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‘Back in the New York groove’: Say hello to 70s UK teenage glam rockers Hello
11.16.2016
10:38 am

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Music

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Hello in the early 70s.
 
If after reading the title of this post you just felt your heavy metal spidey sense acting up then congratulations. This means you already know that London-based glam rockers Hello were the first band to record the impossibly earwiggy jam “New York Groove” popularized by Ace Frehley of KISS on his 1978 solo record.

Getting together while still in their teens, dreamy denim enthusiast and Peter Frampton-esque frontman Bob Bradbury hooked up with drummer Jeff Allen (who also happened to be the sibling of Chris Cross, later the bassist for Ultravox), Keith Marshall and Vic Faulkner and Hello was born sometime during the year 1971. During the next few years the band would fall victim to a bizarre series of missed opportunities when it came to scoring a hit, though in 1974 the band reversed some of that bad luck and chalked up one in the win category with “Tell Him,” an Exciters cover. Then another lucky break came Hello’s way thanks to Russ Ballard, who in addition to his numerous songwriting and production credits scored a couple of hits of his own during his time with the group Argent, “Hold Your Head Up,” and “God Gave Rock and Roll to You.”

Before Ballard left Argent the band opened a few shows for KISS in 1974. Ballard left prior to the completion of the tour and ended up producing and playing guitar for Roger Daltrey’s 1975 solo record Ride a Rock Horse. Upon Ballard’s suggestion, the decision was made to master that record at Sterling Sound in New York. During his long plane trip from London, Ballard ended coming up with the phrase “I’m back in the New York Groove” which he would later work into “New York Groove.” While at Sterling, Ballard connected with Hello on the recommendation of his brother who had just seen the teens tear it up at a live gig. Hello recorded “New York Groove” which ended up breaking the Top 10 in the UK. Ace Frehley put his own twist on “New York Groove” and the song would help propel sales of Frehley’s solo record, the most successful of the four solo releases put out by the original members of KISS in 1978. The “New York Groove” single charted within the Top 20.

Hello would enjoy a short time in the spotlight even moving their base of operations to Germany (where audiences were digging on them more than in the UK) before calling it quits in 1979. Full disclosure—I LOVE all things glam rock and Hello is no exception to my cool rule. I’ve included four of Hello’s jams in this post which showcase the band performing (or lipsynching) “New York Groove,” “Tell Him,” “Star Studded Sham,” and “Love Stealer.” In other good news for your ears Cherry Red Records has just released a four-CD box set that contains pretty much everything the band ever recorded, 74 tracks in all. As Cherry Red said in their press release it’s a “long overdue” collection of great glam from the past that if you just might have missed.

Bob Bradbury still tours with the most recent lineup of Hello.
 

 

Hello doing ‘New York Groove.’
 
More Hello after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Killing Joke, Nick Cave, The Damned & Billy Idol lip-synching for their lives on 80s television
11.16.2016
09:48 am

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Amusing
Heroes
Music
Television

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Jaz Coleman of Killing Joke looking a bit confused about how the band ended up on German music television program ‘Musik Convoy.’
 
As a frequent flier on the astral plane that is the Internet I never get tired of flipping through pages upon pages of YouTube in search of footage worthy of sharing with all you Dangerous Minds music fanatics. I cannot lie, I feel like I’ve hit the motherfucking JACKPOT today when it comes to these amazing clips that are also somewhat amusingly strange. And that’s because you are about to see musical gods like Nick Cave, Killing Joke, The Damned and Billy Idol lip-synching for their very lives back in the 80s on the short-lived German music television show Musik Convoy.

Musik Convoy was only on the air for a year but during that time they managed to get quite the cast of characters to “perform” on the show including a 1984 visit by The Cure who performed “Shake Dog Shake” with a beautifully disheveled Robert Smith, his signature red lipstick and hair askew. There are so many strange moments from the collection of videos in this post I just can’t pick a favorite. Like Nick Cave pretending to belt out an emotive version of “In The Ghetto” when you know—and he knows that you know—that he’s totally faking it. Or Billy Idol literally dancing with himself for two-plus minutes while miming “Eyes Without a Face,” or Robert Smith’s distinct indifference with his strange white microphone during another of the Cure’s appearance on the show. And since I’m feeling generous I also threw in twelve-minutes of the Ramones from Musik Convoy performing in front of a mostly solem, confused looking crowd of “fans” and soldiering through four songs: “Howling at the Moon,” Mama’s Boy,” “Wart Hog,” and “Chasing the Night.” I’ve said it before, the 80s were certainly full of fantastically weird times.
 

