ANNIVERSARIES: Motörhead Released Ace of Spades 35 Years Ago

As we watch what may soon be the end of Motörhead, with a fine new album just out but iconic leader Lemmy's failing health forcing him from the stage on multiple nights, let's also look back at a milestone in the group's long career.

Bassist/singer Lemmy Kilmister started Motörhead in 1975 after getting kicked out of prog-rockers Hawkwind for being jailed on a drug charge in Canada during a tour. The band's early days were not marked by success. After being signed by United Artists, Motörhead's first shot at recording an album was rejected, and the label then blocked the group's attempted release of a single on Stiff. In '77 -- the lineup having completely turned over aside from its frontman -- they were ready to throw in the towel and even scheduled a farewell concert, but then Chiswick Records gave them money to record a single and by working quickly (and with a little more support from Chiswick) they turned that session into their debut album. After that things got better, but the band had yet to break through as of 1980. Read more »

Zombie Birdhouse

Keltie Ferris
Mitchell-Innes & Nash, NYC
Through October 17, 2015

A screenwriter bursts into his agent's office. "I have a great idea for a new picture," he enthuses. "We do a remake of The Wiz. Only with white people!" Clichéd Hollywood joke, sure, yet pretty much on point with regard to current trends in art and music. The mash-up, dub, remix, redux, or whatever you want to call it, has replaced the "appropriation" strategies of the 80s. It has morphed into something called Zombie Formalism that for better, or worse, is now seen as a legitimate art movement. Read more »

The Black Book

The Black Book
Written and directed by Phil Blechman
IJB Productions, Sargent Theater, NYC
September 5 - November 22, 2015

As part of Bronx Community College's opening convocation this year, school officials commemorated the death in June of 22-year-old student Kalief Browder, who had enrolled after spending 3 years in Riker's without being convicted, a period that included beatings and hundreds of days of solitary confinement. Though Browder's situation may appear extreme, its eventual outcome is not unusual. The playbill for Phil Blechman's The Black Book notes that eleven percent of all deaths of persons between the ages of 15 and 24 are suicides, which works out to one suicide just under every two hours. Blechman began working on the play, which debuted professionally in New York City in 2012, in response to a college classmate's suicide in 2007 and with the aim of finding reason within the experience. Read more »

Song of the Week: Israel Nash - "Strangers"

The spirit of Neil Young, Buffalo Springfield, and early solo David Crosby circa If Only I Could Remember My Name, thrive in this former Brooklyn-based "metaphysical" cowboy Israel Nash Giripka's musical universe. Having stumbled upon him quite by accident I was immediately drawn to his tone, stringed textures (Gretsch guitars, pedal steel), and musical chops. The most excellent single entitled "Strangers" is the debut track from his sixth album Israel Nash's Silver Season, available worldwide October 9th via Loose Music & Thirty Tigers.

Quote of the Week: Pope Francis

"A delicate balance is required to combat violence perpetrated in the name of a religion, an ideology or an economic system, while also safeguarding religious freedom, intellectual freedom and individual freedoms. But there is another temptation which we must especially guard against: the simplistic reductionism which sees only good or evil; or, if you will, the righteous and sinners."

Pope Francis born Jorge Mario Bergoglio (17 December 1936), 266th and current Pope of the Catholic Church, a title he holds ex officio as Bishop of Rome, and Sovereign of the Vatican City.

The Doctor Is In!

Hotsy Totsy Burlesque Tribute: Doctor Who
The Slipper Room, NYC
Upcoming Events: October 8th, November 12th, December 10th, 2015

Despite Doctor Who's history of using its Time Lord protagonist's companions to double as viewer eye candy, it still seems difficult to think that anyone would have guessed that over fifty years after its 1963 debut, an entire burlesque production would pay tribute to a children’s sci-fi show. However, Hotsy Totsy Burlesque's Tribute: Doctor Who, presented by Cherry Pitz and Joe the Shark (dressed for the night as Peter Davison’s Fifth Doctor) does seem perfectly of a piece with the era of internet fan-fiction and character "shipping," and the new BBC series (beginning from its 2005 revival) has, to greater and lesser degrees, acknowledged and even encouraged the interest of its fandom in its characters’ sexualities. Read more »


The devil-may-care, rakish charisma of the rough-hewn rockstar Keith Richards is on full display in the brand new Netflix-released documentary, Keith Richards: Under The Influence. Read more »

Herschel Silverman R.I.P April 17, 1926 - September 19, 2015

Our friend Steve Dalachinsky reports that Long Shot publisher Danny Shot says poetry scene icon Herschel Silverman passed away quietly today. Silverman, the least bohemian of the Beat poets, served in the Navy in World War II and the Korean war, then worked for thirty-four years at his candy store in Bayonne, New Jersey and raised a family, but also wrote and published poetry on the side after being inspired by Allen Ginsberg's 1955 poem "Howl." The candy store was named Hersch's Beehive, and Beehive Press was his self-publishing outlet, though he was also published in many magazines. A children's book about him, The Candystore Man, was written by Jonathan London. Read more »

