Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Concert Etiquette.

I wrote this years ago, but since some old links and pages are currently deceased, I thought it needed a new location...

Going absolutely bat-shit-crazy for a band/music is all well and good (actually, this is what you're supposed to be doing), but some people nowadays are ignorant in terms of their own behavior. The point of seeing a band is to have yourself a little moment, whether it's personal and emotional, or raucous and high-energy, and it's also to enjoy the communal experience of sharing this music with others who love it. In the past few years, I've been all-too-often surrounded by jerks who fail to obey simple rules of etiquette that I assumed were common concert-goer knowledge. 

Maybe people just don't attend many shows, and they're only interested in listening to the latest iTunes downloads on their pods. Maybe the loss of smaller venues and the popularity of big-budget stadium shows have caused fans to treat concerts like football games. Maybe people use concerts now as excuses to get drunk and let out what I like to call "male aggression." Maybe people feel too distanced from the music, or from the scene in which it exists, and since they don't seek out smaller shows, or feel connected to other fans, concerts become few and far between. Whatever the reason, everyone knows the notorious "Don't be that guy!" rule, as in, "don't wear the band's T-shirt," but there are plenty of more important, unwritten rules that ought to be followed:

   1. Don't stand directly in front of the shorties. Honestly, there ought to be a section specifically reserved for us 5-foot crowd, but, since there isn't, consider who's behind you. There's nothing worse than your face being pressed against a big huge sweaty guy who doesn't give a shit but could easily see from another "row" back.

   2. Respect the ladies, respect the ladies, respect the ladies. Especially if the crowd gets rough.

   3. No elbows, unless they really deserve it (though, I've been known to pull an elbow move or two).

   4. No kicking, biting, scratching, hair pulling, or anything they don't allow in boxing.

   5. Girls, put up your hair. We don't need a face-full of it every time you bounce around, and I'm sure you don't want it ripped out either.

   6. Guys, keep the shirts on. This isn't a sports game, so try not to behave like drunken idiots.

   7. Shower. You'll only get sweatier and stinkier. And please deodorize. Again, rock shows are not jock shows.

   8. Do not make out with your significant other (unless you're both super hot) for the entirety of the show. It's nauseating to us all.

   9. Either you're in the mosh pit, or you're out. None of this in-between crap. And don't force a mosh pit to happen by slamming yourself into someone out of nowhere.

   10. Do not, under any circumstances, raise your cell phones in the air to take pictures, or to let your friends hear the show, or to god forbid use them as lighters. It makes you look lame, very lame, and stands as a general reminder of the lameness of our times, as well as everything that is wrong within the world of commercialized rock n' roll. Don't talk or text on the phone either.

   11. Help the crowd-surfers/stage-divers, don't hurt them. And do not crowd-surf if you are vastly overweight or abnormally tall.

   12. Spiky anything is a serious no-no. It may look cool, but don't mosh with 8-inch spikes, man.

   13. Refrain from obnoxiously belting the sad songs.

   14. Throwing water/beer is fine, but be careful with actual bottles. And if you accidentally plow into someone and spill their drink all over them, do apologize.

   15. Do not consistently yell out a request your favorite song, or some phrase you think is funny, or a barrage of curses between every single song. The band is not going to care.

   16. Do not become a barricade hog, and by this I mean that there's usually more room than you think there is, so no need to squeeze others out.

   17. And, finally, stop knocking my glasses off! (I know, I know, I should wear my contacts).

Okay kids, go nuts, get dirty, keep it real, and always wear protection! 

Sunday, December 25, 2011


John said it best....even if this video is too sad to actually watch today.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Best Albums of 2011

Here it is, after lots of listening, writing, and thinking --- the best albums of 2011 in my humble opinion, based on my own preferences of course, but also with a music journalist's ear (ha). Feel free to drop me a comment!