Nick Cave performing ‘In the Ghetto’ on ‘Musik Convoy,’ 1984.
 
More lip-syncing with the bad boys, after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
‘Product of America’: Members of the Germs and Meat Puppets resurrect a Phoenix punk band from 1978
11.16.2016
09:18 am

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History
Music
Punk

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I don’t expect that many people think of Phoenix, AZ, as a nerve center of punk rock. My go-to Phoenix bands have long been the Meat Puppets, Sun City Girls, and to a lesser degree the Feederz, but that’s been about the extent of my knowledge of that city’s contributions. Little did I know that it was a hub where a surprising number of crucial spokes met.

The Exterminators were a short-lived Phoenix punk band whose existence has long eluded the outside world. They existed only in 1977 and 1978 and never released a single note of music, but its members went on to play in The Germs (drummer Don Bolles), 45 Grave (bassist Rob Graves, Bolles), The Gun Club (Graves), The Feederz (singer Dan “Johnny Macho” Clark), and Mighty Sphincter (guitarist Doug “Buzzy Murder” Clark). The only known surviving documents of the band were a raw sounding and totally unheard cassette recording of a 1978 gig, and a few songs, among them “Bionic Girl” and “Destruction Unit,” which Dan Clark brought with him to the Feederz, and which appeared on their debut Ever Feel Like Killing Your Boss?. This gap in the historical record has been corrected: Slope Records, a Phoenix-based archival label with a local focus, has released Product of America, a brand-new recording of that 1978 material by the original band, minus the deceased Mr. Graves (RIP 1990, many punk points awarded for pseudonymous irony), whose spot has been filled by another Phoenix lifer, Cris Kirkwood of The Meat Puppets.

The album is a primal emission of toxic hate-noise, recorded quickly so as to preserve the younger band’s raw directness, though it’s being played by now-seasoned musicians almost 40 years after the fact of the songs’ creation (though when we chatted, Bolles wisecracked that just because he’s made a lot of music doesn’t mean he’s learned to play). It contains “Bionic Girl” and “Destruction Unit,” plus 14 other blasts of malice, with themes ranging from sexual depravity to nihilistic politics. Dangerous Minds was privileged to speak with Bolles and Kirkwood about the early Phoenix scene (such as it was), the formation of The Exterminators, and the circumstances that led to the release of Product of America.
 

 
Cris Kirkwood: The Exterminators were a band from about 77-78, and I never saw them when they were active. Derrick Bostrom, the Meat Puppets’ original drummer, was a lot more hip to the local scene, and once I started hanging around with him I became aware of things that had happened before I started playing. My first Phoenix punk rock show was this thing called “Trout-O-Rama” and one of the band’s was the Brainz, which was Doug Clark’s band, and he was “Buzzy Murder” in The Exterminators. He was friends with someone I’d gone to grade school with, and eventually I got to be friends with Doug and his brother Dan, who was “Johnny Macho” in The Exterminators. 

Don Bolles:There wasn’t really a punk scene at that time, just this band The Consumers, which I tried to be in but I wasn’t a good enough. I tried to start things in Phoenix but nobody else I knew was into punk, except Paul Cutler and David Wiley of The Consumers. I’d moved back to Phoenix from an unsuccessful foray to San Francisco, and I called Paul and David to see if anything was happening, and they said their bass played had been hit by a car, and I said “Well, I just got a bass. How about I come and jam out with you guys?” So I went to play with them, and those guys were GOOD. They had like 50 amazing songs, and they were super tight. But I was so terrible. One day I showed up for practice and they hid from me, and I could hear them snickering behind the kitchen door.

We started having all these other weird bands with all the same people. There was The Consumers, there was my band Crazy Homicide, and there were like five other people, and that was our “punk scene.” We started doing shows, and then I started hearing about this other band, and I was livid that I wasn’t in it. They were called The Exterminators and they were really young. They had done a show already and the cops had come. The Exterminators had covered themselves in Saran wrap and tinfoil and painted themselves, and this was at a pool party and there were police helicopters, and it was total chaos. They needed a a drummer, so I borrowed a drum set, which was tough, because nobody wanted me to use theirs because when I played drums I’d break them, but I dragged some drums over to this storage warehouse where they rehearsed, and they were like 14, 15 years old. I tried out with this broken stuff, and I guess it still sounded good because I was in the band. Then they lost their bass player, so I got Rob Graves to play with us. He had a bass, and their guitar player was this crazy kid, Buzzy Murder, and the singer was his brother, Johnny Macho. They were actually Dan and Doug Clark.

