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Tag: Sharon Van Etten (1-2 of 2)

John Cale celebrates the music of Nico with Kim Gordon, Greg Dulli, Yeasayer, and more

Christa Päffgen was better known to the world as Nico, the German-born art-rock chanteuse who lent her haunting vocals to the Velvet Underground’s most seminal work and carved out a deeply influential solo career. Though she passed away nearly 25 years ago, her work (especially The Velvet Underground & Nico and her 1967 solo debut Chelsea Girl) still echoes with incredible resonance. Her style inspired multiple generations of Goth acts, quirky-voiced art belters like Bjork, and filmmakers like Wes Anderson (who used two Chelsea Girl recordings during key moments in The Royal Tennenbaums; it could be argued that Gwyneth Paltrow’s character in that movie was at least partially inspired by Nico herself). 

Friend and frequent collaborator John Cale, a founding member of the Velvet Underground and producer of several Nico solo albums, recognizes her impact better than anybody. That is why Cale produced last night’s show Life Along the Borderline: A Tribute to Nico at the Brooklyn Academy of Music as part of their Next Wave Festival. For a sense of how deeply Nico’s songs have been felt, one need only look at the lineup of guests and collaborators who filled BAM’s Gilman Opera House: Sonic Youth founder Kim Gordon, Sharon Van Etten, Afghan Whigs frontman Greg Dulli, the Kills singer Alison Mosshart, Joan as Police Woman, Peaches, and Brooklyn indie groovers Yeasayer.

Nico’s songs offer a lot of unique opportunities: Most of them are made up of very few elements, which allowed many of last night’s interpreters to deconstruct those elements and glue them back together at strange angles. READ FULL STORY

Kimbra, Alabama Shakes, Sharon Van Etten highlight Wednesday night at SXSW

Though it sometimes seems like this year’s South by Southwest Festival was designed to tap into ’90s nostalgia (Counting Crows are back, for some reason!) and let rappers relive the glory days (Mystikal and Busta Rhymes on the same bill! 50 Cent performing Get Rich or Die Tryin’ in full!), there are still bona-fide buzz bands filling Austin’s many bars, lounges, restaurants, and music halls with the songs that just may be the cornerstones of mixtapes six months from now.

Kimbra is a perfect example: The New Zealand-born sprite probably best known so far as the guest vocalist on Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know” brought an excellent, eclectic mix of dance rhythms, theatrical piano pop, and epic rock.

“Love Is a Two Way Street” let her lace into some dreamy echo-rock harmonies, while “Old Flame” was an intense cabaret-rock burn that ran circles around anything from that Lana Del Rey album. But there’s plenty of jittery funk embedded in her DNA, too—with an album out on May 22, expect one of her songs (perhaps the blissfully danceable “Cameo Love,” which has already seduced millions of YouTube users and EW’s own Valentines Day playlist?) to be a dark horse entry in the Official Song of Summer 2012 Sweepstakes.

In fact, Wednesday night was a terrific showcase all around for strong, singular women. READ FULL STORY

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