Finally made it to Aaron Cometbus’s Book Thug Nation in Brooklyn on Sunday. He was there at a table with a calculator, ledger and money box, reading a book while a Ronnie Wood solo album played on a record player in the corner. As much as I wanted to say a million things to him, I bought a copy of Operation Shylock and kept my thoughts to myself. His hands are enormous.
Last I’d heard he was selling books street-side on St. Mark’s Place and Bedford Avenue. This sounds very cool!
In what is starting to be a trend, the older set will have another reason to break out the spandex, leather jackets and pointy shoes as the folks who worship at the altar of everything Danceteria will have their day, er, night. Joe Stanich, known as the beloved Joe the Manager, has enlisted my help to put together a soiree’ for the infamous nightclub. I facebooked owner John Argento to get his blessing. I said, John, we need to do this, as none of us are getting any younger. It’s been 30 years since it began, Joe reckoned. Plus, everyone had such a blast at Tommy Gunn’s event at The Bowery Electric last month. Hopefully Tommy will come and relax and play with everyone this time, instead of running around like rockstar on acid. John blessed us and we will party like its 1985.
When you google Danceteria, you will find Madonna’s first performance. You will be told of Grace Jones, the Beastie Boys, Sade, The Smiths, Marc Almond, R.E.M, Nina Hagen, Billy Idol, Sisters of Mercy, Duran Duran, LL Cool J, Nick Cave, Bauhaus, Lydia Lunch, Debbie Harry, Futura 2000, Keith Haring, Russell Simmons, Sonic Youth, Afrika Bambatta, Mark Kamins, Run DMC, Edwige Belmore, Maripol, Fab Five Freddy, Screaming Jay Hawkins, Alan Vega, Jesus and the Mary Chain, Lisa Lisa and the Cult Jam, Lydia Lunch, Tito Puente, Johnny Dynell, The Bush Tetras, The Pogues, Ann Magnuson, The Cramps, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Kid Creole and the Coconuts, The Go Go’s, Devo, The B52’s and Gang of Four. I left out a thousand acts, performers, personalities and scenesters.
You can catch a glimpse of the place in Desperately Seeking Susan, the 30 W21 Street incarnation of the club which I believe had all the licensing and was home to me. “You can’t go home again,” said some asshole, but you can get together over cocktails or cokes and talk with old friends. The best memories might be the ones we have forgotten, just as the best of us won’t be able to attend.
So if you were listening to emo/screamo/math rock in the late ’90s, chances are you picked up some of the beautifully packaged 45s in the Post Marked Stamps split-singles series on Tree Records. It was kind of all the rage.
My favorite of these was the one by Rainer Maria and The Hal al Shedad. I bought it at Let it Rock records in Montclair in 1998. The Rainer Maria song kind of sucks, but The Hal al Shedad track, “Solitaire,” is incredible. (Listen above) Eventually, Tree Records put out a CD compilation with all of the tracks, but I never got it.
Anyway! My friend Eileen just posted to Facebook a Media Fire download of every song in the series. You can find it here.