Kirkwood: There’s this guy in Phoenix, Tom Lopez, and he came up in the Phoenix punk rock scene, and he managed to get himself in a financial position to be able to start a record label, so he started Slope Records to kind of document the old Phoenix punk rock stuff that was happening. It was a part of his early experience and he was working on a record with Doug, who was in Mighty Sphincter. Tom was asking about the older stuff that had happened before, and Doug brought up The Exterminators as a sort of infamous band that had caught on to that whole thing early on.

Bolles: I didn’t know Tom, I moved out before he was old enough to actually meet people, I was 21 when I moved out of Phoenix. But Doug called me up and told me “this guy wants to put out an Exterminators album. Me and Danny and you, and Cris Kirkwood would play bass.” So I talked to Tom, who flew me out to Phoenix and put me up—in the fucking Clarendon hotel, which has a bust of the real Don Bolles, who was murdered there [Clarification: Bolles’ real name is James Giorsetti, he took his stage name from an Arizona journalist who was killed by a car bomb in 1976]—and I went and recorded all The Exterminators’ songs from back then. All the songs. We tried to do them as faithfully as we could. I had a tape of one of our shows. I had a rehearsal tape for a while but I lost it, probably in the ‘90s.

Kirkwood: A cassette still existed of an entire Exterminators show, from like ’78, and Tom had the idea of recording the songs, but Rob Graves, the bass player, is unfortunately no longer with us, so I was asked to play bass. Some of the songs are kind of Phoenix punk rock classics that had been recorded by other bands, so I knew them. With very little practice, we went into the studio—we had one practice day with the full band and on the same day we did a photo shoot—and it came up surprisingly cohesive. It was funny, Doug was like 15 when they had the band, and here we are, pretty seasoned players, doing this batch of youthful songs that had never been recorded, and now we’re these old farts taking a stab at them. It was a very fun, very fucking satisfying experience, and it came out well.

Keep reading after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
‘Trials of Eyeliner’: The massive new 10 CD Marc Almond box set is best of the season
11.15.2016
03:29 pm

Topics:
Music
Queer

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Photo: Damien de Blinkk

Let’s imagine, for the sake of argument, that there’s been a recent national (or even international) event so seismically disturbing that your entire worldview has crashed on the rocks of Reality Beach, a well-tended waterfront property under the maintenance of a bunch of mean-faced racist and xenophobic rich old white men in their 70s with much younger wives.

More than once, during particularly stressful times in my life, I’ve gone into a well-stocked record store to ask someone whose opinion I respected to recommend something by a non-mainstream artist who I might’ve missed, but whose work would blow my mind and draw me deep into its mystery, to move my head from the place it was in to someplace else. It almost doesn’t matter where. Makes sense, right? The power of music. A therapy of sorts. A diversion. A solace. A form of self-medication. Prayer, even.

Can’t be anything frivolous. It has to transport you. Change your mood. Change your mind. Transform you. It must be magical. Holy. It’s got to move you from here to there.

The “correct” response to my record store query might be something like “Well, have you gone through a Sun Ra phase yet?” “Do you have the Faust box set?” or recommending both of these Big Youth anthologies.

My prescription for what psychically ails you? Do take me up on this sage advice, I promise you my rock snob reader that it will work: Trials Of Eyeliner: Anthology 1979-2016, the newly released and truly magnificent 10-CD, 189 track anthology of the life’s work of Marc Almond.

Trials of Eyeliner, I reckon is one of the most essential box sets of the day, an all-killer, no-filler jam-packed to the bursting point celebration of one of our greatest living vocalists, a singular talent who will never be equaled or topped in the niche that he created for himself as the ultimate gay torch singer/diva. And this is the definitive study of Marc Almond’s work, chosen by the artist himself, with singles, deep cuts and unreleased numbers from his collaborations with David Ball in Soft Cell, the Marc and the Mambas/Willing Sinners/La Magia period with Anni Hogan, solo work and duets with the likes of Siouxsie Sioux, Saint Etienne’s Sarah Cracknell, Jimmy Sommerville, Gene Pitney and PJ Proby. Packaged in a slick, glossy box with a copiously annotated hardback book, it’s a luxurious item, but one with a very reasonable price (around $80-90). Want something to lose yourself in musically? This is it.
 

