Burning Flags Press The website of Glen E. Friedman. Renowned for both his work with musicians like Fugazi, Minor Threat, Public Enemy, the Beastie Boys, Slayer (and many, many more) as well as his groundbreaking documentation of the burgeoning skateboard phenomenon in the late `70's, Glen has been privvy to (and has summarily captured on film) some of the coolest stuff ever. He's also an incredibly insightful and nice guy to boot.
SoHo Blues - Photography by Allan Tannenbaum Allan Tannenbaum is a local photographer who has been everywhere and shot everything, from members of Blondie hanging out at the Mudd Club through the collapsing towers of the World Trade Center on September 11th. You could spend hours on this site, and I have.
Robert Otter Photographs Amazing vintage photographs of New York City, specifically my own neighborhood, Greenwich Village.
oboylephoto Just some intensely cool photographs of abandoned places.
The Weblog of Spumco's John K. The weblog of cartoonist John Kricfalusi, crazed mind and frantic pencil behind the original "Ren & Stimpy," as well as "The Goddamn George Liquor Show." Surreal, unapologetic, uncompromising genius.
I put this on Facebook, but it's worth sharing here too.
"$1.00 Pizza" is a fucking plague!
It's the Bud Light of the pizza realm. It's disgraceful function-over-form at its worst, and a woeful disservice to this city's culinary reputation. Shun it and patronize your local, long-standing proper pizzerias.
So, I went to the expert about yesterday's quiz, and ....well....at least I got the neighborhood right.
If you're not familiar with his website, Bob Egan is THE MASTER at pinpointing specific architectural ephemera that will reveal a specific location. While I was postulating that the estimable Bernard Sumner (nee Albrecht) was strolling in suitably mournful fashion down West 21st street, Mr. Egan weighed in and shut my ass down. He writes...
The key was the direction of the cars and the building with the "classical" concrete horizontal stripes on the right.
Been a long time since we did a proper photo quiz. Here’s a toughie.
After spotting a photo online of a certain bit of street art that formerly graced the wall of a vacant lot in SoHo in the 1980s, I started combing the `net for an old picture from SPIN magazine I remembered from the mid-80’s of Bernard Sumner of New Order silhouetted against a similar facade. Well, I didn’t find that, but I did come across the shot below of Bernard shot by one Kevin Cummins. Take a good look.
I could be incredibly wrong, but from the looks of this photograph— presumably taken sometime in the mid-to-late 80’s, given how youthful our Barney looks — I think this picture depicts the New Order frontman and dubious lyricist walking westward on W.21st street, away from 10th Avenue.
I’m not sure, of course. Hell, I’m not even sure it’s New York, but here’s a Google Map shot of that particular strip today. Note the elevated track in the background (today known as The High Line). See what you think.
Though it presumably wouldn’t have existed at this point in time, if I’m correct, Bernard would be walking towards the former site of The Marquee (read more about that venue here).
Trying to keep track of changes on 8th Street seems like an exercise in futility, but I couldn't help noticing yesterday that they were clearing stuff out of Burger Creations between Mercer and Greene. Sure enough, despite its jaunty Halloween decorations, Burger Creations looks to be no more.
Can't say it's a great loss, actually. The creations in question left a bit to be desired.
Okay, just a quick silly one. You may remember a post from summer 2013 wherein I posted a couple of vintage pics of Joe Strummer lookin’ cool around NYC in honor of the fallen Clash leader’s birthday. In one of those pics — repurposed above — we saw Joe standing manfully in front of Carmine Street’s long-standing and endearingly stubborn enclave of vinyl purism, House of Oldies. If I had to wager, I'd suggest that said photograph was taken by long-time Clash pal and storied New Yorker, Bob Gruen, but I cannot be sure.
In any case, in a vain attempt at tiring them out, I took my kids out for another epic march around Manhattan yesterday, and as we were sauntering north on Carmine Street, we passed by House of Oldies, which reminded me of the Strummer pic. As such, here’s our tribute (with my little Charlotte looking suitably fatigued of these sorts of shenanigans)....
I've never really liked this song, but I discovered a new appreciation for "Jukebox" by the Flirts when spied its video, featuring some vintage shots of the Village, Carmine Street and ... yes ... the House of Oldies. I spoke about it at greater length here.
You might remember a quick post from 2013 wherein I showcased a photo of Iggy Pop on Houston Street circa 1984. That shot was taken by the late Ken Regan, a great rock photographer who passed away from cancer in 2012. In any case, stumbled upon another great photo of Mr. Pop taken by Mr. Regan, quite possibly shot on the same day. This is it.
