Live preview: Danzig Legacy

Cut the snark and pay respect to a dark master of American song.


Danzig Photograph: Courtesy of Tell All

Okay, we get it—Glenn Danzig is a punch line. By now, you've likely seen the photo of the muscle-bound howler toting kitty litter through a supermarket parking lot, the video of him getting decked backstage by an angry hanger-on, and the comic that posits a gay affair between him and Henry Rollins. But let's cut the snark and look at the facts: Danzig is one of the most brilliant singer-songwriters of his generation, a master of wedding occult preoccupations to fiendishly hooky, emotionally weighty rock & roll. Need proof? Ask Metallica or Will Oldham, just two of the prominent artists to cover his work. (Did we mention that Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison also performed Danzig-penned tunes?)

Danzig Legacy, the first explicit retrospective the New Jerseyan has presented, surveys the full scope of the former Glenn Anzalone's 30-year-strong oeuvre. You'll sample the Misfits' B-movie-fueled bubblegum anthems, simultaneously the catchiest and vilest works in the American punk canon (and in case you're wondering, the Danzig-less Misfits playing B.B. King's on Halloween are not an acceptable substitute); the creeped-out postpunk of the sorely underrated Samhain (1986's Samhain III: November-Coming-Fire still provides reliable chills); and the deliciously dark rock of Danzig's eponymous band, currently thriving in the wake of 2010's impressive Deth Red Sabaoth. If all you know of Danzig is the Beavis and Butt-head chestnut "Mother" or the aforementioned silly memes, prepare to get schooled by a misunderstood genius.

Correction: An earlier version of this article claimed that Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison covered Glenn Danzig's material, when actually they performed Danzig songs written specifically for them. We have edited this portion for clarity.

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