Photo by Pierre et Gilles

I’ve been a massive Marc Almond fan for pretty much the span of his entire career, from the first Soft Cell album onward and I have to say that there are few disappointments, in terms of tracks not included on Trials of Eyeliner, although I can still think of a few dozen off the top of my head. These 10 CDs make a very, very clear—and as far as I am concerned unequivocal and definitive—musical argument that Marc Almond is one of the greatest artists of our age, a one-of-a-kind vocal talent who will probably be ranked alongside of Frank Sinatra, Nick Cave, Scott Walker, Jacques Brel, Edith Piaf and even Judy Garland by future generations of musical historians for a unique ability to breathe life, but also unutterable grief into a sad song. His decidedly homoerotic artform also compares to French poet and revolutionary Jean Genet, but I believe Marc Almond will ultimately achieve a stature far greater than Sartre’s “Saint Genet” as a pioneering gay artist of the 20th century when all’s said and done.

And I gotta say, I can only imagine what Marc Almond himself thought when he got his own copy of Trials of Eyeliner. He must’ve been fucking pleased. All in one place like this? It’s a staggering accomplishment.

Here’s a sampling of some of my favorite things on Trials of Eyeliner. Truth be told, I love pretty much everything on it.

The quintessance of Marc Almond’s artistry is on display here in his heart-breaking performance of Charles Aznavour’s “What Makes a Man a Man?”
 
Much more Marc after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Leon Russell’s groovy Terry Gilliam-esque animated promo for ‘Roll Away the Stone’
11.15.2016
12:01 pm

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Advertising
Animation
Music

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It’s been widely noted that 2016 has been an especially rough year for legendary musicians. Sunday brought news of the passing of the great and prolific troubadour Leon Russell at the age of 74. Russell routinely put out gold albums in the 1970s and was a profound influence on singers as varied as Elvis Costello and Frank Black.

A bit surprisingly, Russell never had a top 10 album or song until The Union, his 2010 album wth Elton John. His early composition “A Song for You” was covered by countless musicians, most notably the Carpenters, but his highest-charting track was actually “Tight Rope,” which appeared on 1972’s Carney.

It’s amusing to notice the high-powered talent that he attracted for his first album, which came out in 1970. Credited are three Stones (Jagger, Wyman, Watts), two Beatles (Starr and Harrison), plus Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Joe Cocker, and Klaus Voormann.

The first single he ever released was “Roll Away the Stone,” and his label Shelter put together what can only be called a “music video” but everyone insists on calling a “promo.”

The animation was by Brian Zick, a graphic artist from southern California who is known for his striking pop art illustrations. You can see the influence of Yellow Submarine but it’s also a lot like the brilliant cut-out animations of Terry Gilliam for Monty Python’s Flying Circus, which are more or less contemporaneous—I’d reckon Zick had never seen them. Zick did a bunch of album covers in the 1970s and 1980s.

More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Obscure punk & fuzz by all-girl bands from the 1970s (because girls fucking rule!)
11.15.2016
10:08 am

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Heroes
Music
Punk

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The picture sleeve of Netherlands-based all-girl band Wicked Lady’s ‘Girls Love Girls,’ 1979. The girls appear to be channeling the cover of the 1977 album by Thor, ‘Keep the Dogs Away.’ Right on ladies!
 
This post was inspired by blogger Eric Brightwell and his three-part series of articles that featured a shitload of fantastic sounding all-girl bands and an entire piece dedicated to groups from the 1970s. It was Brightwell’s third in a series that uncovered all-lady bands that dated back as far as 1910. I don’t know what we did to ever deserve Mr. Brightwell and his somewhat exhaustive chick-centric exposés but I for one have been obsessing about his findings for nearly a week now.

Since I adore all things that are from the decade that helped define the correct temparture of cool: aka the 1970s, I zeroed in on a few of my favorites like Dutch band Wicked Lady (pictured at the top of this post), St. Louis’ The Welders, and Portland, Oregon’s empowering punk pioneers, Neo Boys. In most cases the bands featured in this post didn’t stick around too long, maybe two or three years before disappearing, which for me only enhances the joy of discovering sounds made by girls who had the courage and chops to put themselves out there. I’ve included some cool photos followed by some of my favorite tracks done by each band that I was able to dig up online. Face the facts people, girls rule.
 

Hounslow, UK-based all-girl band, Mother Trucker and the amazing cover of their self-titled 1975 album.
 

St. Louis-based band The Welders.
 

Toronto band Curse.
 
More girls after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Three Imaginary Boys: The Cure back in the 1970s when they were still teenagers
11.14.2016
12:21 pm

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Amusing
Heroes
Music

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An early shot of The Cure (L to R: Lol Tolhurst, Michael Dempsey and Robert Smith) hanging on the railroad tracks. This photo was likely taken around 1976/1977.
 
I spent a fair amount of time recently pouring through nostalgic images and musical performances by The Cure while pulling my post about the band’s first show in Boston in 1980. The Internet will often reward you with great things. Such is the case with these magical photos of Robert Smith and his bandmates, some taken as early as 1976.

