[Ed. note: In honor of John Cale’s mini-residency at BAM this week — including an all-star tribute to Nico on Wednesday and performances of his 1973 solo album, Paris 1919 on Friday and Saturday — Flavorwire New York has embarked upon a week-long celebration of all things Velvet Underground.]
With all the tribute albums and concerts (and art shows and dance parties, etc.) on offer these days, it’s easy forget that they can be more than just shallow attempts on the part of their organizers to cash in on a name more famous than their own. Last night at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the consistently thoughtful, uncompromising John Cale reminded me. Not only did he amass an appropriate and diverse set of musicians for Life Along the Borderline: A Tribute to Nico, but his clear-eyed and unsentimental celebration of his one-time Velvet Underground bandmate did what any worthwhile tribute should do — broadened and deepened our understanding of its subject.
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