CBGB Closes. In Other News, Punk Has Sucked For Years.


If not for Kitty Kitty Bang Bang, I might never have seen the crusty, poster-slathered inside of CBGB. And now it's gone. Check out Yahoo News' article on its final show:


I like that Patti Smith and members of Blondie were there to close it out.

But I gotta tell ya: Hilly Kristal? I'm not a fan.

Don't let the fluff in this piece fool you. Kristal let this happen. To some degree, he even wanted it to happen. CBGB's last gasp as a culturally active institution was sometime back in the '80s, if not earlier. Since then, it's pretty much just been a t-shirt. Kristal never really grasped the cultural significance of his own venue or its meaning in the birth of punk -- he merely wanted to make a buck. So when it began to look like CBGB was going to bite the dust a few years ago, he immediately started talking about moving to New Jersey or Las Vegas. He didn't understand that it wasn't the name CBGB, or the awning, or the logo that made CBs important -- it was the space.

It was the disgusting, awkwardly-shaped, piss-infested, sounds-like-shit space. It's a space only a punk could love. It's a place you can only enjoy if you don't give a fuck about anything, drink hard, and prefer physically intimidating your crowd over performing for them. Kristal, ever clueless, recently said, “For some reason, they want us here. I don’t know why it matters to them, but it does.”

[Read more of that interview here. It's excellent.]

As the interview makes painfully clear, Kristal does not care about the space. It was filled with numerous code violations (a big no-no after the Great White show fire in RI); he didn't pay his rent; he's long viewed the place as an instution to museumify, rather than a living place that can transform music and culture.

CBGB is dead. Long live CBGB.

Musical Instruments Are People, Too. Sorta.

This helpful announcement just in from Lys Guillorn:

Cold weather PSA for my fellow musicians: humidify!

Howdy. Just a reminder to put your instrument humidifiers in your guitar or other wood-based instrument cases as we get into cold weather. If you don't have "real" humidifiers, you can use a film canister with holes poked in the lid and a damp, but not sopping piece of sponge inside. If you need film canisters, I can give you some... (Film? Yes, people still shoot film...) A little prevention will spare you having to have cracks repaired later.

Be very well,

Album Cover Deathmatch!

From what I hear, this video has taken off pretty quickly, and well it should -- it's hilarious. Watch classic album covers battle to the death!

Mildly unsafe for work.

Local Commotion October Updates

... and no, I'm not going to call it fucking "Rocktober."

Just got back from the Tool concert last night... Wow. Interesting experience. On the upside, I enjoyed watching some brilliant musicians play some wicked tunes. On the downside, the Hartford Civic Center sounds like a subwoofer trapped in a dumpster. Not to mention it's kind of weird seeing thousands of drone-like Tool fans mouthing the lyrics to a band who advocates thinking for yourself.

Anyway, I'm thrilled -- THRILLED -- that my interview made the cover this week. It's only the second time that's happened (not counting the Band Slam/Snow Slam previews I do), and I get all giddy about that shit. It's definitely a high point of my writing career so far.

Enough blabbing. I'm here to tell you about some updates I made this morning! I've got new shit for the fans and new shit for the bands. Something for the holes and something for the poles. You know how it go.

  • For the Fall season, I've put some new tunes up on the Local Commotion MySpace, which is basically a jukebox/soundtrack to this blog and the Advocate column. I focused on a "creepy" theme for the autumn! You may have never heard of these groups or genres, but believe me, the sounds and textures are a perfect fit.
  • I've separated the categories in my links section on the right-hand side. I also shrank the font to make it a little more readable. Let me know if you don't like it and I'll change it back.
  • I've created a new links section for blogs! There are so damn many CT-related music and arts blogs out there -- it's about time I started spreading the love. Like cream cheese. I had jalapeno cream cheese on a cheddar bagel from Lox Stock and Bagel in West Hartford this morning. Mmmm. I'm hungry again just thinking about it.
  • I've finally begun linking (and expanding) the link sections for Record Stores and Labels, and I created a new section for Promo Agencies. If you're a musician, or in a related field, please send me links to help fill out these sections -- and pass the word along to other CT people looking for local music resources.

Thanks for reading.

(Image courtesy of Scary Bunnies.)

Holy Shit, Sugarfist!

HUGE and bittersweet news from the Sugarfist camp. Jenn Jacobs has parted ways with the 'Fist! She's been around since the beginning, and to many of us her awesome voice has come to represent the band just as much as the goofy stage antics and the jambalaya clusterfuck songwriting. Meanwhile, they've already found a replacement!

Here's the announcement from the band:

"We would like to take this opportunity to extend a gracious and sad farewell to one of Sugarfist's own- Jenn Jacobs. Beginning in 1999 and one of our founding and core members, Jenn has decided to depart from the band. She has been a part of the Sugarfist family for many many years and we all wish her the very best in her future creative endeavors to come. Her last performance with us can be seen at a free show this Saturday September 9th at The Haddam River Days Festival in Haddam, CT.

We would like to give a new toasty welcome to the always entertaining and extravagant...Krizta Moon!!!! Joining the band now on vocals!!! Krizta will perform our last song of the evening on Saturday night and can be seen with us thereafter at the following locations of mass media cronyism..

FRIDAY October 6th The Beanery Old Dam Road Fairfield, CT ALL AGES
SATURDAY October 21st The Colony Woodstock, NY

Tupac: Robbing Men of Their Boners and Women of Their Conjugal Bliss, Even From the Grave

Now I've seen it all.

The Associated Press (killing local reporting since 1846) offers up this report about a lawsuit between civil rights activist C. DeLores Tucker and two Philly newspapers. At issue? "Her dispute with the estate of slain rapper Tupac Shakur," according to the article.

What did that naughty Tupac do? He rhymed "Tucker" with "motherfucker." Oh SHIT!

But wait -- the shit has only begun to fly. According to the AP article,

"Tucker had sued Shakur, alleging, among other things, that her husband, William Tucker, had suffered loss of 'consortium' because of the emotional distress brought on by Shakur."

Oh yes. Consortium. If you think that sounds like some kind of awful Freudian metaphor for something, award yourself one point. Baby, Dictionary.com gives us this legal definition:

"The legal right of husband and wife to companionship and conjugal intercourse with each other."

So let me get this straight: a so-called activist is suing a newspaper for mischaracterizing a Tupac lyric which was so scathing that it prevented her husband from getting a hard-on?

I've got one word for ya:

By the way, have any of you seen the movie Tupac: Resurrection? (Thanks, Olympia, for sending it my way.) It's interesting in the way Born Into Brothels is interesting, which is to say that if you peel back the cutesy, crowd-pleasing surface, there are some very ugly monsters lurking underneath. The selling point is that it's told in "Tupac's own words," and indeed it's compiled from a number of interviews and monologues. But a careful listener will hear that many times, Tupac's speech is spliced together from several different interviews, often in mid-sentence! His speech, his life -- they're so heavily edited to put a positive spin on a man who was one of the most internally embattled characters of his day. By the end of the film, Pac is basically being cast as a black Jesus figure, a patron of the arts, and a sensitive gentleman who only occasionally ran into trouble with the press and the law. It's no coincidence that the film was made by Tupac's mom, Afeni Shakur. You can just see her pulling the strings the whole time.

Guess she had to get him back for "Dear Mama" some way or another.