1.     Bon Iver – Bon Iver
Very few albums can make me instantly want to weep…and while such an experience may not seem enjoyable, Justin Vernon’s (aka Bon Iver) ability to provoke perhaps unwanted emotion is a sure sign of his undeniable talent as a songwriter and singer. A profound follow-up to an already incredible album (For Emma, Forever Ago), here he offers a fuller, more multifaceted sound with much less outright-folk involved. And while For Emma requires lying in a field, Bon Iver will turn your blood to ice. Even if the final track is a little too Peter Gabriel for my tastes, the rest of the album is more than beautiful.
      Tracks: “Wash.” & “Holocene”

2.     O’Death – Outside
A Brooklyn-based band combining folk, bluegrass, metal and punk to form mosh-happy songs, O’Death has topped an already stellar album (Head Home). Each song on Outside speaks to their influences in a new way, as genres mix and meld and cease to mean anything. These guys are like musical gypsies roving ancient lands in caravans. While some tunes (“Bugs”) are folksy and melodic, others (“Howling Through”) set the scene for something macabre and altogether wicked.    
            Tracks: “Alamar” & “Ourselves”

3.     Active Child – You Are All I See
LA-native Pat Grossi is a classical harpist and ex-choirboy with a ghostly falsetto that moves through you like wind. On this first LP, he creates a richly textured experience that combines the musically technical with the abstract. An emotional and possibly spiritual wake-up call, this album is a modern-day masterpiece.
            Tracks: “Hanging On” & “Shield & Sword”

4.     M83 – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
A double-album is no easy feat for any band, yet somehow M83 leaves me wanting even more. Epic without a shred of pretension, these 22 tracks harken back to ’80s beats and vocals à la Tears for Fears, though all the choral-style harmonizing feels like ambient Arcade Fire. With an array of voices, trickles of piano, one-minute instrumental tracks, and almost classical compositions, you can slide through this album while lucid dreaming.
            Tracks: “Midnight City” & “Echoes of Mine”

5.     Bjork – Biophilia
Bjork is one of the most ambitious artists of our time and Biophilia is her most ambitious project. I haven’t delved into the album’s multimedia aspects, but Bjork described it as a collection “encompassing music, apps, internet, installations, and live shows.” And though I don’t own an iPad, Biophilia includes ten separate apps all housed within one “mother” app…not only that, but the music was partially created and recorded using an iPad. Bjork has never been a stranger to collaboration nor to technology—in fact, she embraces the unexpected unity of nature and technology. But games, apps, images, and invented “instruments” aside, the ten tracks on Bio roll off the tongue, once again demonstrating Bjork’s vibrant voice, poetic lyrics, and imagination.  
            Tracks: “Crystalline” & “Hollow”

6.     Zola Jesus – Conatus
Young, talented, and musically interesting female performers are not as plentiful as one might hope, and while Ms. Jesus isn’t swimming in completely uncharted seas, her talent continues to blow me away. The songs on Conatus are blissfully soulful, as her resonant voice slips under and climbs over beat-laden crescendos. It’s this voice that acts as the main instrument of every track, as Zola exhibits avant-garde pop like some kind of mystical warrioress.   
Tracks: “Vessel” & “Hikikomori”

7.     The Soft Moon – The Soft Moon
So I caught these guys (well really it’s one guy) against flickering images in Brooklyn’s Monster Island Basement, where the jam-packed, spontaneous mosh pit left me scratching my head (and nearly getting killed). See, The Soft Moon’s orbiting post-punk doesn't exactly lend itself to basement-moshing. It is, however, ideal for driving at midnight with the windows down. Surf across these waves of reverb and echoed howls!
            Tracks: “When It’s Over” & “Tiny Spiders”

8.     Cut Copy – Zonoscope
Cut Copy’s sense of rhythm and melody make Zonoscope sound like something a modern-day, electronica-minded Beatles might create, even if New Order is a more obvious influence. And while disco synths are the icing on the cake, the heart of each track lies in Cut Copy’s actual songwriting, which has the potential to outlast any particular era.
Tracks: “Pharaohs and Pyramids” & “Sun God”

