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And I fell …

The good folks at asked me to annotate a passage from my 33 1/3 volume on Television’s Marquee Moon. Here’s what I came up with:


Previously on PWHNY.

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tv2In Martvch 1974, a band called Television — Tom Verlaine, Richard Hell, Richard Lloyd, and Billy Ficca — played both their very first show (at Townhouse Theater on W 44th) as well as their first gig, a few weeks later, at a dive country and bluegrass bar on the Bowery recently renamed CBGB + OMFUG. They were not a country or bluegrass band. Within months CBGB had become a mecca for new music, underground rock and roll by New York’s unsigned bands, including The Ramones, Blondie, Talking Heads, Richard Hell and the Voidoids, and the Patti Smith Group. This is where punk rock was born.

Several events this week commemorate punk’s 40th anniversary:

Thursday, March 20, 7 pm, at The Strand, 828 Broadway: Richard Hell in conversation with Bryan Waterman, marking the pbk release of Hell’s autobiography, I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp. [open to public]

Thursday, March 20, 6pm, third floor, Elmer Holmes Bobst Library, 70 Washington Square South New York University’s Fales Library and Special Collections presents the GoNightclubbing Video Lounge, a multi-media installation curated by Pat Ivers and Emily Armstrong paying tribute to the infamous Danceteria Video Lounge, which they created in 1980. [open to public]

Friday, March 21 through Sunday, March 23, 11 am to 1 pm, Silver 401, NYU: “Punk and the City,” a three-day seminar as part of the annual American Comparative Literature Association meetings. Twelve presenters on a range of related topics, from Latin American punk to Pussy Riot. [registration fees apply]

so so glosSaturday, March 22, 7 pm, Great Hall at Cooper Union: Punk Turns Forty: A Plenary Sponsored by the American Comparative Literature Association and the Fales Library. Part I: Brandon Stosuy, editor at Pitchfork, interviews Richard Hell; Part II: Avital Ronell moderates a panel with Vivien Goldman, Kathleen Hanna, and Tamar-kali. [Free admission at 6:30 for ACLA conference attendees and at 7:00 for the general public, as space allows]

Saturday, March 22, 10:30 pm doors, Judson Memorial Church, 55 Washington Square South: So So Glos, with Household and Arm Candy, a concert to benefit Silent Barn. [$5-$10 sliding donation; all-ages]

Sunday, March 23, 5 to 8 pm, The Panther Room at Output, 74 Wythe Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn: Classic Album Sundays presents Television’s Marquee Moon. Presenter: Bryan Waterman, author of Marquee Moon (33 1/3 series). [Tickets: $10 at the door or online here]



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For the past couple summers I’ve taught two versions of the same course, though with separate titles and a few tweaks that suggest multiple possibilities for ordering the material we examine. The undergrad version of the course is called Downtown Scenes, 1960-1980. It grew out of a lecture I’ve given several times in the Writing New York course Cyrus and I have taught since 2003. I also used this more specific course — which is a 2-week summer intensive, meeting 4 hours/day for 10 days — to help me prep for writing about Television’s Marquee Moon. The grad version of the course is called Literature in the Age of Warhol. It also focuses primarily on the downtown scene in the 60s and 70s, though in this version Warhol is more pronounced as a defining figure in the era. The first time I taught the undergrad version, Ginsberg emerged as a link between several of our readings. Here are a few links to prior material on the blog, especially about Ginsberg.

So is there something more to be said here about defining these decades variously as an Age of Ginsberg or an Age of Warhol? (For what it’s worth, I think we’re still living in the latter.) Are there other figures you’d suggest had as strong an impact on underground literary and artistic subcultures? I’m just waiting for either one of these fellows to get a cameo on Mad Men.

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We’re painfully aware how slow it’s been around here the last several weeks. We have some decent explanations, and we hope to be back up and running sooner than later.

First up will be our inaugural summer book club discussion, on Jonathan Lethem’s Chronic City. Not to late to pick up a copy and join us. We’ll most likely commence next week.

