Winter of Hate

OK, OK, maybe the hed is too harsh. But nine years after the Summer of Love in San Francisco, the long winter of people in black inhabiting the last dregs of urban decay in New York came to the fore. Heroin replaced acid as the drug of choice. Bands reverted to minimalism and seeking the edge, discarding rhythm and technological state of the art in favor of stripping it all down to the basics. Which sorta explains the Radical NY! The Downtown Show: the New York Art Scene 1974-1984 that is currently running at the Austin Museum of Art. As part of the exhibition, a November panel I WAS THERE: NEW YORK pondered the meaning of the music scene that was attached at the hip to the art scene in New York; on January 25, I'll be sitting on a panel I WAS HERE: AUSTIN, dissecting the music scene that was evolving in Austin bringing along the rest of the arts with it. Jesse Sublett, Eddie Wilson, and Bill Narum will explain it all. I'll be there nodding in agreement, spinning my own take. All's I can say now is, as interesting as what was going down in New York may have been, it was a hell of a lot more interesting here, with a whole lot less heroin and a whole lot more beer and pot.

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