Lucid Culture

JAZZ, CLASSICAL MUSIC AND THE ARTS IN NEW YORK CITY

Song of the Day 6/10/09

Every day, our top 666 songs of alltime countdown gets one step closer to #1. Wednesday’s song is #413:

Public Image Ltd. – Think Tank

After Keith Levene left the band, John Lydon’s post-Pistols project floundered, the noise-rock pioneers running through a forgettable series of guitarists that included Steve Vai for one album! But toward the end, former Banshee John McGeoch did some time in the band, and it’s his ferocious, distorted chords and completely unhinged solo that make this anti-fascist anthem so brutally potent. Kiss this, Heritage Foundation. From their surprisingly good swan song That What Is Not, 1992; mp3s are everywhere.

Advertisements

June 10, 2009 Posted by | lists, Lists - Best of 2008 etc., Music, music, concert | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Song of the Day 5/2/09

OK, trying this in firefox, hold on, this could be a disaster…Every day, our top 666 songs of alltime countdown gets one step closer to #1. Saturday’s song is #452:

The Sex Pistols – No Feelings – This one you know. Don’t be fooled into thinking it’s a justification for rightwing selfishness – it’s just a raised middle finger at conformity. “I kick you in the brains when you get down to kneel and pray, you pray to your god!!!” This link is to the version from their last-ever show with Sid Vicious, Winterland, 1977. In case you’re unfamiliar, Bananarama’s deadpan 1981 cover – from when they were still ostensibly punk girls – is hilarious.

May 1, 2009 Posted by | lists, Lists - Best of 2008 etc., Music, music, concert | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Song of the Day 1/26/09

Every day, our top 666 songs of alltime countdown gets one step closer to #1. Monday’s is #548:

The Sex Pistols – New York

The way Chris Thomas produced all those layers of Steve Jones’ guitar is one of the great studio achievements ever. Except that it left the grand total of two tracks for Johnny Rotten, who blew out his voice on the first take of the first song…and then had to do the rest of the album. And maybe sounded better for it. “A kiss, a kiss, sealed with a kiss, kiss this,” he snarls, dismissing his old tourmates the New York Dolls. Sweet pickslide by Jones to wind up the song. At all the mp3 sites; you may have to sift through several dodgy live versions.

January 26, 2009 Posted by | lists, Lists - Best of 2008 etc., Music, music, concert | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Song of the Day 12/18/08

If you’re going out this weekend and wonder where our constantly updated NYC live music calendar went, it’s here. In the meantime our top 666 songs of alltime countdown continues, one day at a time all the way to #1. Thursday’s is #587:

Dead Prez – They Schools

A hip-hop companion piece to Schools Are Prisons by the Sex Pistols/Ex-Pistols. This is a terse, defiant and spot-on look at why so many inner city residents find public school absolutely irrelevant, simply a type of incarceration preparing kids for life behind bars and nothing else. From the 2000 cd Let’s Get Free.

December 17, 2008 Posted by | Lists - Best of 2008 etc., Music | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Concert Review: The Brooklyn What at the Brooklyn Lyceum 8/22/08

Very possibly the best show of the year so far. The Brooklyn What look and sound like something you would have seen at CBGB around 1977, not a carefully coiffed, safetypinned-and-mohawked self-parody decked out in matching mallstore Ramones shirts, but just an average-looking bunch of guys playing blazingly energetic, loud, often hilarious rock with purist punk energy, intelligence and a spot-on, often vicious sense of humor. Frontman Jamie Frey is a big guy who looks like he doesn’t deprive himself of pizza or beer (although at this show he was fueled strictly by adrenaline, drinking only water). By the time the band had started their second song, his shirt had come off, “NEXT TOP MODEL” stenciled down his hefty torso. The band – who seem to be something of a revolving cast of characters – started out with three guitarists and ended up with two. Running their instruments straight through their amps as the PA was being used for just the vocals, they played smartly, tersely and tunefully although with enough looseness to provide plenty of menace.

 

They hit the ground running with a blazingly catchy, upbeat number, then a couple of songs later did what has become their signature song, I Don’t Wanna Go to Williamsburg. If there is anyone alive 20 years from now, this song will be a classic, the little clique it ridicules a metaphor for a much bigger problem. The funniest thing about this song is that it’s already dated, namechecking both Northsix and Galapagos, the first of which is defunct and the second of which moved to Dumbo earlier this year. The band played it faster than the version on their myspace, giving it a vintage Black Flag feel: “I don’t wanna go to Galapagos! I don’t wanna hear the fucking Hold Steady!” On the chorus, it’s unclear whether Frey is being sarcastic or if he’s speaking for himself: “I just wanna play with the cool kids,” he hollered. If this is to be taken at face value, he’s definitely achieved his dream. This is the anthem we’ve been waiting for. As the Boomtown Rats said, watch out for the normal people: there’s more of us than there’s of you. If only everybody knew that.

 

They did two covers. Carol by Chuck Berry was transformed from happy Dick Clark rock to something casually but absolutely evil, like what the Dead Boys might have done with it. The version of the Kinks’ I’m Not Like Everybody Else was every bit as good as it could have been, in fact with the guitars roaring at full blast the classic nonconformist anthem might have been even better than the original. Among the other songs: a vaguely oi-punk number evoking the UK Subs, the band hollering their refrain after Frey reached the end of a verse; a slow, pounding riff-rocker; and a hilarious, backbeat-driven anti-trendoid diatribe possibly called Moving to Philly. Frey thrashed around, throwing himself to the floor, then on one number got up and took a sprint around the back of the stage – in his socks – before reemerging a couple of seconds later, picking up where he left off. The band closed with We Are the Only Ones, a defiant call to unity for all the cool kids who’d come out to see them, an almost predictably diverse mix of old and young (Frey’s grandmother among them), male and female, gay and straight, dancing around deliriously albeit without any violence. Like the Sex Pistols or the Clash, the Brooklyn What could spearhead a brand-new scene that has nothing to do with fashion, celebrity or inherited wealth. They couldn’t have timed it better. Watch this space for info about their next show and their upcoming cd The Brooklyn What for Borough President.

August 26, 2008 Posted by | concert, Live Events, Music, music, concert, New York City, review, Reviews, rock music | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments