Sunday, November 18, 2012

Down at the Rock and Roll Club

Brendan Toller, director of the upcoming Danny Says, did a great interview on Dave the Spazz's show last week, and was featured in the Village Voice blog a few days ago.  Just now when I went to get the link for that, I noticed the V.V. blog also did a recent piece on John Joseph's Lower East Side walking tours.

Get dishpan hands at the Norton Records Wash-a-Thon tonight if you can --or if you're not local, drop a few Paypal'ed bucks into their Superstorm Sandy recovery fund.

Via the Bomp List Bookshelf Facebook group, I was hipped to this vintage piece on Lou Reed by Bruce Pollock, and learned that memoirs from Marty Thau and Richard Hell are due to be published soon.  And speaking of those fellas--while browsing at Sonic Boom the other day I chanced upon a DVD entitled Punk Revolution NYC, which I couldn't recall hearing about before.  (Indeed, even after I bought it on impulse, I could find only two reviews for it on the entire internet.)  I've only watched the first disc so far (it's a two-disc, three-hour-tour production), but it's quite a thorough documentary, covering the NYC punk scene from its proto- to prime eras. The film has a pretty straightforward format--i.e., interview segment/performance clip/interview segment/archival photo display/interview segment--but all the clips are well-chosen and they talk to many of the right people.  (I didn't see any Talking Heads among the talking heads though.  Have I made that dumbass joke before in regard to another vintage punk documentary?  Probably.)  Here's an excerpt from it, about the NYC scene's influence on the U.K.

I devoured the new Peppermint Twist book in a matter of hours.  It's more of a mob story than a music book (in fact, I think Chapters and Indigo are shelving it under True Crime), and it also seems to focus more on the Miami Peppermint Lounge than the New York original.  That was O.K. by me, as it put me in the right frame of mind to watch the episodes of Magic City that my great buddy Flipped Out loaned to us....but still, as much as I enjoyed the behind-the-scenes tough stuff, I would have preferred a bit more emphasis on the hip-swiveling happenings within both clubs.  (As is my wont, I've also gotta nitpick on a factual error I noticed very early on in the text--Vernon and Irene Castle were husband and wife, not "a popular brother-sister dance team"!)

Coincidentally, and further to that picture of the Action House included in my last post, here's a quote from Chris Dreja which I saw in Light and Shade: Conversations with Jimmy Page:  "The people who ran the promotions, especially in America, were mainly mafia.  I remember playing Vanilla Fudge's club in Long Island and being introduced to truly menacing people who were eight feet tall, with chewed up ears and smashed-in faces, and had names like Vinnie."

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Action, Action, Action

Hallelujah--I've finally seen a picture of the Action House.  It was sold on ebay recently, but I caught it through a cross-posting on the Long Island and NYC Places That Are No More Facebook group.  Now all we need are some interior shots and performance pics.

A Great Gildersleeves reunion show will be held at the Delancey on Saturday, Nov. 3.

On November 11, Anthology Film Archives will be holding a screening and panel discussion on the movie Get Crazy, as a benefit for the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation.  This flick has truly eluded me--I barely heard of it prior to seeing an announcement for the event on the Fillmore East Archives FB page, other than the lousy review it got in the Hollywood Rock book.  Apparently it was a staple on '80s cable, but of course, I grew up in a cable-deprived household.  I rectified this by watching an upload of it on Youtube the other day. While it doesn't hold a candle to Arkush's masterpiece Rock and Roll High School, and I felt very little of the Fillmore East-inspired vibe I was expecting after the build-up of the GVSHP site's description, the flick definitely has its moments of trashy fun, not to mention a mind-bending anti-star-studded cast.

Of course you've heard that Kenny's Castaways closed down, as did Gimme Gimme Records.

For the past few days the NYC blog set has been creaming its jeans over Jeremiah's post on  Dead_Dolly's East Village flickr collection, with good reason.  One photo in her set inspired Alex at Flaming Pablum to ruminate on the Gas Station.  Also check out the pics Jeremiah posted of the now-empty Colony.

As per usual, I'm up to my ears in rock and roll books--but they seem to be coming out at an unusually rapid and prolific pace these days, no?  Only two of my more recent reads were of a New York-ish nature. I started Dick Porter's and Kris Needs' Parallel Lives, but had to set it aside for a while when more time-sensitive doorstop-sized titles (like the Neil Young and Pete Townshend memoirs) came in from the library. In the foreword, Porter and Needs write that they're working on a third book about a New York band, to complete the trifecta they began with their Dolls bio--care to hazard a guess on which band that could be?  The other book was Carol Miller's Up All Night, and I must thank Stupefaction's Tim B. for the tip. Although my musical tastes and radio habits eventually expanded far beyond AOR, I grew up with That Voice, and it was such a gas to learn more about her life and career. I especially loved her account of her Queens childhood and Long Island adolescence, and the conflict between her straitlaced/studious Jewish upbringing and the wicked lures of rock and roll--I ain't Jewish, but could still totally relate!  (Also learned a fun geographic fact--there is a 108th Street in Richmond Hill.  That road is the nearest main drag from my childhood home in Corona, but I always thought it ended at Queens Blvd. and 71st-Continental--who knew it had an extension south of Forest Park? Speaking of Corona, I had another fuzzed-out Facebook moment when I stumbled upon this photo album of a local '60s garage band called the Change-In-Tymes! Cool-ass stuff like that was long gone by the time I was a resident, I tell ya.)

And I'll close off with another thanks to Tim B. for locating a fine time-portal to the entrance of Hurrah.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Colonize your mind

I have been lazy and uninspired as all get out, but I thought I'd round up some random bits of "news" that I've taken note of over the last couple of months.

You've surely heard about the imminent closure of the Colony by now.  If not, check out JVNY, the Post, the News, the TimesGothamist, and WQXR.

Speaking of record store closings, the Capital New York site presented a half-hour documentary about Bleecker Bob`s last month, entitled For the Records. (The site also had a post about the Colony a couple days ago.)

And while we're on the subject of bygone eras in NYC record shopping, this ain't news, but it was new info to me.  A couple of weeks ago, Norton co-honcho/A-Bones lead shouter Billy Miller told a great story about Second Avenue-centric rekkid retail on his FB page. I'd never heard about this before, but in the early '70s, one of the best and most economical places to score records was situated right across the street from the Fillmore East.  And it wasn't really a record store in the traditional sense, though at the time the neighborhood was chock full of them--Billy mentioned such shops as Free Being, Hall Place Music, and Gramophone, and noted that most secondhand bookshops in the area sold records too.  But this joint was different, and was way more wallet-friendly than most. It was a drop off center/thrift shop type of place run by Guru Maharaj Ji's Divine Light Mission.  Apparently, new converts to the Mission were obliged to shed all their worldly possessions when they joined, and those cast-off material goods wound up here, priced to move.  LPs, even double albums, sold for a dime.  Surprisingly, Billy didn't mention the cost of 45s, but I imagine they went for pennies.  And the demographics of the devotees must've been ideal.  At a time when he was just discovering the wylder side of '50s and '60s rock and roll, Billy purchased several hundred primo platters there on the super-cheap--and anything he didn't dig could be re-sold to unsuspecting school pals at a tidy profit.  Anybody know a mantra that could reincarnate such a divoon record nirvana today?

On a near-weekly basis since June, the Times' Local East Village blog has been hosting excellent posts by the Nightclubbing ladies, Emily Armstrong and Pat Ivers.

When you've had your fill of Nightclubbing's late '70s punk video, you can listen to Ira Robbins discuss the '77 NYC scene with Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot, on last week's episode of WBEZ-Chicago's Sound Opinions.  You may also want to hear the previous week's installment, which featured Jon Savage discussing '77-era London.

LastlyPeppermint Twist: The Mob, the Music, and the Most Famous Dance Club of the '60s, by John Johnson Jr. and Joel Selvin with Dick Cami, is due in November.

Friday, June 15, 2012

1965 Ads: Part 4

10/7/65 issue:

This is the only Night Owl ad I could find.

10/14/65 issue:

10/21/65 issue:

10/28/65 issue:

11/4/65 issue:

11/11/65 issue:

11/18/65 issue:

11/25/65 issue:

12/2/65 issue:

12/9/65 issue:

12/16/65 issue:

Peter Crowley put on a big Max's Kansas City Alumni Reunion festival at Bowery Electric last weekend.  Here are some youtube videos and flickr pics.  Google around for more.

12/23/65 issue

12/30/65 issue:

Reviews, articles, etc.:

10/14/65 issue: "Jazz Journal" predicts that Jazz Rock might come to pass; review of Andy Warhol's first major exhibition at the University of Pennsylvania (links to nearby ad).

10/28/65 issue: Mailer on Lindsay (links to nearby article); "New York's Chinatown: Becoming Scrutable."

11/11/65 issue: "Village Square" column about bookstores as underground headquarters.

11/25/65 issue: "Village Accepts 'Historic' Tag"; review of James Brown at the Brevoort Theater in Bed-Stuy; "Jazz Journal" response to the Jazz Rock article.

12/2/65 issue: "The WBAI Affair."

12/16/65 issue: "Lindsay, Villagers Back Village as Historic"; "Whitey at the Apollo"--report on a Bobby Bland blues package show; Pete Seeger's "Non-Confrontation in Beacon, New York"; "Jazz Journal" on Miles Davis (links to nearby ad); pictures of the G.V. Historic District; review of "The Baroque Beatles Book."

12/23/65 issue: "Jazz Journal" on Sonny Rollins; "Notebook for Night Owls" on Mose Allison at the Vanguard.