Newly posted footage of The Feelies circa 1979/80

Didn’t get to see The Feelies live til the mid-80’s, at which point I saw them every time they played my town, and was never left anything other than blown away and exhausted. One of the greatest live bands ever.

Also, if you have not, do yourself a favor and check out Paul Tschinkel’s youtube archives. Mucho amazingness.


Today is the 40th Anniversary of Patti Smith’s landmark debut, Horses

Horses was a crucial step in the evolution of New York Rock & Roll, blending a reverence for Smith’s musical and literary influences, with a fresh and vital perspective on those traditions, and in so doing, it helped lay the groundwork for New York’s (and by proxy, the world’s), nascent Punk scene. Smith’s shamanic, poetic explorations were ably abetted by the sympathetic musicians who would form the core of her band, for the following several years (and further), Lenny Kaye, Ivan Kral, Jay Dee Daugherty and Richard Sohl, who provided both solid ground and an improvisational fluidity perfectly suited to Smith’s style. Add some help from Television’s, Tom Verlaine, Blue Oyster Cult’s, Alan Lanier, John Cale behind the board, god of all that is mastering, Bob Ludwig, on post-production, and the now iconic Robert Mapplethorpe cover photo, and you’ve got yourself a masterpiece, every bit as vital today as it was forty years ago.

R.I.P. to Warhol superstar and transgender icon, Holly Woodlawn

Holly came from Miami F.L.A.
Hitchhiked her way across the U.S.A.
Plucked her eyebrows on the way
Shaved her legs and then he was a she
She said, hey babe, take a walk on the wild side,
Said, hey honey, take a walk on the wild side.

Happy birthday to Clem Burke…

One of the most vital and inventive drummers to emerge from the 70’s Punk scene. That beat for Dreaming gets me every time! Watch the Apollo ’79 footage below, and see him kill it in an awesome gold lamé suit.

Happy birthday, La Monte Young

Here’s a link to a rip I made of rare La Monte recordings, with added, and unfortunately brief, footage of him and wife/collaborator Marian Zazeela, with Terry Riley and their mutual teacher, Pandit Pran Nath.

Check out an early, unreleased, version of The Feelies, Forces At Work

From Numero Group’s, Ork Records: New York, New York compilation, collecting the label’s entire discography, plus two previously unreleased singles (of which this is one) on sixteen 7”s. Though The Feelies never released a record on Ork (I believe that this recording may have been an aborted attempt at doing so), their music fits perfectly into the NY based roster of artists at that label, such as Television, Alex Chilton, The dB’s and Prix. Forces At Work would make it onto The Feelies debut, Crazy Rhythms, in a much longer, more polished style. This version sounds like a rough edged NY scene based Wire, and I mean that as a HUGE compliment. If you ever get the chance to catch The Feelies, I give them the highest recommendation. One of the most blazing acts I’ve ever seen. That Velvets styled rhythmic guitar interplay gets played at breakneck Hardcore speeds.

And here’s the LP version for comparison.

And a live version as testament to the previous statement.

Happy birthday, Glenn Branca

Watching Glenn Branca conduct this performance of Symphony 5 is like watching Nic Cage in a full body seizure; dramatic to say the least.

Similarly, this solo guitar performance from 1978 is a violent catharsis.

Live 1980 footage, augmented by Lee Ranaldo, Ned Sublette and David Rosenboom.

And a few from his No Wave bands…

This past year, I got to see some of the original Robert Longo drawings from the series that produced the cover for The Ascension, in an art museum in Florida. Impressive in person, I imagine much like a Branca performance.

Happy birthday, Rhys Chatham

Maybe eight years ago, I was working for a club with a 900 person capacity. Frequently they would ask me about some of the weirder things that they were considering booking and one time, that weird thing was Rhys Chatham. I, having first learned of Chatham’s guitar armies in 87ish, with the release of the Die Donnergotter LP, was pretty excited about the idea of getting to see Chatham live, and immediately launched into some effusive tirade about his work, convincing them of his reputation and merit, as a composer. During that tour there was some Sunn O))) connection and I figured between that and the coterie of musical oddballs, both local and regional (there were no other shows scheduled anywhere near us), we could amass the staggering sum of maybe 200 people. Now, when you’re a venue of 900+, your booking agent isn’t so psyched on 200, but they’ve still got a schedule to fill, so with this in mind, the date was set. Long story short, on the day of the show we’ve sold maybe 40 tickets, end up giving away as many as possible, and my legacy as the guy whose interest in a show was inversely proportional to ticket sales was cemented (around the same time, I also went to bat for LCD Soundsystem, who had maybe 200 people at their show, making it one of the club’s biggest losses, and 2 years later they would have sold out a week’s residency.) . Anyway, for those interested in Chatham, it was a great show of his heavy, repeating, slowly evolving minimalism, and I’ve still got a stack of tickets as a momento.

Here’s a rare clip of Chatham at Max’s Kansas City in 1979, blasting away his particular brand of  No Wave Minimalism.

Guitar Trio was Chatham’s first composition in the mold for which he became famous, and through the years he has been assisted by Glenn Branca (his most prominent rival for the title of King of The Guitar Army), Nina Canal of UT, Thurston Moore, Kim Gordon and Lee Ranaldo, Alan Licht, Robert Longo, Tony Conrad and original Circus Mort / Swans drummer and member of La Monte Young’s Forever Bad Blues Band, Jonathan Kane.

A Crimson Grail, performed by 100 guitarists and 8 bassists, in the Liverpool Cathedral.

Watch documentaries on Werner Herzog, Terry Gilliam, Francis Bacon, JG Ballard, Nick Cave, Steve Reich, and John Zorn & Sonic Youth, from The South Bank Show

The long running ITV series started in the late 70’s and produced quite the collection of documentaries on fascinating figures. Get your documentary on!

Von Lmo at Max’s Kansas City 1979!

The earliest footage that I’ve seen of the No Wave legend, Von Lmo. Many thanks to Paul Tschinkel for posting this and other rare live clips from The Cramps, The Heartbreakers, Pulsallama, Rhys Chatham, The Contortions, Eight Eyed Spy, Jayne County and more, all originally broadcast on his cable access show, Paul Schinkel’s Inner Tube. I highly recommend a visit to his youtube page.