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This image has been archived or removed.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

Bowery Mural Wall Curator Calls Hiatus During Rash of Tagging

In a surprising turn of events, the longtime curator of the Bowery Mural Wall announced yesterday that artwork at the site is now on hiatus. Blame the taggers. Jessica Goldman Srebnick, head Goldman Global Arts (an arm of the Goldman Properties real estate firm that owns the wall), published a missive on Instagram about the […]

Q-Train Shooter Surrenders to Cops at the 5th Precinct

The man accused of shooting to death a straphanger in an apparent random attack on a subway train subway morning is now in police custody. Andrew Abdullah, 25, identified as the suspect in the shooting, turned himself in to cops at the 5th Precinct yesterday. Apparently the surrender was aided by Lamor Whitehead, an ex-con-turned-clergyman […]

This Mott Street ATM Gouges with 17% Fee

Storefront ATMs are nothing new. In fact, their ubiquity was so pronounced that the city banned freestanding ones from sidewalks about a decade ago. Visitors to Chinatown or the Lower East Side unfamiliar with bank ATM locations when in need of cash might not realize the exorbitant fees some ATM operators are charging. For instance, […]

Bongos Taps into Orchard Street with ‘Gala Dinners’

The principals behind five-year-old Kind Regards on Ludlow Street – Michael Bray and Noble Harris – are together joining the party south of the Delancey Divide with a new hangout called Bongos. Bongos opened at 85 Orchard Street earlier this month – on the museum block – reactivating the storefront left vacant by An Choi two […]

Blockchain Company Anchors Sunshine Cinema Replacement Tower

The glassy office building that replaced the beloved Sunshine Cinema has its first tenant. And an anchor, at that. The arrival of San Francisco-based Solana Labs comes mere weeks after the sidewalk bridge outside 141 East Houston came down (thereby freeing Yonah Schimmel from bondage). Solana Labs, a blockchain company, reportedly signed a lease for […]