Thursday, May 6, 2010

Cosmopolitanism for Punks

You have to love New York City — and it’s a busy place. Tonight, for example, I’m seeing A-Ha (with, as it turns out, a New Wave-liking libertarian atheist who doesn’t want kids, who is a co-worker of a friend of a friend, though this is largely happenstance) and perhaps going from there to R-Bar at 218 Bowery where Misfits spin-off band the Undead will be hosting a free record release party and performance, as (surprisingly conservative) band member Bobby Steele informs me.

But wait: even if these things were not options (ones perhaps compensating for me missing that Echo and the Bunnymen concert last week), the next seventy-two hours in NYC — just for starters — also sees performances by Broken Social Scene, Golden Palominos, Suzanne Vega, the Primitives, the reclusive and rarely-seen singer of Neutral Milk Hotel, plus Sia with Texan rockabilly-meets-Smiths opening band Girl in a Coma, Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits, and Michelle Shocked performing a twentieth-anniversary selection of songs from her album Arkansas Traveler — and that’s just the ones I already know I’d enjoy. (I think Shocked should dedicate her performance to Arkansas’s Dan Greenberg, a very market-oriented Republican facing a primary for state senate in two weeks.)

Given how hectic an NYC schedule can be, the City’s best experienced if you’re either rich, semi-employed but hip, on welfare, uninterested in the abovementioned activities, or just too far away from everything to be tempted (see Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island, respectively).

There are barely enough hours in the day for it all — though I think just seeing the amorphous alternative rock collective Broken Social Scene would technically count as seeing all the other bands as well, who are now included within Broken Social Scene, as are several provinces of Canada. (On a related note, I notice TimeOut New York described another band as a “Canadian boy-girl duo,” and I couldn’t help thinking that that doesn’t really narrow it down much these days.) Furthermore, tomorrow night sees video director Mick Rock appearing live to talk about an Iggy Pop documentary.

Speaking of rock and film:

•The audience-favorite award at a recent Tribeca film event went to this Rush documentary, Nybakken tells me.

•We should probably be grateful this script by Roger Ebert for a fictional Sex Pistols movie (pointed out to me by able historian Christine Caldwell Ames) was never produced, and it sounds as though Roger Ebert feels the same way.

1 comment:

Ali T. Kokmen said...

Punk Godmother Patti Smith, when recently asked if it’s still possible for young artists to come to New York as Smith did when she was young, replied “New York has closed itself off to the young and the struggling….New York City has been taken away from you… So my advice is: Find a new city.”

(See: )

That you can still find punk cosmopolitanism is, I think, encouraging, even if Smith’s view of things isn’t quite…