Fuck yeah, this is good! Lots of very cool 1970s era film footage and music in this well-researched BBC documentary on the birth of punk, disco and hip hop in New York City. Directed by Ben Whalley.
With David Johansen, Patti Smith, John Cale, Richard Hell, Grandmaster Flash, Afrika Bambaataa, Kool Herc, Nile Rodgers, Chuck D, Tommy Ramone, Chris Stein, Fab 5. Freddy, Lenny Kaye, Tina Weymouth, Chris Frantz, Syl Sylvain, Nicky Siano, David Mancuso, DJ AJ, David Depino, Jayne County, Lee Childers, Nelson George, Victor Bokris and Vince Aletti.
Once Upon a Time in New York: The Birth of Hip Hop, Disco and Punk.
Star Trek: Phase II was originally planned as a follow-up series to Star Trek, but it never came to be. Still good ideas will out, and in 1997 actor, producer and Trekkie, James Cawley concocted a plan to make his own further adventures of Captain James T. Kirk, Mr Spock and Dr “Bones” McCoy and the crew of SS Enterprise.
Roll on a few years to 2003, and Cawley is not only producing these new on-line adventures called Star Trek - New Voyage but is also playing Kirk.
It proved an internet hit, and even enticed guest appearances from original Star Trek actors George Takei, Walter Koenig, and Grace Lee Whitney. In 2008, the series changed its name to Star Trek: Phase II and the adventures continue.
For a fan produced series Star Trek: Phase II is exceedingly good fun. Six episodes have been made, each one better than the last, the most recent, “Enemy Starfleet” is below. Filming begins on a new episode “Mind Sifter” next month, and certainly for the love, dedication and hard work of all involved, Star Trek: Phase II deserves its to succeed.
What next for fan-based TV? The Partridge Family, The Waltons, Dallas? Suggestions please.
Bonus episode of Star Trek: Phase II, after the jump…
Two rather odd experiments using the blue screen effect to put Ann-Margret’s candy-colored intro and reprise to Bye Bye Birdie into a nightmare context. Both are disturbing for different reasons. The Wizard Of Oz clip is almost Buñuelian in its sepia-tinged surrealism. While the sludgy-looking Manson mash-up is just plain creepy.
The Burroughs-Gysin cut-up method applied to one of America’s teen dreams results in something bordering on the horrifying and apocalyptic
In 1967 I went to school to be a psychedelic poster reader. But I dropped out. I later became a jive talk translator. The pay was good but the drugs sucked. I was recently offered a job writing subtitles for mumblecore movies but you get paid by the word and no one really says anything in slacker flicks. So, I’ve decided to enter the lucrative field of teaching urban slang sign language to deaf hipsters.
Here you’ll find William Burroughs having dinner with Andy Warhol and Mick Jagger; Grace Slick and Janis Joplin playing-up for the camera; and the usual suspects backstage at concerts. There are also a couple of fun video clips, including a chat-show meeting between Alfred Hitchcock and James Brown. It’s a bit like Us or Hello! Magazine with a degree in Pop Culture, and you can see more here.
Re-Animator™ - The Musical, the horror-comedy based on the 1985 cult movie hit and earlier H.P. Lovecraft story, has extended its run due to popular demand through Sunday, June 26, 2011 at the Steve Allen Theater. Half price student tickets available for all June shows. The production has been setting records and sending grinning patrons out of the theater humming the tunes and washing off the blood. Stuart Gordon, who directed both the new musical and the movie on which it is based, notes “There’s a lot of liquid spurting through the air. The special effects are even better in 4D than they are in 3D.”
The new performance schedule for this funny, bloody and tuneful production includes three shows per weekend: Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 8:00pm. Costumes are encouraged and seating is open – come early and sit up front in the “splash zone.” Ticket prices are $30 for general admission, $15 for students (with ID).
We’ve got two pairs of free tickets to give away to readers who write in to the comments and tell us why they should get the tickets and not someone else. We choose the winners. It’s up to you to get yourself to the play in Los Angeles, where tickets will be waiting for you at the door (Translation: Unless you live in Los Angeles or intend to be here before the play’s run ends, please don’t waste your time).
