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This week, to mark the release of our volumes in Continuum’s 33 1/3 series, we continue our series of guest playlists from friends, critics, and fellow music lovers. (Check back late afternoons: we’ll probably be posting two a day.) Given that both our books focus on New York in the 70s, we’ve asked contributors to curate lists along the lines of a loose theme: “favorite NYC records.” What constitutes a “NYC record” is left to their discretion.

This morning’s list comes from author/musician Nathan Larson, who began his artistic life in the DC hardcore punk scene, playing in bands such as Swiz and eventually serving as lead guitarist in Shudder To Think. He relocated to NYC in 1989. Today he is best known as a film composer, having scored upwards of 30 films, including Boys Don’t Cry, Dirty Pretty Things, and The Woodsman.
His debut novel
The Dewey Decimal System was released May 2011 on Akashic Press. Nathan lives in Harlem with his wife Nina Persson and their son Nils. Follow him on Twitter at @natoism.

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New York jams i love

To state the very obvious NYC is nothing if not a seething mashup, a massive cross-pollination, inter-bred uptown-downtown or across oceans. This is well expressed musically :

AFRIKA BAMBAATAA – PLANET ROCK

The South Bronx/ Dusseldorf connection that kicked off, oh, just pretty much everything we understand as modern pop music

ROLLING STONES – SHATTERED

Hey bloated/ rail skinny rock star tax exiles from the UK! You too can make one of the ultimate NYC records.

Fun fact: two major unifying factors of all great NY platters: heroin n’ hookers!

SWANS – A SCREW (HOLY MONEY)

No city crafted musical noise better than our City. Swans were one my favorite live bands ever, they just kicked you repeatedly in the chest and you loved it.

LIQUID LIQUID – CAVERN

which folks will recognize as the basis for WHITE LINES….I don’t know the story behind how Grandmaster Flash got a hold of this obscuro record but I’m sure it’s fascinating and is one fine example of inter-breeding.

TRIBE CALLED QUEST – CAN I KICK IT

ok take Queens finest, add that Lou Reed classic + you have an amazing new track that still sounds fresh as hell.

WU TANG CLAN – “C.R.E.A.M.”

Kung Fu films + super raw hip hop, an all-boroughs crew of instant superstars…when this dropped i was fucking SCARED of these guys and still am. BIG BABY JESUS 4EVAH

JAMES CHANCE AND THE CONTORTIONS – I CAN’T STAND MYSELF

My nominee for induction in the R + R Hall of Fame, if I was God. Live At the Apollo played downtown by very white dudes with badass white skronky soul.

BLONDIE – HEART OF GLASS

RAPTURE would have been more in keeping with the theme here, Fab 5 Fred wandering around in there, but this track contains multitudes.

What’s on your NYC playlist?

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Over the next few weeks, to mark the release of our volumes in Continuum’s 33 1/3 series, we are featuring a series of guest playlists from friends, critics, and fellow music lovers. Given that both our books focus on New York in the 70s, we’ve asked contributors to curate lists along the lines of a loose theme: “favorite NYC records.” What constitutes a “NYC record” is left to their discretion.

This morning’s list comes from Alex Smith at Flaming Pablum, a Village blog with a 70s-80s East Village soul. He also contributes to The New York that Nobody Sings. Alex writes:

I was hugely enthused when Bryan first asked me to contribute to this, being that this stuff is right up my proverbial street. But then — I started to agonize. What exactly defines a “great NYC record”? Is it a sound? Subject matter? The personages involved? Moreover, since we were citing videos, should they be visually NYC-centric? My brain started filling with equally justifiable contenders for inclusion.

While there are scads of great examples of videos that feature New York City as their location (from “Cosmic Slop” by Parliament to “I’m Afraid of Americans” by David Bowie to “When I Get You Alone” by Thicke to “We Want the Airwaves” by the mighty Ramones, to name but a paltry few), I decided to simply cite songs that — to my mind — either singularly captured the New York experience and/or simply couldn’t have been recorded anywhere else. I know once I submit this, I’m going to bitterly lament excluding a whole bunch, but here goes….

Oh, and I’m cheating and going with ten. Sue me…

1. “Waiting for the Man” by the Velvet Underground

2. “New York Groove” by Ace Frehley

3. “Beat Bop” by Rammellzee & K-Rob

4. “All Twisted” by Kraut

5. “Forever” by Little Steven & the Disciples of Soul

6. “Steppin’ Out” by Joe Jackson

7. “I Love New York” by the Pop-O-Pies

8. “Rock Box” by Run-DMC

9. “We Gotta Know” by the Cro-Mags

10. “Shine On Elizabeth” by Cop Shoot Cop

What’s on your New York playlist?

