Sunday, November 28, 2004

Haven't seen it yet, but word is that is pretty solid and legal, or as Cheetah Chrome puts it "Oh yea,it's official! As a matter of fact,it's about the most official thing we've ever done! I highly recommend it".

22-20s - 22-20s (EMI LP).
Bein' out of touch as I am with everything happening on a mainstream level I failed to catch up with this disc whenever it first came out. But hey, it's not that good ol' blighty threw up much of worth in the past two decades as far as this rockin' stuff goes. But lo 'n behold, here's that rare artifact: a genuinely good British LP !. 22-20s do that blues-inspired thing limeys once had nailed to perfection but hasn't been heard since the first Screaming Blue Messiahs disc way back when. A friend of mine referred to this as "a major label interpretation of the Reigning Sound", and that ain't too far from reality, and not a bad thing per sé. Wailin' slide and pumpin' Hooker-ish boogies coupled w/ the occasional non-lame ballad are the main ingredients here and sure make a tasty dish. Whether they're able to cut it on stage (hardly the Brits major asset) is another matter entirely, but in the meantime I'll be spinnin' this well into the new year...

Finally got to see End Of The Century in Amsterdam last night where it was screened as part of the International Documentary Film Festival, and man, was it ever worth the wait!. Sure, I know the Ramones story by heart; but even for someone as jaded as myself the film held a lot of surprises. Not so much the archival material (excellent tho' it was) but the fact that finally all the right people (ie the band themselves and those part of their inner sanctum) finally opened-up and admitted, on-camera, all the rumors that have been spreading like wildfire ever since the band broke-up that this was in fact not a happy family. Seeing and hearing the three very distinct but radically different personalities tell their tale was both enlightening and sad. Johnny the drill sergeant who was able to keep the show rollin' for all those years thru' sheer determination, Joey the geeky kid with compulsive behavior disorder who saved himself by becoming the singer in a rock band and Dee Dee the eternal junkie misfit with the songwriting talent. As for the others: Tommy was able to save his ass early on by jumping ship while the others (Marky, C.J. and Richie) were always too one-dimensional to be on the same level as the triumvirate. The interviews with Johnny and Dee Dee especially are the highlights of the movie with the latter displaying a large amount of deadpan humor that saves things from getting too serious. Well paced and focusing on both the internal turmoil and the bigger picture (let's not forget these guys are among the best ever, no ifs or maybees), End Of The Century is mandatory viewing for all NBT readers, no excuses excepted...
Late Note: as in previous videos there was jet another short snippet of the London Rainbow show from Dec 31 1977 included, this show demands the full DVD treatment ASAP!
The Star Spangles are looking for a female rock & roll band to join 'em at CBGBs on New Years Eve. Anybody interested might want to drop the guys a line via

The River City Rebels are also on the bill and there's hardly any money in it but it might be good for a little exposure. You kids know that money isn't everything, right?
Just saw this from Ben... Very sorry to hear that this fine New York store will disappear...

"Hey Folks -

A bittersweet Rock n Roll Bash!


Wowsville Records going away party

Thurs December 2:

At Siberia – 356 W. 40th Street at 9th Avenue
Doors 8:30PM
Cover TBA

This show is a send off for NYCs ONLY punk rock record store, Wowsville Records on 125 2nd Avenue. Alberto Camarasa and his wife Sonia opened the store 5 years ago this December. The couple moved from Spain and knew no one; in 5 years time, the store became THE punk/garage record store, hangout, meeting spot, make shift happy
hour in NYC.

Wowsville was also a shrine to some of NYCs most important bands, especially THE RAMONES – rare vinyl, memorabilia, posters, videos and, of course the photos. The store had an amazing collection of punk photos for sale by Roberta Bayley, Godlis and others. NYC artist and scene-hopper Mark Khostabi painted a recent series
honoring his old haunts in the East Village– he decided to include Wowsville in a painting because he felt it too has become a landmark. And Lux Interior and Poison Ivy from the Cramps dropped by their last time in town to say hi and spend some money!

Alberto is also a tireless promoter of bands that he loves – go into his store around the time of a release by a band in his favor and you'd hear it ALL WEEK LONG –he would make people buy new releases by such bands as BLACK LIPS, LITTLE KILLERS, TYRADES, THE SPITS and THE LIDS among many many others. Also, when many of these bands were on tour, they would always make sure to pay a visit. This was the
meeting place for the underground punk and garage scene both locally
and nationally and it will be sorely missed!"

