Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Hilly Kristal RIP

CBGB founder Hilly Kristal died yesterday (August 28). I had a love/hate relationship with the legendary Bowery venue when i was living in New York (1985-90) and then playing there with Superchunk as well. it was legendary for good reason, and it felt fairly historical with it's palpable layers of show sweat, beer, smoke, sewage, etc. but it was also uncomfortable, smelly, and expensive (beers). didn't really matter because you wanted to see bands there as opposed to most anywhere else those bands would play (except maybe Maxwell's), you could buy a beer across the street (handing your money through the hole in the plexiglass) and drink on the sidewalk, and when Superchunk started it was great playing there because of everyone else who'd played on that stage. still, worst club bathrooms ever.

my first visit was sometime in 84 i think, a Vatican Commandos matinee on a family trip to NYC to visit schools. i have little memory of that show in particular except that i was scared...definitely a different vibe than that at the hardcore matinees i was used to at the Brewery & elsewhere here in NC.

beyond that, some particularly memorable shows there off the top of my head:

Sonic Youth around Bad Moon Rising, my first Sonics show and first non-matinee CB's experience. why was Rude Buddah opening?
Die Kreuzen - a poorly attended Sunday matinee on tour for their first album, blew my mind. still have the tee, you can see through it.
Corrosion of Conformity - another Sunday matinee, this one was packed. classic trio lineup tearing it up and i was psyched to see Thurston and Mike Watt both in attendance for a band that obviously i took some personal pride in as they were my "homeys" as they say.
Butthole Surfers - Psychic, Powerless... tour, so freaking crowded. the ultimate "I NEED AN AISLE HERE PEOPLE" show where i got stuck right by the corner of the stage where it was great to watch the band but the bouncer was constantly trying to clear the aisle for fire inspection purposes. my friend Michael recorded this on his walkman and i still have the tape.
The Dickies - never saw a bad Dickies show but this was at a point where they could sell out Irving Plaza or the Ritz so to see them at CB's was especially great.
Dinosaur Jr / Pussy Galore / Live Skull / Antietam -- i swear that was the lineup and i used to have the poster to prove it but i can't find it anymore...perhaps i've added a band in my mind that didn't actually play but i think that was it.

too many to remember!
thanks for inventing CBGB, Hilly.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

102 in the Shade

been while since posting -- was mostly at the beach, where at least when it's this hot (it wasn't) there's a breeze off the Atlantic...

beach reading, all recommended:

Mayflower by Nathaniel Philbrick
Dark Matter by Philip Kerr
The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan
Dry Manhattan by Michael Lerner

beach listening

Studio One Soul this comp on Soul Jazz really never gets old. pretty beach-y.
Vampire Weekend EP also oddly beach-y, can't wait til there's a full-length.
The Essential John McLaughlin ok admittedly not very beach-y at all, but i'm trying to educate myself over here. even though Jack Johnson is one of my favorite Miles Davis records, and i've spent some time with Inner Mounting Flame, i think terrible album art and the somewhat rational fear of 70's jazz guitar in general always kept me away from JM. there's some great stuff on here, and some records i need to find now.
Brenton Wood's 18 Best never tire of this one, even the hits. in fact while listening to "Gimme Little Sign" this morning, i switched from the CD to the radio, and the SAME SONG was playing on the radio. my brain turned inside out.
Imperial Teen - The Hair, the TV, the Baby and the Band...yes, we put this out on Merge, and it's a perfect summer party album.

on a sad note, Max Roach passed away. obviously he was associated with the music he helped invent, be-bop, but he went so far beyond that. his trio with Mingus and Duke Ellington "Money Jungle" is a favorite and i love his duets with Cecil Taylor (and the disc of them talking about the duets that came with the copy i have).
Destination Out has a fine obit.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Weekend Listening Pile

Panda Bear - Person Pitch
Monarch - If Children
Ryan Adams - Easy Tiger
Ulrich Schnauss - Goodbye
Caribou - Andorra
Cult Cargo: Grand Bahama Goombay
Matthew Dear - Asa Breed
Vampire Weekend - EP