John Cale just turned 69 and several cover tributes have emerged to the legendary Velvet Undreground violist. Noah and the Whale covered Cale on his birthday, and Danish singer Agnes Obel did it a few months before that (but just released it for free in honor of the legend). Sadly, neither chose “The Man Who Couldn’t Afford to Orgy,” but the tunes they picked prove a lively, just-dissonant-enough tribute.
Noah and the Whale’s “Barracuda” comes from a live BBC session and it has that radio seat-of-the-pants energy about it. Obel’s “(I Keep a) Close Watch,” on the other hand, showcases layers and layers of careful polish. Download both below.
MP3: Noah and the Whale – Barracuda (John Cale cover)
MP3: Agnes Obel – (I Keep a) Close Watch (John Cale cover)