Below, Jesse Merlin as the villainous “Dr. Carl Hill” loses his head in a scene with Graham Skipper as “Herbert West,” re-animator.
In the late 1970s into the 80s, before its disintegration into a magnet for prostitutes and crackheads,The Lincoln Motel, located on the Jersey side of the Lincoln Tunnel, was a powerful vortex in the disco universe. While downtown Manhattan had the Paradise Garage and Midtown had Studio 54, Newark had Club Zanzibar.
Located in the second floor ballroom of the Lincoln, Zanzibar took over the space formerly known as Abe’s Disco. Under the creative direction of Al Murphy and with its formidable line-up of massively influential deejays, starting with Hippie Torrales and Gerald T, the club became the laboratory from which was spawned some of the best dance music to appear on the planet. Many of the deejays became influential producers like the mighty Tony Humphries, some started record labels like Francoise Kervokian. Others, like the late Tee Scott and Larry Levan, went on to pioneer new styles of club music that incorporated garage and house and eventually techno.
Music historian Bill Brewster describes Club Zanzibar’s lavish debut:
The opening night of Club Zanzibar was on August 29th, 1979. Newark had never seen anything like it. Local television filed reports from the club; there was a live feed from radio station WNJR. There were jugglers and magicians, Le Clique-style dancers adorned in paste-diamond jewelery and showered in glitter. To top it off, Murphy and Berger had installed real lions and tigers in cages. The whole of New Jersey’s musical royalty turned out, with Kool & The Gang, Tasha Thomas and the All Platinum stable hanging out in the DJ booth. Remembers Hippie Torres: “[All Platinum’s] Joe Robinson came up to me saying, ‘Look, we have this record. The first it was played was last week on a radio station in Texas. Nobody else has played it in the New York area. I want you to play it.’ It was ‘Rappers’ Delight’. Those were the kinds of things happening on opening night. It was a really amazing night.”
Zanzibar was close enough to New York to pick up on the Manhattan vibe, but far enough to create its own sound, often referred to as Zanzibar music or the “Jersey sound.” In addition to its own brand of flavor, Zanzibar deejays were known for dropping songs into the mix from bands like The Rolling Stones, B-52s, ESG and Talking Heads. The crates were not segregated. No song was exempt, as long as it shook the dance floor. Latin, rock, garage, house and disco shuddered the boards.
Mix master Tony Humphries
Despite superficial differences, Club Zanzibar was to dance music, what CBGB was to punk - a raw space where young artists could freely explore their creativity, experimenting in front of open-minded and enthusiastic crowds. In both clubs the D.I.Y. spirit thrived. Zanzibar was a testing ground for new sounds that would eventually pop up on the shelves of record stores in the form of 12 inch dance mixes. The turntables at Zanzibar launched many one-hit-wonders. It was almost impossible to keep up with the amount of vinyl that was piling up in places like Manhattan’s legendary Vinyl Mania.
I think the reason clubs like [the Garage and Zanzibar] were such an experience was because the records weren’t just of one type,” reflects Tony Humphries of that lost era. “It wasn’t like going to a house club or a techno club or a classics club, everything was intertwined. The hours were long so obviously you didn’t want to hear ten hours of straight house music. If you’re going to pay $15-20 to hear this guy, you want to hear the whole damn spectrum and whatever it is, it better be quality. And, believe me, you had to come with everything possible. Talking Heads and The B-52s don’t sound like Zanzibar/Garage records but they were. They were just funky records. I think that’s what the appeal was.”
The Lincoln Motel was demolished in 2007, long after Club Zanzibar had closed. It had become, in the words of The New Times, “a depressing symbol of Newark’s downfall” and, as described by one real estate developer, “a blemished, rat-infested drug-haven eyesore.”
Like so many of the seminal music venues of the 1970s and early 80s, Club Zanzibar’s influence has outlived its brief red hot history. Some things are etched in the memory, others, like Zanzibar, work their way down to the bone.
DJ Punch reminisces about the glory days of Club Zanzibar. Plus, video of Vinyl Mania’s closing day after the jump…