October is all about transformation (when it comes to Halloween), so I guess it isn’t that far afield to start out with a nod to someone who wrote a classic album called Transformer. Yes, we lost Lou Reed this past week, one of the great originals. My column has been hijacked and we are gonna talk about New York with a vengeance. I could eat up my whole column talking about Lou’s epic waltz from Warhol-era anti-pop star to creating the noise-rock genre with Metal Machine Music to his awesome Edgar Allen Poe tribute concept album The Raven. Reed had become something of a relic in that he remained real to the end. Heck, the guy was even so raw on Lulu, his maligned last collaboration with Metallica, he freaked out metal heads by singing about … well, just go Google the lyrics to “Little Dog.”
The Velvet Underground changed music forever and all the good hipster bands you like wouldn’t exist without their groundwork, from The Strokes to The Books to whatever you fancy. Lou Reed dying underscores how much fake shit we are buried in these days. I read my friend Gerald Celente’s Trends Journal sometimes and was musing that no one could forecast rock trends like Reed. Stay edgy and real.
New York City’s The Compulsions have been in and out of the studio this year as they record the follow-up to 2011’s critically acclaimed album, Beat The Devil. They are one of the best live rock bands in the world, bluesy and grimy like ambassadors from the Grand Duchy of Death Rock. In addition to Carlyle, The Compulsions feature Richard Fortus on guitar and Frank Ferrer on drums, both from Guns N’ Roses, as well as legend Sami Yaffa of Hanoi Rocks and New York Dolls fame on bass.
According to frontman Rob Carlyle: “It’s now late October and the recording and mixing process is about 90 percent done. Another four or five days in the studio and we’ll move on to mastering and creating the new album cover. Looks like the release date will be sometime in early 2014.”
Brian Goss is a hero of mine, a Palenvile guitar poet turned Lower East Side fixture. Goss is known for his killer solo work as well as years spent in the explosive post-hardcore/psychedelic alternative band Dripping Goss (who also featured Frank Ferrer on drums at one point, incidentally) and working with Simone Felice. Goss recently started a prog-punk dissection band called, simply, The Noise. The band features Googy (of The Misfits Walk Among Us-era) fame on lead vocals! But Goss is too restless for one project.
“Birth of the Living Dead was just released,” Brian says. “It’s a documentary on George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead. It showed at The Woodstock Film Festival and is premiering in New York City at the IFC Film Center Nov. 6. I have four songs in it. I used local musicians Lara P. of Big Sister, Pam Grande of Hudson Tattoo Shop and Colin Almquist of Voodelic and, of course, my brother Tom Goss on drums. And The Noise have a six-song EP just mixed.
“I also have my next solo record in the can,” Brian continues. “It’s a cross between The Firing Line and my Children of the Sun EP and my last in that vein of music. A trilogy if you will. I’m getting sick of acoustic guitars and singer-songwriter style material again. I’m looking for some blood in the streets type shit.”
But Goss still has a soft spot for peace and quiet. “I love getting out of the city and driving to my hometown of Palenville. Every mile brings me closer to peace,” Brian says. “I try to find the best weekend for the leaves and bring the kids for pumpkin-picking and carving. I was driving in the city near my place on the Lower East Side when some kid threw a rock at the car. At first I was pissed and was going to chase him down. Then I laughed and realized it was the ghost of Halloween past. It was just a rock I threw many years ago coming back to haunt me.”
Speaking of haunted rock, local band Nothing But Wolves just played with the current Jerry Only-led version of The Misfits at The Chance Theater. I asked NBW new bassist Ryan Afterhours how it went. “It’s always great to see younger kids singing along to songs that are almost older than me,” Ryan texted me post-show. “And it was also great to play with them, since they’ve been a huge influence for nearly every band I’ve been in.”
Another big Poughkeepsie show coming up is the From Death To Destiny Tour, featuring heavyweights Emmure, Sevendust, Asking Alexandria, Jesus-mosh band For Today and All That Remains. The tour hits the Mid-Hudson Civic Center on Nov. 3 and is $35.
Queens’ pride and joy, controversial Victory Records metal band Emmure have become a staple in the heavy metal scene. They are known for vocalist Frankie Palmeri’s bold and brash sensibilities which translate not only into their lyrics, but in their personal endeavors as well (see Palmeri’s often offensive clothing line, Cold Soul).
Lastly, many local party people are missing Jess Kelly, the spunky walking party-starter who recently migrated west. I hit up Jess and asked her what she has been doing out in the Great Wide Open.
“Well I’ve been living on the road and traveling all over the country and am ‘settling’ in Portland, Oregon,” Jess wrote. “I miss the HudsonValley so much, especially in the fall where I’d normally be planning for an awesome Halloween party … So I guess I miss it all! Especially how all our friends get into the holiday, not that anyone I know needs an excuse to get dressed up and rage!”
Until we meet again, walk on the wild side.