Granted, it’s pretty hard to take a boring photo of Iggy, but this one spoke to me because of its location. If my calculations are correct (and this is the veritable QUINTESSENCE of goddamn trivia), Iggy is depicted facing east against the backdrop of the Washington Square Village superblock (which would possibly put him in 231 Mercer Street, but that’s just a guess). By the same token, given the uniformity of the two sides of Washington Square Village, he *could* be on the other side, facing east against the backdrop of LaGuardia Street. I’m leaning towards the former, though.
Quibbles aside, here’s an interesting little snippet I happened upon this evening whilst searching for some archival Iggy Pop footage. Evidently shot on New Year’s Day in 1995, this video follows three hirsute hepcats as they walk around the East Village of that bygone age, checking out local landmarks like Two Boots Pizza, the Gas Station and The Toy Tower on Avenue B.
Two Boots is still around (albeit in a different location), but the Gas Station and the Toy Tower are both long gone.
It’s a compelling-but-still-frustrating little clip in as much as I’d have rather they wasted less time and shot more material. Ah well, what can ya do? Enjoy the video...
I know many of you loyal readers probably think Facebook is a fatuous waste of time, and — honestly — you’re probably correct. That all said, there are some things to be found there that, in my opinion, do make it all worthwhile. If you’re a fan of the type of content you find here on Flaming Pablum, you’d do well to check out a group I’ve cited several times, that being Manhattan Before 1990, a very structured and orderly gaggle of folks fixated with images from NYC’s past. The photos I’ve encountered on same frequently stop me in my tracks. The one below is no exception.
As the discussion developed, a few of the group members thoughtfully provided images of 69 Bayard today — refreshingly not too different from the image Shore captured in the dead of night all those years ago.
Just a quickie, as I already wrote a sweeping post about the band back in 2007. In a nutshell, Surgery was this amazing band — originally from Hartford, Connecticut — who moved to NY fucking C to play gritty, fuck-you skronk rock ala contemporaries like Helmet, Prong, Unsane, Barkmarket and — wait for it — my beloved Cop Shoot Cop. As I mentioned in that earlier post, Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore once compared Surgery’s sound to a cross between Einsturzende Neubauten and Guns ’N’ Roses. Not sure how accurate that was, but it made for good copy.
I first heard Surgery, meanwhile, courtesy of my early 90’s East Village pals Steve McM. and Joanne H. — two rough-hewn hepcats who were on a tireless crusade to get to me to stop listening to the "pussy Anglo goth crap” I was digging at the time and get back into the harder stuff. Through Steve and Joanne, I was introduced to droves of cool new sounds, and routinely dragged to gigs at then-holes-in-the-wall like the Pyramid Club, The Cooler, the Lismar Lounge and a few other likely stops. Originally a rock writer like myself, Steve went onto roadie for SWANS before joining Cop Shoot Cop as their first guitar player, only to later jump ship and become a successful lawyer in Texas. Joanne, meanwhile, briefly played bass for an awesome local band called the Hot Corn Girls (featuring erstwhile members of The Chimpanzees and The Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black), before getting married and leaving NYC.
Anyway, I did indeed dig Surgery’s Nationwide, but it wasn’t until Shimmer, their Atlantic Records debut (after being swept up in the major label feeding frenzy in the wake of Nirvana’s Nevermind) that I really locked in, largely thanks to the awesome, NYC-centric video for “Off The A-List."
Tragically, Surgery wouldn’t experience a similar career trajectory as Nirvana, as 29-year-old lead singer Sean McDonnell died from complications from asthma in 1995, leaving behind a distraught band who parted ways out of respect for their fallen leader.
Why am I bothering to bring this all this up now? Well, only because I noticed that someone had uploaded the video for “Off the A-List” back on YouTube after YEARS of inaccessibility. It’s great. Play it now, and then play it again.
Here's a clip from Nationwide...slightly lower-of-budget, but equally NY-centric. Check out the Gas Station in the opening moments...
Lastly, here’s a visceral, straight performance clip — possibly filmed at the Pyramid, if I’m not mistaken.
First up, let me just state for the record that I am not — nor have I ever been — a fan of Spandau Ballet. Don’t get me wrong — I have absolutely zero problems with foppish new romantic bands, but in those stakes, Duran Duran beats the Spandaus every damn time. That said, my wife remains an ardent supporter.
In any case, via my pal Tim B’s Stupefaction site, I learned there’s a sprawling documentary on Spandau Ballet in the works (or already completed…see trailer below). Spotting the poster image for same — the Spandaus dressed in typically ridiculous garb while blocking traffic on West 33rd Street in the shadow of Madison Square Garden — I felt an irrepressible urge to replicate it. After ducking and weaving through herds of corpulent Scandiewiegian tourists on the High Line this morning, my kids and I found ourselves in the neighborhood, so we gave it a go. Here are the fruits of our labors. I know this much is true.
Here are the details on the flick...
And, honestly, if pressed to name Spandau Ballet's greatest achievement, I'd say this trumps "True"...