About Daniel Maurer

Daniel Maurer is the editor of Bedford + Bowery and a Visiting Assistant Professor at NYU's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. You can reach him at editor(at)bedfordandbowery.com.

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Panorama Lineup: David Byrne, Cardi B, St. Vincent, The Weeknd, and More

Panorama Festival, the beats-and-eats fest on Randall’s Island that has previously been headlined by Nine Inch Nails and LCD Soundsystem, has announced its 2018 lineup. Get ready to go on an escapade, kids, because the Saturday headliner is, uh, Janet Jackson.

On the more predictable front, The Weeknd will headline on Friday, July 27, and The Killers will close things out on Sunday. So it should be a Killer Weeknd? Har har.

Also of note: David Byrne will play the Sunday show, performing songs off his forthcoming album American Utopia. Gucci Mane is in the mix. And there are a host of acts that made the Village Voice‘s recently released Pazz & Jop Music Critics Poll of the year’s best albums, including Byrne collaborator St. Vincent, New York cover girl Cardi B, SZA, The War On Drugs, The xx, Fleet Foxes, and Charlotte Gainsbourg.

As with previous years, there’ll be a variety of eats, a dome theater, interactive digital art, and an outdoor dance club equipped with a Funktion 1 sound system pumping out house, techno, and the like.

General admission tickets will be priced at $99, $185 for 2 days and $250 for 3 days, and are $20 off if you purchase them between Feb. 2 at 10am and Feb. 3 at noon; regular pricing begins Sunday, Feb. 4 at midnight.

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First Look: McNally Jackson Books Opens in Williamsburg

It’s been nearly four years since news broke that beloved Soho bookstore McNally Jackson was opening a Williamsburg outpost. After a litany of delays, the store quietly opened on North 4th Street this past Sunday, and Brooklynites now have a new place to pick up Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House (speaking of things that aren’t expected to last four years). Yep, that’s it right in the window.

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Television Bandmates Had a Threesome But Didn’t See Eye to Eye

Last week, Richard Lloyd’s reading at the Strand turned into an unexpected fact-checking session when the son of CBGB impresario Hilly Kristal questioned some of recollections shared in Lloyd’s new memoir, Everything Is Combustible: Television, CBGB’s and Five Decades of Rock and Roll. There was some debate about whether the three-tiered stage at CBGB was built for Television, as Lloyd remembered it, or for Patti Smith, as Dana Kristal claimed.

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Richard Lloyd of Television Wrote a Memoir, But Not Everyone Remembers His CBGBs Stories the Same Way

At some point during Richard Lloyd’s appearance last night at the Strand’s Rare Book Room, he scanned the audience for his Television bandmate, Tom Verlaine. “He’s probably outside looking at the dollar book rack,” Lloyd cracked.

Verlaine, who is often spotted browsing the discount books, famously worked at the bookstore years before he formed Television with Lloyd and Richard Hell. It wasn’t a huge shock that he wasn’t among the many CBGB scenesters that showed up last night. In Lloyd’s new memoir, Everything Is Combustible: Television, CBGB’s and Five Decades of Rock and Roll, he writes that Verlaine and Hell “felt that they were the ‘special two,’ and other people were nothing but insects bothering them. I received some of that treatment.”

On the other hand, things were nice and friendly between Lloyd and the moderator of last night’s Q&A at Strand. Talking Heads drummer Chris Frantz got the singer-guitarist to recall hanging out with Jimi Hendrix and John Lee Hooker, and got him to bitch about today’s “pay to play” model of gigging (Lloyd will play Bowery Electric again in April). But things got really interesting when Mark Dana Kristal, son of legendary CBGB impresario Hilly Kristal, spoke up during the audience participation portion of the evening.

Kristal started right in: “When I heard you were here— we don’t always agree— I was a little pissed off,” he told Lloyd, before softening his tone: “But when I went to the bookstore, I looked at your book— I gotta say, you really wrote a very good book.”

A good day at work with Chris Frantz and Richard Lloyd

A post shared by Garrett Karrberg (@gkarrberg) on

Still, Kristal, who has made it a point to debunk CBGB myths, had some quibbles– namely, about Lloyd’s account of meeting Hilly for the first time. In the book, Lloyd describes coming upon Hilly, in early 1974, as he used a stepladder to affix the iconic CBGB logo, designed by his ex-wife Karen, to the dive bar’s new awning.

Dana recalled it differently. “He couldn’t reach the canopy,” he said of father. “I held [the stepladder] as my mother [Karen] drew the canopy.”

