Tag Archives: Patti Smith

Patti Smith – Dream Of Life


Dream Of Life is a stark and haunting portrait of Rock N Roll singer, poet and artist Patti Smith released in 2008.  Part historical document and part multimedia art project filmed by Steven Sebring but populated by Smiths talents and works.  The film begins with a rapid overview of the subjects life narrated by Smith herself in her own words.  The whole film is in fact narrated by Smith and includes a mixture of mundane, touching and bizarre moments.  The narration is an absolute pleasure as I have always found Smith’s voice hypnotic, and her words are particularly wise and elegant in this film.  Filmed over the span of 11 years, you’ll catch glimpses of Smith’s friends, family, and the legions of her adoring fans.  Patti Smith is a bit of a super fan, in the film you get the pleasure of hearing about many of Smith’s favorites including William Burroughs, Rimbaud, William Blake, Bob Dylan, and Walt Whitman.  The film is a little short on coverage of the CBGBs years and focuses more on Patti’s early upbringing, later family life, and the people that she has lost over the years (including her brother, good friend – Photographer Robert Mapplethorp, and her husband Fred “Sonic” Smith of the MC5).  Overall the film can be slow and abstract at times but the space and oddities make it fit and gives it relevance in Smith’s body of work.  Her main strength has always been her words and I found it particularly easy to hang on each and every one.


Please Kill Me by Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain

by Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain


If you have any interest at all in American underground music this is a must read.  Being the book is taken from interviews with the actual people on the scene it is an extremely visceral and interesting read.  The coverage is chronological starting in the late sixties covering the Velvet Underground and the other bands that are considered to be Proto-Punk.  The main players in that scene included the Velvets, Iggy and The Stooges, The MC5 &  The New York Dolls.  The story continues covering the bands that originally became known as Punk in the mid 70s.  The tag line originally referred to the bands that made a name for themselves at the now famous NY club CBGBs.  Included are The Patti Smith Group, Ramones, The Dead Boys, & Television.  The book covers through the involvement of The Sex Pistols & Malcolm McClaren and the controversy that followed… plus interviews about what happened to some of the major players like Johnny Thunders and Dee Dee Ramone.  For me the book covered a time period in Rock N Roll that I had not previously explored and introduced to me some  great bands that I wouldn’t have delved into normally.  BTW:  the title of the book is something Richard Hell put on a T-shirt in the early days of Television. 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Playlist: Proto-punk to Punk – 1965 through 1978 *REVISED*

Note:  The playlist was lost when I migrated my site…  No worries, it will be back soon.

Proto-punk to Punk – Chronologically from 1965 to 1978

1) “My Generation” by The Who (3:18)
2) “Cinderella” by The Sonics (2:49)
3) “Pushin’ Too Hard” by The Seeds (2:38)
4) “Doin’ All Right” by The Fugs (2:40)
5) “Shut Up” by The Monks (3:15)
6) “White Light/White Heat” by The Velvet Underground (2:47)
7) “Street Fighting Man” by The Rolling Stones (3:16)
8) “You Make Me Real” by The Doors (2:53)
9) “No Fun” by The Stooges (5:18)
10) “Teenage Lust” by The MC5 (2:36)
11) “Agitated” by The Electric Eels (2:10)
12) “Trash” by The New York Dolls (3:09)
13) “Teengenerate” by The Dictators (3:26)
14) “Ain’t It Fun” by Rocket From The Tombs (5:52)
15) “Astral Plane” by The Modern Lovers (3:00)
16) “53rd & 3rd” by The Ramones (2:20)
17) “See No Evil” by Television (3:53)
18) “Blank Generation” by Richard Hell & The Voidoids (2:45)
19) “Chinese Rocks” by Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers (2:54)
20) “Sonic Reducer” by The Dead Boys (3:08)
21) “Rock n Roll Nigger” by The Patti Smith Group (3:27)
22) “EMI” by The Sex Pistols (3:09)
23) “Born To Kill” by The Damned (2:40)
24) “White Riot” by The Clash (2:00)
25) “Into the Future…” by The Vibrators (2:21)
26) “Tell Us the Truth” by Sham 69 (2:09)
27) “Wasted Life” by Stiff Little Fingers (3:11)

This playlist was inspired by the book “Please Kill Me” by Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain.  The book focuses more on the early outsider rock coming out of New York City, Cleveland, and Detroit/Ann Arbor which all culminated at CBGBs and other the other rock clubs of NYC. I have expanded on this including the very early garage rock and rock n roll that served as impetus for what we know now as the Punk explosion.  You will find some well known numbers from the big players as you really can’t get away from the likes of the Stones and Doors putting their imprint on the dark music to come.  You will also find some more obscure but just as vital pieces from Punks forefathers.  Towards the end of the mix you will find out what all the great music that came out in England as a result of what they were hearing in America and from the Sex Pistols.

*2-28-09:  I have updated it from its original version… added some overlooked gems and changed a few of the songs.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,