|Agnostic Front @ Webster Hall|
CBGB Festival is in full swing here in NYC, which means thirty venues throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn are hosting music showcases, and the entire Landmark Sunshine Theater is holding numerous panels and film screenings. To kick things off, legendary bassist Krist Novoselic gave a keynote speech at Sunshine yesterday at noon, which was hosted and moderated by walking music encyclopedia Matt Pinfield.
Novoselic’s speech focused mainly on his life as a musician and his tenure as bass player for Nirvana, but he also emphasized his involvement in social activism after the demise of the band. Novoselic was active in lobbying against laws such as the Erotic Music Law, which would have prevented minors from purchasing music deemed obscene, and the Teen Dance Ordinance, which stopped minors from attending many shows. After his speech, Matt Pinfield moderated a Q&A with the audience, which generated some oddball questions and responses. The most interesting exchange occurred when someone asked him what it was like working with Butch Vig again on the latest Foo Fighters record, which Novoselic made an appearance on. He took this as an opportunity to express his admiration for Dave Grohl, exclaiming that when people ask him if he’s jealous of everything Grohl has achieved he tells them, “How could I be jealous of that? Dave has worked so hard for everything he has, and he deserves every bit of it.” The response drew a lengthy applause.
|Krist Novoselic @ Sunshine Theater|
|Harley Flanagan, Steven Blush and Paul Rachman|
Personally, I feel like the death of hardcore came from too many bands sounding exactly the same (something that becomes more and more apparent as the film goes on), and had they made some mention of Husker Du and their foray into expanding the hardcore genre, it could have left the film on a higher note. A sort of, “well, that type of hardcore may have died, but look at what great music rose from its ashes!” But again, it’s a great and informative film, and well worth watching.
Apparently hardcore was in my blood yesterday, so after the film I walked over to Webster Hall to catch the very hardcore lineup of Maximum Penalty, Murphy’s Law, Madball and Agnostic Front. Now, I’ve never been the hugest fan of NYHC (I much prefer the early hardcore sound of The Germs, X and all of the original SST bands), but I did spend some time as a teenager at matinee shows at Coney Island High, Wetlands Preserve and of course CBGBs in the late ‘90s. So I was well aware of what I was getting myself into by attending the show. Point being, I hung out in the balcony during most of the showcase so as to avoid getting slammed in the face with my own camera. It was a good decision.
|Murphy's Law @ Webster Hall|
Check out some photos from my first day of CBGB Festival below, and stay tuned for more coverage of the festival in the coming days.