Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Little Comics, a little politics, a little race.

So, other than drinking gin and drawing a comic book about band politics, what have I been doing?

Well, I have long loved Benny Goodman. Especially as a kid. I have to say I really disliked hard rock as a small child. It was just too raw, scary, sexual for me to deal with.
But I really dug this, and stuff like it.

Thing is, as an adult I felt funny about enjoying Benny Goodman, because that big band stuff is My friend Billy had me over and played some of Benny Goodman's sextet for me.  It turns out Goodman was one of the first white guys to work with black musicians (thank god), plus he could really swing. He did some of his best stuff with his sextet, as here:

If you ever wanna come over, I like my gin top shelf, with lime and seltzer

Sunday, January 9, 2011

No Wave, in service of my readers

So what the fuck have I been doing if I haven't been serving you, my dear readers? My son and I took Christmas vacation together and saw (in order here from good to bad) True Grit, Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Gulliver's Travels, and Tron.

I have also been working on a comic book about NYC rock n' roll life. Well, some of it. It's about 1/4 done, and takes lots of concentration. The writing is long done. I am just drawing it now. I hope I have space for ads for "The Senders," "Simon and the Bar Sinisters" and "The Arkhams." Yes, the ads would be free for them.

And I've also been flipping through a book on No Wave music by Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth) and Byron Coley (music critic), called "No Wave: Post-Punk. Underground. New York. 1976-1980." I had only just heard of No Wave about a year ago, when Simon Chardiet asked if I had heard of his No Wave band, "Joey Miserable and the Worms." I confessed I hadn't even heard of the type of music. I was 5 and living in rural Massachusetts at the time.

"No Wave" was noisier and more experimental than punk and more "do it yourself in your squat with electricity stolen from the restaurant next door." You can see the difference just from names. Punk had Joe Strummer. No Wave had Lydia Lunch. Punk had The Ramones. No Wave had The Gynecologists.

I have to say I generally like my music more melodic and less noisy than much of No Wave. Sometimes either the vocals or the guitars are a bit screechy for my taste. But one thing I do like about No Wave is that the songs are unpredictable.I am a fast listener generally--I know what the next lyric is going to be and how the song is going to end. Except for No Wave.

Here is an example of something I can totally get behind. Ladies and gentlemen, I present The Theoretical Girls.

Lydia Lunch wrote the introduction to Thurston Moore's book, and she shows up in several interviews throughout. She touches on the nihilism in New York City in New York City at the time. In 1975, The NY Daily News had a cover that said, "Ford to City: Drop Dead." I no longer have the book in my hands, but to paraphrase, No Wave was saying fuck you to life, and fuck you to death, and pretty much everything else.

Here is Lydia with "Teenage Jesus and the Jerks." Not my thing, but I hope you like it.

I recommend "No Wave: Post-Punk. Underground. New York. 1976-1980.". It opens with a diagram of how the different bands were related to each other. There are tons of photos and interviews. A coffee table book for someone with an interesting brain. If you would like to see more pictures of No Wavers, visit:
More on Lydia now:
A video on the No Wave book, plus a list of other youtube videos on the subject: