A Christmas standard sung by Mr. Pop.
A Christmas standard sung by Mr. Pop.
Feverishly prolific New York graf-based expressionist painter Jean-Michel Basquiat would have turned 52 today. That fact jars us because of the inevitable Peter Pan myth that accompanies the premature death of any young artist in any discipline.
Though I hate to pursue it, does it depress us to imagine a middle-aged JMB? Would he be still cocooned and slickly dressed, and now entrenched and heavily sponsored downtown, or maybe bugged-out HR-from-Bad-Brains style, redolent in gray dreads, pursued often and obtained for the occasional commission in order to keep up his paranoid existence in who-knows-where?
Of course, Basquiat’s influence dwarfs the downtown New York art scene in the way that he embodied the New York mix of hip-hop, post-punk, and fashion. But our culture also tends to rely on him in an unspoken way as a kind of purified representation of redundant cliches like doomed youth, avant-garde blackness, and the price of fame. We do best to remember each of those features as part of him—and separately, we do best to remember Basquiat as Basquiat.
In that spirit, we draw your attention to Tamra Davis’s excellent documentary, Jean-Michel Basquiat: Radiant Child, kindly uploaded to YouTube for the budget-minded…
Thanks to the excellent musician Aybee Deepblak...
Sassy Lou Reed interview shot during the Sally Can’t Dance/Rock & Roll Animal phase in Australia, 1974.
Reed is clearly having fun toying with the reporters on the topics of drugs (he’s all for them), transvestism (sometimes) and what he spends his money on (drugs).
“Look what fear’s done to my body!”
This 1980 Rockpalast concert from Magazine must’ve been shown again recently on German television. I snagged a high quality copy of this just last week from a torrent tracker and now it’s on YouTube, I see, with not that many views, either.
The Magazine we see here includes Barry Adamson on bass, Dave Formula on keyboards, drummer John Doyle and of course bandleader/frontman Howard Devoto, but original guitarist John McGeoch, whose strikingly original guitar lines were such a major part of the band’s sound, had by then departed to join Siouxsie and the Banshees. He was replaced for Magazine’s 1980 world tour by Robin Simon of Ultravox, who is on deck here and no slouch on the guitar himself.
This is a pretty amazing concert—these guys were tight—and must be the most substantial record of Magazine performing live during their classic era. If you love Magazine like I love Magazine, then this hour long concert is going to make you very, very happy. Watching the great Howard Devoto captured in his youthful prime here singing his darkly literate songs of icy alienation, violence and non-conformity is a revelation.
Via La Cumbuca
On August 9 1979, German punk diva Nina Hagen caused what was dubbed “the scandal of the year” on the Austrian youth culture TV talkshow Club2 when she demonstrated several optimal positions for female masturbation.
The (fully-clothed, sorry!) action takes place towards the very end, just after the hour and 28-minute mark, when she gets into a heated argument about female orgasms with one of the guests. I don’t speak German, but it’s pretty clear for all to see who loses the debate and it’s not Nina!
The host of the show was was obliged to step down over the incident.
Previously on Dangerous Minds
Pre-punk Nina Hagen in East Germany, 1974
Airing from 1985 to 1992, Club MTV was primarily branded to showcase acts like Milli Vanilli, Paula Abdul, and MC Hammer, rather than The Dead Milkmen. The program was shot in the cavernous confines of the massive Palladium nightclub in New York City (now NYU dorms). You can’t get a more “late 80s” location than that.
Watching The Dead Milkmen lip-synch for a show modeled after American Bandstand is a little awkward, but even as VJ Downtown Julie Brown intros them as a “college radio” band breaking into “the mainstream,” you can tell everyone’s having a good time, making the most of a strange pairing.
A stellar set from the Psychedelic Furs taped for the Rockpalast show in 1981. The band are in on top form here and there were no signs at that point of a Molly Ringwald film or those goofy wannabe Billy Idol haircuts in their future.
At points during this show, the band achieves the power of a Mack truck barreling through a brick wall at a high speed. Richard Butler (vocals), Tim Butler (bass guitar), Duncan Kilburn (saxophone), Vince Ely (drums) Roger Morris (guitars) and John Ashton (guitars).
Killer “India” at about the 45-minute mark. Great versions of “Fall” and “We Love You” right after that.
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
We Love You, Psychedelic Furs
Via La Cumbuca
Hell of a tattoo.
Johnny Thunders hangs onto a cross while singing the Rolling Stones’ “I’d Much Rather Be With The Boys” (written by Andrew Loog Oldham). Shot by Paul Tschinkel at Irving Plaza in NYC, 1981.
Since I was only ever able to catch a few of them on TV (I moved to NYC the year it went off the air), I was always on the look-out for bootlegs of a cable access program called Paul Tschinkel’s Inner-Tube, perhaps THE greatest (I can’t imagine what would compare to it) underground video archive of late 70, early 80s punk, post-punk, No Wave and New Wave music that exists.
The Gun Club, Bad Brains, Dead Kennedys, The Cramps, Blondie, Talking Heads, James Chance and the Contortions, Johnny Thunders, Television, Richard Hell and the Voidoids, The Dead Boys, The Ramones, Siouxsie and the Banshees… the list of bands seen on Inner-Tube goes on and on and on. Shows often shot in color, with two cameras and sound board audio. Performances taped at CBGB, Mudd Club, Danceteria, Max’s Kansas City, Irving Plaza and usually the camera was right up front.
Inner-Tube ran for ten years on Manhattan Cable (meaning that you could only watch it if you lived in Manhattan, the outer boroughs didn’t get it, TV Party, Midnight Blue or Robin Byrd, either). Seriously, it was the best of the best. Unbelievable shit.
I’ve been waiting in vain for years, hoping for a proper DVD release of the “best of” Inner-Tube, but the rights issues would probably make that a nightmare. Now it looks like Tschinkel is starting to put some on YouTube. This should be encouraged!
“This ‘Paul Tschinkel’s Inner-Tube’ program appeared on his Manhattan Cable TV show in 1980. It features live performances at Max’s Kansas City and CBGBs in New York that epitomize the dynamic, exciting music of the time. We see a riveting performance by the Dead Boys and a fast paced one by Levi and the Rockats that also includes a guest appearance by rocker Jayne County. A short piece of old time fiddling music, taped a fiddling convention in Independence VA in 1973, rounds out the program.”
This has only been on YouTube since last night. Here’s hoping for more Inner-Tube!
Patti Smith’s recollections of her relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe are touching, beautiful and sad in this interview filmed during the 2012 literature festival at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark.
Patti on Andy Warhol after the jump…