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Thursday, September 01, 2005

Autumn of our Punk Years

Patti, Dark & Light, originally uploaded by Theresa K.

So the news is that the Bowery Residents Committee is not going to renew CBGB's lease.

My favorite Beatle, George Harrison titled his spectacular triple album set "All things must pass," and I think perhaps that is a good sentiment.

Over the past few months, we've heard all sorts of sentiments and arguments as to why or why not CBGB should stay or go. Then, during August 2005, just about everyone who meant anything in punk rock to NYC showed up to show support and play to an over-sold house. Were they helping? Giving back? Paying tribute? Or simply gracing that stage for possibly the last time? Does it matter?

Historically, Patti Smith and her band have returned to CBGB's stage for special shows, usually around New Years (Patti and Lenny Kaye share an end of the year birthday as well. Pure celebration these gigs were!). Without fail for years, Patti returned to the house where she got her break. I applaud her for showing support when no one asked for it, demanded it and measured you by whether or not you gave it.

The thing about losing CBGB's to me is more about the transformation of New York City and the downtown scene. Clubs are closing, many of them without fanfare, because developers and landlords are putting up condos and high end retail establishments.

On the other hand, Brooklyn is booming. So come spend your rock n roll dollars in Brooklyn. We have Magnetic Field, Southpaw, Hank's Saloon, Trash Bar, Union Pool, North Six, Gallapagos and more holes in the wall keep opening up every day. We have some good record stores as well. Just move it across the East River.

Rock in Brooklyn this Labor Day weekend. On Friday at Union Pool, BBQ, Demons Claws, Turpentine Bros and at Trash Bar that same night, Bamboo Kids.

A new season is around the corner. Who knows what it will bring?

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