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Over the next few weeks, to mark the release of our volumes in Continuum’s 33 1/3 series, we are featuring a series of guest playlists from friends, critics, and fellow music lovers. Given that both our books focus on New York in the 70s, we’ve asked contributors to curate lists along the lines of a loose theme: “favorite NYC records.” What constitutes a “NYC record” is left to their discretion.

This morning’s playlist comes from Dave Mandl, WFMU DJ and music editor at The Brooklyn Rail. Follow him on Twitter: @dmandl.

Some of My Favorite New York Records
Dave Mandl

Laura Nyro: New York Tendaberry (1969)
Laura was a Jewish/Italian girl who grew up singing on the streets of the Bronx — oh, and one of the greatest white soul/R&B singers of all time. New York Tendaberry is her most New York record.

Moondog: More Moondog (1956)
Blind composer, percussionist, and all-around eccentric Moondog was a fixture on the streets of upper Manhattan from the late ’50s through the ’80s. This is one of the earliest and best recordings of his music.

Various Artists: No New York (1978)
At the time, my musician friends and I barely considered these midwestern art-school transplants (Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, the Contortions, Mars, and DNA) to be real New Yorkers, but even we were eventually influenced by what they were doing, and so were many many others. In retrospect it’s hard to imagine this tortured racket being made anywhere but the grim, industrial Lower Manhattan of the late ’70s.

Eddie Gale: Eddie Gale’s Ghetto Music (1968)
I happened to meet fellow Brooklynite Eddie Gale through a mutual friend when I was a teenager, but I never actually heard his music till many years later. It’s hard to believe that this brilliant soul-jazz was being made just a few miles away from where I lived, but I suspect I wasn’t the only white kid who was unaware of it at the time.

Robert Fripp: “NY3” (Exposure) (1979)
On top of a blistering prog-metal instrumental backing, this track loops an all-too-real audio recording of a familial screaming match captured on tape somewhere in Hell’s Kitchen. Mother to daughter: “You’re carrying a baby, and you don’t know whether it’s a nigger, a spic, or a white baby!” Lovely.

What’s on your New York playlist?

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Over the next few weeks, to mark the release of our volumes in Continuum’s 33 1/3 series, we are featuring a series of guest playlists from friends, critics, and fellow music lovers. Given that both our books focus on New York in the 70s, we’ve asked contributors to curate lists along the lines of a loose theme: “favorite NYC records.” What constitutes a “NYC record” is left to their discretion.

This morning’s playlist comes from our friend Caryn Rose, a Brooklyn-based writer and photographer who documents rock-and-roll, baseball and urban life. Her first novel, B-Sides and Broken Hearts, will be released in Summer 2011. Follow her on Twitter: @clr & @metsgrrl.

CARYN’S “IF YOU COMBINE SOME GIRLS AND MARQUEE MOON IN MY MUSICAL MEMORY BANK, THIS IS WHAT YOU COME UP WITH” PLAYLIST

Dance, Pt. 1 – Rolling Stones

Few albums say “New York City in the Summer” like Emotional Rescue does. They were my guilty pleasure back then, I didn’t know how to reconcile the Studio 54-ness of this record with the rest of the things that I loved but I just knew that I loved it. I heard it in my head as I walked around the city that year.

New York, New York – Dictators

Everyone has a love/hate relationship with the Dictators, but this is classic, and live from Coney Island High in 1997.

Down At Max’s – Jayne County

When I first heard this song out at a club somewhere, it was like the keys to the kingdom. All the bands I read about in Rock Scene. Bonus points since this footage is Jayne County with the Fast (who I was never a huge fan of, but people were) onstage at Max’s.

Rock N Roll – Velvet Underground

Her life was saved by rock and roll.

New York City Serenade – Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band

I never really saw my love of Bruce and my love of punk rock as disconnected in anyway – to me he was always one of us, and this was before we knew he’d written “Hungry Heart” after seeing the Ramones or drank vodka in the Record Plant bathroom with Alan Vega. This version from 1975.

Extra credit:

It’s not a song about New York, but the Speedies will indelibly be part of my early New York memories, and the video is an amazing period piece, filmed on the Brooklyn Heights promenade. (Take that, Ryan Adams)

The Speedies – Let Me Take Your Photo

What’s on your New York playlist?

