The trend of performing whole albums live — Brian Wilson performing the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds, Cheap Trick and friends assailing the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper – is becoming so widespread as to lose its impact. But this one is just cool. On September 30, John Cale, classically-trained one-time member of the seminal Velvet Underground, will perform his 1973 album Paris 1919 in its entirety, accompanied by members of the UCLA Philharmonia as well as his own band.
For those who don’t know the record, Paris 1919 is one of Cale’s most praised works, a romantic, hypnotic, evocative song cycle that showed rock’s storytelling promise at its best, and Cale at his grooviest, thanks to the appearance of Little Feat’s Lowell George and Richie Hayward. Considering literary references like Shakespeare, Graham Greene and Dylan Thomas, it seems tailor-made for a University audience.
The entire evening is actually called “When Past and Future Collide.” After the assemblage performs Paris 1919, they will continue with a second set of more current Cale music. Talk about an “event of the season;” every single music cognescenti is likely to be there.
Cale’s appearance is part of an entire season of impressive shows under the UCLA Live banner. Other performers this season include Laurie Anderson, Ornette Coleman, Dengue Fever, Mavis Staples, Billy Bragg, Stephen Sondheim, Murray Perahia, Richard Thompson, Maya Angelou, John Waters and even the editors of the Onion.
Royce Hall is located on the UCLA campus at 340 Royce Drive, 310.825.4401