X-TG (Members of Throbbing Gristle) Revive Nico's Lost Classic, Desertshore

By Alex Jarson

Okay, we know you just love the Velvet Underground--you're sporting the latest fall calendar Urban Outfitters top, your mom took you to get the Warhol Banana tattooed on your bicep, and you think they're the greatest, most provocative band to have ever graced this earth. You even play Nico's Chelsea Girl from time to time and swear to god you know who Lou Reed is. (Didn't he do some stuff with Metallica or something?) It's okay, we get it. You're cool. You don't have to prove it to us. But who is Nico?

Nico is the soul behind the monotone voice you love in Velvet songs like "I'll Be Your Mirror" and "There She Goes Again." She is proud, prominent, and very hard to ignore. As her musical career progressed away from the Velvet Underground, she continued to serve as a beacon of truth. Despite whatever sorrows come your way, history will pay tribute to the character you made of yourself.

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Here in 2012, it has been 24 years since the drug-burdened star passed away from a head injury in Europe. Conjointly, it has been almost two years since the passing of Throbbing Gristle/Coil's electronic prodigy Peter "Sleazy" Christopherson.

It makes sense, in so many ways, for surviving members Cosey Fanni Tutti and Chris Carter to pay tribute to him by releasing the very first Desertshore covers album. The idea came from Christopherson himself as early as 2006, though the project was abandoned and left to catch dust after heart problems led to his untimely death in 2010.

Now, the members of TG have come together to complete his wish. All, that is, except frontman/woman Genesis P. Orridge, who has taken the battle to Twitter, exclaiming:

"CHRIS & COSEY released the TG records without my consent & have kept all the money...Chris & Cosey said NO RECORD can be TG unless it is ALL 4 of us. DESERTSHORE is NOT a legitimate TG release."

Despite Orridge's cries, the project makes absolute sense. Desertshore is a disorienting record. "Janitor of Lunacy" strives to pull you in, leaving you breathless and shivering, paralyzed by Nico's voice. She shouts, "Seal the giving of their seed. Disease the breathing grief." Christopherson was known for his contemplations of life, sorrow, and pain; recognizing kindred themes in Nico's overlooked catalog feels natural.

The accordions drone with varying highs and lows. You don't know what you're listening to. This is the "desertshore" we find ourselves in. The music is pure and demands your attention. You are caught in a cycle of love and despair, life and death. Yet, ultimately we come out unscathed, reborn in ignorance and joy--the crashing shore in the horizon.

What happens after is inconsequential. You must move on to the next celebration.

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nico didnt sing on "there she goes again"

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