The Mudd Club


Anita Sarko DJ-ing at the Mudd Club, ca. 1980.
The Mudd Club was a nightclub in the TriBeCa area of New York City, USA, that operated from 1978 to 1983 as a venue for underground music and counterculture events. It was located at 77 White Street in downtown Manhattan and was opened by Steve Mass, art curator Diego Cortez and downtown punk scene figure Anya Phillips. The Mudd Club was named after Samuel Alexander Mudd, a doctor who treated John Wilkes Booth in the aftermath of Abraham Lincoln‘s assassination. It closed in New York in 1983. In order to secure the space for the Mudd Club (a loft owned by artist Ross Bleckner), Steve Mass described the future venue as cabaret. Mass claimed to have started the nightclub on a budget of only $15,000. The club featured a bar, gender-neutral bathrooms and a rotating gallery curated by Keith Haring on the fourth floor. Live performances included new wave, experimental music, literary icons Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs, and catwalk exhibitions for emerging fashion designers Anna Sui and Jasper Conran. From the start it functioned as an ‘amazing antidote to the uptown glitz of Studio 54 in the ’70s’. As it became more frequented by downtown celebrities, a door policy was established and it acquired a chic, often elitist reputation. The Mudd Club was frequented by many of Manhattan’s up-and-coming cult celebrities. Other individuals associated with the venue included musicians Lou Reed, Johnny Thunders, David Byrne, Debbie Harry, Arto Lindsay, John Lurie, Nico with Jim Tisdall, Lydia Lunch, X, the Cramps, the B-52’s, the Bongos and Judas Priest; artist Jean-Michel Basquiat and his then-girlfriend Madonna; performers Klaus Nomi and John Sex; designers Betsey Johnson, Maripol and Marisol; and underground filmmakers Amos Poe; Vincent Gallo, Kathy Acker, and Glenn O’Brien. …”
Wikipedia
NY Times: The Doorman at the Mudd Club Tells All
Basquiat’s world: Downtown NYC and the Mudd Club (Audio)
amazon: The Mudd Club

Black History Month: Post-Soul Culture Circa 1992


“… In the March 17, 1992, issue of the Voice, contributor Nelson George surveyed the ‘post-soul’ landscape and discovered that, ‘as a musical genre, a definition of African American culture, and the code word for our national identity, soul has pretty much been dead since Nixon’s reelection in 1972. But what’s replaced it? Arguing in these pages in 1986, Greg Tate tried to establish a ‘new black aesthetic’ as a defining concept. He had a point, though I’d argue there was more than one aesthetic at work. For better and worse, the spawn of the postsoul era display multiple personalities.’ Indeed, over seventeen pages George explores a broad spectrum of post-soul black aesthetics, and the Voice’s art department helped with diptychs comparing and contrasting Malcolm X to KRS-One and Muhammad Ali and Bundini Brown to Chuck D and Flavor Flav, as well as triptychs of Lisa Bonet and Magic Johnson. …”
Voice

New York Rocker


New York Rocker published 54 issues between 1976 and 1982. They had a small staff, no more than a half-dozen full-time at most. The peak of its circulation was around 35,000 copies a month. But as they say, it was incredibly influential. And more than being influential, it was just a great paper. And it still is, if you can find the back issues. The writing is excellent, the tone is smart and punchy, and it’s also deadly serious. They covered national stuff really well but also managed to stay really hyper-local. Especially as the paper went on, its correspondents weren’t just fans active in their own cities and scenes, but also fans of a truly remarkable breed. In one issue, there’s a photo of a Sex Pistols gig, and the photo credit is ‘Steven Morrissey,’ who ran the band’s fan club. Another issue has scene reports from Cleveland credited to James Jarmusch. In 1981, they gave R.E.M. their first national press which allowed the band to trademark its name. Time and time again, they were on top of things, in a totally sincere, uncynical, and self-aware way. They charted what’s now blurrily called American indie rock, but they also had a pretty major hand in inventing it. It’s a really dated name now, New York Rocker. …”
PERFECT SOUND FOREVER
NY Rocker
New York Rocker: The Covers (1976 – 1982)
W – New York Rocker
amazon: New York Rocker

Industrial music


Throbbing Gristle
Industrial music is a genre of experimental music which draws on harsh, transgressive or provocative sounds and themes. AllMusic defines industrial music as the ‘most abrasive and aggressive fusion of rock and electronic music‘; ‘initially a blend of avant-garde electronics experiments (tape music, musique concrète, white noise, synthesizers, sequencers, etc.) and punk provocation’. The term was coined in the mid-1970s with the founding of Industrial Records by members of Throbbing Gristle and Monte Cazazza. While the genre name originated with Throbbing Gristle’s emergence in the United Kingdom, concentrations of artists and labels vital to the genre also emerged in Chicago. … The precursors that influenced the development of the genre included acts such as electronic music group Kraftwerk, experimental rock acts such as Pink Floyd and Frank Zappa, psychedelic rock artists such as Jimi Hendrix, and composers such as John Cage. Musicians also cite writers such as William S. Burroughs, and philosophers such as Friedrich Nietzsche as influences. …”
Wikipedia
20 of the most iconic songs in industrial music (Audio)
Assimilate: A Critical History of Industrial Music
The 10 Best Industrial Albums To Own On Vinyl
all music: Industrial
amazon: Assimilate: A Critical History of Industrial Music

Einsturzende Neubauten

Dub music


Dub is a genre of music that grew out of reggae in the 1960s, and is commonly considered a subgenre, though it has developed to extend beyond the scope of reggae. Music in this genre consists predominantly of instrumental remixes of existing recordings and is achieved by significantly manipulating and reshaping the recordings, usually by removing the vocals from an existing music piece, and emphasizing the drum and bass parts (this stripped-down track is sometimes referred to as a riddim). Other techniques include dynamically adding extensive echo, reverb, panoramic delay, and occasional dubbing of vocal or instrumental snippets from the original version or other works. It was an early form of popular electronic music. The Roland Space Echo was widely used by dub producers in the 1970s to produce echo and delay effects. Dub was pioneered by Osbourne ‘King Tubby’ Ruddock, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Errol Thompson and others in the late 1960s. Augustus Pablo is credited with bringing the melodica to dub, and is also among the pioneers and creators of the genre. Similar experiments with recordings at the mixing desk outside the dancehall environment were also done by producers Clive Chin and Herman Chin Loy. … Dub music is in conversation with the cultural aesthetic of Afrofuturism. Having emerged from Jamaica, this genre is regarded as the product of diaspora peoples, whose culture reflects the experience of dislocation, alienation and remembrance. Through the creation of space-filling soundscapes, faded echoes, and repetition within musical tracks, Dub artists are able to tap into such Afrofuturist concepts as the nonlinearity of time and the projection of past sounds into an unknown future space. …”
Wikipedia
Dubbing Is A Must: A Beginner’s Guide To Jamaica’s Most Influential Genre
In A Dub Style (All Vinyl Roots Reggae Dub Mix) (Audio)

Lester Bangs – Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung (1987)


“The late rock critic Lester Bangs was, like many of his colleagues, a frustrated musician. He even recorded a handful of records: the single ‘Let It Blurt’ and hard-to-find LPs with his New York group Birdland and the Texas-based Delinquents. But his finest hour may have come when he played typewriter at Cobo Hall in Detroit with the J. Geils Band. I’m serious—he played typewriter. The details are contained in a hilarious piece, ‘My Night of Ecstasy With the J. Geils Band,’ part of the recent posthumous collection of Bangs’s writing, Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung. … He even took a curtain call. This strange routine is much like Bangs’s writing—it’s funny, dumb, inspired, fantastic, and self-aggrandizing all at once. As a critic commenting on his chosen field, popular music, Bangs was a creature of polar opposites—genius and buffoon, observer and participant, fabulist and mundane reporter, sober analyst and drunken fantasist. He stood apart from his colleagues by virtue of his willingness to take a creative dare. That daring, which may be seen in his stage shot with the Geils Band, is also vastly apparent in the 370-plus pages of Psychotic Reactions, collected by fellow critic Greil Marcus. …”
Reading: Lester Bangs Played Typewriter
W – Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung
W – Lester Bangs
SCRIBD
amazon