If my math is correct (numbers and Cherrybomb don’t go well together) Robert Smith and drummer Lol Tolhurst were just seventeen. Bassist Michael Dempsey probably bought booze for them as he was eighteen in 1976. After you let it sink in that members of The Cure were once teenagers just like all of us, I’ll ask you to come to the realization that unlike most of us they were already on a pretty clear trajectory for greatness.

When they weren’t in school together they were already busy writing songs and by 1977 were playing gigs to a fast-growing fan base. All this noise got the teenage Smith, Dempsey and Tolhurst signed to Fiction Records (run by Chris Parry who was also an early champion of The Jam and Siouxsie and the Banshees). By the time 1979 rolled around The Cure were ready to release their stellar first album Three Imaginary Boys and a couple of follow-up singles you may have heard before “Boys Don’t Cry” and “Jumping Someone Else’s Train.” So strap in and get ready for a trip to a time before Robert Smith’s signature electrified goth hair and lipstick was a thing and see The Cure looking more like the images from your old high school yearbook.
 

Michael Dempsey, Marc Ceccagno, Robert Smith, Allan Hill, and Lol Tolhurst taken sometime between 1976 and 1978.
 

Three Imaginary Boys, likely circa 1976/77.
 
More Cure after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
‘A Pig is a Pig’: Wendy O. Williams on sexism and female objectification in 1981
11.14.2016
10:40 am

Topics:
Activism
Feminism
Heroes
Music

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The Plasmatics at The Rathskeller in Boston. Photo generously provided by Mike Mayhan.

 

You Can Dress Up In Disguises
You Can Try To Mesmerize ‘em
You Can Surround
Yourself With Friends
Who Tell You What You Want To Hear
But In The End No Matter What You Do
You Will Come Shining Through

 
A few lyrics from the Plasmatics 1981 song “A Pig is a Pig”
 
I wasn’t old enough to truly appreciate Plasmatics vocalist and heavy metal crusader Wendy O. Williams during her punk-era heyday. But by the time I figured out who I wanted to be sometime in the late 80s I was fully in awe of her.

Williams was an inspiration for me back when I had become brave enough to put myself out into the world—writing about music, weirdness and other lowbrow pursuits. She was confident, strong and never ever took a backseat to anyone. Not the press who hounded her, people who flat out didn’t understand her and chose to label her as “obscene,” or the cops who sent her to the hospital when she defied them. Last week was a challenge to me as a human. I know I wasn’t the only one who laid in bed a lot because the contemplation of what our future looks like was too much for me to handle while standing up. I’m now past my “mourning” period and have moved on to being very fucking angry.

Basically, I hate conformity. I hate people telling me what to do. It makes me want to smash things. So-called normal behaviour patterns make me so bored, I could throw up!—W.O.W.

As a woman, forward thinker—and a mother—I want you to listen to Wendy share her feelings spoken some 35 years ago about sexism and female objectification—two negative attitudes that have become even more magnified (as well as seemingly completely acceptable to half of the residents of the U.S.) of late. They echo the spirit of lyrics of the Plasmatics powerful (and timely) song, “Pig is a Pig” (from the band’s second release Beyond the Valley of 1984) which Williams’ references during the short interview with Jeanne Beker on the Toronto-based The Music Show back in 1981. While trying to sort through all the madness that has been the past week, like many of you I relied on music to get me through as nothing else made any fucking sense. When I came across the footage of Wendy O’s interview I felt a distinct wave of reassurance thanks to her powerful words and point-blank fuck-this-bullshit attitude which are very much reflective of the many emotions I’ve been rollercoastering through myself.

More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
‘Smash the System’: Luke Haines’ new album is the perfect soundtrack for what just happened
11.11.2016
03:49 pm

Topics:
Music

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On election night my wife and I laid in bed with the TV on and our laptops open happily watching the results of the vote come in and eating junk food. When the stable odometer on the New York Times interactive widget went from pinning the left side with a 98% likelihood of Hillary Clinton winning to flipping abruptly to the extreme right (see what I did there?) for a 95% chance of a Trump win, we both figured something was wrong with the Times’ website. After reloading the page a few times, and seeing it remain in favor of Trump, it seemed that the television coverage was telling the same surreal story. We sat—like most Americans still possessing a majority of their teeth—silently numbed in a state of profoundly bewildered and demoralized shock. When it became obvious that fucking swine from all across the country had suddenly sprouted wings and taken flight—I got over 200 extremely nasty anti-Semitic tweets hurled at me immediately on Twitter (and I’m not even Jewish) from alt.right goofballs with Pepe the Frog avatars—my wife broke the silence saying simply:

“Dangerous Minds has to change. We need to be harder and tougher. Rougher-edged. We can’t blog about frivolous frou-frou things anymore. We have to switch up what we’re doing to reflect what just happened.”

