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By David Chiu

The last time the British punk group The Raincoats played in New York was 13 years ago. But Friday’s masterful performance at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn made the long gap between appearances seem like hardly a factor- they rocked harder than any other young emerging band I’ve seen.

Friday was the last date of the Raincoats U.S. tour. Fronted by founding guitarist Ana Da Silva and bassist Gina Birch, this touring lineup included violinist Anne Wood and drummer Vice Cooler. The tour marks the 30th anniversary of the band’s self-titled classic debut and Birch is making a documentary about the band, currently in production. (For more on that read my Spinner story.)

The Raincoats started out as one of the first female British punk bands along with The Slits in the mid-‘70s. Their sound reflected the DIY aesthetic of that scene, though it was offset by their use of violin. The Raincoats broke up in the mid-‘80s but they became an influence especially on Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain, whose intervention led to the Raincoats’ reunion in the early ‘90s.

The set list on Friday drew from the band’s four albums, kicking off with “No Side to Fall In” and followed by such songs as “You’re a Million,” “Shouting Out Loud,” “Don’t Be Mean,” “No One’s Little Girl” and “The Void.” The performances were enthusiastic as Da Silva and Birch traded off lead vocals on songs. Wood’s violin provided a cool counterpoint to the rest of the band’s rock playing, and Cooler’s drumming showed a lot of brawn. One highlight of the show was when former Slits guitarist Viv Albertine appeared on stage (she earlier opened for the band) and joined in for two numbers, including a cover of the Kinks’ “Lola.” Later, the encore featured “In Love” and “Fairytale in the Supermarket.” It isn’t surprising that the audience’s adulation for this band was felt throughout the entire evening. The fact that the Raincoats doesn’t often perform made this show special and poignant, and hopefully we won’t have to wait another 13 years to see them again.

This is the fucking cool news of the day. Nirvana’s re-issue of Bleach comes out on November 3, with the added bonus of a live show from 1990 mixed and what not by Bleach’s original producer Jack Endino, you know, to keep the sounds right, which is rad. The first track is up now at PFork. YYEEEAHHH! Check it out, it’s rough and rocking just as we like it.

Poor Kurt Cobain never leaves the news. Our appetite will never dull. And if it’s not him in the news it’s @CourtneyLover79, which is another crazy story completely.

Nirvana: Scoff (Live at Pine St. Theatre)

Nirvana: Scoff (Live at Pine St. Theatre)

So in keeping with the crazed 90s nostalgia thing going on, and to feed the Gen Xers hungry for more products that proved their youth was real, and just because this show was the shit, the big cats are releasing a super definitive and spruced up DVD/CD box set of Nirvana at Reading in 1992.

This was a headlining gig for Nirvana- and is widely hailed as one of their best and most “with it” performances. (Take that as you will, come as you are.) It’s the show where Cobain entered the stage in a wheelchair wearing a white lab coat. The band also played like 25 songs, including nearly every track off Nevermind.

This release apparently got the “ok” from the band, I presume that means Courtney, too? Dave Grohl has kept himself chewing bubblegum for over a decade and Krist Novoselic? Well, he dropped out of that local election in Washington.

All Nirvana fans and lovers of the 90s should probably get this. If it’s not too $$$ that is. We’ll see. The set is out on Nov. 3 and the CD, DVD and 2LP versions on Nov. 24.

For all of those disgusted with Kurt and his “appearance” on “Rock Band” or “Guitar Hero” or whatever, this is a good thing to think about instead.

Here’s a taste, unmastered, obviously: “This is a song for all you bootleggers!”

Pic by mat mat mat

Pic by mat mat mat, JH3, Manchester Academy, 1993

“Tell me something I really wanna know. Take me somewhere I really wanna go. Introduce me to someone really cool. Not another crazy fool.”

She said it. In the simplest terms possible Hatfield says she needs stimulation. She can’t live life bored. She just wants to be entertained. Just like….Nirvana? “Here we are now, entertain us!”

This is a typical 90s slacker theme that you won’t find in much of today’s music. Times were better then and so rock music rebelled against complacency. In these times we’re not rebelling against complacency- we’re struggling to be different in a much bigger and more accessible world.

Wow, it’s always J.H. that makes me like this.

The Juliana Hatfield Three: Feelin’ Massachusetts

The Juliana Hatfield Three: Feelin’ Massachusetts

directormarkey409

Dave Markey is a southern California filmmaker, primarily. He’s been involved in the L.A. punk scene in many ways since the early 80s. He directed the phenomenal documentary, 1991: The Year Punk Broke, in which Markey followed Sonic Youth and their opening band, Nirvana, on a European tour. This was pre-Nevermind. The film features performances and candid moments with the likes of Dinosaur Jr., Babes in Toyland, Gumball, The Ramones and Courtney Love.

The film is being screened tonight at the Walter Reade Theater at 8:15. For info, click here.

For the last year Markey has been working on another documentary, The Reinactors, which chronicles Hollywood icon impersonators. It was screened at the 37th Annual International Film Festival of Rotterdam, the New York United Film Festival and the Buenos Aires Festival International Cine Independent, among others. The film is being released on DVD in June.

Keep reading for details and insights into The Year Punk Broke, comments on Lee Renaldo’s hair and stories of violent Marilyn Monroe and Freddy Kruger impersonators.

Dave Markey, Kurt Cobain, Kim Gordon Foto by Thurston Moore

Dave Markey, Kurt Cobain, Kim Gordon Foto by Thurston Moore

Q. 1991: The Year Punk Broke is being screened at the Walter Reade Theater in NYC on Monday, did you have anything to do with that? Will you be there?

I made the film available to them. I understand it’s a nice joint. Unfortunately I wont be there, I can’t make it to every screening. I was at the ATP NY last year, that was a blast. I also got to show the sister sequel made from unused footage from the film called (This Is Known As) The Blues Scale.
Click here for more

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Hahahaha. This is one of the dumbest things i’ve ever read. I mean, how could BRANDON FLOWERS think so highly of himself? How could anyone think of themselves this highly? He thinks he’s better and more deserving than Nirvana AND LED ZEPPELIN? That’s so wack.

Yeah sure, the Killers can write a pop hit, but they don’t have much to say do they? Are they pushing any boundaries? Nope.

He’s probably spouting nonsense like this for publicity, and it’s working! Can you hear me chocking over there in England, Brandon?

I can’t help but feel badly for Brooklyn’s Chairlift, a decent, if silly, band that moved to a major (Columbia). They’re about to go on tour with The Killers. Is this their punishment from the karma gods??

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