Experimental Music: Cage and Beyond – Michael Nyman


“Michael Nyman’s book is a first-hand account of experimental music from 1950 to 1970. First published in 1974, it has remained the classic text on a significant form of music making and composing that developed alongside, and partly in opposition to, the postwar modernist tradition of composers such as Boulez, Berio, or Stockhausen. The experimentalist par excellence was John Cage whose legendary 4′ 33” consists of four minutes and thirty three seconds of silence to be performed on any instrument. Such pieces have a conceptual rather than purely musical starting point and radically challenge conventional notions of the musical work. Nyman’s book traces the revolutionary attitudes that were developed toward concepts of time, space, sound, and composer/performer responsibility. It was within the experimental tradition that the seeds of musical minimalism were sown and the book contains reference to the early works of Reich, Riley, Young, and Glass. This second edition contains a new Foreword, an updated discography, and a historical overview by the author.”
amazon
Concerning Temporality in Music
Book Review: Experimental Music on Your Bookshelf
[PDF] Experimental Music – Library of Congress
[PDF] File:Nyman Michael Experimental Music Cage and Beyond 2nd

Clayton Hats


“… In 1986, Clayton Patterson and Rensaa began designing and fabricating custom baseball hats which they sold in the storefront at 161 Essex which they branded as Clayton Hats. The idea to make custom hats came from Clayton instructing Ben Booksinger, a cap maker on Avenue A, to embroider around the cap – off the peak. Clayton realized Ben could make a drawing on his old fashioned embroidery machine when he saw Ben make a copy of a Savage Skull Patch and duplicated it as an embroidered patch. Clayton got Booksinger to embroider Clayton designs on the front and on the sides of the cap. Thus the birth of the Clayton cap- the first designer branded baseball cap. The Clayton cap was the first baseball cap to have the embroidery all around the cap, and had the first signature and label on the outside of the cap. An embroidered signature on a repeated design, and a hand signed label for the custom one-of-a-kind designed caps. As Booksinger gradually retired from manufacturing, Patterson and Rensaa took up the business of embroidering their own designs on hand made hats with a 100-year-old Bonis embroidery machine. The hats, designed by Patterson and made by Rensaa, were immediately popular with artists and were picked up by Elle and GQ. The GQ article by Richard Merkin, named Clayton Hats as one of the two best baseball hats made in America. Some of Clayton Hats’ notable customers included artists Jim Dine and David Hockney, actor Matt Dillon, directors Gus Van Sant and Rob Reiner, the Pet Shop Boys, and Mick Jagger, for whom they designed a custom jacket back piece. …”
W – Clayton Patterson: Clayton hats
Clayton Patterson Brings Back the Clayton Cap With a Little Help From His Friends
Elie: Clayton Patterson Welcomes the Public to His ‘Outlaw Art Museum’
on Essex Street After 10-Year Absence

MacDoodle St. by Mark Alan Stamaty, with an introduction by Jules Feiffer


“Every week, from 1978 to 1980, The Village Voice brought a new installment of Mark Alan Stamaty’s uproarious, endlessly inventive strip MacDoodle St. Centering more or less on Malcolm Frazzle, a blocked poet struggling to complete his latest lyric for Dishwasher Monthly, Stamaty’s creation encompassed a dizzying array of characters, stories, jokes, and digressions. One week might feature the ongoing battle between irate businessmen and bearded beatniks for control of a Greenwich Village coffee shop, the next might reveal a dastardly plot involving a genetically engineered dishwashing monkey, or the frustrated dreams of an irascible, over-caffeinated painter, or the mysterious visions of a duffle-coated soothsayer on the bus. Not to mention the variable moods and longings of the comic strip itself…. And somehow, in the end, it all fits together. MacDoodle St. is more than just a hilarious weekly strip; it is a great comic novel, a thrilling, surprising, unexpectedly moving ode to art, life, and New York City. This new edition features a brand-new, twenty-page autobiographical comic by Stamaty explaining what happened next and why MacDoodle St. never returned, in a unique, funny, and poignant look at the struggles and joys of being an artist.”
NYRB
amazon
Wikipedia
Mark Alan Stamaty
The New York Comics and Picture-Story Symposium: Mark Alan Stamaty