CBGB Film Fest Recap: ‘Burning Down the House’ and ‘Bad Brains’

Posted on: October 16th, 2013 at 10:45 am by

This image has been archived or removed.

Photo: CBGB.com

Burning Down the House: The Story of CBGB

After deciding to skip the CBGB movie (okay, we weren’t invited to the premiere), we decided that we’d rather go for the real story anyway. Burning Down the House, directed by Mandy Stein, focuses on the 2005 battle to save the legendary club.

The daughter of revered music industry vets Seymour and Linda Stein (Ramones manager, co-founder of Sire Records), Mandy Stein filmed CB’s owner Hilly Kristal (who opened the legendary club in 1973), along with devoted staff members and fans (including famous ones) who worked tirelessly to keep the club going. This more recent footage is intercut with archival clips of famous and infamous punk, hardcore, new wave and no wave bands, along with interviews with Deborah Harry, Clem Burke, Richard Hell, Henry Rollins, Steven Van Zandt, Joey Ramone, Tommy Ramone, Marky Ramone, Ice-T, Lenny Kaye, Jim Jarmusch, Sting, Cheetah Chrome, Fab Five Freddy and Sonic Youth.

A great trip down memory lane for those who were there, and a great musical education for those who weren’t (or who can’t recall, for various reasons).

The Bad Brains: A Band in DC

Also directed by Stein, the Bad Brains documentary tells the fascinating story of the African-American punk band from DC. The Bad Brains meld punk and reggae into an incomparable style which sounds like nothing else (perhaps in part because they play faster than anybody else around).

The story is told with rare archival footage, interviews and fun comic book style illustrations, which essentially reconstruct the group’s rich and complex history.

The band has been together for over 30 years, despite an at times challenging relationship with their mercurial and eccentric lead singer, H.R. The Bad Brains have influenced many bands including the Beastie Boys and Nirvana; however they continue to evade the success that so many believe they wholeheartedly deserve.

Recent Stories

Out on the Essex Street ‘Fiore Escape’

The fire escape spectacle entertained Essex Street anew. Friday evening, Lower East Sider Jill Fiore again stepped onto her tenement fire escape at 29 Essex for a short concert. Fiore was flanked by bandmates Derek Cruz on lead guitar, Dave Spinley on saxophone, and Joan Chew on bass. Like previous Fiore Escape outings, this one […]

It Was a Deadly Weekend of Shootings and Stabbings on the Lower East Side

This was a deadly weekend of shootings and stabbings on the Lower East Side, with a 16-year-old boy and 51-year-old delivery worker both fatalities. It began Friday evening at around 8:30pm when a 16-year-old boy was shot in the face on Delancey Street, near Suffolk. Six shots had been fired in the incident, which left […]

16-Year-Old Fatally Shot in the Face on Delancey Street Last Night

A 16-year-old boy was shot and killed on Delancey Street last night, near the on-ramp to the Williamsburg Bridge, cops said. The teenager was shot in the face near the corner of Suffolk at about 8:30pm. Right at the foot of Essex Crossing. First responders rushed the boy, who was unconscious, to Bellevue Hospital for […]

CBGB Shut Down 15 Years Ago on the Bowery

Fifteen years ago. This was the night – arguably – that the last breath of punk exhaled on the Bowery. When CBGB concluded its residence at 315 Bowery. And the block could not look any different today. The former venue became, and remains, the upscale John Varvatos boutique; while its old CB’s Gallery space is […]

MOSCOT Launches New Chromeo Collaboration with in-Store Performance

MOSCOT recently launched a new collaboration with popular electro-funk duo Chromeo. To celebrate, the eyewear company is hosting a live performance of the group at its Orchard Street flagship tonight. According to the press release, the new “luxurious capsule collection” features two limited edition frame styles co-designed by David “Dave 1” Macklovitch and Patrick “P-Thugg” […]