GILLIAN MCCAIN REFLECTS ON NYU AND HER ARTISTIC PASSIONS! (NYU ALUMNI BLOG)

VIA NYU ALUMNI BLOG

We recently chatted with Gillian McCain, author of two poetry books, Tilt and Religion, co-author (with Legs McNeil) of Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk, and co-editor of Dear Nobody: The True Diary of Mary Rose (also with Legs McNeil). She is also a collector and exhibitor of found photography. She spoke about her time at NYU and her eclectic artistic pursuits. Photo Credit: Annie Watts

Do you have a favorite NYU memory?

My friend Eric Swenson and I organized a reading by Gregory Corso at the Loeb Student Center—we got a thousand people there! It was crazy. It was free, but it was still crazy. We made flyers and went to the park all the time and gave them out. We were hanging out at this rare bookstore in the West Village, and that’s where we met Gregory Corso and the some of the other Beat writers; so they told some of their friends, and it was advertised well at NYU. They were paying Corso a thousand bucks, which was pretty significant at the time. It was an exciting event. And all the friends I made are still my best friends. I met my friend Chris Simunek first day of Expository Writing class—and he is still my one of my best friends. Up until recently he was the editor at High Times. I remember I’d hang out in Washington Square Park a lot and I remember there was this girl about my age, Corene LeMaitre, she just goes: “Nice boots.” And I go: “I like your boots, too.” And she is still a friend of mine. She ended up writing a novel for HarperCollins. So everyone did pretty well. A lot of people I have lost touch with, but I should look them up on Facebook.

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WILD PHOTOS OF RUSSIA’S 80’S PUNK SCENE IN THE TWILIGHT OF THE USSR! (i-D)

BY EMILY MANNING VIA i-D

Photographer Igor Mukhin shot six years of underground rock shows and bold, DIY style experiments behind the Iron Curtain.

1986

Gosha Rubchinskiy has made his name by casting a uniquely raw lens on his native Russia’s homegrown skate and punk scenes. Though the designer deftly crystallizes the codes of post-Soviet cool, his work often references the era before the fall of the Iron Curtain —

1988

“At the time, we had no idea how the world looked beyond the Iron Curtain,” Igor writes in a statement for the book’s crowdfunding campaign. He explains that while Soviet youth could watch edited films in cinemas or pick up glitchy rock on radio stations like Voice of America or the BBC, “I felt that the time of ‘change’ had come, and I needed to go and shoot.”

 

CLICK HERE for the PKM STORE
CLICK HERE for the PKM STORE

READ MORE AT: wild photos of russia’s 80s punk scene in the twilight of the ussr | read | i-D

MARIANNE FAITHFULL: A LIFE IN HAIR

by Gillian McCain
MARIANNE FAITHFULL: A LIFE IN HAIR

Nothing short of impeccable. The bangs are the perfect length– which only can be maintained for about forty-eight hours. Oh, but what a glorious forty-eight hours!

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ALLEN GINSBERG BOXSET GIVES BEAT JUNKIES REASON TO HOWL! (THE GUARDIAN)

BY STACEY ANDERSON VIA THE GUARDIAN

A new collection of his musical work with the likes of Bob Dylan and Arthur Russell paints a different picture of the poet who loved Beck and Nirvana Allen Ginsberg: ‘Had he lived longer, he definitely would have focused more on music.’

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Ginsberg and Dylan’s meeting was ‘less a bohemian summit and more like a hostage negotiation’. Photograph: Douglas R Gilbert/Redferns

A jam session between Allen Ginsberg and Bob Dylan in the East Village may sound like the apex of Beat Generation romanticism – the Howl poet and Like a Rolling Stone bard draped over one microphone, riffing incendiary ideas and counterculture wordplay. However, the reality of it, in the fall of 1971, was less a bohemian summit and more like a hostage negotiation.

“Bob told me that Allen and Gregory Corso were reading their poetry at NYU, and invited me to come along,” recalls David Amram, 85, a prolific classical/jazz composer and mutual friend. “We went backstage during intermission and Allen told me: ‘My god, I’ve been trying for 10 years to get Dylan to do something musical with me. Will you bring him over to my place tonight, please, please?’ All the years I’d known him, I’d never seen him like that.”