That wasn’t his biggest gripe. In the same chapter, Lloyd describes how Television talked Hilly out of putting the stage in the front of his then-obscure dive bar. “I just remember him showing us around,” Lloyd told the crowd at Strand, “and he said, ‘I’m going to make it like a drive-in movie, where you pass the stage as you go in.’ And I said, ‘Look, nobody will be able to hear when you’re taking money at the door.’ And he said, ‘Oh, I’m not having loud music.’”

At that, the audience laughed, no doubt thinking about the Ramones and other notoriously amped-up bands that would come to be synonymous with CBGB.

As Lloyd describes it in the book, Verlaine convinced Hilly to move the stage to the opposite side of the room and rebuild it in three tiers. “That was my idea,” Lloyd writes of the multiple tiers, “because I thought it would put the drummer far enough back that he wouldn’t drive us crazy. It was also a kind of drum riser that would make the drummer look like Ringo because the Beatles always had a very tall drum riser.”

Dana begged to differ: “The reason [Hilly] built the new stage was because Patti Smith was playing and he had to build a bigger stage.”

“Hell no,” Lloyd countered. “Patti didn’t play for about two years. We were the ones who were playing there.” (Television played its first show at CBGB on March 29, 1974 while the Patti Smith Group debuted there on Feb. 14, 1975.)

As always with rock lore, it’s hard to know who or what to believe. Lloyd admits to being a “raging alcoholic” during the time he was hanging out at CBGBs nearly every night, but he also writes that he wasn’t yet using heroin during Television’s early days and has an “eidetic memory.” He did concede one thing. Dana asked him why “in the book you say my father was the owner”; in a lawsuit filed in 2008, Karen claimed she was the rightful owner of CBGB per an agreement struck with her ex-husband before the club opened.

“Boo boo!” Lloyd conceded, clearly losing patience with the fact-checking. “Mistake!”

“I wish she got a memorial,” Dana said of his mother, the club’s taskmaster. “Because she did a lot for everybody.”

“She pulled the plug a few times,” Lloyd couldn’t help but grumble.

On that, at least, they can agree. In a Facebook post commemorating his mother, who died in 2014, Dana once wrote, “Ramones and several other bands were consistently too loud, she warned the Ramones to turn their music down, they ignored her, so she pulled the plug on them!”

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Russ & Daughters Drops Lineup For John Zorn’s Free Music Series

Something fishy is happening at Russ & Daughters Cafe. The gussied-up Jewish delicatessen is hosting performances by top-tier jazz musicians and they aren’t charging a single cent for them.

Not that we’re complaining. The cafe’s Smoked Fish & Pickles series is hosted by none other than downtown maestro John Zorn, the composer-saxophonist with a penchant for wild improvisation and experimentation as well as the studious exploration of traditional Jewish music.

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Ace Will Open a Bowery ‘Micro Hotel’ Inspired By… John Cage?

Courtesy of Atelier Ace.

Last year, rumors floated that an Ace Hotel was opening in a former Salvation Army shelter on the Bowery. Now the team behind the hipster hotel chain, Atelier Ace, has announced that it’ll instead be launching a new brand, Sister City, in the fall of this year.

The hotel, at 225 Bowery, will offer “200 intimate, efficient rooms, a ground-floor restaurant and a rooftop bar,” according to today’s announcement. Rooms will range in size from 126 to 262 square feet and rates will start at $259, a spokesperson told us.

The hotel’s minimalist aesthetic is inspired by “the functional perfection of Finnish saunas, Japanese bento boxes, rock-cut cliff dwellings of prehistory and John Cage’s 4’33,” per the announcement.

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Pair Taco Bell With Cocktails, Before Their New ‘Cantinas’ Open

If you’re a Taco Bell fan, this is a fine time to make a pilgrimage to California. Not only can you visit the 50-year-old Taco Bell in Laguna Beach that was once the unofficial center of the psychedelics trade around the time that the Brotherhood of Eternal Love was located across the street, but you can also see the Bell of the future in the form of the newly opened Taco Bell Cantina in Newport Beach.

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Champagne Jerry’s Latest Rap Is an Anthem For Artists Who’ve Hit the Small-Time

Don’t think that just because Neal Medlyn, aka Champagne Jerry, is chilling in giant champagne jacuzzis and is besties with a Beastie that he’s on a Cardi B “million dollar wedding” level. In his new song, the video for which is out today, the novelty rapper (confesses? brags?) that he makes “30K a year as an artist,” or “$18K after expenses (mostly champagne).”

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