Canadian Dreamweavers PICASTRO Cover THE VELVET UNDERGROUND

10 January 2022

Band: PICASTRO
Who: A musical project that started in Toronto in 1998
and has continued on in many forms with various members.
Picastro has existed as a musical entity for a long time, too
weird to be a pop band, too many songs to be considered
experimental.

New EP: I’VE NEVER MET A STRANGER
Containing covers of The Velvet Underground, The Silt,
Richard Dawson, Fire on Fire, and Elfin Saddle
tracks.

“All the songs were chosen based on their lyrical content starting from
Pale Blue Eyes “sometimes I feel so happy, sometimes I feel so sad” at
the start of the pandemic, running to Richard Dawson’s “Man’s been
struck down by hands unseen”.


(Artwork by Victor Gáspari)

TURN UP THE VOLUME‘s favorite: PALE BLUE EYES

Although countless artists have covered/cover one or more songs from eternal legends The Velvet Underground, not many succeed(ed) in doing it with the same mystique and spell that made the NYC mavericks such a special and influential band. But here we have
a winner. Why?

Picastro‘s piano driven version transferred me immediately to starry-eyed la-la land.
It’s less minimalistic in execution than the original and works in all his magnificence
all the way. Then there’s the grand voice of Liz Hysen (who also plays the piano here)
floating somewhere between Mazzy Star’s Hope Sandoval twilight timbre and Cocteau Twins’s Elizabeth Fraser magic touch. Bewitching, just bewitching.

Dim the lights, close your eyes and enjoy this beauty…


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Don’t go away yet, keep on dreaming
while listening the full EP…


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PICASTRO: Facebook

(Info/images via Cannonball PR)

2021 Was A Year Full Of Covers – TURN UP THE VOLUME Picked 10

1. ‘Where Is My Mind’ by NANDI BUSHELL

Original by Pixies.
From their 1988 debut LP Surfer Rosa.

This 11-year-old British-Zulu musician of South African
descent and media star is just brilliant, brilliant, brilliant.

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2. ‘The Ship Song’ by NELL SMITH and THE FLAMING LIPS (USA)

Original by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

The cover is part of a full Nick Cave tribute LP called
Where The Viaduct Looms by The Flaming Lips and
the wondrous voice of 13-year-old songstress Nell Smith.

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3. ‘You Are A Runner And I Am Your Father’ by PORRIDGE RADIO (Brighton, UK)

Original by Canadian indie rockers Wolf Parade.

Porridge Radio vox Dana Margolin sends shivers
down your spine. Goosebumps all the way.

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4. ‘Highway To Hell’ by TOM MORELLO, THE BOSS and EDDIE VEDDER

Original by AC/DC.

Part of Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello‘s
2021 album The Atlas Underground Fire.

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5. ‘Stayin’ Alive’ by LEE ROGERS (Northern Ireland)

Original by Bee Gees.
This warm Americana voice out of Northern Ireland slows
the classic down, drenches it in a nostalgic sepia bath, and
gives it a haunting and soul-stirring twist corresponding with
the somber lyrics. Compelling version!

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6. ‘Run Run Run’ by KURT VILE

Original by The Velvet Underground.

From I’ll Be Your Mirror: A Tribute to the Velvet Underground and Nico,
celebrating the iconic NYC mavericks, and more specifically their debut
masterpiece LP of 1967.

Kurt Vile‘s pumped-up version of ‘Run Run Run’ is a striking steamroller…

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7. ‘Finest Worksong’ by DESPERATE JOURNALIST (UK)

Original by R.E.M.

This North London band nailed it, spot-on!

From A Carnival of Sorts: R​.​E​.​M. Covers Compilation,
released last August.


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8. ‘Paperback Writer’ by SAXON

Original by The Beatles

Britsih veteran metalheads seem to have big fun with this cover, so am I.

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9. Sad But True’ by ROYAL BLOOD (UK)

Original by Metallica.

From the massive covers compilation called The Metallica Blacklist
featuring no less than 53 artists interpreting a Black Album song, the
breakthrough LP that was released 30 years ago.

Wham royal bloody wham bam…

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10. ‘Silver Machine’ by TOYAH and ROBERT FRIPP

Original by Hawkind (with Lemmy)

Every Sunday for about two years now, the famous British songstress and
her King Crimson husband Robert Fripp entertained us (and still do it) via
YouTube with covers of big crackers. Their performances were/are ridiculously
hilarious. Definitely the stand-up rock comedians of 2021.

Let’s roll…

MICHAEL STIPE Goes Underground On SUNDAY MORNING

Daily electricity to load your batteries

26 December 2021

Last September I’ll Be Your Mirror: A Tribute to the Velvet Underground and Nico came our way, with a battery of big rock names honoring the iconic New York City band
and more specifically their debut masterpiece LP of 1967.

As it goes with these sorts of albums, some are good, but most of them are dud. But
here on this tribute of an (almost) uncoverable band several interpretations actually
sound damn fine. Like Sharon Van Etten turning into a ‘Femme Fatale‘, Iggy Pop & Matt Sweeney trashing ‘European Son’, Kurt Vile running, and The National‘s maestro Matt Berninger with ‘I’m Waiting For The Man‘.

My favorite: Michael Stipe doing the LP’s opening
track, the Reed/Cale classic Sunday Morning.

Sunday morning and I’m falling
I’ve got a feeling I don’t want to know
Early dawning, Sunday morning
It’s all the streets you crossed, not so long ago

C’mon, Michael…

The full tribute

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(photo Stipe: cover of his single ‘Your Caprious Soul’)

Sex, Drugs And Rock ‘N Roll With Iconic Warhol Gang THE VELVET UNDERGROUND

1 September 2021

The long awaited documentary by TODD HAYNES about the ultimate
iconic indie rockers THE VELVET UNDERGROUND will play on Apple TV+
from 15th October on.

Content: It documents the history of the innovative, eccentric and brilliantly
chaotic jingle jangle band and their legacy, through newly-conducted interviews
and various recordings and never-before-seen performances.

Talking about sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll. VU lived it 24/7. The documentary
will be accompanied by a soundtrack, The Velvet Underground: A Documentary
Film By Todd Haynes.

While waiting for the men and women, here’s the trailer

THE VELVET UNDERGROUND: History

THE NATIONAL Frontman MATT BERNINGER Is Waiting For The Man

30 July 2021

Artist: MATT BERNINGER
Frontman of American band The National

Album: I’LL BE YOUR MIRROR: A TRIBUTE TO THE VELVET UNDERGROUND

What: A star-studded tribute to iconic band
The Velvet Underground
, and more specific
to their 1967 masterpiece debut LP.

Release: 24 September via Verve Records

The second taster of this tribute LP (after Kurt Vile’s Run Run Run) is for
The National frontman MATT BERNINGER who’s waiting for the man…

VU: History