9.     Radiohead – The King of Limbs
As the years go by, the ever-innovative Radiohead has been getting progressively atmospheric and ambient; King of Limbs reflects this musical wisdom and penchant for experimentation. On the band’s eighth studio effort, all eight tracks seethe emotion via complex musical landscapes and Thom Yorke’s otherworldly voice.
            Tracks: “Codex” & “Feral”

10.  Yet Cut Breath – Hinges
A seven-track debut, Hinges showcases Anna Morsett’s vocal and emotional range, with songs that soothe and sadden amidst those that pack a glistening punch. Powerful songwriting drives the organic instrumentation, and a violin and cello add a gorgeous neo-classical touch.
            Tracks: “Kindness” & “Tied”

11.  TV on the Radio – Nine Types of Light
While there’s no track that matches the immediate potency of “Wolf Like Me” and “I Was a Lover” (from 2006′s Return to Cookie Mountain), the ten tracks on Nine Types are full of hooks, horns, and vocal rambunctiousness. Aside from the five band members who all play multiple instruments, Nine Types also features ten other musicians, which only adds to the funky eclecticism.
            Tracks: “No Future Shock” & “Repetition”

12.  Mogwai – Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will & Earth Division EP
Every time Mogwai puts out a record (be it LP or EP), they manage to offer something new while sticking to the brand of post-rock that made them famous in the first place. Both Hardcore and Earth Division are full of epic builds (though these songs are slightly shorter than on previous albums) as well as slightly more "standard" heavy rock tracks. For me, Mogwai is always most poignant when they bring out the piano, like on the somewhat unnerving “Get to France.” 
Tracks: “Letters to the Metro” & “Does This Always Happen?”

13.  Caveman – Coco Beware
This quartet’s Local Natives' vibe gives them a major thumbs up in my book. But though the two bands (from opposite corners of the country) may share an indie-rock sensibility I can’t completely put a finger on, Caveman steers us on a new path, one lined with whimsical (but never quaint) melodies that will surely stick with you.
Tracks: “Old Friend” & “Vampire”

14.  Phantogram – Nightlife (EP)
Last year, Phantogram’s debut album, Eyelid Movies, clocked in at #2 on my best-of-list. Luckily, the duo once again graces us with their gritty-and-pretty approach to indie-electronica. This year’s little EP is perfectly suited to a night of city-set mischief.
            Tracks: “Turning into Stone” & “Don’t Move”

15.  13 & God – Own Your Ghost
An interesting collaborative group (The Notwist plus Themselves), 13 & God released their first (and only) record back in 2005; thus, Own Your Ghost was highly anticipated. Like the first album, the tracks here shimmer with crystalline sounds and oddly delivered lyrics. Mood, genre, and composition shift unexpectedly from song to song. By taking both hip-hop and electronica in these atypical directions, 13 & God assure that their listeners never get bored.
            Tracks:  “Et Tu” & “Beat On Us”

16.  Future Islands – On The Water
Though it comes in second place compared to their first album, In Evening Air, Future Islands have offered another slick record of brooding indie-electro. Oscillating and a bit dark, put this one on repeat and let it steep. 
Tracks: “Balance” & “The Great Fire”

17.  The Black Keys – El Camino
These guys will always claim a spot somewhere on my list. The Keys sustain their dirty rock n’ roll, with healthy doses of guitar solos, catchy drumbeats, and classic-rock vocals. El Camino sounds like it was conceived and recorded a couple decades back, yet there’s nothing imitation about it. Makes me want to jump in a truck and drive across the desert (perhaps the album cover has something to do with that!).
            Tracks: “Dead and Gone” & “Hell of a Season”

