I couldn’t turn around at Bowery Electric on Thursday night without bumping into a card-carrying member of the East Village Punk aristocracy. D-Generation’s Jesse Malin was hosting Death or Glory, featuring break-out Denver doom poppers’ Everything Absent Or Distorted’s NYC debut.
ageless in head-to-toe black rocker duds, Malin was spinning Bowie’s
Low in the spacious DJ booth. In his Johnny Thunders–like Queens honk,
he told me how he was dealing with the recession: “I’ve been taking the
bus a lot with the old ladies.”The greatest rock photographer of
all-time, Bob Gruen, strode in sporting his high-bushy curls.
He told me genially, “I meet kids who say I wish I lived in the ’60s
and ’70s all the time. I tell them, if you sit around thinking like
that you’re wasting your time.” No stranger to fond memories though, he
stroked his ascot thoughtfully and added, “This party reminds me of The
Cat Club; a lot of hot girls with big hair and everyone going out with
Thirty-something Bowery Electric owner Johnny T patted
Gruen on the back: “He can tell you a story about every single photo
he’s ever taken!”Turning to the celebrity shutterbug,T added, “You
tried to destroy your memory but you can’t.” Gruen sighed.
There wasn’t enough room on stage for all eight members of Everything Absent… so the closest it has to a frontman, Andy Maher, performed in the audience.With his shaved head, faraway stare and sinister stage presence, Maher reminded me of a cross between Iggy Pop and Full Metal Jacket’s Private Pyle.The energetic set was well received by the 50-odd audience members, including D-Gen’s Howie Pyro. Afterward,
Maher was decompressing with his sister in a corner. Adrenaline
obviously still pumping through him he said, “We would have played the
same for two people.We’re just a bunch of dudes that like to get drunk
on whiskey and play.”