Robert Wilson: It’s About Time

“When Robert Wilson’s work first appeared internationally it was generally seen from a single and limited viewpoint—as a return to the image. Wilson was understood as a proponent of two-dimensional theater, of theater to be looked at only. This was because he came into the public eye at the beginning of the ’70s, when the figurative gesture ruled supreme on the stage, and the body, in its expressive entirety, was at the center of a tendency to involve the spectator. But Wilson’s push was to stretch the visual; it was a recuperation of the grand deliriums of the Surrealist painters, basing dramatic narrative on a simple sequence of backdrops and the unfolding of a tableau vivant, immobile yet in continuous and unstoppable evolution. …”
YouTube: How Robert Wilson Bends Time


Are You Receiving? Killing Joke As Post Punk Pioneers

Jaz Coleman portrait courtesy of Killing Joke
It’s undeniable that Simon Reynolds’ Rip It Up And Start Again: Postpunk 1978 – 1984 (Faber, 2005) is an essential text for anyone interested in the revolutionary potential of DIY music recorded in the pre-digital age. This weighty but gripping tome starts with the implosion of the Sex Pistols during their ill-fated American tour of 1978 and concludes with the explosion of such ‘new pop’ acts as Frankie Goes To Hollywood and Art Of Noise seven years later. These two stylistically diverse bookends only hint at the cornucopia of ragged and revolutionary sonic thrills to be had on the pages in between. The oppressive gloom of Joy Division; the herky jerky deconstructed jazz fusion of The Contortions; the militant Marxist funk of Gang Of Four; the avant feminist punk of The Slits; the revolutionary machine noise of Throbbing Gristle; the rumbling, scabrous dub of PiL; the heady, post-modern pop of Talking Heads, and so on. …”
The Quietus

No Wave Post-Punk Underground New York 1976-1980

Thurston Moore and Byron Coley: “New York City during the 1970s was a beautiful, ravaged slag — impoverished and neglected after suffering from decades of abuse and battery. She stunk of sewage, sex, rotting fish, and day-old diapers. She leaked from every pore. [Expletive] was already percolating by the time I hit Manhattan as a teen terror in 1976. Inspired by the manic rantings of Lester Bangs in Creem magazine, the Velvet Underground’s sarcastic wit, the glamour of the New York Dolls’ first album, and the poetic scat of Horses, by Patti Smith, I snuck out my bedroom window, jumped on a Greyhound, and crash-landed in a bigger ghetto than the one I had just escaped from. …”
NY Times – ‘No Wave: Post-Punk’

Bush Tetras – Boom In The Night (Original Studio Recordings 1980-1983)

“… Myself and half of the other straight guys were in love with the butch dykes that ruled downtown with everything one could hope to have= real style, Intelligence, wry humor, poetry, good music and defiant politics.They did not become big because of their in-your-face lesbian sensuality. I remember when ‘Too many creeps’ came out, everyone was like ‘hey who are these women, and what are they saying?’. Sadly, heroin took its toll and members went downhill and destroyed a great band… Do yourself a favor. Buy this record. This is the real deal. …”
Holland Tunnel Dive
Bandcamp (Audio)
Discogs (Video)

Theoretical Girls – Theoretical Record (2002)

“… Theoretical Girls was a New York band formed by Glenn Branca and Jeff Lohn that existed from 1977 to early 1979. They were among the most enigmatic of the late ’70s New York no wave bands, famous not so much for their music, since they released only one single during their brief existence, but because the group launched the careers of two of New York’s best known experimental music figures, composer Glenn Branca and producer Wharton Tiers. The latter played drums, the former guitar (as you might expect) in the quartet, which also featured keyboardist Margaret DeWys and vocalist/guitarist Jeffrey Lohn, a classically trained composer who, like Branca and so many others in the no wave scene, wasn’t interested in working with popular musical forms until inspired to do so by the explosion of punk rock. …”
Holland Tunnel Dive
Discogs (Video)

Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) – Eurythmics (1983)

Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) is the second studio album by British pop duo Eurythmics, released on 4 January 1983 by RCA Records. After a year and a half of initial commercial failure for Eurythmics, this album became a breakthrough for the duo on both sides of the Atlantic. The title track became particularly popular and remains one of Eurythmics’ most recognisable songs. Its music video, popular on MTV in the United States, is memorable for Annie Lennox‘s gender-bending imagery. In the wake of this success, the single ‘Love Is a Stranger’, previously a flop, was re-released and became a hit as well. It too was accompanied by a striking video that featured Lennox dressed both as a man and a woman. …”
allmusic (Audio)
Discogs (Video)
YouTube: Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This), Love Is a Stranger, There Must Be An Angel (Playing With My Heart)


“Breakdancing, also called breaking or b-boying/b-girling, is an athletic style of street dance originating from the African American communities in the United States. While diverse in the amount of variation available in the dance, breakdancing mainly consists of four kinds of movement: toprock, downrock, power moves and freezes. Breakdancing is typically set to songs containing drum breaks, especially in hip-hop, funk, soul music and breakbeat music, although modern trends allow for much wider varieties of music along certain ranges of tempo and beat patterns. The modern dance elements of breakdancing originated among the poor youth of New York during the early 1970s, where it was introduced as breaking. It is closely attributed to the birth of hip-hop, as DJs developed rhythmic breaks for dancers. …”
exploring the birth of the b-boy in 70s new york
YouTube: The Birth of Hip Hop – Henry Louis Gates Jr., NEW YORK CITY BREAKERS OLD FOOTAGE

Patti Smith’s Eternal Flame

Platform at the 68th Street/Lexington subway station. Gerard Malanga took it in 1971.
“‘No matter what anybody thinks about any of them,’ said Patti Smith, ‘every record I’ve done has been done with the same amount of care, anguish, pain, suffering, and joy. We never threw a record together. Each record was done really seriously, as if our life depended on it.’ In 1975, when Smith released her astonishing first album, Horses, she became the first member of the nascent CBGB crew to make it to vinyl, helping set a global revolution in motion. …”
Patti Smith’s Eternal Flame
Robert Miller Gallery: Patti Smith
NY Times: Rock Star Patti Smith, Making Paris Swoons
Voice – Patti Smith: Save This Rock and Roll Hero by Robert Christgau (1977)
[PDF] Patti Smith featured in the Janet Hamill Archive
Open Culture: Patti Smith’s Polaroids of Artifacts from Virginia Woolf, Arthur Rimbaud, Roberto Bolaño & More
Patti Smith, the Curator of Rock ‘N’ Roll (2011)
LitHub: The Moment When Punk Collided With Poetry
LitHub: Is It Still Punk When the Musician Makes It Big? by Vivien Goldman

Trash and Vaudeville

“Trash and Vaudeville is a store located at 96 East 7th Street between Avenue A and First Avenue in East Village in Manhattan, New York. The store is associated with the clothing styles of punk rock and various other counter culture movements, and has been a leading source of fashion inspiration since its inception by owner  and founder Ray Goodman in 1975. Ray Goodman founded Trash & Vaudeville in 1975 at 4 Saint Marks Place, New York, NY. The store occupied two floors within the historic Hamilton-Holly House building on St. Mark’s Place from 1975 to February 2016. The basement formerly housed a pinball parlor directly below the upstairs, which was accessed by an iron staircase. Although physically separated as two stores, they were regarded as one entity. …”
NY Times: Trash and Vaudeville, a Punk Emporium, Leaves Its East Village Home
The Way It Was: One Last Look at Trash & Vaudeville on St. Mark’s Place
NY Times: The Shop That Punk Built

Glenn Branca: A Guide to the Symphonies

“To most listeners, composer Glenn Branca is best known for his early engagements with the experimental side of rock history. Back in 1981, Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo were two of the guitarists in the orchestra for the premiere of Branca’s Symphony No. 1, and since it was Branca’s own early ’80s imprint, Neutral, that originally released Sonic Youth’s first self-titled EP, the man has been subsumed within that band’s origin story for decades. … You have to give Branca credit for dedication: as of this writing, his website details 16 different symphonies. Of those, nine of his first 10 have received official recordings. (While Symphonies Nos. 11, 12, 14 and 15 remain in the ether, the Atavistic label has just issued Symphony No. 13 Hallucination City for 100 Guitars, and plans to issue the long-unreleased Symphony No. 4 later in 2016.) …”
Red Bull Music Academy (Video)
Glenn Branca symphonies (Video)
Discogs (Video)