Patti Smith’s Most Notable New York City Gigs


“New York City has been home base to Patti Smith and her band since the very beginning. The Patti Smith Group — the ‘group’ qualifier was added at Patti’s insistence not long after she was signed by Arista, to try to counteract the label’s immediate Seventies instinct to soften her image — was always a live band. That’s probably because Patti herself was always about performing in front of people no matter what shape her art was taking at any particular moment. She enlisted Lenny Kaye to accompany her at her earliest stage performance and kept coming back to their duo until she felt like she got it right, and then kept adding to that combination as she built the band, piece by piece. … She could woodshed here to get ready for a tour, or try out new ideas and know there would be a receptive audience; she’s played shows in clubs and churches, theaters and cabarets, university auditoriums and museums, private lofts and rooftop bars. …”
Voice (Video)

Willy DeVille – Cabretta (1976)


Willy DeVille (born William Paul Borsey Jr., August 25, 1950 – August 6, 2009) was an American singer and songwriter. During his thirty-five-year career, first with his band Mink DeVille (1974–1986) and later on his own, Deville created original songs rooted in traditional American musical styles. He worked with collaborators from across the spectrum of contemporary music, including Jack Nitzsche, Doc Pomus, Dr. John, Mark Knopfler, Allen Toussaint, and Eddie Bo. Latin rhythms, blues riffs, doo-wop, Cajun music, strains of French cabaret, and echoes of early-1960s uptown soul can be heard in DeVille’s work. Mink DeVille was a house band at CBGB, the historic New York City nightclub where punk rock was born in the mid-1970s. … During three years, from 1975 to 1977, Mink DeVille was one of the original house bands at CBGB, the New York nightclub where punk rock music was born in the mid-1970s. Their sound from this period is witnessed by Live at CBGB’s, a 1976 compilation album of bands that played CBGB and for which the band contributed three songs. In December 1976, Ben Edmonds, an A&R man for Capitol Records signed the band to a contract with Capitol Records after spotting them at CBGB. Edmonds paired Mink DeVille with producer Jack Nitzsche who had apprenticed under Phil Spector and helped shape the Wall of Sound production technique. Assisted by saxophonist Steve Douglas and a cappella singers the Immortals they recorded the band’s debut album Cabretta (simply called Mink DeVille in the U.S.) in January 1976. Cabretta, a multifaceted album of soul, R&B, rock, and blues recordings, was selected number 57 in the Village Voices 1977 Pazz & Jop critics poll. …”
Wikipedia
W – Cabretta
iTunes
YouTube: Spanish Stroll (Live), Venus Of Avenue D – 6/7/1978 – Winterland
YouTube: Cabretta – Full Vinyl 35:33

1976 Film Blank Generation Documents CBGB Scene with Patti Smith, The Ramones, Talking Heads, Blondie & More


“Fans of bratty New York punk-turned-serious writer Richard Hell or schlocky German horror director Ulli Lommel or—why not—both, will likely know of Lommel’s 1980 Blank Generation, a film unremarkable except for its casting of Hell and his excellent Voidoids as feature players. (Their debut 1977 album and single are also called Blank Generation.) The movie, as a reviewer puts it, ‘seems as if each member of the production was under the impression they were working on a different film than the rest of their collaborators…. You can’t help but think that something more watchable could be produced out of the raw footage with a good editor.’ One might approach an earlier film, also called Blank Generation—the raw 1976 documentary about the budding New York punk scene above—with similar expectations of coherent production and narrative clarity. But this would be mistaken. …”
Open Curture (Video)
W – The Blank Generation
Voice: Punk Icon Richard Hell Looks Back at “Blank Generation” Forty Years Later

Talking Heads: 77 – Talking Heads (1977)


“Though they were the most highly touted new wave band to emerge from the CBGB’s scene in New York, it was not clear at first whether Talking Heads‘ Lower East Side art rock approach could make the subway ride to the midtown pop mainstream successfully. The leadoff track of the debut album, Talking Heads: 77, ‘Uh-Oh, Love Comes to Town,’ was a pop song that emphasized the group’s unlikely roots in late-’60s bubblegum, Motown, and Caribbean music. But the ‘Uh-Oh’ gave away the group’s game early, with its nervous, disconnected lyrics and David Byrne‘s strained voice. All pretenses of normality were abandoned by the second track, as Talking Heads finally started to sound on record the way they did downtown: the staggered rhythms and sudden tempo changes, the odd guitar tunings and rhythmic, single-note patterns, the non-rhyming, non-linear lyrics that came across like odd remarks overheard from a psychiatrist’s couch, and that voice, singing above its normal range, its falsetto leaps and strangled cries resembling a madman trying desperately to sound normal. Talking Heads threw you off balance, but grabbed your attention with a sound that seemed alternately threatening and goofy. The music was undeniably catchy, even at its most ominous, especially on ‘Psycho Killer,’ Byrne’s supreme statement of demented purpose. Amazingly, that song made the singles chart for a few weeks, evidence of the group’s quirky appeal, but the album was not a big hit, and it remained unclear whether Talking Heads spoke only the secret language of the urban arts types or whether that could be translated into the more common tongue of hip pop culture. In any case, they had succeeded as artists, using existing elements in an unusual combination to create something new that still managed to be oddly familiar. And that made Talking Heads: 77 a landmark album. ”
allmusic (Audio)
Albums of Our Lives: Talking Heads’s Talking Heads: 77 (Video)
W – Talking Heads: 77
Spotify, iTunes
YouTube: Talking Heads: 77 (5.1 Downmix) 46:16
YouTube: Talking Heads 77 (Deluxe Version) 16 videos
YouTube: Psycho Killer (Live)