Television guitarist Richard Lloyd talks his new rock & roll memoir
In the NYC music history books, Richard Lloyd is punk rock royalty. In 1973, Lloyd joined forces with Tom Verlaine to form the band Television—a guitar godhead tandem that put CBGB’s on the map with the release of 1977’s Marquee Moon, a classic art-punk shredder whose influence is stuff of legend, and a great source of classic NYC songs. Since departing from the band, Lloyd’s has proven to be master storyteller in many mediums. One of last year’s best music memoirs, Lloyd’s Everything is Combustible is a sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll-fueled romp, chock full of wildly entertaining vignettes culled from his five decade-long career. We spoke to the indie-rock legend about looking back and leaving NYC. When did the idea manifest to write Everything Is Combustible? Why was now a good time to document your incredible journey?A long time ago, actually. But I had to wait until I left Television. I couldn’t be honest while I was in the band about certain aspects of it. In your book, you rattle off one amazing story after another. How did you manage to have such attention to detail after years of substance and alcohol abuse?I got this voice recognition software that allowed me to tell my stories and then save ’em on the computer. The book was written without any typing. It was all written as oral stories. Whatever little stories I could remember, I put together. It was going to be like a little series of vignettes. I’ve told some of these stories pretty much all my life. I can’t help
Ten acts not to miss at Winter Jazzfest 2017
The annual Winter Jazzfest—a weeklong bash showcasing both iconic elder statesmen and young innovative blood from across the jazz spectrum—is upon us. And this year offers a mountain of shows across more than a dozen of the best jazz clubs in NYC. The 2017 festival also serves as a platform for racial and social justice: Along with a slate of politically focused shows, there will be talks and panels on topics including Social Justice & the Role of Music and Music & Environmental Justice. Here, we’ve provided a guide to the essential shows and illuminating talks featured at this year’s Winter Jazzfest, one of the best concerts in NYC in January and things to do in the winter. Winter Jazzfest is at various locations Thu 5–Tue 10. Festival pass $160. Get tickets here. RECOMMENDED: A full guide to Winter Jazzfest
Get to know weirdo rockers Ween
When genre-deconstructing rock institution Ween crumbled in a haze of substance abuse and discord in 2012, the group left behind a not-too-shabby legacy, with nine albums that match warped pop hooks and stoner craziness with incredible musicianship. Over three decades, the New Hope, Pennsylvania, duo of Gene Ween (Aaron Freeman) and Dean Ween (Mickey Melchiondo) fed punk, hip-hop and country into the proverbial blender for a uniquely twisted take on what a rock band could be. Thankfully, time heals all wounds because Ween—Gene and Dean along with longtime members Claude Coleman Jr., Glenn McClelland and Dave Dreiwitz—is reuniting for a tour that visits Terminal 5 for what promises to be three epic concerts in NYC. For newbies, or longtime fans who’ve fried a few too many brain cells, here are eight things to know about the band. Ween plays Terminal 5 Thursday, April 14, Friday, April 15 and Saturday, April 16 at 9pm.
Six must-see sets at Winter Jazzfest 2016
With more than 100 concerts in NYC spread across a dozen live music venues and jazz clubs, this year’s twelfth annual Winter Jazzfest—that superconcentrated, panstylistic showcase of improvisational artistry—is shaping up to be a stunner. As you plot your itinerary, we offer our picks for six essential sets.RECOMMENDED: A full guide to Winter Jazzfest
Dinosaur Jr.'s Lou Barlow revisits the band's early days
Three decades after its self-titled debut, Dinosaur Jr. (then known as just Dinosaur) is still cranking up its skyscraper-tall stacks of Marshall Amps to 11. At this week’s seven-show run at Bowery Ballroom to commemorate the 1985 album, the trio, which includes guitar-shredding overlord J Mascis, bassist Lou Barlow and drummer Murph, tackles its epic fusion of hardcore, metal, goth, pop and country, from start to finish, before an array of secret special guests crashes the stage to jam on ear-bleeding favorites plucked from the group’s massively influential 10-album oeuvre. The Amherst, Massachusetts–based band has done the anniversary thing before—these gigs come almost exactly three years after the sludge-rock godhead celebrated the 25th anniversary of underground-rock touchstone You’re Living All Over Me at Terminal 5. But don’t confuse them for a mere nostalgia act. Since 2005, when the original lineup reunited, Dino Jr. has rattled off three excellent records, with another due in 2016. We talked with Barlow to get the dirt. When did the idea for this run of 30th anniversary shows crystallize?I was hearing rumblings about it maybe a year ago.So are you kept out of the loop on the goings on in the Dino Jr. universe or something?It’s funny. I kind of like that aspect of it. It’s like “That sounds cool…okay…what are we doing? Oh, really? Cool!” [Laughing]Let’s talk about that first record. Since the original lineup of Dino Jr. reunited in 2006, you’ve incorporated a bunch o