18.  The Raveonettes – Raven in the Grave
Even though The Raveonettes have nailed an early ’80s-goth vibe, some of the songs on Raven are actually sunshiny. And whenever the dense and sometimes eerie guitar-fuzz feels overblown, we still maintain our grip on the gorgeous two-part vocal harmonies for which the duo is known.
            Tracks: “Apparitions” & “Evil Seeds”

19.  Julianna Barwick – The Magic Place
I am well acquainted with Julianna’s ethereal, silky, multi-layered songs, having interviewed her, caught her live, and listened to both Sanguine and Florine. Now on Asthmatic Kitty, Julianna’s songs shine even brighter. But true to her Brooklyn-bedroom musical process, she didn’t plan her record before stepping into the studio, which certainly became a magic place.
            Tracks: “Vow” & “Bob In Your Gait”

20.  Braids – Native Speaker
Native Speaker is musical rock candy: shiny and sweet, with a few sharp edges. Combining the slow-paced glaze of Slowdive with the vocal meanderings of Bjork, these seven songs truly sparkle. 
Tracks: “Lammicken” & “Native Speaker”

21.  Explosions in the Sky – Take Care, Take Care, Take Care
It may only be six tracks long, but Take Care is sprawling. This Texan quartet knows how to create emotionally present musical terrains, with driving drumbeats and long-winded guitars that race around a central melody.
            Tracks: “Last Known Surroundings” & “Trembling Hands”

22.  Yuck – Yuck
With a delightfully ’90s indie vibe, or that of a slightly poppier Sonic Youth, Yuck’s self-titled debut is fun and familiar. Break out your Walkman and tie the laces of those Chucks!
            Tracks: “Holing Out” & “The Wall”

23.  Boris – Attention Please & Heavy Rocks
The Japanese trio that is Boris may owe their name and some musical inheritance to the Melvins, but these simultaneously released albums comb through genre conventions. While Attention is poppier and exhibits some rather sexy experimentation, Heavy is an absolute gem for any post-rock fan.
Tracks: “Aileron” (two different tracks with this name appear on both albums) & “Party Boy”

24.  Thurston Moore – Demolished Thoughts
This album is musical poetry that carries an emotional but not melancholic weight. Even the song titles are lyrical, like “Blood Never Lies” and “In Silver Rain with Paper Key.” Most of the album feels hushed, accompanied by Samara Lubelski's familiar violin, but I particularly love those moments when Thurston’s thoughts become “demolished.”  
            Tracks: “Mina Loy” & “Circulation”

25.  The Kissing Club – Little Acorn (EP)
This little four-track EP is like a handcrafted invitation to a divorce, or perhaps a peace offering of love gone awry. While the very slow songs scratch at the bones, a classic-rock-style guitar solo on “Someone Else” breaks the supposed tranquility and reminds us just how purposefully restrained these "sweet" songs really are.
            Tracks: “Honeymoon” & “Someone Else”

26.  Atlas Sound – Parallax
Deerhunter frontman Brandon Cox continues his dreamy, woozy art-rock that can lift you to the stars even though it doesn't feel ethereal. Cox’s subdued take on experimental indie is refreshing when set against some dancey post-millennial bands; therefore, the minimalism of Parallax (a very apt title considering those prior-mentioned stars) can be as comforting as tea.
            Tracks: “Doldrums” & “Te Amo”

27.  Weekend ­– Red (EP)
Droning and churning, this trio takes from post-rock, stoner-rock, post-punk, and shoegaze to create something uniquely theirs (even if a million other bands have some form of ‘Weekend’ in their name). Echoed vocals and swirling guitars will mildly assault your eardrums.
            Tracks: “Hazel” & “Goifers”

28.  JEFF The Brotherhood – We Are Champions
These brothers are the lovechildren of Fugazi and The Ramones, though let’s throw in some White Stripes and Black Keys for good measure. Evoking images of hair-in-your-face parties in somebody’s basement or garage, JEFF goes at it with a stripped-down guitar-drum combo, perfect for soaring riffs that literally shred.
Tracks: “Ripper” & “Health and Strength”