Anybody out there know why? Other than the fact that these fine people are obviously suffering financially for their art.
It's been a slow week in blog terms then... just got back from a few days in "the london". The original schlepp was planned around a trip to see THE SOLUTION at Dingwalls but said show was duly cancelled due to a lack of taste or honour in the venue department. Not sure which exactly but both are equally heinous. Anyway, armed with train tix - we didn't "pull the gig" and set off on a wee adventure which included The Detroit Cobras(again), The Dirty Water Club and The Boogaloo (or the Buglaoo in Sid and Marty Kroft circles. The Kroft Circles would make a good band name, not bad for this time on a Sunday am, eh?)

Anyways, Wednesday was "travel day" and allowed me to consider what had "gone wrong" at The DC show the night before. Oh yeah, it was Rachel's fault... Thursday was Chiswick day and it's reassuring to find that you still can't get anything much to eat between the hours of 2.30 and 5pm down there if what you had in mind wasn't McDonalds. To the Cobras show then and another valiant attempt by the Sonic Reducer boys to keep the whole thing afloat using beer and some old 45's. Another wholly inappropriate support act, The Duke Spirit laid their emptius cackophonous upon us and, well sucked basically. Joss and Joe later reported that the opening band from Glasgow did a better set at the aftershow club in Glasgow, mighta been a bit of rabbit brought upon by "the drink", maybe not. However, The Glesgae mob, Kain were like a breath of fresh air compared to this, new wave of Hazel O' Connor bollocks. The Detroit Cobras were pretty much the same only louder. I like the Electric Ballroom for a show though. What was it down to this time? Em... oh aye, Rachel.

I don't know what this girl is gonna do when they ban smoking in venues. Just stand there bored? She has a great voice and surely it isn't asking to much for some interaction? Even if she was just more obnoxious and confrontational or something but she's the weak link here. Meanwhile, to her immediate left, Mari - the guitar player - is performing for two or more. Like a little terrier rassling with her instrument, she has to overcompensate for R who will do a little shuffle, roll her eyes and make a funny little move with her neck. Even this is good to raise the ante. The other guys in the band keep their ends up too. Paricularly the drummer Dave (who is on loan from The Sights). What he did to deserve this penance isn't clear but he's being punished for something. Heck of a deposit in the karma bank for you sir... It wouldn't take much to make this band really great, to live up to the press release that Geoff Travis wrote for them. They are capable but the main protaganist needs a good hard kick up the arse. Who might be prepared to do that though is another question entirely...

Friday night, we hit up PJ's famed Dirty Water club and it's a fine venue. With a bit of better planning - we'd have been there to see The Scientists a fortnightish before but got there when Black Moses were on. Good name, tired retro - bordering on Kravitz - boogie. They make me wish The Hellacopters were there running a course on how this sorta thing should be tackled. Detroit man, Jawbone on the other hand is an entirely different proposition. A one man twisted blues-bustin' sensation that sees off the competition without actually straining. He's got the chops and the chutzpah and even a grasp of the dynamics that it takes to hold a crowd's attention. He's clearly doomed but won't be going without a fight and who knows. it may even catch on. Support him, support his cause because verily he rocks! Next up is Swearing At Motorists, which I do a bit of myself. Here's a bit of the blurb to set the scene... "the Motorists pack a punch that’s more rock and roll than Jack White would ever want to be. With drummer Joseph Siwinski coming across as a modern day Cheetah Chrome and Doughman’s manic on-stage Pete Townsend as rock’n’roll preacher persona, they’ve beendubbed “the two-man Who” by some sections of the press. Their! songs, however, are heartbreakingly honest songs about the every day, “the soundtracks to the b-movie of my life” says Doughman, and that means there’s plenty of space for melancholy, bittersweet country interludes invoking the legendary names of Hank Williams and Neil Young in amongst the full-on rock’n’roll of the aforementioned Who, AC/DC, New Bomb Turks, etc."

Bollocks. It was evangelical alright. The curly permed misanthrope that fronts the band made this big dramatic entrance and limped into a vapid strop that sent our small band running for the exit. More charisma free retro pish, this time from Ohio. Just say no thankyou... what poor Cheetah did to get his name in this frame is beyond me. As far as I know, Mr o'Connor never looked like a cross between Pete Townshend and John Walters.

The evening closes with the Sonic Reducer boys dragging those record boxes out again for their regular stint up the road at The Boogaloo. Good music in excellent surroundings with people who seem to appreciate it. Another alien concept. Hurrah then, I'm too auld for all this but can't seem to stop myself. Had to miss Dan Baird last night but "ye cannae dae it a'". I gotta go get gas and hit up Tesco now, that's reality for ya.