Thursday, July 21, 2005

The Dead Boys - Live! At CBGB 1977 CD (MVD)

One thing punk lost all too quickly was the goofy humor, but when you see Stiv Bators— menacing, insect thin, the veins in his throat throbbing—rip open his coat to reveal a t-shirt spangled with hanging circles of flopping, safety-pinned beef baloney, it’s just perfectly surreal and silly, inspired Futurist weirdness from before punk became a straightjacket. This three-camera, color, semi-pro document of the band between albums in front of their fans is fascinating, both for what’s off stage--early punk audiences included their share of beardie-weardies and thrilled teenage girls—and what’s on. The Dead Boys have always been underrated, but this film (with its attendant interviews with Cheetah, Hilly and the band) makes a convincing case that they might have been the best American punk group of their time. The strongest songs are these perfect Midwest anthems ala Alice Cooper or Grand Funk, the band just tight enough to ignite, while remaining appealingly trashy and always playful. The disc includes some bonus footage of art world darling Joe Coleman in the Steel Tips, doing his famous fireworks stunt. [and we still have a few free copies of this DVD for new subscribers, so if you want it, lemme know!]

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