The Welsh rock/experimental/classical musician John Cale, probably best known as co-founder (with Lou Reed) of the Velvet Underground, is 73 today. Trolling around YouTube for some videos of him, I found this stunning 2003 performance of the Velvets classic (actually written by Reed, but featuring Cale’s electric viola) “Venus in Furs” in 2003. The lyrics are based on a 1870 novella that makes Fifty Shades of Grey look more conventional (and patriarchal) than ever.
Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.
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