“Live at CBGB’s” Compilation

OK, this is the last of the compilations left in my “need to listen to” stack. I swear.

CBGB’s. It’s a name that almost defined small club venues and was ground zero for the punk, new wave, and no wave movements in the US, before becoming one of the key homes of hardcore in the 80s. Many of what were later the biggest bands of these genres got their starts or played their first New York shows at CBGB’s, and certainly thousands of pages have been written about its place in music history. Lots of people threw up in its bathroom. Tens of thousands of poor decisions were made at its bar. I mean, if your awning sits in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame, I think that says it all.

The bands appearing on this live compilation played their shows in 1975 and 1976… just as the punk movement that would make the venue famous was starting to develop. Some tasted some success such as Mink DeVille and The Shrits, but others like Manster and Stuart’s Hammer don’t seem to have left behind much recorded music. The overall style of the album in straight-ahead 70s rock – a bit bluesy, kind of Rolling Stones-ish. The recording quality is decent, and so are the songs.

You can almost smell the stifling air and stale beer, and almost feel your feet sticking to the floor while you listen. Kind of a cool record to play while you’re sittin’ down with your friends and drinking beer and/or playing poker. And the best part is that when you have to get up to go to the bathroom, you can do it in the privacy of your own home and not the one in CBGB’s, which was notorious for it’s filth. Live music is great, but sometimes it’s nice to get the live sound while hanging at home.

Leave a Reply