Endless Waves

October Waves: Photography by Sandra Gottlieb
Walter O. LeCroy Gallery
The New York Hall of Sciences, Queens
9/1-10/31, 2015

The New York Hall of Sciences in Queens presents Sandra Gottlieb's powerful 2013 photographic series October Waves, curated by Marcia Rudy. Twenty-five large scale photographs (30 x 40”) and five smaller scale close-up shots feature images of pristine waves with patterns of foam and strongly moving undercurrents in an homage to the ocean’s majesty and its ever changing inexorable might. Gottlieb documents the especially devastating 2013-hurricane season with shots taken at sunset from the same location, each day in October, with the sun over her right shoulder. Often she enters the ocean in high boots to catch a wave at its peak, before it crashes to her feet; she describes the experience as “dancing” with the rhythms of the currents, where her past career as a dancer enabled her to segue with the ebb and flow of the tides. The show offers a brilliant view of pure nature, undiluted by subtexts, at its most sensory and direct. Read more »

The French Lesson

Written by Genevieve Hulme-Beaman
Directed by Paul Meade Gúna Nua and Ramblinman
59E59 Theaters, NYC
September 8-October 4, 2015

Of all the chores on her grandfather's farm, Madeleine particularly loves crushing cans. She especially enjoys those cans that put up a bit of resistance right at the end, admiring how they fight the inevitable. Her satisfaction in dispatching cans contrasts with those times when she must hold the flashlight while her brother and grandfather feed the cows: at these times, she knows that her task is essentially a ploy to keep her from feeling useless, an insight that speaks to her relative isolation in Genevieve Hulme-Beaman's Pondling, part of New York City's annual 1st Irish Festival. Read more »

Video of the Week: Stolar - "My Own Way"

Stolar, the artist formerly knows as Jay Stolar, has released another pwoerful pop song with an equally powerful video. "My Own Way" was created in support of the Jed Foundation's groundbreaking mental health awareness movement Love Is Louder. For more info visit their website at A portion of the proceeds from #MyOwnWay will help support the Love Is Louder movement. Be inspired and watch it now!

It's Not Just The Little Things

Little Thing, Big Thing
Written by Donal O’Kelly
Directed by Jim Culleton
Fishamble: The New Play Company
59E59 Theaters, NYC
September 2-27, 2015

A thief and a nun duck into a closet under the stairs: this is not the setup for a joke but for Little Thing, Big Thing, the newest work from award-winning playwright and performer Donal O’Kelly, having made its way to the United States as part of New York City’s annual 1st Irish Festival. Ex-con Larry O’Donnell ends up in that closet with Sister Martha McCann, who is returning from Nigeria to oversee the sale of the thematically evocative Lazarus Convent, when their paths cross by chance in the midst of his pulling off one last job. Larry’s final heist, a valuable statue of the Virgin, is interrupted because Martha has a second task in Ireland: to fulfil a death-bed request to hand-deliver a mysterious roll of film, one of the titular little things, to the Nigerian Henry Barr; but Barr is far from the only person who wants to get his hands what it contains. As in so many mismatched-buddy narratives, they head off on a cross-country road trip, but the unexpected and compelling discoveries that they make about themselves and their mission along the way resurrect a sense of moral purpose for both characters. Read more »

Music and Sex #8: Rachel, Keith, and William

Music and Sex: Scenes from a life - A novel in progress (first chapter here). Warning: more highly graphic TMI.

A weekend of fruitless fretting almost led Walter to agree that Martial had the right idea and the show should go on with no guitarist, and with just Walter on keyboards, but really all he'd come up with for sure was a new band name -- The Living Section, for the Wednesday arts portion of The New York Times. The other guys all agreed that was an improvement. However, he couldn't bring himself to propose to them what, in his head, he had dubbed the Martial Plan. Read more »

Dusty Wright - "High Flyin' Bird"

Stoked to share the new single "High Flyin' Bird" featuring Queen Esther on co-vocals, Matt Goeke on plucked cello, and Jerry Krenach on drums. Produced by Dusty Wright and mixed by Mr. David Lee. Recorded at Strauss Park Studios, NYC. Cover art by the very talented French painter Claire Petit. This long-forgotten '60s folk classic has been covered by Judy Henske, Neil Young, Richie Havens, and Jefferson Airplane. Please click here to buy it today!

Ron English PopApp Scavenger Hunt

For those of you who may not know Ron English and his wonderful world of Popaganda, here's an amazing activation I co-produced with the fine folks at FuelFX. Besides a crazy scavenger hunt, Ron handpainted the world's largert AR (augmented reality) target/marker at Spider House during SXSW in Austin. That target as well as his handpainted Smiley Skull marker are still on display. If you download the "Ron English PopApp" for your iOS or Android device and point it at the Smiley Skull, it will come alive and talk to you! Check it out today. You can also download the app and point it at the image below and have some fun. Trust me, it's cooler than a jar full of Sea Monkeys! Read more »

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