29.   Paleo – Fruit of the Spirit
David Strackany wrote a song every day for one year using a “half-size children's guitar” while playing shows and being homeless. Some of these songs appear on Fruit, which maintains the sweet simplicity of life on the road. With tracks that are loosely constructed yet tightly melodic, Paleo is a descendent of the likes of Daniel Johnston and Darcy Clay.
         Tracks: “Over The Hill and Back Again” & “Lighthouse”

30.  Beach Fossils – What A Pleasure
These “reverb-slicked indie pop” songs sound like they need a little dusting. For a band that loves when shows get rowdy (at least according to the interview I conducted with frontman Dustin Payseur), this album certainly feels languid. But don’t get me wrong: the band’s lazy delivery is ideal for equally lazy days and lovers of dream-pop.
        Tracks: “What A Pleasure” & “Out in the Way (feat. Wild Nothing)”

31.  Foster the People – Torches
Fun and friendly, Foster the People’s cute vocals and poppy beats make Torches sound like children’s music. In fact, it reminds me of those pink cassettes that used to come with certain Barbie dolls. But such playfulness assures that Torches is properly riding the recent wave of dancey albums à la Passion Pit and CSS. And who doesn’t love when “Pumped Up Kicks” comes on in a bar?
            Tracks: “Pumped Up Kicks” & “Miss You”

32.  Robin Bacior – Rest Our Wings
The songs on this debut LP bloom as soon as Robin sets her stunning voice adrift across handfuls of organic instruments. Sometimes sun-soaked and other times ideal for a reflective rainy day, Robin sings with a musical wisdom far beyond her age: one that reverberates from the late '60s to present day. 
            Tracks: “Pair Migration” & “Ohio”

33.  Gauntlet Hair – Gauntlet Hair
As shrouded, foggy and murky as these tracks may be, they’re still able to lure you in deep. There’s something enchanting about Gauntlet Hair’s debut LP…even if it sounds like they recorded this in the bathroom down the hall!
            Tracks: “Top Bunk” & “Showing”

34.  Elite Gymnastics – Ruin
It’s not like this duo is doing anything particularly groundbreaking, but I’m a sucker for their metronomic beats, samples, hazy vocals, and “electro-hip-hop-chillwave” (according to Oh My Rockness, anyway). Then there’s that Atari Teenage Riot flourish on “Here in Heaven,” plus the parallelism of the entire album: the second half is comprised of softer and subdued echoes of all the tracks that came before. Perhaps the band is referencing the uneven bars!
            Tracks: “Here in Heaven” & “Omamori”

35.  PJ Harvey – Let England Shake
Quite the departure from the punkish PJ who sang, “That blue eyed girl became blue eyed whore,” Let England Shake’s PJ is theatrical in a different way. Recorded in St. Peter’s Church in Dorset, the concept here is “the anthem -- a love song to one’s country,” an idea for which PJ conducted historical research. With a Patti Smith edge to her voice and dramatic songs that remind me of Coldplay’s Viva La Vida (conceptually, not musically), this album proves that PJ is not done trying out new sounds, ideas, and even vocals.
            Tracks: “Let England Shake” & “The Words that Maketh Murder”

[those not included on any of my top albums]

