Monday, September 21, 2009

The Blank Generation

Saturday night (post-podcasting) I checked out the "Punk Rock, Forever!" portion of the HOWL! Arts Film Series. It was a small screening in the basement at Millennium on the lower east side, but all the filmmakers were there. I dragged my MIAP friends out to sit through it with me on the premise that it was being run by a prominent NYC archivist. I don't know if they dug it but I know I did. It was pure Brittan heaven. Here's why.

The Blank Generation (Poe/Kral, 1976)
Early silent footage taken at CBGB when the "crowd" was still made up of only 10 or 20 kids. Patti Smith, Blondie, Talking Heads, Ramones, New York Dolls, Television, etc. shot up close by their friends and set to early demos that they gave them. Ivan Kral left communist Prague and started taking video to show his friends back home what punk music looked like. He and Amos Poe were reunited at the screening and their stories were incredible.
Soul City (Jones, 1979)
Such a great song. It took M. Henry Jones two years to complete this two minute film in the late 70s. Think about that as you click the link and watch it pop up in YouTube in a matter of seconds.Punking Out (Carson/Kossakowski, 1979)
It's like watching the punk scene fight the rest of the world to the death. I love seeing the innocence of the time. The kids still believed that it was them against the world and that they would never be changed by it, never conform. They're offended by the posers who come looking for the CBGB and take extreme pride in exclusivity, while the Dead Boys and Ramones are just bored. Amazing Richard Hell performance, great sound quality.

So cool. Interesting to see these incredible people reminisce about early punk and glam, hate on disco and talk about the change and disenchantment that comes with time. They are all still actively excavating old reels and creating new material, and still wear the mark of someone who was a part of that scene in New York.

Also that night I saw the greatest drumming I have ever seen in my entire life. I do not exaggerate. There is no way for me to put it into words and my Flip was not there (of course) so I will just post a picture that only I will truly grasp and assure you that I know what I'm talking about.

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