Saturday, January 18, 2014
Maxwell's no more
The best rock and roll clubs are born out of poverty and destitution. They thrive in the area's that have little else going on. They're cool because there is an inherent threat that lurks in the neighborhoods in which they dwell. The bowery of the early 70's through the 80's was loaded with junkies and riddled with crime and inhabited by miscreants and monsters. The best rock clubs were in places that you had to have a reason to go to. You went there for the love of the music. And the clubs fostered young talent. Hoboken in the late 70's and 80's was a working class industrial town. Rent's were cheap and it was a community. Struggling artists and musicians were able to live while perfecting their craft. And there were places for them to perform, like at Maxwell's. The space was tiny and it was loud, but it was special. The way that CBGB was special. Gentrification is the death of rock and roll clubs. When you price out the artists and musicians, and you open a lot of places that are more concerned with making a profit, and you pander to the hip and moneyed, you kill the soul of the movement. You take away the need to create and find yourself by being down and out. Pushing through the filth and slop to do what you love. The indie art/music world is now backed by corporate america, and filters out the creativity that made the bowery of late so insane. There will never be another "no-wave" movement. There will never be another birth of punk, because punk has grown up and gotten a job.