I’d been more or less thinking the same thing, but my thoughts were amorphous whereas hers were much more sharply defined. Looking at Twitter, it seemed evident to me that within a matter of minutes a new American counterculture was spontaneously forming. As much as America had just gone full bore Idiocracy, in other quarters things seemed to be quickly getting very Mr. Robot. I offered some weak gallows humor saying that Trump might even ironically be good for a business proposition like Dangerous Minds, but she just groaned. (You’ll forgive me, I hope, but this is where my thoughts naturally drifted. Of course, unlike a lot of people, I also had the luxury of not having to worry about my undocumented abuela when America flunked its fucking IQ test…)

The next day, waking up with what felt like I had a toxic hangover of international proportions—I don’t drink—my wife who very seldom drinks herself, decided that she needed to be around people and joined several of her friends to commiserate at a bar that opened up at 9am. There was no way I wanted to be around strangers. Especially drunk people. Even worse weepy drunk liberal people…

Had fucking bullyboy Biff Tannen really beaten Tracy Flick?

I hated everything and everyone. I was glad to be alone.

After rolling an epic joint, I cranked up Smash the System, the fantastic new Luke Haines album, LOUD and listened to it all the way through and then again, and then again and then again on repeat. I don’t mean to imply that I rocked out, but fuck it, I rocked out. I’m not ashamed to say that. Pretty soon I felt, to my surprise, pretty okay. Like Haines was a revolutionary sonic sorcerer who had blown all the bad shit out of my brain. Smash the System was the perfect soundtrack for the day after Donald Trump was elected leader of the free world. I highly recommend it, maybe it’ll work for you, too.

I messaged Luke Haines on Twitter requesting an email interview and he kindly obliged me.

Richard Metzger: The obvious first question has got to be “Any thoughts on what happened last night?”

Luke Haines: So, the American Election. I may not be the right person to ask (who is?) as I believe in personal anarchy and magick. But here’s a few observations anyway:

The Brexit comparison isn’t entirely relevant. Brexit was actually a subtle bit of class war hijinks played out by a few members of the Bullingdon Club who bore long term grudges against one another. No one holds grudges better than the English Upper class—the Queen mother was said to have smiled with satisfaction very, very briefly at Wallis Simpson’s funeral. So, one of our ruling overloads lost out at a game of milky biscuit one night in the dorms at Eton, and the country got the brunt of it. Brexit was sold to the British public under false pretences—no one wanted to leave Europe (only Farage) The British public were sold the dummy, and they bought it hook line and sinker.

Trump is a businessman (not my tribe, if I had a tribe). He is also a sociopath (more understandable). He’ll try to “run” America like a business. Buying up shit, running shit into the ground, exploiting people—if he’s allowed to do this then he won’t lose interest in being El Prez. The best hope I guess, is that, he won’t be allowed to do that and he’ll lose interest…

Democracy only works when there is equality. Without equality democracy seems pretty broken.
 

 
Apparently Nigel Farage is said to be hopping on a plane to come over here to advise Trump! You guys can keep that asshole, we’ve got enough already. Was Smash the System a reaction to Brexit? Or not? It seems like you’ve been up for smashing the system for your entire career.

No. Not a reaction to Brexit. Although the album cover and video with the marauding Morris men was. The logical conclusion to the populist idea of Brexit would mean that no one in the UK would be allowed to leave their home town, or possibly the house where they were born. It’s “Autumn Almanac” by the Kinks as Modern Folk Politics.

Are you going through a bit of an Aleister Crowley phase?

Crowley was a bad man. I wouldn’t mess with the dark stuff—I might end up making a bad Stranglers album.

The unicursal hexagram on the CD packaging isn’t a nod to Crowley?

No, it’s based on the Kibbo Kift!

[I email Haines this Wikipedia link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unicursal_hexagram]

First rule of Thelema: Never talk about Thelema.

