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Nightclubbing | Strange Party, 1980

Pat Ivers and Emily Armstrong are sifting through their voluminous archive of punk-era concert footage as it’s digitized for the Downtown Collection at N.Y.U.’s Fales Library.

Described by the Soho Weekly News as “New York’s best party band,” Strange Party was a witty, stylish group serving up a fizzy cocktail of performance art with a dash of Latin-infused new wave. They were a huge outfit with six backup musicians and four vocalists upfront. And what vocalists! Led by downtown art star Joey Arias, the quartet was rounded out by Tony Frere, Paige Wood, and Janus Budde. They were eccentric and compelling — their guitarist George Elliot once described the band as “a little like heavy metal Ricky Ricardo.” Joey suggested they were just trying to turn art into fun.
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Nightclubbing | Girl Groups: The Go-Go’s and Pulsallama

Pat Ivers and Emily Armstrong continue sorting through their archives of punk-era concert footage as it’s digitized for the Downtown Collection at N.Y.U.’s Fales Library.

When the Go-Go’s arrived in New York City from the West Coast in August, 1980, they were a sweet, goofy package of pure pop in a New Wave wrapper. They provided the kind of light summer fun that can prove irresistible and were well received when they played their first night at Danceteria (see clip).

The reviews were a little harsher back in L.A. Wayzata Camerone, founder of Hollywood after-hours club the Zero Zero recalls, “They were laughed at; we thought they couldn’t play and they had insipid songs. But Belinda [Carlisle] was sweet and polite.” Keep Reading »