Earlier this week, we were treated to Ty Segall’s contribution to the upcoming Velvet Underground covers LP, The Velvet Underground & Nico by Castle Face and Friends, which features Bay Area musicians covering the Velvets’ influential debut album in its entirety. All tracks from the release will be leaked to the web leading up the album’s Nov. 6 street date.
Today, it’s Blasted Canyon’s take on the Velvets’ disturbingly sensual “Venus In Furs,” featuring Jeremy Cox of Brooklyn-based garage punk outfit Royal Baths. Structurally and sonically similar to VU & Nico version, Blasted Canyons transform the track by replacing John Cale’s eerie viola melodies with an assortment of shrieking, distorted guitars. Drummer Hether Fortune (also known for her work fronting Bay Area group Wax Idols) provides additional vocal duties, injecting an alluring sensuality to the song’s celebration of sexual deviance absent from Lou Reed’s robotic, intentionally lifeless performance on the original track.
“Venus In Furs” was written as a response to Leopold von Sacher-Masoch’s 1870 novella of the same name, which explored sexual dominance and submission. However, the Velvets’ connection to sexual subcultures runs far deeper than “Venus In Furs.” The group’s name was (lightly) adopted from Michael Leigh’s eponymous 1963 exposé that explored the practices of those involved in sadomasochism, swinging and other sexual taboos of the day.
The Velvet Underground & Nico by Castle Face and Friends will be released on Nov. 6 through Castle Face Records. Unfortunately, all 1,000 copies of the LP have been sold via pre-order, and there’s no word whether or not the album will have a digital release or be repressed. In the meantime, listen to Blasted Canyon’s interpretation of “Venus In Furs” below. [Brooklyn Vegan]