Loft Living In Lower Manhattan, Before Gentrification


You may never have heard of James Wolcott, but the boy sure can write. Especially about New York in the CBGB days of the 1970s. It's a good analog to HBO's "Vinyl".

 "Loft living then wasn’t the luxury alternative that it later became with the rise of SoHo and gentrification with a vengeance in Tribeca and beyond, as lofts became synonymous with airy storage units of flooding sunlight, gleaming bowling-alley hardwood floors, and quirkily amusing, slayingly chic art pieces chosen and arranged just so as tribal taste trophies, a photo layout of a setup perfect to raise a super-race of test-tube babies. Loft living in the mid-seventies was still in its pioneer post-factory, rat-haven phase, the elevators lowering and lifting like a large, groaning apprehension (as if operated by Marley’s chain-hanging ghost from A Christmas Carol), the thick-piped plumbing still in its early Soviet phase, these industrial garrets too hot in summer, too cold in winter, but spacious enough to carry a bowling-alley echo.”


Excerpt From: James Wolcott's “Lucking Out.” Doubleday, 2011-10-25. iBooks.

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Ground Control To Major Tom


Although we were contemporaries, and shared many of the same musical roots, I was never particularly affected by David Bowie's music, even though I understand the major impact he had within the rock and roll universe, and within the culture at large.

But I have been quite moved today at how deeply his death yesterday at 69 has affected so many of my friends.

So in order to show respect in my own way, I'm sending out this portion of David's "Space Oddity" to Tom Brady of the New England Patriots, ahead of next Saturday's NFL Divisional Playoff game against Kansas City:

Ground Control to Major Tom

Ground Control to Major Tom

Take your protein pills and put your helmet on
Ground Control to Major Tom (Ten, Nine, Eight, Seven, Six)
Commencing countdown, engines on (Five, Four, Three)
Check ignition and may God's love be with you (Two, One, Liftoff)

This is Ground Control to Major Tom
You've really made the grade
And the papers want to know whose shirts you wear

I wish for TB12 a better outcome than Major Tom experienced. 

And RIP, David Bowie.

Glastonbury 2009

So much has been written about how the original Woodstock Music Festival has never been equaled as a rock and roll spectacle, that it's possible to lose sight of the fact that these kinds of giant festivals continue to happen, forty years on.

Perhaps the modern festivals lack the world-class collection of talent that the original Woodstock had, and maybe they're not quite so large.

But based on the evidence provided by these photographs of Glastonbury 2009, which concluded last week in the United Kingdom, it looks like festival promoters have figured it out how to do it right.

Dropkick Murphys

Martin Scorcese understands how much the Dropkick Murphys represent the real Boston, which is why he made their music such an integral part of "The Departed."

The group is playing several gigs around town this St Patrick's Day weekend, and recording their performances for an upcoming DVD.

For Boston sports fans especially, things just wouldn't be the same without them.

From today's Globe:

"Dropkick Murphys don't just play breakneck Celtic-punk music. They proudly and dutifully represent a lifestyle inextricably linked to Boston, and they lay it on as thick as clam chowder and JFK's accent.

"With their odes to the city's working class and anthems to our sports teams - to the roaring delight of raucous fans in Red Sox and Celtics jerseys - these guys embody the street-savvy flip side to what the tourism bureau peddles."

This video was shot in East Boston, an important part of the city's history for its shipbuilding past, but way off the radar screens of tourists and suburbanites:

Linda Ronstadt Live - Tumbling Dice

It's back -- maybe not for long...enjoy!

Linda Ronstadt was a pioneer Rock and Roll woman who paved the way for those who came after.

We saw her at the Orpheum in Boston in 1974, before the era of elaborate stage sets, lighting and costumes. As this clip from that period demonstrates, she and her band absolutely kicked ass.

No frills, no smoke and mirrors -- just straight-ahead Rock and Roll in its purest form from one of the best singers of all time.