Archive for July, 2008

Teenage Jesus & the Jerks @ the Knitting Factory. Friday June 13th, 2008 (11pm Show).

Posted in music, shows, Tom with tags , , , , , , , on July 5, 2008 by criticalreviews

This reunion show was to commemorate the release of Thurston Moore and Byron Coley’s book No Wave: Post-Punk. Underground. New York. 1976-1980. And what a reunion show. Well almost. Two of the three original members, and the third slot being filled in my none-other than Thurston Moore. Teenage Jesus and the Jerks originally formed sometime around 1976 or ’77 and played together until ’79. The line up in the ’70s was Lydia Lunch (guitar/vocals), Bradley Field (drums), and Reck (bass). Reck was later replaced by Gordon Stevenson, and in the reunion Stevenson was replaced by Moore. James Chance was originally in the band, but left shortly after to start the Contortions…but he did not make an appearance at the reunion. My first experience with the Jerks was on the Brian Eno produced No New York comp (my version is a German repress, but still much loved).

The Jerks played two Knitting Factory shows…early and a late…we couldn’t decide what would be the best choice. On one hand the late show is usually rowdier, but then again the band and people who were around in the late ’70s to see the Jerks in their prime are getting older…we decided on the 11pm show. Information opened, and played both their own songs as well as a couple covers (including a Mars cover!). They were good, but all in all I wasn’t so familiar with their music.

The Jerks played second, and played an impressive 25 minute set (this is really long compared to the 10 minute sets they were known for in the ’70s). Lydia Lunch has aged, as everyone does, but was still as surly and aggressive as ever. Talking shit between each song to the crowd, and even her band. They were loud, and offensive…just like you would expect. With the reformation being this intense, it is hard to imagine people seeing this band in 1977. It was all in good fun, or so it seemed, and the crowd would say something back to her, and she would explode again.

The show was really great for people watching. It was obvious that it brought old no wavers out of the woodwork. I’ll admit that I was one of the younger people at the show, but it was funny hearing people asking “Who’s that tall guy on stage,” referring to Thurston Moore. Lydia Lunch might have been pushing the boundries of punk rock as it was know in the ’70s but Teenage Jesus and the Jerks definitely influenced alot of the punk that I was into growing up (even though I didn’t know it at the time).

For some reason it seems like 2008 has been the year for reunion shows. Seeing Cluster a couple weeks ago at No Fun, Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, Tullycraft, and Polvo this is turning to be a really rad summer for older music…I hope it just continues to get better.

Photo from Sandra Nazz’s Photo Stream (via Flickr)

Speaking of reunion shows and no wave…I’m not really sure why no one is talking about the fact that James Chance and the Contortions are listed on the PS1’s 2008 Warm-Up line up for August 30th…if this is in fact happening I’m very excited.


Butternuts Beer and Ale Mixed 12 Pack

Posted in alcohol, beer, Tom with tags , , , , on July 2, 2008 by criticalreviews

Since moving from upper Manhattan I have been struggling to find reasonably priced beer for around the house (so I now realize that Inwood really does have the cheapest alcohol in the city). I’m not super picky as long as it is craft beer, and when I was at Whole Foods at Union Square and the Butternuts Mixed 12 Pack scanned at $12.99 it was a no brainer. Honestly I’m pretty sure that this was a mistake…I had seen it for as high as $17.99 or $18.99 at Whole Foods on the Bowery, and I was happy to take up the miss pricing.

Butternuts Brewery is a craft brewery in Garrattsville, New York. Butternuts beers are farmhouse ales, and their slogan is “Common Men brew Approachable Beers.” Which is a really respectable thing to do in this day and age of Imperial/High Alcohol brews that are coming from most American brewers. Butternuts stays pretty true to their word producing four really sessionable beers, at, at least what I paid, affordable prices.

Four beers come in the 12 pack: Pork Slap Pale Ale, Snapperhead IPA, Moo Thunder Milk Stout, and Heinnieweisse. Two common threads run through all of these beers, and that is light for the style and low in carbonation. Neither of these things is are bad, but I have a few more notes:

Pork Slap is a standard pale ale a bit on the English side of the style with the hops more subtle than most American Pales. Amber in color with grassy plant like hops. Quite sessionable, and easy drinking.

Snapper Head is an IPA, or almost more like an American Pale Ale…also amber in color. The hops are more aggressive than Pork Slap, and actually quite fruity (both in smell and taste getting big citrus and hints of tropical fruits). And I think my personal favorite of the bunch.

The Heinnieweisse is a light easy drinking wheat. To me not quite as sweet as other wheat beers, and 1000 times more drinkable than Hoegaarden. I have to say that this is only the second wheat beer that I have enjoyed this summer (and I have tried quite a few), and highly recommend it. The most carbonated of the bunch.

Moo Thunder, only my second canned stout ever, is smooth and black. As far as stouts go it is a milk stout, and true to style. Sweet with milk sugars, and easy to drink. Fans of sweeter stouts, such as Guinness or other Lacto Stouts, will probably enjoy this one. Light bitter chocolate finish.

As far as Butternuts goes their beers are not quite to the quality of Stone or Dogfish Head, but they are not trying to be (but way better than the pseudo import InBev products like Stella, Hoegaarden, and even the pseudo craft beers like Blue Moon). They state on their website “No Pretentious Eight Dollar Bottles,” and once again true to their word. I don’t know if I would pay the $18.99 price tag for the 12 pack, but for anything under $15 this is a great deal and very good too. Props to Butternuts for making affordable, tasty, quality beer that can be drank in quantity. If you find it try it! And if nothing else check out their website…it is super cute.