Vision Festival 2018: 8 acts not to miss at the annual jazz showcase
Vision festival, the avant-garde jazz summit that showcases both godheads and upstarts of the genre, makes its triumphant return to the Brooklyn experimental-music venue Roulette. And what a celebration this 23rd edition is—a feast of cutting-edge sounds, dance, poetry and film that stretches over six days. Read our primer on the acts to know at this year’s festival, which is split fairly evenly between the genre's old guard and its surging new voices. The legends Dave Burrell Quintet: James Brandon Lewis, Kidd Jordan, William Parker, Andrew Cyrille To call Vision Fest veteran Dave Burrell a jazz icon would be an understatement. Ridiculously ahead of his time since the ’60s, the pianist has left his own shape-shifting mark on jazz and blues over his five decades in the business, assembling a résumé that includes stints in the groups of Marion Brown, Pharoah Sanders and Archie Shepp. It’s no wonder the hugely influential pianist and composer is this year’s lifetime achievement honoree. Burrell blesses the opening night with three appearances, playing with fellow free-jazz giant and collaborator Shepp and two all-star groups: Burrell’s quintet and Harlem Renaissance. See them: Wednesday, May 23 at 9:30pm Women with an Axe to Grind Patricia Nicholson, the mastermind and tireless force behind Vision Festival (she’s also a dancer, choreographer and improviser to boot), teams up with bassist Joëlle Léandre, flutist Nicole Mitchell and violist Melanie Dyer for this dance-meets–
Brooklyn duo Uniform makes the accidental soundtrack of 2017
In the wake of Trump’s victory, Uniform’s harsh metal and hardcore anthems seem custom-built for these uncertain times. Of course, the timing is coincidental: Conceived well before the election results came in, the duo’s scorched-earth second album, Wake in Fright, captures guitarist-producer Ben Greenberg (formerly of Zs, the Men and Pygmy Shrews) and vocalist Michael Berdan (ex-Drunkdriver) combining Big Black–ish industrial clatter and early Black Flag–influenced aggro-sludge-punk frenzy, all fueled by a slew of piled-up drum machines, electronic explosions and splatter, and six-feet-under screams. Ahead of their show this week, we chatted with the pair about politics, insomnia and playing without a drummer. How did Uniform originally come together?Ben Greenberg: I had this crazy dream one night. It was just the two of us and a drum machine that was so fucking loud. I ran into him the next day and was like “Dude!” I know it’s ridiculous but that actually happened because we had just been seeing each like every day and it was crazy timing.Michael Berdan: When we started this, we hadn’t worked together for a long time and it was kind of fortuitous that he moved onto my street and we kept on running into each other. I didn’t have a band at the time and I was looking to make music and he was looking to branch out from the Men a little bit. It was right place, right time. After being in bands with four or so members, what’s been the experience of the duo lineup?BG: Being a duo
Liturgy’s Hunter Hunt-Hendrix goes electronic with new project Kel Valhaal
Arguably, no one has shepherded the reconciling of metal’s dingy dive-bar core and its avant-garde fringe like Hunter Hunt-Hendrix, leader of local black-metal outliers Liturgy. Since founding the group in 2005, the Columbia University grad, notorious for his band’s self-described transcendental black metal and a divisive manifesto he penned on the subject, has sent purists into a tizzy over his hyperacademic approach that daringly fuses brutal post-hardcore and a shoegaze-inspired wall of noise into the oftentimes self-serious subgenre. Now he’s playing provocateur once again, not with raging guitars and blast-beat pummel, but with herky-jerky synthesizer-driven action and hypnotic rhythms. Under the guise of mythical character Kel Valhaal, Hunt-Hendrix introduces his classification-defying solo electronic project with key mashing, knob twiddling and occultish rap-chanting on its debut, New Introductory Lectures on the System of Transcendental Qabala. The record picks up where Liturgy’s ecstatically complex 2015 epic, The Ark Work, left off, influenced by Three 6 Mafia’s Southern rap, King Crimson’s prog rock and dizzying techno beats. On bass-heavy standouts “Tense Stage” and “Ontological Love,” black metal meets rap and futuristic, glitchy synth. It’s a thumping and throbbing sonic feast that will undoubtedly please—or infuriate—Liturgy, electronic- and noise-music enthusiasts alike. Kel Valhaal plays Trans-Pecos with Psalm Zero, Gnaw and Kevin Hufnagel Sat 16 at 8pm. $10.