Friday, May 26, 2023

Holiday Fin de la Semaine Essay Question: Special "I'm So Old I Remember When Metrocards Didn't Have Senior Photo IDs" Edition

From 2023, please enjoy archetypal contemporary New York rockers Pan Arcadia -- their motto: "Making tracks in a Brooklyn shack since ‘21" -- and their uncharacteristically jaunty romp through the outer boro transit system "Sorry I Was Late."

A very cool song, no? And they have lots more. In short, I really like these guys -- I hear hints of The Strokes and Television in their style, which is obviously a good thing -- and if you're curious and are going to be in the Brooklyn vicinity on Saturday, they're performing at a club charmingly monikered Baby's Alright (which is at 146 Broadway) beginning at 8pm. If you attend, tell 'em PowerPop sent you.

In any case, I'll have more to say about Pan Arcadia next week, in part because as it turns out I have a sort of six-degrees-of-separation backstory with them I should share with you.

In the meantime, you can and should find out more about the band and their music over at their website HERE.

But now on to business. To wit:

...and your all time favorite (or least favorite) Big Apple rock band or solo performer is...?


BTW, I don't usually weigh in on these Friday issues, but this week I just have to.

My favorite underground NYC band ever? These guys, hands (heh heh) down.

And I should add that not only were they transplendently great (live -- yeah, I actually saw them in a club in 1966), but one of them also engineered the Live at CBGBs album ten years later and cooler than that it does not get.

Meanwhile -- have a great Memorial Day weekend, everybody!


cthulhu said...

First one that popped into my head…Willy DeVille. Yeah, he wasn’t born and raised there, but he made his bones there, house band at CBGB’s, etc.

Alzo said...

Best: A tie! The Velvet Underground and The Ramones. Influential is just too inadequate a word.

Worst: KISS- more of a marketing concept than a band.

pete said...

Steve already knows my least favorite. It is an opinion we (to say the least) do not share so I will not rudely reannounce it here. My actual favorite NYC band, whom Ive seen more often than the Byrds, Steely Dan, ABB, GD, the Band, and Dylan combined, is: the Floor Models. Who else?

Roger said...

The Blues Project - "yeah, I actually saw them in a club [in this case, Steve Paul's Scene, with Al Kooper still with the band] in 1966."

Anonymous said...

New York Dolls

Honorable mention:
Lovin' Spoonful


steve simels said...

VR — saw the original Youngbloods in a small NYC club circa 66. Just great.

getawaygoober said...

Blues Project
Blue Oyster Cult

Anonymous said...


What venue? Café Wha? Ondines? The Scene? Or other?

I saw the original line-up a few times myself. First time was on July the 4th 1967. Usually, July the 4th in California is melting hot. But it was very cool that year – maybe 65-70 degrees at the beach. My parents had rented a beach house in Newport for a month. My best friend Sandy came along.

On the 4th, we were walking up PCH toward the pier where we were gonna meet our boyfriends and check into the Surf Inn. Each of us were wearing our boyfriends’ unbuttoned shirts over our bikinis because 65 with an ocean breeze can be a bit chilly in California. When we walked past the Golden Bear we could hear a band sound-checking. It wasn’t Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, who had been in the club for an extended stay. It was the Youngbloods. We snuck in the back door and the owner recognized us. He owned a couple of clubs and a restaurant or two. Don’t know how he got his money but we figured it’d be best if we didn’t ask. He liked us. He looked us over the way my dad checked out young women. Art lovers, both.

We caught the band running through “Statesboro Blues,” “Grizzly Bear,” “Fool Me,” “Get Together,” “Sugar Babe" All My Dreams Blue,” “C.C. Rider,” and “All Over the World (La-La)” They were very together but just the right amount of loose. We HAD to go see them. Once at the motel it was easy to convince our boyfriends to get tickets for the show.

The Youngbloods were playing several nights in a row at the Bear. Even though it was a holiday, its 300 seats weren’t sold out. James Cotton was supposed to be the opener but he couldn’t make it. They played two one-hour sets. It was terrific. They were doing stuff from "Earth Music" which wasn’t out yet. And a couple that never made it to LP at all.

Saw them again in 1968 at the Kaleidoscope with Spirit. Later that same year at the Whisky with Taj Mahal. Next time I saw them they were a trio opening for Janis Joplin at the Bowl with Santana. The Youngbloods were very mediocre that night. And they stayed on so long that it cut into Joplin’s set. She only played about 40 minutes because of the noise curfew. Last time I saw them, which I mentioned before, was when the Sons of Champlin opened for them at the Santa Monica Civic 1970. Another good show.

The rock of tomorrow is just a comet over Broadway. Enjoy the weekend.


steve simels said...

I saw the original quartet -- with the late great Jerry Corbitt -- at the old Cafe Au Go Go on Bleecker Street in the Village, where they were the house band, or so Wiki informs me. This would have been late 66 or early 67; the first album was definitely out when I saw them. said...

God, I grew,up in CT at the same time, I wasucky enough to see Chicago, Mothers at the Fillmore
We didn't have Steve Paul's but we had Toads Place, The Agora, One more whose name eludes me at the moment. In addition Great University's, Colleges who weren't afraid of presenting bands - Yale - Joplin,
Trinity - Mountain
Also the Siegals with Oakdale who took a chance with everyone -
Cream, The WHO.

Haik Mendelovich said...

So many choices, but I'm going with Marc Johnson and the Wild Alligators.

steve simels said...

Haik — I wouldn’t disagree with you.

Anonymous said...


Cafe Au Go Go. I should have known. They must have slipped in when the Blues Project did their extended West Coast stays. Yeah, they lost a lot when Corbitt left, even though I love Elephant Mountain. The two times I saw them as a trio it wasn't the same. Banana was trying to fill too many holes. And they sucked on "Hollywood Palace." Big time.

BTW, I forgot to tell you I saw the Nuggets show that the Wild Honey Orchestra put on as a benefit a week ago. Lenny Kaye was the MC. Pretty cool despite the shitty acoustics of the theatre. Cast of thousands of old fuckers. Some clicked, some didn’t. Billy Vera was great doing “Don’t Look Back.” There were highs and lows. Carla & Kathy doing Roky was pretty cool too. What they lacked in balls was made up for with their hearts. Watch it here if you wanna:


Phil Cheese said...

The Floor Models, hands down! Just ask Steve!