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo and French maverick Pascal Comelade accepted the challenge and the concert took place in Banyoles, Catalonia, on April 28, 2022, as a non-nostalgic reinvention of a musical legacy that takes an influential past into the future.
Comelade and Ranaldo met for the first time the same day the piece was created from scratch, at Banyoles’ Auditori del Ateneu, and after a few try-outs, magic happened right away. Local drummer Ramon Prats joined in easily and the three constructed what Ignacio Julià had asked for, not a tribute concert made of more or less faithful covers, but a new thing.
Pascal came with a clear idea of the songs and laid them down with his minimalist, personal style at the grand piano and small keyboard, Lee painted — with guitars, acoustic and electric, used as cellos sometimes, and weird percussion — the wide palette of emotions these classic songs carry. After months of imagining it, here it was, a fully realized Velvet Serenade. Spontaneous, vibrant and true to the band’s spirit.