More with Luke Haines after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Dancing on the grave of civilization (New York in the 80s & why I refuse to remove my boogie shoes)
11.11.2016
10:10 am

Topics:
Activism
History
Music
Politics
Pop Culture

Tags:


Paradise Garage
 
When I got to New York in 1977 it was to play on a Monday night with my band at CBGB. At the time, CBGB was becoming a magnet for bands from all over the world. But despite its growing rep as a music mecca, CBGB’s early days had the feel of a clubhouse for a very specific type of rock fan: A hang for rebels who loved rock distilled to its essence, poets who found their muse in the mayhem of loud amps and the thunder of drums and a handful of rock critics who desperately needed something fresh to wrap their heads around. Playing to a nearly empty house, my band saw CBGB in a less romantic light. It was a dump. But on those nights when The Ramones, Patti Smith, The Damned, X-Ray Spex, The Dead Boys etc. played, CBGB was the center of the rock and roll universe.

Whether playing CBGB or not I probably spent most nights in 77/78 either there or at Max’s. It was the last great era of rock and roll as far as I’m concerned. We’ll be talking about The Ramones, Talking Heads and Patti Smith long after grunge bands like Alice In Chains and Soundgarden are long forgotten (if they’re not already). As far as music of this new century goes, I’m not sure much of it will be remembered 20 years from now. I’m not hearing anything that really blows me away. I wish I did. Maybe it’s me. Maybe I’m just an old fuck living in the past. But that past, particularly the glorious whole of the New York Club scene of the 70s and early 80s, was pretty fucking wonderful. Seen from a passing satellite I can imagine Manhattan, Brooklyn and The Bronx looking like a giant throbbing meatpit glimmering with copious amounts of sweat and dripping with… (use your imagination).

Punk, rap, disco and Latin music were drifting in and out of each other and the barriers separating uptown from downtown were being shattered. Blondie, B-52s and DEVO were being played at Studio 54 and bands like Liquid Liquid, Bush Tetras and Konk were taking disco’s four-on-the-floor beat and putting some angsty urban edge into the mix. The bottom line is people were dancing everywhere, even in clubs where people had been too cool to get crazy. Leaning on the bar and striking hipster poses looked pretty square when hundreds of people were going mad on the dance floor to The Gun Club’s invocation to “explode to the call… move, move, sex beat, go…!”

My own circuit included Danceteria, Peppermint Lounge, Mudd Club, Club 57 and Hurrah’s where new wave, post-punk and ska bands played regularly and deejays like Mark Kamins, Anita Sarko and Dany Johnson kept the crowds in perpetual motion.The segue from live bands to vinyl was an art that was being mastered as the scene unfolded and the best deejays were being born on the spot.

At downtown clubs like The Paradise Garage and The Saint deejays Larry Levan and Alan Dodd spun dance floor filling beats for predominantly gay clienteles who embraced divas Loleatta Holloway, Donna Summer, Grace Jones and Sylvester as well as euro-disco and the very beginnings of house music. These were the test markets for new singles by new artists and the latest dance re-mixes. If a 12-inch extended dance mix worked at The Paradise Garage it would work anywhere. It wasn’t long before rock bands like The Clash and Blondie were hitting the studios to re-work their tracks into dance mixes. No one was listening to radio. We were all too busy nightclubbing.
 

 
Tim Lawrence’s epic new history of nightlife in the city that never sleeps, Life And Death On The New York Dance Floor, 1980-1983, captures everything I’ve been talking about and so much more. In its six hundred thrilling pages, Lawrence gives us a close-up view of a scene that lasted from 1980 to 1983 before AIDS blew out the lights on a party that felt like it would go on forever. San Francisco in the 1960s had hippies, free love and psychedelics. It was the place to go to shake off the straightjacket of religious repression and cultural oppression for a generation of young people. In the less sunny and distinctly more frightening New York of the seventies and eighties, young people also gathered but with fewer support systems in play and far more obstacles than the free-flowing Aquarian era. Still, we made our own new version of paradise. It was rough-edged and more cynical but it was alive with energy that made us all feel that the future was ours. If there’s anything that makes Lawrence’s book ultimately a sad one is how quickly it all ended and how random and bewildering that end was. The openness and freedom we were all feeling was suddenly thrown under the wheels of some demonic subway train that had come rumbling out of nowhere.

When AIDS descended on New York it was a quiet bomb that shattered our world. For me, it hit home when I got a call that a friend of mine was dying from this new mystifying disease. I put down the phone not knowing exactly what it all meant. What the fuck was going on? My friend who was dying was Klaus Nomi. I had known Klaus for several years and had encouraged him in the very early stages of his music career. I helped him pick out a guitar (blue Fender Jaguar) and taught him three chords, enough to get him started. Ironically, we ended up on the same record label. Klaus epitomized New York’s multi-faceted music scene by crossing every possible boundary and creating something modern and new. He was ahead of his time, both wonderful and tragic.