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Over the next few weeks, to mark the release of our volumes in Continuum’s 33 1/3 series, we are featuring a series of guest playlists from friends, critics, and fellow music lovers. Given that both our books focus on New York in the 70s, we’ve asked contributors to curate lists along the lines of a loose theme: “favorite NYC records.” What constitutes a “NYC record” is left to their discretion.

This morning’s list comes from Tim B, proprietor of one of our favorite rock ‘n’ roll ephemera blogs, Stupefaction, a constant source of pleasure. He’s also one of the minds behind The New York Nobody Sings. Follow him on Twitter @karateboogaloo.

Tim B writes: “Here’s five with an honorable mention. No commentary.”

Serge Gainsbourg, “New York USA”

Lou Reed, “Coney Island Baby” (Live)

Bush Tetras, “Too Many Creeps”

Charles Mingus, “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat”

Justin Townes, Earle “Harlem River Blues”

Honorable Mention – Tom Waits, “Midtown” (no video available)

What’s on your NYC playlist?

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Over the next few weeks, to mark the release of our volumes in Continuum’s 33 1/3 series, we will feature a series of guest playlists from friends, critics, and fellow music lovers. Given that both our books focus on New York in the 70s, we’ve asked contributors to curate lists along the lines of a loose theme: “favorite NYC records.” What constitutes a “NYC record” is left to their discretion.

Our first list comes from Marvin Taylor, Director of Fales Library and Special Collections at NYU, which hosts an extraordinary collection of material related to New York’s Downtown Scene in the 70s and 80s. Taylor also edited The Downtown Book, which we highly recommend. Marvin’s list, he writes, comes “off the top of my head”:

Klaus Nomi, “Lightning Strikes”

Dean and the Weenies, “Fuck You”

Blondie, “Heart of Glass”

B-52s, “Rock Lobster”

Glenn Branca, “Hallucination City: Symphony for 100 Guitars”

David van Tieghem, “Ear to the Ground”

Talking Heads, “Psycho Killer”

Richard Hell and the Voidoids, “Blank Generation”

Afrika Bambaataa, “Planet Rock”

John Sex, “Hustle with My Muscle”

What’s on your NYC playlist?
 

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The annual HOWL! FESTIVAL kicks off today in the East Village.

Opening day, this year, coincides with the 85th anniversary of Ginsberg’s birth. Per tradition, the poet Bob Holman will lead a group reading of Howl with a cast of friends and fellow poets. From the website:

Each year we commence the open air festivities in NYC’s Tompkins Square Park with a group reading of Allen’s ground-breaking 1956 poem, HOWL, just before dusk, conducted in a symphonic manner by Bowery Poetry Club mastermind, Bob Holman. The line up of poets lending their voices to bringing Howl to life this year (in no particular order) include: Darian Dauchan, Alice Whitwham, Nicole Wallace, Curtis Jensen, Julie Patton, Fay Chiang, Miguel Algarin, Andy Clausen, Eliot Katz, Bob Rosenthal, David Henderson, John Giorno, Hettie Jones, Steven Taylor, Ed Sanders, sick prose, Elisabeth Velasquez, Helena D. Lewis, Eliel Lucero, Nikhil Melnechuk, & Jon Sands.

I plan to be there with my undergrad Downtown Scenes class. (It’s our final day today; we opened the course with Howl, so this seems a fitting way to close.)

As much as I look forward to the reading, I think I’d rather listen to Patti Smith read Ginsberg than just about anyone else but Ginsberg. Here she is with Philip Glass reading Ginsberg’s “On the Cremation of Chogyam Trungpa Vidyadhara” (1987) at a memorial for Ginsberg. From Dream of Life:

That spittle at 2:50 is, I think, one of the most moving moments in the history of punk performance.

I also like her piece “Spell,” which incorporates G’s Footnote to Howl:

The same piece as included in Dream of Life:

Follow the Howl! Festival on Twitter. Follow @HowlTweeter too.

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At a loss for time is more like it. My teaching schedule today prevents me from posting, but stay tuned: We have some special pre-33 1/3 release posts on their way.

Meantime, here’s a teaser for the material my Downtown Scenes class is dealing with today:

Previously on PWHNY. And. Plus.

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Reblogged from the excellent Dangerous Minds — the BBC4 documentary Once Upon a Time in New York: The Birth of Hip Hop, Disco, & Punk (2007):

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This one goes out to my Downtown Scenes class, who’re discussing Forced Entries later today. You’ve all seen the terrific Jim Carroll site, Catholic Boy, right?

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