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.
My Facebook bud/photographer Susan Fensten's father John snapped same circa 1980 (which she, in turn, posted on the excellent Facebook group, Manhattan Before 1990). I still remember it being like that.....a wide expanse of space with precious few souls about.
It's a very different scene these days, of course. Here's that very same spot about fifteen minutes ago (with my kids in front of it, of course). How times have changed, eh?
Fensten's original shot reminds of the video below. I've wheeled it out a few times, but I just love the quiet, unhurried vibe of it all....
While it's a bit touristy, I logged many an hour in Katz's myself, usually after a heroic amount of beers consumed in the largely now-vanished bars of Ludlow Street in the 1990s. I even attended a festive "pastrami toss" there, when Cop Shoot Cop signed with a major label. Katz's, meanwhile, is probably most famous for being the location of a laboriously over-referenced scene from "When Harry Met Sally."
I've lamented the changes to Ludlow Street a couple of times here already. The northern end of the strip in question used to be an endearingly desolate area (although said desolation sometimes came with a price). Now, much like the westernmost end of Spring Street on the other side of town, real estate developers seem feverishly intent on making it a densely populated hive of monied exclusivity.
With all this in mind, I exhumed a photograph I took with my then-new wide angle lens in 1998 (click on it to enlage). Here's a potentially final glimpse of the bright, empty skies over Katz's and the northern end of Ludlow Street. And I wouldn't be surprised at all if Katz's was soon to vanish too. Just sayin'.
Not a lot preamble necessary for this one. I randomly stumbled across this clip on YouTube and felt compelled to share it here.
Initially filmed for a cable access television program called "Inner Tube" (which I wrote about back here in 2011), herewith the mighty Circle Jerks -- in their original line-up, no less -- performing at the Mudd Club in 1981.
Today, the Cirlce Jerks are no more (vocalist Keith Morris now sings with OFF!, Greg Hetson plays with Bad Religion, Roger Rogerson is dead, and I have no idea what Lucky Lehrer is doing). The Mudd Club at 77 White Street is also no more, having closed in 1983. In 2014, the building that was the Mudd Club is now a pricey condo.
You know you're old school -- and not in a cool way -- when relative squirts like Chloe Sevigny (pictured at right in the fetching Siouxsie t-shirt) start moaning about how the East Village is a sad shadow of its former self.
I've waxed vitriolic about Miss Sevigny here before, although in retrospect, I'm not exactly sure why. I mean, no, she's not really a great actress, but all I've ever seen her in was "Kids" and "The Last Days of Disco." While both those films were fairly undercooked for a variety of reasons, I gather she's gone on to more accomplished work in recent years. I haven't seen any of that, so I shouldn't really judge her there.
Sevigny's championing of the noxious Beatrice Inn in the West Village a few years back certainly didn't endear her to me, but I understand that she was just being supportive to her brother, who was a stakeholder there at the time. Furthermore, I've heard her interviewed about music on occasion, and she seems to know her stuff in that department. I'm sure she could hold her own in any annoying debate about tune-minutia that idiots like myself are prone to get into.
Anyway, Chloe recently chatted with The Daily Beast and joined the ranks of folks like myself, EV Grieve and Jeremiah Moss in the decrying of changes downtown. While there's still the wafting aroma of insufferable hipness about her (or ... wait ... maybe that's just my own blinkered projection and thinly-veiled hostility towards people who are younger than me), she seems like a perfectly reasonable lady.
That all said, I do wish she's stop saying "hating on." One doesn't hate on anything, one just HATES. There is no surface required for the verb to be put into action. One doesn't hate on or under or over or adjacent to to. One just HATES! Let's drop that silly, stupid shit, shall we?
When Bleecker Bob's at 118 West Third Street closed back in 2013, there was much hue and cry over its untimely and unfortunate demise. Many of us in the NYC bloggy community suggested the place should be given landmark status. I penned many a weepy post that looked back fondly at my own experiences of shopping at that fabled spot. But, in due course, it was shuttered .... then said to shortly become yet another frozen yogurt emporium.
In any case, my good friend Howard "How Weird" Forbes posted an image on Facebook that caught my eye: A still from a shlocky movie from 1982 called "The Last Horror Film" (brought to you by Troma, the same folks responsible for "The Toxic Avenger"). Here is the still in question:
Howard caption it with:
Watching THE LAST HORROR FILM from 1982. Jerry Ohlinger's Movie Materials store is still where I first discovered it, but Bleecker Bob's has not yet moved in to their space.
This pretty much blew a new part in my hair.
Pictured in the space where Bleecker Bob's would soon occupy is an establishment called Bonaparte. I was intrigued. We've all heard that 118 West Third had originally been a beatnik nightclub called The Night Owl back in the day, but I was ignorant as to its incarnations other than as Bleecker Bob's.
Wrongly assuming Bonaparte was a French restaurant, I discovered that Bonaparte had also been a record store (as fleetingly detailed in this blog post about a U2 fan who spilled chocolate milk on a copy of the Circle Jerks debut LP). Go figure.
If you have any recollections of Bonaparte, please share them!
