(Photo: Nicole Batchelor Regne)

Punk legend Richard Hell doesn’t seem to get out much, but in the next months he’ll be all the way uptown, hosting a series at Symphony Space. According to an email he just sent out, he’ll be conducting pre-performance interviews with artists like Donald Cumming of the Virgins (“one of the most innately talented NYC rock and roll/pop musician/singer/songwriters to come up in the oughts,” he says) and Lydia Loveless (“the only singer/songwriter the power of whose music and voice consistently makes me cry”).

We’re not going to describe this better than the host himself, so here’s the announcement straight from the mouth of Hell.

I hardly ever do broadcast emails, but I’m sending this to a few friends and contacts because I’m not sure the signals would reach you otherwise (being that the official ones originate from the Upper West Side), and I want people to come!

I’m curating and hosting a series of events at Symphony Space for which I’ve dragooned one youngish artist per evening to sit still to be interviewed on stage by me before he or she performs. The interviews will be 25-30 minutes and the performances 45-50 minutes (with the exception of Kelly Reichardt’s 1:40 movie–projected via celluloid, not digitally, incidentally). These will happen in a beautifully equipped venue, seating only 168. There will be bonuses—surprise supplements to the interviews and some ace giveaways. The main thing though is that all these people are interesting and talented and this is a unique chance to see them so intimately exposed…

Please attend and spread the word if you can. Any tweets or other social media announcements of the series will be highly appreciated, and please forward this email to anyone you think might be interested. The most practical single link to let anyone know about is the series list at Symphony Space, where clicking on the individual event listings will take you to ticket-sales pages: http://www.symphonyspace.org/events/series/180/night-out-with-richard-hell

Thank you!

My New Performance Series
Night Out with Richard Hell
in the Thalia Theater at Symphony Space
2537 Broadway, NYC (southwest corner of 95th St. and Broadway)

First off will be LYDIA LOVELESS,
Fri 17 Oct, 2014
Lydia is the only singer/songwriter the power of whose music and voice consistently makes me cry.
Check her out: Lydia Loveless “Can’t Change Me”
Tickets: http://www.symphonyspace.org/event/8551/Music/night-out-with-richard-hell-lydia-loveless

In November ARIANA REINES, Fri 14 Nov, 2014
Ariana is an ever fresh through-and-through true poet who is also funny and challenging and rivets from the stage.
I wrote about her for Bookforum: http://www.bookforum.com/inprint/018_05/8891
Tickets: http://www.symphonyspace.org/event/8552/Music/night-out-with-richard-hell-poet-ariana-reines

Next up, filmmaker KELLY REICHARDT, Thu 4 Dec, 2014
Kelly, the acclaimed director of five features so far will be presenting what I consider her filmic apotheosis to date, the astonishing 2011 Meek’s Cutoff, a western unlike any prior, as much like Robert Bresson as John Ford.
Read A.O. Scott’s NY Times review of the movie: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/08/movies/meeks-cutoff-directed-by-kelly-reichardt-review.html
Tickets: http://www.symphonyspace.org/event/8557/Music/night-out-with-richard-hell-filmmaker-kelly-reichardt-

In the winter, DONALD CUMMING, Thu 12 Feb, 2015
Along with Karen O. and Julian Casablancas, D. is one of the most innately talented NYC rock and roll/pop musician/singer/songwriters to come up in the oughts–he founded and led the Virgins 2007-2013, and will have a new solo album out just about the time of the “Night Out” event.
See him with the Virgins as filmed by Ryan McGinley: https://vk.com/video-12024126_165761133
Tickets: http://www.symphonyspace.org/event/8553/Music/night-out-with-richard-hell-donald-cumming