3 items from 2013
Groupies and Used Bookstores: Manhattan's 1970s Punk Scene The Voidoids' Richard Hell on blowjobs as the ultimate compliment by Lizzie Plaugic My favorite part of Richard Hell’s new memoir, I Dreamed I Was A Very Clean Tramp, is the epilogue. In it, Hell describes one night over the course of his writing the book, in which he sees his ex-Television bandmate Tom Verlaine rummaging through the dollar bins in a used bookstore. There's no outright reconciliation of their dissipated friendship, but there's a mental shift. And (from Hell's perspective, at least) we see the relationship take on a new (or newly recognized) form. This is what is most interesting about Hell’s memoir: the crux of the narrative comes not from Hell himself, but from his interactions with people who drift in and out of his life. It is the bandmates, the groupies, Theresa [...] »
- Lizzie Plaugic
“We wanted to strip everything down further, away from the showbiz theatricality of the glitter bands, and away from bluesiness and boogie. We wanted to be stark and hard and torn up, the way the world was,” Richard Hell writes in his recent raw autobiography, "I Dreamed I Was A Very Clean Tramp."
At the Metropolitan Museums of Art's upcoming exhibit, "Punk: Chaos and Couture," Hell is the first of seven "punk heroes" with a gallery showcasing their impact on the fashion world.
Hell rose to cult fame in the 1970s through his band Television. While the group didn't last long, Hell's ripped and safety-pinned clothes have immortalized him as an emblem of New York's seminal underground scene at the time.
Besides the group of seven, the Met's May show will present the work of 100 designers, tracing the original "do-it-yourself" punk looks scoured from dumpsters and junk drawers to contemporary »
- Leigh Silver
The Virgins, "Strike Gently" (Cult Records/Frenchkiss Label Group)
The best thing about the New York quartet The Virgins is Donald Cummings' adept angular guitar playing. In spots it's pleasantly reminiscent of Richard Hell's inventive work in Television, or even the David Byrne/Jerry Harrison combination in Talking Heads – and it's clear there's a post-punk New York aesthetic that The Virgins are mining. It is, after all, their hometown.
"Strike Gently" is their second full-length effort, and it is considerably more down-tempo than their 2008 debut. Much of the sexy dance beats from the first record have been shelved in favor of slower attempts at contemplative songs like "The Beggar" or "Amelia."
Cummings sings in an Iggy-esque basso that has a little too much reverb, or doubling effect, in places, and isn't nearly as captivating. The verses with the sharp and often ornamental guitar licks unfortunately devolve into the most »
3 items from 2013
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