"The Last Horror Film," meanwhile, looks fairly worth avoiding (with all due respect to the predilections of my friend Howard). The only notable factor I can assess from the trailer below is that the film stars an absurdly sexy actress named Caroline Munro. You might remember her as the reporter lady/love interest in Adam Ant's "Goody Two Shoes" video.
Meanwhile, here's what the strip pictured in Howard's still of 118 West Third Street looks like today. Jerry Ohlinger's moved to West 14th Street after this, then to West 35th streeet and then eventually closed.
And, should you care, here's a taste of "The Last Horror Film."
Hey again, all. Just a very quick one. I'm currently deeply ensconced in familial matters (see previous post) and taking care of a dizzying amount of logistics, but I spotted this whilst quickly perusing the `Net, and thought it was something worth sharing here.
I'm a member, on Facebook, of a group called Manhattan Before 1990 -- which is pretty self-explanatory in terms of the subject matter of the discussion. Essentially, members post their favorite pictures and ephemera of the city from ages past (much like I do here). This morning, a fellow member named Ruben posted the following picture, prefaced with the accompanying information:
Marilyn Monroe Wasn' t The Only Beauty That Sam Shaw Photographed On The Streets Of New York. (Sam Shaw - Lee Remick, The Bowery, New York City, 1960.)
Indeed, few could argue that Lee Remick wasn't an entirely fabulous babe, as this picture handily demonstrates. But can anyone name the street she's giving it some serious smolder on? Weigh in.
Meanwhile, the second I spotted this, my head immediately filled with the strains of this favorite from the old Go-Betweens. Crank it.
Back in 2008, I wrote a weepy little post about my drunken nights on Ludlow Street in the 90's, noting that I no longer spent that much time on that particular strip of the Lower East Side. Well, now that Max Fish, the Luna Lounge, Barramundi, Motor City, the Pink Pony, El Sombrero and the Ludlow Street Cafe are all but a memory (in some jarring instances replaced my imposing new high rises), I have even less reason to go there.
That all said, I'd read recently about a Beastie Boys mural being painted on the east-facing facde of the corner shop originally featured on the cover of Paul's Boutique(where Ludlow intersects with Rivington), and felt obligated to go check it out. Below is my capture of same.
It's impressive, but the Ludlow Street of the Beastie Boys' era is a distant memory by this point, replaced by what my comrade Jeremiah Moss once again described to as a "world of vocal frying dumb talk."
Still, it's a nice mural. By the way, if you're a fan of Paul's Boutique (and if you're not -- you're pretty much dead to me), you might enjoy this.
Hey again, all. I still only have tenuous access to all things Web these days, so please sit tight. In the interim, however, I saw this breeze by on Facebook recently, and thought I'd share it.
Here's a (presumably) homemade vid for "Oh! Sweet Nuthin'" by ye olde Velvet Underground. Though the song dates back to about 1970 (it's the final track on the Loaded album), I can't quite put a date on the NYC footage herein. In any case, enjoy.
I hoep to be back in regular rotation shortly. Stay tuned.
Hey all, just a quick one. I'm actually sequestered out on the `Island for a while with limited computer access, so bear with me.
During my two-month hiatus, my comrade Drew sent me the video below, and I've meant to put up a post about it ever since.
This October will mark the eight-year anniversary of the closing of CBGB at 315 Bowery, a milestone that prompted much gnashing of teeth in many circles (including mine). The shuttering of the fabled rock club, endearingly squalid dive bar and ground zero of Punk Rock has since come to serve as a telling signifier of the transformation of New York City. That its address has since been co-opted by a bespoke clothier only reinforces that. The Bowery is a different place. Downtown is a different place. New York City is a different place. Those are just the facts.
Since CB's demise, the already robust mythology that surrounded it has only flourished (no thanks to a truly abortive film from 2013 about same, but the less said about that, the better). An invocation of a night of CBGB now comes grittily entrenched in the artful imagery of dimly lit urban decay, the insouciant cool of bohemia, the whiff of an anything-goes frontier and the palpable threat of violence. The name conjures up pictures like those found in Bri Hurley's "Making a Scene," a striking photographic document of the New York hardcore community (that's one of her shots above), or like the iconic image below of the No Wave all-stars... portraits of romantic characters existing on the edge of society.
Truth is, of course, not every night at CB's was like that. Not every show at 315 Bowery warranted the punk pageantry. Hell, in its last several years of operation, the booking policy at CBGB really wasn't that adventurous, nor did it attract room-filling big names. Even during its 70's and 80's heyday, some shows at CBGB were just that... shows. No one got stabbed. No one showed up with a mohawk. No cops were punched. It was just another night at one of the city's live music venues.
Below is another clip by Nelson Sullivan, the intrepid videographer I've written about before, who presciently made a point to document as much of his life on video as he could (prior to his untimely death). In this clip, Sullivan attends a record release party at the CBGB Record Canteen (remember that?) for Binky Philips, a somewhat-less-celebrated scene veteran, CB's regular and self-described "also-was." As an event, it's fairly low on thrills, but the video provides a tantalizing glimpse back at the scene circa 1987.
Watch for a blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo of the cover of Killing Joke's Brighter Than a Thousand Suns amid the record racks.
These days, CBGB is the afore-cited John Varvatos boutique and the space that was the CBGB Record Canteen is now a Patagonia, for all your pricey, outdoorsy gear needs.