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WATCH SIOUXSIE TAKE OVER AN INTERVIEW AT A BANSHEES CONCERT BACK IN 1981! (POST-PUNK)

BY POST-PUNK

Siouxsie Sioux is a often a very warm, accommodating, and reasonable person—quite often undeserving of her crown as the “ice queen”.  She, however, has limits to her patience—and to illustrate this point, here is an awkward yet humorous video of a 1981 Dutch interview gone wrong.  (The cool thing about this clip is that it features all the members of the Banshees’ speaking, including John McGeoch.) One thing you’ll notice is that the interviewer keeps mentioning a band called Soviet Sex (the Dutch band, not the Swiss Soviet Sex). Turns out the founder of the Pirate TV Station PKP was involved with that band, and shot their music videos…so I think by attempting to plug the station’s own interests—the interviewer should be glad that only his microphone was damaged!

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PLEASE KILL ME: VOICES FROM THE ARCHIVES!

NPR-FLYER-w-800

PLEASE KILL ME:
VOICES FROM THE ARCHIVES
NOW AIRING ON STATIONS
ACROSS THE COUNTRY

TWO-HOUR PUBLIC RADIO DOCUMENTARY

PREVIEW 1

Twenty years ago Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain recorded interviews with people involved with the punk scene for “Please Kill Me: The Uncensored History of Punk.” Now these rare and candid interviews with such luminaries as Iggy Pop, Jim Carroll, Debbie Harry and the Ramones have been meticulously restored for Public Radio. Compiled into two one-hour documentaries, Please Kill Me: Voices From the Archives consists of original interviews, narration from the writers—as well as Michael des Barres—and the incredible music that gave the punk movement its powerful soundtrack.

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HOW THE “SASSIEST BOY IN AMERICA” BECAME THE MOST INTERESTING MAN IN ROCK & ROLL! (THE WASHINGTON POST)

BY CHRIS RICHARDS VIA THE WASHINGTON POST

In a city clogged with people who think they’re really interesting, Ian Svenonius actually is.

He’s an underground rock star, an icon of the D.C. punk scene, an author and an auteur, a pontificator equally versed in astrology, Castro, forgotten soul 45s and the politics of the radical left. He’s frequently the coolest person at the party and his hair always looks terrific.

Sassy – the sharpest teen magazine of yesteryear – foresaw all of this when they singled out Svenonius as the “Sassiest Boy in America” in the autumn of 1990. “The reason I entered the contest is to indoctrinate youth gone astray,” Svenonius told The Washington Post shortly after receiving the honor nearly 24 years ago. “There are so many kids dressing like Grateful Dead people. It’s kind of tedious.”

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THE FALL TO EARTH: DAVID BOWIE, COCAINE AND THE OCCULT! (THE QUIETUS)

VIA THE QUIETUS

 Here are two extracts from Peter Doggett’s excellent new book The Man Who Sold The World: David Bowie And The 1970s, covering the star’s all time low, 1975

The Unmaking of a Star #3: Cocaine and the Kabbalah

“I just wish Dave would get himself sorted fucking out. He’s totally confused, that lad… I just wish he could be in this room, right now, sat here, so I could kick some sense into him.”        Mick Ronson, 1975

Cocaine was the fuel of the music industry in the seventies. Audiences were still more likely to have smoked dope, or swallowed the ‘downers’ known as Mandrax in Britain and Quaaludes in the USA. Rock stars in search of a cure for the burdening necessity of sleep could rely on the artificial energy of amphetamines (with the attendant risk of psychosis). Where casual sex and the dance floor collided, there was likely to be amyl nitrate or, in America, PCP (alias angel dust). But the drug that kept rock ’n’ roll buzzing, sealing deals, deadening sensibilities and providing a false sense of bravado and creative achievement, was cocaine.

Bowie’s arrival in America in 1974 coincided neatly with the rapid growth of the cocaine-producing industry in Colombia, which within two years had corrupted that nation’s political structure to such an extent that the most notorious traffickers (such as Pablo Escobar Gaviria) were effectively beyond prosecution. Like heroin at the start of the decade, cocaine flooded into America, despite the efforts of federal law-enforcement agencies to stem the tide. Bowie was, and has been, more candid about his drug use during this period than most of his contemporaries, and various associates have fleshed out the picture.

‘I’ve had short flirtations with smack and things,’ he told Cameron Crowe in 1975, ‘but it was only for the mystery and the enigma. I like fast drugs. I hate anything that slows me down.’

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The Uncensored Oral History of Punk