As he introduced the new Raymond Pettibon retrospective, New Museum artistic director Massimiliano Gioni admitted that he first became aware of the artist via his album covers for the Minutemen, Black Flag, and Sonic Youth. While we’re in confession mode: I still think of Pettibon mainly as the brother of Black Flag frontman Greg Ginn and the creator of the punk band’s iconic logo. But “A Pen of All Work,” which opens today, is further proof that the artist is far more than just a nihilistic doodler whose work has been “displayed” by skaters and punks sporting Six Pack t-shirts.
“I don’t want to have to deal with blonde Kardashians for the next four years,” Kim Gordon told us last night at a book signing in Miami. “The Kardashians were annoying enough and now the blonde version is upon us.”
Even in the midst of this post-election anxiety, the former Sonic Youther has been busy as ever. Just a couple of months after releasing her first solo song, she played a Nov. 12 show at National Sawdust with her current project, Body/Head, to celebrate their new live EP, No Waves. Then she jetted down to South Beach, where she has a short in Art Basel’s film program. Add to all that, the book signing last night at the The Miami Beach Edition, an intimate rosé-and-canapés affair in a bungalow by the hotel’s pool.
November is a good time to be a Sonic Youth fan, since onetime Lower East Side fixtures Kim Gordon (now based in Los Angeles) and Thurston Moore (now based in London) are coming ’round Williamsburg to make some noise.
If you’ve been meaning to check out National Sawdust, Williamsburg’s ambitious new avant-garde venue, this is a fine time to do it: Hot on the heels of her first solo song, Gordon, the artist/writer/musician/icon, is playing there with Body/Head, her moody collaboration with fellow guitarist Bill Nace. Tickets ($20) for the Nov. 12 show are available here.
On Nov. 23, Thurston is also appearing as part of a duo, teaming up with fellow downtown legend John Zorn to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Rough Trade.
Several Halloweens ago, the folks at Nightclubbing gave us what was most definitely a treat: vintage footage of The Cramps doing “The Way I Walk” at Irving Plaza. Today, Emily Armstrong and Pat Ivers have dusted off another clip, posting footage of Lux Interior et al doing “Pretty Baby What You Do To Me.” Check it out above, and then watch “The Mac Daddy” as well– it’ll make for the perfect pre-partying music tonight as you get ready to head over to the annual Halloween tribute to The Cramps at Bowery Electric.
It’s been two years since Raymond Pettibon’s surfer art went on display on the Upper East Side. Wait, wha? The artist who did the anarchic drawings that graced the cover of Black Flag albums and concert posters? On the Upper East Side? If that seemed weird, this makes more sense: downtown’s own New Museum has announced that, in February, it will put on the city’s first major museum survey of Pettibon’s work, featuring more than 700 drawings across three floors.
There is nothing on the front of 49 Crosby Street save for a tiny label under a bell that would indicate that inside is one of the most enduring recording studios in New York. The Magic Shop opened in 1988 well before Bloomingdale’s, MoMA and a luxury hotel became its neighbors. The increase in the area’s rental value spelled the end of the studio. Despite the offer of financial help from Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl, owner Steve Rosenthal was unable to buy the space from his landlord. While Rosenthal will continue his business of mixing and restoring classic recordings, the Magic Shop will close today.
Vinyl, the Scorsese-Jagger production we’ve been looking forward to with bated coke-breath ever since it filmed in the East Village, finally hit HBO last night with an epic two-hour episode, and the critical reaction has been pretty much love it or hate it. Even if you’re with the East Village’s own Richard Hell in the latter camp, you’re probably going to watch at least another episode or two, just to bask/wallow in the ambience of the early-’70s New York City music scene. So here are some fun facts about the show that we’ve culled from around the net, and from our own archives.
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Before Dinosaur Jr. took the stage last night to play its debut album in its entirety, superfan Henry Rollins told the packed house at Bowery Ballroom what he thought about Dinosaur, released in 1985: “It was a standout record then, it is a standout record now.”
When we dipped into Thurston Moore’s new book of lyrics and poems yesterday, we noted that Stereo Sanctity, just released by Thurston’s own Ecstatic Peace Library, finally lays down the real lyrics to Sonic Youth songs vs. the ones we’ve misheard a hundred times. (In “100%”, for instance, it isn’t “Piss off, the chick is mine,” it’s “the zoftig chick is mine.”)
Hot on the heels of Kim Gordon’s Girl in a Band, Thurston Moore has released a book of his own, and he’ll be at Rough Trade in Williamsburg tonight to talk about it. Stereo Sanctity isn’t a memoir, but it’s a personal publication nonetheless, gathering the Sonic Youth frontman’s lyrics and poems from 1981 to present. His own Ecstastic Peace Library has released the 303-page, handbound tome in a limited edition of 700.
If you were among the few who saw Thurston Moore interview Anne Waldman last year, you heard him admire the “incredible rock ‘n’ roll energy” of William S. Burroughs. It’s clear Thurston, a onetime fixture at The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church who has published Waldman and others of that scene in his own Ecstatic Peace Poetry Journal, believes there’s a crossover between lyrics and literature. As he puts it in the intro to Stereo Sanctity, rock ‘n’ roll is “poetry on fire.”
Today Bikini Kill released a track from the forthcoming reissue of its demo album Revolution Girl Style Now. “Playground,” one of three songs left off the original demo, was recorded in early 1991 at the ABC House in Olympia, Washington, a day after one of the band’s first shows. The reissue, out Sept. 22, was mixed by Guy Picciotto of Fugazi. No, the band won’t be touring behind it (Bikini Kill broke up in 1997 and Kathleen Hanna went on to form Le Tigre and then The Julie Ruin) but plenty of other female-driven ’90s bands are back on the scene.
Have the best day ever, a play on Thurston Moore’s first solo record since 2010, by heading to the Bowery Ballroom to catch the former Sonic Youth member perform.