1.     The Joy Formidable – “Whirring”
2.     Grouplove – “Colours”
3.     Sleep ∞ Over – “Romantic Streams
4.     Gotye – "Somebody That I Used to Know"
5.     100 Monkeys – “Wandering Mind”
6.     J. Mascis – “Not Enough”
7.     The Kills – “Satellite”
8.     This Will Destroy You – “Communal Blood”
9.     Dom – “Jesus”
10.  Mechanical People – “Magnolia”
11.  Girls – “Vomit”
12.  Cults – “Most Wanted”
13.  Grinderman – “When My Baby Comes”
14.  Lemonade – “The Place Where you Belong” (Shai cover)
15.  Esben and the Witch – “Warpath”
16.  Kurt Vile – “Baby’s Arms”
17.  Gang Gang Dance – “Glass Jar”
18.  Woodsman – “In Circles”
19.  Cass McCombs – “The Same Thing”
20.  Wooden Shjips – “Lazy Bones”
21.  The Chain Gang of 1974 – “Hold On”
22.  Minks – “Cemetery Rain”
23.  Florence and the Machine – “Only If For a Night” 
24.  Davila 666 – “Obsesionao”
25.  Slowdance – "Sweetness" 

And a special shout-out to The XX, whose album I didn’t include in my best-of list of 2010, which you can check out here!


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christopher Paul Stelling

In case you missed it, I'm calling your attention to a recent feature I wrote and designed on  Brooklyn musician Christopher Paul Stelling (also known as CPS). After catching him live a couple of times, the two of us met up in his favorite neighborhood bar to talk music, poetry, and even religion. Click on the picture below for the BRM feature (perhaps best viewed using Internet Explorer; make sure you can see the +/- on the text boxes to fully view all photos). And I'd personally love any and all feedback on both the writing and the design!

Now, here's some brand new CPS info...his official debut album, Songs of Praise and Scorn, will be coming out on 2/21/12 on the label DL/CD/LP. There wll be a record release show on February 18th on Stage 2 of Rockwood Music Hall in NYC. Here is the FB INVITE.

And there's a freeee MP3 download of the first single, "Mourning Train to Memphis," which you should most definitely

And just in case you're more of a visual person, CPS just did three lovely videos with the blog Sleepover Shows in Boston:
observe them.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Inspiration: the Moon (as seen from below).

the moon has always inspired me. here's a mini-exhibition. . . .

[snatched from the lovely Flying Oliphant]

xxx blue moon xxx
["xxx blue moon xxx" by Andre Fromont]

 [amy and jeremy in the moon, taken at Storm King in New York, by Garrett K.]

Saturday, December 10, 2011

NYC Spotlight: The Bowery.

Recently, a former student asked me for some help. Now a second-year architecture student, she was "designing a library in the Bowery area for class and wanted to make the content of the library music." She was wondering if I "knew anything about how the punk rock culture affected the Bowery and the neighborhood" as well as "its effects today and the mark it left in society." Naturally, I was flattered that she considered me some kind of expert on this topic. Below I share my rambling message, with some minor rewordings!

   For starters, I recommend watching Captured (a documentary about Clayton Patterson), which details the chaotic history of the LES and the Bowery through the literal lens of its most important historian. In fact, I recommend just looking at pictures Clayton has taken, as well as this fantastic interview. Other pictures you should look at include those by Marcia Resnick (who happens to be good friends with my good friend's dad) and Jenny Lens. Both really capture the essence and aesthetic of the era and some of its major players.

Luckily I got to see one show at CBGB's (though certainly the place was already past its prime). I don't know if you know this, but CBGB's had "famous" bathrooms because of their extensive graffiti and stickering. Pretty much any good punkish venue should have heavily stickered bathrooms. Just think of all the things people do in bathrooms...cocaine and sex galore! I don't know if that factors in design-wise, and I'm afraid I can't say I know anything about how punk culture affected architectural design, but interior-wise, keep it gritty and dark. Not a lot of windows.

Have you seen all the mosaics around the East Village -- on streetlamps and such? Those were done by Jim Powers. They came after the whole punk thing, but I feel like they're a decent representation of the spirit of punk and were perhaps influenced by it. Jim took matters into his own hands and created public art that tied the community together, even though gluing tiles to lampposts was a rather dangerous endeavor when you consider how crime-ridden the area was. I think the culture of punk was very tight-nit in a similar fashion: lots of little pieces glued together, lots of colors, and most of it very "street" since there was not a lot of money going around. Punks all made use of what already existed, for the most part, like warehouses and basements and the sidewalk, and remember too that some of them were squatting in Tompkin's Square and abandoned buildings. Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe actually lived in the Chelsea Hotel .

I think the punk rock culture attracted people -- musicians, filmmakers, artists, and people who just loved those things and wanted to live an unconventional lifestyle in contrast to societal expectation -- to the area, and eventually this led to independent businesses that catered to such things: little bookstores, record stores, video stores, etc. I worked at Kim's Video for a year, when it was a three-level store on St. Marks (now it's a one-level store on 1st Ave) and though that originally opened (on Ave A) in 1987, I feel like even that store was, in some way, influenced by the neighborhood's history....the idea of selling vinyl, carrying zines, selling burned DVDs illegally (ha!), and renting out old videos on VHS. The neighborhood is extremely different from what it once was and gentrification is partially (or mostly?) to blame, but inklings of that era remain.

I guess I bring up Kim's Video because it appealed to people who still wanted to listen to music on record and watch a movie on VHS (and there were lots of 'em), which were around during the punk movement. Things back then were physical and bulky (as opposed to digital and invisible) and not as easily obtained or as functional as they are today. People listened to music in groups; there were no ipods or even walkmans. So everything had this communal vibe, particularly when you consider gutter-punks who often squatted together and watched each other's backs. I think all the gutter-punks you see now (around Tompkins for example) are probably attracted to the area for its punkish history. Then you have other little reminders, like a bar that plays punk music, a bar that has an old photobooth, or tattoo artists who remember working when tattooing was illegal in NYC.

Nowadays, I think Brooklyn carries the spirit of that era more so than Manhattan, though there are still a plethora of shows around the Bowery and in the LES, which has places like Max Fish and Cake Shop and ABC No Rio. I think that era also inspired the arrival of many art galleries, in Soho for example, which catered to low-brow art, video-art, the avant-garde, graffiti, found objects, etc. Then of course you had Basquiat --- watch Downtown 81 if you can. He's in that movie and it really shows you what the area looked like in 1981...it looked like a warzone!!

You also had the "Cinema of Transgression," led by Nick Zedd. It might not really be worth looking into this for your project, but the LES really did have its own unique film history (also documented by Clayton Patterson). Nick Zedd's films speak to this explosion of eccentric creativity, and Kembra Pfahler was in some of his films, looking all crazy and non-human and feminist risque, and she also leads a band called The Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black -- they stir things up! I do think that a greater sense of feminism, "shock value," and daring artistic expression came out of the whole CBGB's movement, along with, perhaps, the idea of an extended period of youth in direct opposition to the status quo.

So as for the mark it left on society...well like I said, Brooklyn. I really believe that some of the hispter Williamsburg culture is an offshoot of the original punk movement, though there's a lot of imitation (of the Urban Outfitters variety) that lacks actual substance. But people start their own businesses (cafes, markets, boutiques, record stores, etc) and their own venues in weird places throughout Brooklyn (Glasslands, 285 Kent, Death By Audio, etc), and I've definitely compared shows I've been to with pictures I've seen from the '70s and it honestly doesn't look too different (though the rest of NYC does). There are rooftop shows and basement shows and lots of random DIY things going on...even the biking craze, anarchists, and Occupy Wall Street seem to owe something to NYC's punk past, at least to me.

The whole DIY culure came out of that ethos, which has fostered more art, more music, people starting their own record labels, people pressing their own zines and chapbooks, and even people growing food on their rooftop. On the Bowery today, we still have Billy's Antiques (it's literally on Houston and the Bowery) which has been going strong for decades...something like that (a guy selling old furniture on the street) also comes out of the punk-on-Bowery era, as does the Yippee Cafe, and even Bowery Poetry Club. It's all about making art, sharing art, and giving the middle finger to what mainstream media says is cool or accepted.