On occasion of its 25th anniversary, the Staubgold label proudly presents Velvet Serenade. Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo and French maverick Pascal Comelade relive The Velvet Underground - a non-nostalgic reinvention of a musical legacy that takes an influential past into the future.
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.
"See, I believe in giving back. I might be the only writer that has interviewed all The Velvet Underground’s members through the years, from 1978 to 2022, and all those conversations, articles and experiences are now collected in Linger On: The Velvet Underground, a book that I hope will be shared by next generations. This Banyoles, Girona, concert was another way of giving back what the band and its members had given me since the mid-Seventies, not just great art in the form of rock’n’roll at its most deep and challenging, but an outlook on life and everything else, an invitation to seek the beauty in truth and try to understand human behavior."
(Ignacio Julià, Banyoles, December 2022)