Lovely Music


“Founded in 1978, Lovely Music is one of the longest-lived and most distinctive independent labels active in the recording and promotion of new American music. According to label founder Mimi Johnson, the label is ‘dedicated to releasing the best in avant-garde and experimental music, from electronics and computer music to new opera and extended vocal techniques.’ Placing emphasis on the artist’s intent, Lovely Music recordings are always composer-supervised and produced. The record label was founded by Johnson as an adjunct to the activities of Performing Artservices, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to the management and administration of American avant-garde artists working in the fields of music, dance and theater. When these artists were not able to get their music out to the record-buying public, Lovely was put forth as a solution. …”
Lovely Music: About
Lovely Music
W – Lovely Music
Discogs

Syd Shelton discusses his exhibition of antiracist protest photographs in London


Bagga, 1979
“… I became involved with Rock Against Racism after the Battle of Lewisham in southeast London in 1977. This was when a racist march by about one hundred National Front supporters was met with five thousand antiracist activists who had traveled down from all over the country. The Metropolitan Police were determined that the National Front be able to march, so they deployed a quarter of their force, suited with riot gear. This was the first time the police in Britain were militarized, and the officers’ use of riot shields really shifted the goalposts for activists—we were up against something different now. At the same time, Eric Clapton had just delivered a horribly racist tirade onstage, in support of Conservative politician Enoch Powell’s ‘rivers of blood’ speech. We realized we needed to grab the headlines to counter the right-wing media’s high profile, and our first major event was a carnival in April 1978—a huge concert in the Victoria Park in Tower Hamlets. We didn’t want it to just be a free rock concert, though; we wanted it to be a demonstration. …”
ARTFORUM
Guardian – Rock Against Racism: the Syd Shelton images that define an era
Interview – Syd Shelton
Rock Against Racism: Syd Shelton’s photographs of a movement in 1970s Britain
W – Rock Against Racism
vimeo: Archive in Focus: Syd Shelton, Rock against Racism 7:19

Darcus Howe (with loudhailer) addresses a crowd from on top of a toilet block, 1977.

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

Ace of Hearts Records


Ace of Hearts Records is a Boston-based independent label founded in 1978 by Rick Harte, who also produced all its releases. It recorded and released Boston area post-punk and garage rock bands in the early 1980s, including Mission of Burma, Birdsongs of the Mesozoic, Roger Miller, Neats, Lyres, The Real Kids, John Felice, Nervous Eaters, Del Fuegos, The Neighborhoods, Martin Paul, Wild Stares, Infliktors, Classic Ruins, Crab Daddy, Chaotic Past, Tomato Monkey, and Heat from a DeadStar. Rick Harte started Ace of Hearts Records in 1978. Harte’s specialty was well-produced, tightly played recordings, with great stereo separation and a walloping bottom end; Harte’s covers, printed on expensive heavy stock, were strikingly attractive – everything was done with meticulous care. … Harte recorded late at night, when studio rates went down, until daylight. His method was painstaking, layering electric guitars, acoustic guitars, and feedback. …”
Wikipedia
Ace of Hearts Records
Discogs

Punk 45: Original Punk Rock Singles Cover Art


Punk 45 is a revelatory guide to hundreds and hundreds of original seven-inch record cover sleeve designs–visual artifacts found at the heart of the most radical and anarchistic musical movement of the twentieth century. Spurred by the Desperate Bicycles’ rallying cry ‘It was easy, it was cheap–go and do it!’ and Mark Perry’s ‘Here are three chords. Now form a band,’ thousands of new groups emerged in the wake of the Pistols, between 1976 and 1980. This politicized do-it-yourself ethic was applied to design as much as it was to music, and these lo-fi record sleeves declared politics ranging from anarchism to socialism, anticonsumerism, feminism and more. Spanning pre-punk to postpunk, Punk 45 is introduced and co-compiled by Jon Savage, author of the acclaimed, definitive history of the Sex Pistols and punk music, England’s Dreaming, and the period’s most pre-eminent historian. It features sleeves from bands such as the Adverts, Cabaret Voltaire, Crass, Dead Kennedys, Electric Eels, The Flamin’ Groovies, The Human League, Joy Division, Pere Ubu, Plastic Bertrand, The Residents, X-Ray Spex and many, many others. As well as original artwork, the book also includes interviews and articles on designers such as Peter Saville, Jamie Reid, Malcolm Garrett and Gee Voucher, and interviews with record label founders such as Geoff Travis (Rough Trade), printing pressers and more. Punk 45 is an exhaustive, thorough and exciting celebration of the stunning artwork of punk music, including everything from the most celebrated and iconic designs through to the stark beauty of the cheapest do-it-yourself lo-fi obscurities.”
Printed Matter
Guardian: The best punk singles record covers – in pictures
amazon

SoHo News


“The SoHo Weekly News (also called the SoHo News) was a newspaper published in New York City from 1973 to 1982. The paper was founded in 1973 by Michael Goldstein (1938-2018). It was sold to Associated Newspaper Group in 1979. In the fall of 1981, ANG announced plans to close or sell the paper by February 1982. Although there were negotiations with possible purchasers which continued beyond the original deadline, continuing losses ($1.7 million in the previous year) forced ANG to shut down the paper in March. The recent unionization of the paper was cited a factor in the decision. Initially published in eight pages, it eventually grew to over 100 pages and competed with The Village Voice. The paper’s offices were at 111 Spring Street, Manhattan although the earliest issues showed the address of Goldstein’s apartment on the masthead. … After the paper shut down, the New York Times ran an op-ed which called the SoHo News, The alternative to alternative papers. The paper’s contributors were described as an eccentric mix of neo-conservatives and Marxists, radical feminists and hedonistic libertines, chronic potheads and antidrug crusaders. The paper was an outspoken critic of the commercialization and gentrification of SoHo, the neighborhood where it was located and concentrated its coverage. Topic covered included such diverse topics as a review of East Village drug merchants; the piece described various brands of heroin and cocaine that were available, their street names, and commented on the relative quality. …”
Wikipedia
SoHo Blues: The Photographs of Allan Tannenbaum (Video)
Pravda: The SoHo Nightclub That Never Was
SoHo Weekly News
Allan Tannenbaum | all galleries
amazon: New York in the 70s

Obscure Records


“Obscure Records was a U.K. record label which existed from 1975 to 1978. It was created and run by Brian Eno, who also produced the albums (credited as executive producer in one instance). Ten albums were issued in the series. Most have detailed liner notes on their back covers, analyzing the compositions and providing a biography of the composer, in a format typical of classical music albums, and much of the material can be regarded as 20th century classical music. The label provided a venue for experimental music, and its association with Eno gave increased public exposure to its composers and musicians. In their original editions, all albums used variations of the same cover art of a collage by John Bonis, covered up by an overprinting of black ink. The picture beneath the ink can be seen somewhat clearly under a strong light. Each volume except the seventh has one small window in the black overprint to reveal a different portion of the picture on each album. The red and white label design is a blurred photo that appears to be spires on roofs of buildings. …”
UbuWeb (Audio)
W – Obscure Records
Spotify (Audio)


Brian Eno