Tag Archives: Television


A Raucous 40th-Anniversary Party at Music Hall of Williamsburg

December 1st, 2017

L.A.M.F. 4oth Anniversary – Music Hall of Williamsburg – November 30, 2017

There’s a lot of talk about how the Lower East Side is not same as it used to be. Hell, the name of The Bowery Presents hearkens back to the glory days of the late ’70s when a few bands set the town—and the world—ablaze with a new kind of fury that hadn’t been witnessed before. Bands like Ramones, Television and the Patti Smith Group all turned rock and roll in on itself, showing how bloated it had become. This new class would behead bands with 100-piece drum kits and 15-minute flute-driven epics about mystical creatures to bring the genre back to its sneering basics. Punk made the Bowery famous worldwide, and one of its hometown heroes was Johnny Thunders and his band the Heartbreakers. With their seminal trash-rock opus, L.A.M.F., Thunders and his band were probably the most rock and roll out of any of the ’77 class. They stuck to the same basics that had been taught to millions by Chuck Berry while adding some of the era’s reckless abandon. (The band also took advantage of their junk-saturated environment more than their peers, and Thunders passed away in 1991.)

Last year, keeper of the NYC rock flame, Jesse Malin, assembled an all-star tribute to play the L.A.M.F. record in full. Needless to say it was a boozed-up blast. This year marks the album’s 40th anniversary and they pulled out all the stops to do it again at a sold-out Music Hall of Williamsburg last night. With a lineup of original Heartbreaker guitarist Walter Lure, Blondie drummer Clem Burke, Sex Pistols bassist Glen Matlock and Social Distortion singer-guitarist Mike Ness, the band ripped through the full LP, trading off vocal duties throughout. Malin (who also opened the show) joined them for a few numbers but seemed to know his place and cleared the stage so these punk legends could hold court.

The band was loose and some numbers ended in charmingly sloppy ways. You could tell this was getting Burke a little agitated, but in defense of the Heartbreakers’ reckless spirit, Ness said that no one cared if the songs came out perfect. The band left the stage once they completed the album and came back to do an encore of Heartbreakers rarities and even a couple of Thunders solo tunes. Malin returned to sing “You Can’t Put Your Arms Around a Memory,” from So Alone, and Ness took on that album’s slow-brooding title track immediately afterward. The show ended with Lure singing the Heartbreakers song “Too Much Junky Business.” It was a great night that transported everyone to a more dangerous and unpredictable era of rock and roll. —Pat King | @MrPatKing


Ultimate Painting Headline The Bowery Ballroom Tomorrow Night

December 6th, 2016

Ultimate Painting’s show at The Bowery Ballroom on Wednesday is part of the fast-rising band’s sixth tour of the United States—they’re hooked and so are we, and why not? Dusk (stream it below), the English duo’s third full-length album, released earlier this fall, firms up Ultimate Painting’s credentials as artisans of tunefully fractured pop and indie rock. (Or is that fractiously tuneful?) It’s subversive but not overcomplicated, chewable if not too smooth, subdued but not quiet. The Velvet Underground come up often as a descriptive association, as do a multitude of other bands, from the Byrds to Television. All of which is to say that Jack Cooper (formerly of Mazes) and James Hoare (formerly of Veronica Falls) are established craftsmen of not-overdone but hard-to-pin-down pop statements, some of which come grinded out (the Dusk closer, “I Can’t Run Anymore,” being a prime example), and some of which hide pointed edges in soft acoustics (“I’m Set Free”). You’d call them dreamy only if you’re feeling lazy. They’re dreamy the way the Velvets were contemplative. “I think we were hoping to make something more cohesive,” Cooper recently told Track Record about Dusk. “Something that worked more as an album rather than a collection of songs.… It’s difficult to describe the sounds and frequencies that we both respond to but stylistically, we’re pushing for more space.” Get to this Bowery show. They’re billing it as their biggest-ever U.S. appearance, but you can feel free to look at it as the last time you’ll see them in a room this small. And as an added bonus, Juan Wauters and EZTV open the show. —Chad Berndtson | @Cberndtson


Television – Rough Trade NYC – November 29, 2013

December 2nd, 2013

Photos courtesy of Greg Pallante | gregpallante.com