Other stuff going on in our corner of the cosmos: Friend-of-the-blog Caryn Rose had a rock n roll novel come out this summer. Book launch party for B-Sides and Broken Hearts takes place next week at Soft Spot, on Bedford in Williamsburg. Details here. And a trailer:

Speaking of rock n roll, I’m going to be on WNYC’s Soundcheck on Wednesday, 8/17, to talk about Marquee Moon (the album and the book) and the downtown scene in the 70s.

More 70s news: we’re saddened this week to hear about the passing of NYC graffiti legend Kase 2. If you’ve never managed to see the 1980s documentary Style Wars, this is the week to queue it up. Kase/Case delivers some of the film’s most memorable moments. To wit:

And if you thought we’d forgotten about anything in the city pre-1973, think again. We’re so excited about the reopening of the New-York Historical Society this fall (11/11/11). Ever wonder what the oldest building in NYC is?

Stick with us. We’ll be out of vacation/moving mode shortly.

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  • RT @_waterman Less talk, more music. RT @pwhny blog: Launch party! #nyc #music @333books @widowspeaking @real_estate_ #
  • RT @TweetsOfGrass The crew of the fish-smack pack repeated layers of halibut in the hold, #
  • THIS: #
  • RT @cire_e drinks on boogie! ok, maybe just a drink RT @boweryboogie It’s Our Party and You’ll Drink if You Want to #
  • @cire_e See you at one, the other, or both? #
  • @mariasherm We're happy that you're happy. #
  • @cire_e Neither does @_waterman but he'll be at both too. #
  • @cire_e No red velvet rope, but I can't promise the Hell's Angels won't be providing security … must check with @wordbrooklyn. #
  • Tune in to tomorrow morning around 10:30 for our conversation w/ DJ Trouble about our @333books and rock & roll in 70s NYC. #
  • TONIGHT! RT @wordbrooklyn Don't forget, tomorrow night we rock out with @pwhny for Some Girls & Marquee Moon! #
  • @shenanigans1188 Yea! Thanks for tuning in. And thanks to @wfmu for having us. #
  • @cire_e Thanks for the shout-outs — was nice to know we had friends in the house. #
  • If we weren't committed to be in BK tonight, we'd be at the CB3 meeting to support @toddpatrick's proposal for a new music venue in EV. #
  • If you value the EV's cultural heritage and future as a hub of experimental music, show up at CB3 tonight and lend that proposal yr support. #
  • See you tonight @wordbrooklyn! cc @333books #
  • Disappointed that the proposal for new music venue at 34 Ave A didn't pass CB3. Another blow to the neighborhood's artistic legacy. #
  • @clr Thanks for coming out. We had a great time @wordbrooklyn. What a great shop. #
  • @clr I think it's actually going to be a Subway. Hooray! Go EV! #
  • Here's the link to our @wfmu appearance yesterday to discuss our @333books: << We come in at 1:38 (clickable playlist) #
  • We approve! Also recommend the title on SOME GIRLS. RT @imjasondiamond Must get @333books newest on Television's "Marquee Moon." #
  • You want a summery BK line-up? Come help us kick off our @333books titles tomorrow at 285 Kent. @real__estate__, @widowspeaking, Vacation. #
  • Looking fwd to it. RT @real__estate__ We're playing a show this Thursday at 285 Kent. #
  • Bryan and I are hanging out at 285 Kent in Billyburg, flogging our books and listening to band 1, the guitarless Vacation. CP #
  • No wait, I see a Strat, lonely in the corner. #
  • Widowspeak on now at 285 Kent. New single hot off the press: Gun Shy b/w Chris Isaak cover Wicked Game. White vinyl 7 inch with tarantula. #
  • Thx to Widowspeak & Vacation for kickass sets. @real__estate__ is ripping it up now at 285 Kent. @333books #2k11 #
  • Wrapping up at 285 Kent. Always hated the load out back in the day. CP #

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