New York Report:
Still Lookin For That Kiss? First, Get Rid of the Fucking Albatross
by D.S. Troy OBoi.
The Bard was right. There is Nothing new under the sun. Especially in the Five Boroughs of Manhattan where, contrary to what the mainstream medias been telling us, Nothing really seems be happening all the time these days (and me and mine are in the proverbial thick of it all). Not even six months ago, the International press dubbed New York City the Next Seattle. However, the only thing weve been able to count on since is The Hustle and some vague promise that the RocknRoll Resurrection that weve been waiting for since the death of Grunge is finally upon us.
The Truth is: the Truth is a Lie. One can thank an elitist army of savvy label-heads and kowtowing publicists for convincing hungry corporate outlets like the New York Times, Rolling Stone, the New Yorker, Time Out NY, Spin, Vice, Fader, MTV, VH1 and MuchMusic, that the self-aggrandizing, stop-at-nothing, careerist-minded likes of the Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Liars, Rapture, Interpol, Fisherspooner, and anyone vaguely connected to that Electroclash ridiculousness actually mean something Kulturally Significant and that the post-collegiate, arrogant, apolitical, consumerist, harnessed-in-slums, fashion fodder hipster fan-base that follow the aforementioned is the only market-share worth catering to.
Simply stated, this mild-mannered, fauxhemian over-the-counter-culture clusterfuck sows no real seeds of discontent nor does it offer any solution to The Problem. It is, in fact: The Problem. Hypersonified for the whole world to see. Dunno what Im talking about? Well, honeychild, the next time you hear your favorite dead bands music being utilized in a soap commercial, please realize that any and all of these dot.gone combos Ive described here will, at some point in the near-distant, be more than happy to serve you while theyre still alive.
Dont mean to sound like a Boring Old Fart here, but I am one, and one thats been at play for an awful long time - long enough to know when More Talent/Less Effort was the wurd (sp!) on the street, Safety in Numbers was an Adverts song that encouraged one to step outside the box and Entertainment was an outdated bourgeois concept invented by a think-tank economist and not some Gang of Four album for that gaggle of unimaginative crowing musicians - or is that, murder - to endlessly pillage ad nauseum. Thankfully, Sisters and Brothers, there are reasonable solutions to even the most extreme problems and what youre about to read may make you feel better about whats really happening in Fun City. Guaranteed, you will not be reading any of it in the Times Arts and Leisure section anytime soon.
These days, the most exciting events are thrown by Those Inspired who have The Knack. These include, and are def. not limited to:
DOT DASH - Tom Dashs party hits on an irregular schedule at different venues - Manhattans Siberia Bar and Brooklyns The Local - and when it does, it really connects. Dashs indelible interest in primal scream garage punk RocknRoll allows local bands like the Tie Reds and the Rogers Sisters to mix it up with national acts like Detroits Clone Defects, Chicagos Mystery Girls and Georgias Black Lips with much aplomb (Or is that applause?). Either way, check out www.dotdashnyc.com for more info.
HANKS SALOON - 46 3rd Ave corner of Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn. Every Sunday night, Blind Pharaohs/New Jack Ramblers guitarist, Sean Kershaw, hosts this sleazy roots rockin rockabilly punk night. Blues, booze and barbeques in what can easily be described as the most heinous old man bar in all of now-gentrified outer Brooklyn! Expect baseball bat wielding crack addicts and toothless alkies hangin amongst a bevy of balding punks, ex-skinhead Teds and Rockabilly boys for this whacked out hootenanny! Simply stated, it doesnt matter whos playing. Its just a great hang. Check out www.hankstavern.com for further info.
GARAGELAND! MONDAYS @ MANITOBAS - 99 Avenue B (bet. 6th and 7th Sts). The bar itself - owned and operated by none other than Dictators vocalist, Handsome Dick Manitoba, is home to this free, weekly, Monday night, three-chords-and-an-attitude, RocknRoll hang. Its also the only night of the week the bar features live music. For the last year, Garageland proprietor, Bryan Swirsky, has been turning the offest of off nights into a regular hang for both local and touring bands and their fans. Locals like Some Action, Dementia Thirteen, and the Star Spangles, have all graced Manitobas non-existent stage, as have legendary 77 punkers: Alternative TV, The Pork Dukes, Slaughter & the Dogs, Attila the Stockbroker, and ex-Adverts vocalist, TV Smith. Its usually a one band a night affair from 9.00 to 10.00 - so get there early! Afterwards, a special guest DJ spins continuously until whenever. Garagelands regular DJ roster includes Mojo the Punk Rock Blacula, Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus, Big Takeover magazines own Jack Rabid, ex-Runaway Kari Krome, ex-Dream Syndicate/Gutterballer Steve Wynn and the always amazing Jayne County, who joins in on the fun every 3rd Monday with the Handsome One for a special night they like to call, Fun with Dick and Jayne. Theres a website on the way. Meantime check out the groups.yahoo.com/group/garagelandnyc/ egroup for further calendar updates.
WOWS!VILLE A GOGO - At Niagara, downstairs @ The Tiki Lounge; corner of 7th and Avenue A. Every Friday evening, Wows!ville record shop proprietor, Alberto Camarasa, and his cohort, Senor Dos Platos, spin Soul, garage and international underground 60s punk for the ushered in as well as the uninitiated. Its a great scene and one can easily find the collectors set hanging tough with the bridge and tunnel elite. Trust me: there is nothing funnier that watching a coked up, scantily clad supermodel lose her mind while dancing to a beaten up, never released Gino Washington test pressing that no ones ever heard before! Free admission and always fun!
RIFIFI aka CINEMA CLASSICS - 332 E.11th Street btwn 1st & 2nd Aves. Quite possibly thee heppest Nerve Center for soulstompin and the like for at least a 500 mile radius. The venue hosts several parties all built along similar lines but each and every one of them is a unique experience. They are as follows but check in at the www.cinemaclassics.com website just to make sure youre on the money:
1) NYC SUBWAY SOUL CLUB: Every third Saturday of every month. Hosted by Ms. Lady Dawn and resident DJ extraordinaire, Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus. The focus here is 60s Northern soul and there is much rejoicing. The event attracts a somewhat older crowd and upholds a strict No Disco policy.
2) WANG DANG DOODLE: Phast Phreddies own party is held - now get this - on the 5th Saturday of every month therefore you need to check yer 2003 calendars. The next one is in March, so come on down. The WWD crew specializes in broadcasting greasy, weird, pre-1965 Rock and Roll, R&B and organ music. WFMU DJs Rex Doane and Dave the Spazz both put their two cents in throughout the course of the night. Lots of screaming, not too many violins and definitely no sythesizers.
3) SMASHED! BLOCKED!: DJs Josh Styles (who also sings for Dementia Thirteen), White Shoes and monthly guests adhere to a strict 45 RPM only format and spin International Freak Beat, 60s Garage and raw soul and organ instrumentals for your pleasure. Expect go-go dancers, live body painting and the occasional psychotronic film broadcast. Crowd is comprised of people who basically live for the music and nothing else. Very unpretentious hang for twenty-something Mods and the occasional chicken hawk!
SPLASHDOWN! @ UNION POOL - Corner of Union and Meeker in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (Two blocks from the L train Lorimer St station). The Smashed! Blocked! kids are behind this, so see the above description for details. Come the end of February, two bands will be featured per night. The crowds a little different, as the down and dirty have to contend with trustfund hipster types who think they own the neighborhood. Every Thursday nite and always free.
There are more great bands brewing more great sounds than I can even describe in this mere communiqué. Each and every one of them is simply fucking amazing and they all hate the Strokes as much as I do! At least they say they do. They are in no particular order:
SOME ACTION - Sonics, Saints and Stooges neatly rolled in to one nifty little package. Ten pounds of hot shit in a five-pound bag! Fuck the Hives! Dig the new real kids! Shakin!
DAN MELCHIORS BROKE REVUE - Yes, the one and the same buff Medwayan, infamous for his contributions to thee Billy Childish/Holly Golightly canon and on. He and the Revue live here and have been shakin it up on local stages all over the City and they are always tops. His latest LP on In The Red records, entitled Bitterness, Spite, Rage and Scorn is punk rock like it oughta be: uncompromising, challenging and filled with exactly that.
DEMENTIA THIRTEEN - The only band in the world Kim Fowley couldnt handle. Brit 60s Freakbeat and 70s punk are the word of the day here and the word is, Go! They could be the next Trashmen and you could be their biggest fan! They play at least once a month and destroy something valuable every time they do.
