I’m not sure much can be added to the tremendous outpouring of sentiments that has followed the untimely death of David Bowie. So much has been said about his genius and creativity, his ability to always keep us guessing and his unique artistry. I have always been a huge Bowie fan, like so many of us, feeling a close personal relationships with songs of his that marked meaningful moments in my life. He gave the outcast and loneliness in the world, and even the depths of outer space, beauty. Now that he is gone so unexpectedly, I am suddenly aware of how much his life meant to me, and it is comforting to know that I am not alone. It makes perfect sense that he chose New York as his home for past 18 years, a place where fashion, art, theater, and music all churn on endlessly, where a larger than life celebrity can still just be another man on the street. New York offers us the dream, or at least the illusion, that at our core we are all the same, and perhaps just one chance step away from immortality. Unlike most of us, David Bowie will live on forever, and remembering his grace, charm and originality gives us all something to strive for. The world is a better place because he was on it. “The stars look very different today”.
In 1976 the first issue of PUNK Magazine was published. It was the first magazine dedicated to punk rock and the downtown NY scene. On January 14th PUNK Magazine will celebrate 40 years since the publication of its first issue at Howl, with an opening party from 6-8pm. The group gallery show, “Howl! Happening: An Arturo Vega Project”, with works by PUNK magazine’s artists, cartoonists and illustrators runs from Jan 14th to the 30th at Howl, located at 6 East 1st Street in Manhattan.
From the Kickstarter campaign page:
“• The first issue of PUNK Magazine was developed, created written, drawn and printed in a very short time: Mid-November 1975 to New Year’s Eve 1976. It appeared three months before the Ramones first album and a year before the first Sex Pistols record were released. It didn’t cash in on a popular movement; PUNK Magazine created it.
• The radical look of PUNK magazine—hand-lettered editorials and page layouts, feature articles presented in photo-comic formats, and a cover that caricatured Lou Reed as a horror comic icon—created an authentic visual “punch-in-the-mouth” for what we insisted was a genuine social movement, and it became a knockout. “Punk Rock” before PUNK magazine appeared was a vaguely-defined term that described the New York Dolls, the Bay City Rollers, AC/DC, The Standells, the pub-rock bands popular in England at the time (Eddie and The Hot Rods, The Stranglers, etc.), and many mediocre rock bands who appeared atat CBGB. After PUNK Magazine appeared, punk rock was about the Ramones, The Dictators and the Dead Boys in the USA and the Damned, the Sex Pistols and The Clash in the UK. Thousands of great bands have emerged since then.”
An entire set of vintage, live, Talking Heads has just become available. This is the best of the Talking Heads in top form, just before they became the arena concert show seen in Stop Making Sense. In this concert they still have some of that raw underground feel of their early days. Adrian Belew, Bernie Worrell and their “Afro-Funk Orchestra” take the band to the next level in this fantastic black and white, multi camera footage, shot at the Capitol Theater in Passiac, New Jersey in 1980. The band is in great form and these are the songs that really catapulted them into the international spotlight, favorites like: “Psycho Killer”, “Remain In Light”, “Born Under Punches”, “I Zimbra”, “Take Me To The River”, “Life During Wartime”. “Once In A Lifetime”, “Crosseyed And Painless”, “Life During Wartime”…There’s no filler here and you get to hear what a fantastic rhythm section Chris Franz and Tina Weymouth are, something that sometimes gets forgotten about the Heads.
0:00:00 – Psycho Killer
0:05:45 – Warning Sign
0:11:34 – Stay Hungry
0:15:25 – Cities
0:20:10 – I Zimbra
0:24:41 – Drugs
0:29:23 – Once In A Lifetime
0:35:11 – Animals
0:39:28 – Houses In Motion
0:45:56 – Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On)
0:53:05 – Crosseyed And Painless
0:59:30 – Life During Wartime
1:04:56 – Take Me To The River
1:11:02 – The Great Curve
David Byrne – lead vocals, guitar
Jerry Harrison – guitar, keyboards, vocals
Tina Weymouth – bass, keyboards, guitar, vocals
Chris Frantz – drums, vocals
Adrian Belew – lead guitar, vocals
Bernie Worrell – keyboards
Busta Cherry Jones – bass
Steve Scales – percussion
Dolette McDonald – vocals
The Village Voice reported last week that founding member of the iconic NYC band Television, Richard Lloyd is leaving New York. “So many of my friends who were so much a part of New York moved away. Now I’ll be one of them.” He told the Voice
Television was one of the first bands to play CBGB in the 1970’s and central to starting what became the scene there that went on to change music around the world.
When a hardcore, living legend, New Yorker like Mr Lloyd feels he has to leave and even wants to leave, it’s a sad reflection on what NY has become.
Musicians from around the world are converging at the Museum of the Moving Image this weekend for the UnCaged Toy Piano Festival’s third biennial event. If you haven’t figured it out yet, it’s wonderful avant-garde music played on miniature toy pianos! The festival takes inspiration from John Cage’s 1948 “Suite for Toy Piano”. The fantastic Angelica Negrón of the band Balún (and my former label-mate) will be performing. You can read more about it here.