Life And Death On The New York Dance Floor, 1980-1983 is a remarkable achievement as history and as entertainment. A sequel to his Love Saves the Day: A History of American Dance Music Culture, 1970-1979, it’s a celebration and a eulogy of a New York that we may never see again. Dance floors and rock clubs have been replaced by chain stores and condos. The funky storefronts and theaters that housed music venues and discotheques are now homes to the rich and fabulous. No one dances anymore. Everyone is too busy making money to pay for their little bit of real estate that once was the breeding ground for artists, musicians and writers. Where bodegas, pizzerias, bakeries, dive bars and cheap ethnic restaurants once stood we now have Starbucks, The Gap and $100 sushi handrolls. Tim Lawrence’s book is a reminder that the heart and soul of any culture, any city, is in its art. From the great Times Square jazz clubs to the Boogie Down Bronx and CBGB on the Bowery, New York has always been one of the world’s great music centers. Once we lose touch with that magic we’re left with an island of commerce and concrete. We not only lose part of our soul we lose our collective identity. The value of cities are measured by their art. No one comes to New York because it has a better Starbucks or Chili’s. People flocked to Manhattan even in the worst of times because we had clubs, theaters and museums no one else had. People were willing to brave the Bowery because there was something magic going on in a dive bar that stank of beer and urine but seemed like heaven to fans of adventurous new music. CBGB’s heyday really only lasted a couple of years but those years were game changers for rock music and musicians. The good stuff is eternal.

In the past few days I’ve been in a state of shock and awe. Despondent to point of paralysis. This piece I’m writing now is helping me get a grip on myself. As I write it, I am remembering all the battles I’ve fought since I was 15 and marched on the Pentagon to protest the Vietnam War. I am remembering Nixon and Reagan and I’m also remembering that during every dark era the arts have flourished. As war raged and friends were drafted and killed, we saw a golden age of rock and roll emerge in the sixties. The Beatles, Fugs, Sly Stone, Jefferson Airplane all sang songs of peace and insurrection based on liberating our bodies and minds. The art scene of the ‘60s was a massive detonation of mind-expanding paintings, films and literature. In the 1970s, when New York was dying and the government under Ford fucked us off, there seemed to be no light nowhere. But punk rock reared its beautiful spiky head like a pus-filled boil bursting and expelling the poisons that had been building in a city and citizenry under siege. We didn’t run, we didn’t hide. We partied! Dance floors exploded with free spirits moving, grinding, slithering to beats that were sexy, tantric, primal and emancipating. The songs were anthemic invocations to stand up against the machinations of death and doom. Gloria Gaynor led the charge with lyrics that were a call out to each and every one of us to not despair, to not lose hope and to survive!

Do you think I’d crumble
Did you think I’d lay down and die?

Oh no, not I, I will survive
Oh, as long as I know how to love, I know I’ll stay alive
I’ve got all my life to live
And I’ve got all my love to give and I’ll survive
I will survive

So as we face this very uncertain time it’s important to not crumble to not lose your anger. For me, my anger right now is what clarifies who I am and what I believe in. This is not a time to go soft and get warm and fuzzy and talk about healing. Keep your anger close. Consider it an ally. But be precise and informed when you use it. In the meantime, this is the perfect time to find avenues to articulate and express your feelings without risking your freedom and safety. Nixon once quoted the old proverb “when the going gets tough, the tough get going.”  Fuck him. I have a different angle: “when the going gets tough, the tough get down.” Let’s dance this mess around!
 

Dany Johnson
 
Here’s a mix to get down to. It’s based on a set list from Dany Johnson who was the house DJ at Club 57 circa 1980. Get happy, get healthy and get ready. We have work to do.

Blondie – I KNOW BUT I DON’T KNOW
Joe Cuba Sextet – BANG BANG
Delta 5 – MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS
Bootsy’s Rubber Band – BOOTZILLA
Talking Heads – WARNING SIGN
Lynn Collins – ROCK ME AGAIN….
Pylon – GRAVITY
The Cramps – I’M CRAMPED
Spoonie Gee – MONSTER JAM
B52s – DANCE THIS MESS AROUND
Frankie Smith – DOUBLE DUTCH BUS
Marie and Les Garcons – RE-BOP
Fatback Band – KING TIM III
Lulu – THE BOAT I ROW
Bush Tetras – TOO MANY CREEPS

 

 
Update: New York City dance club visionary DJ David Mancuso who hosted groundbreaking Love Saves The Day dance parties and opened The Loft on Lower Broadway in 1970 died yesterday (Nov.14). He was 72. He created an inclusive club scene where everybody felt at home and set the tone for virtually every dance club that followed in his wake.

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