THE STAR SPANGLES - Young, bold and good looking, this gang of guttersnipes walk the walk and talk the talk better than any other band in this city. Equal parts garage, power-pop and punk, always served dressed to kill. Signed to Parlaphone, and now touring the UK in February. Their new single, Which One Of Us Is Gonna Burn This House Down? is absolute LAMF!
PEELANDER - Z - This band of Japanese samurai pranksters are a mind-numbingly fun live band. Imagine if Rudimentary Peni hooked up with Motorhead and the Banana Splits at a comic book convention for a jam session and you may be close. Expect the unexpected, cause with these guys anything goes, all the time. The last time they played Garageland, their guitarist Kengo, hooked into a wireless apparatus, ran through the crowd into the street and played his solos from the middle of Avenue B. Theyre currently touring the States and I feel sorry for anyone whos missed them! Check out their website www.peelander-z.com for more info.
THE ROGERS SISTERS - Two sisters and a dude drummer. New Wave punk with a slight garage influence. The Buzzcocks Autonomy is a featured song in the set and I think Mojo magazine will be as all over them as they are the Von Bondies within the next five minutes. At least they should be!
THE CONTRARIANS - Dunno a thing about this band but theyre awfully popular amongst the cognoscenti. Supposedly the new singer croons like an early Eric Burdon. More on them later.
THE LITTLE KILLERS - Imagine what Son House would have sounded like if he dropped lots of acid instead of swilling tons of booze, donned a Fender Strat guitar instead of a National dobro and played his songs as fast as the Ramones and as primal as the Cramps. Crypt records signed the band after four years of dormancy. Label proprietor Tim Warren was seen literally howling through the streets of the East Village when he heard the demo. Thats all you need to know!
THE TIE REDS - Only seen em once so I dont have much to go on. Good party band tho. Farfisa driven garage a la ? Mark & the Mysterians, Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels and Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs. Simple and straight to the point. Their send up of the NY Dolls Trash is priceless!
DEAN DEAN & THE SEX MACHINE - Ex-Blank 77-ers do it up fast and furious pop and metal. Quite possibly the only band in the world to feature a singer more potently abrasive than Poly Styrene and Wendy O. Williams combined. I think theyd be over the top if they added a sax player, but thats just me. Website: http://www.deandeanandthesexmachines.com.
THE BLUE SPARKS - Eighties new wave and power pop ala Dwight Twilly and Television with lots of dueling guitar leads. A little arty, and in a good way.
THE WITNESSES - Straight up 70s Stones and boogie. Bon Scott. Glimmer Twins. Sounds pathetic? Its not and they do what they do real well. The next ones out of the gate, for sure.
SATO & JOHNNY- No, not Santo and Johnny, Sato and Johnny, featuring Church Keys string smasher, Mr. John Chalmers, and his loverly wife, Masayo Sato, hence the name. Stripped to the core country rock and its really fucking good!
THE PSYCHOS - Two guys and thats it: the spazzy, gigantor of a guitarist - Johnny Murder - may or may not have Tourettes syndrome and the otherwise normal drummer - Harry Dagger - always has to either watch what his band-mate is up to or pay the consequences. Every song is about murder, death and destruction and various members of their extremely loyal, underage fan-base are usually seen freaking out on some kind of expired psychotropic medication they just happened to pick up on the way to the gig. Disturbing and weird, intentionally and not so.
MZ. PAKMAN - This Brooklyn based sleazoid trash quartet feature four of the most insanely beautiful and talented women youll ever meet. Musically, theyre a cross between the Cramps, the B52s, the Shaggs and biker soundtrack music and all in a good way! For a good time, check out http://mzpakman.tripod.com. Also, check out drummer P5!s - pronounced, pea-five - Pussy Magazine!
THEE JEZEBELZ - This hotter-than-hell all-girl glam punk garage quartet cant tune their instruments, keep a beat or play in time. Their vocalist warbles incoherently both during and between songs. Both the Slits and the Lunachicks suffered from the same problems when they first started out. In six months time, youll be wishing you saw them when they sucked.
Thats about it for now. Dont worry, kids: the best/worst has yet to come. It always does!~
Luv and piece,
D.S. Troy OBoi
Hurl abuse @ Troy here: D.S.TroyOBoi@trakMARX.com
D.S.Troy OBoi trakMARX.com Jan 2003