The Velvet Underground are a thing again in 2021 – new documentary, and tribute album
The Velvet Underground created a new sound that changed the world of music, cementing its place as one of rock ‘n’ roll’s most revered bands. Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Todd Haynes, “The Velvet Underground” shows just how the group became a cultural touchstone representing a range of contradictions: the band is both of their time, yet timeless; literary yet realistic; rooted in high art and street culture. The film features in-depth interviews with the key players of that time combined with a treasure trove of never-before-seen performances and a rich collection of recordings, Warhol films, and other experimental art that creates an immersive experience into what founding member John Cale describes as the band’s creative ethos: “how to be elegant and how to be brutal.”
The film premiered at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival to rave reviews and marks Haynes’ first foray into the documentary space. The Velvet Underground will make its debut in theatres and globally on Apple TV+ on October 15, alongside a soundtrack curated by Randall Poster and Todd Haynes via Republic/UMe.
Global premiere Friday, October 15 on Apple TV+.
I’ll Be Your Mirror: A Tribute to the Velvet Underground & Nico, was released on September 24 via Verve Records, the Velvet Underground’s original label home. The record, executive produced by the late Hal Willner, can be ordered HERE. Limited autographed items including vinyl and vinyl test pressings signed by Kurt Vile and other featured artists will be available HERE. The tribute album was conceived in 2017 at the same time as Todd Haynes signed on to direct The Velvet Underground.
I’ll Be Your Mirror: A Tribute to the Velvet Underground & Nico features contributions from Michael Stipe, Matt Berninger, Andrew Bird, Lucius, Kurt Vile & The Violators, Sharon Van Etten, Angel Olsen, St. Vincent & Thomas Bartlett, Thurston Moore, Bobby Gillespie, King Princess, Courtney Barnett, Fontaines D.C., and Iggy Pop & Matt Sweeney. It’s a track-by-track tribute to the original debut album.
Tracks released so far include versions of “Femme Fatale” by Sharon Van Etten with Angel Olsen on backing vocals, “European Son” by Iggy Pop & Matt Sweeney, “I’ll Be Your Mirror” by Courtney Barnett, “I’m Waiting For The Man” by Matt Berninger, and the record’s lead single, a version of “Run Run Run” by Kurt Vile & The Violators.
Founded in 1956 by impresario Norman Granz in order to create a fair and just label home for Ella Fitzgerald, Verve Records has become home to some of the most pioneering acts in music, including Ella, Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, Nina Simone, The Velvet Underground, Frank Zappa, Dizzy Gillespie, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Oscar Peterson, Sarah Vaughn, and more. Today, the label continues this rich legacy with artists such as Jon Batiste, Cynthia Erivo, Bettye LaVette, and more.
To celebrate the release, Verve Records will donate to Amnesty International USA, a global grassroots organization of millions dedicated to demanding human rights for all people. Velvet Underground founder Lou Reed was an active support of Amnesty International USA.
I’ll Be Your Mirror: A Tribute to the Velvet Underground and Nico
1. Sunday Morning – Michael Stipe (3:50)
2. I’m Waiting For The Man – Matt Berninger (3:44)
3. Femme Fatale – Sharon Van Etten (w/ Angel Olsen on backing vocals) (4:43)
4. Venus In Furs – Andrew Bird & Lucius (6:55)
5. Run Run Run – Kurt Vile & The Violators (6:59)
6. All Tomorrow’s Parties – St. Vincent & Thomas Bartlett (4:52)
7. Heroin – Thurston Moore feat. Bobby Gillespie (7:24)
8. There She Goes Again – King Princess (3:29)
9. I’ll Be Your Mirror – Courtney Barnett (2:27)
10. The Black Angel’s Death Song – Fontaines D.C. (3:12)
11. European Son – Iggy Pop & Matt Sweeney (7:45)
About the Author
Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.