Music News

Bad Brains Storm

Bad Brains: Live at CBGB 1982 (MVD Visual) captures two historic and defunct components of punk rock's '70s heyday — the classic lineup of the seminal Washington, D.C., band (featuring vocalist H.R., guitarist Dr. Know, bassist Darryl Jennifer, and drummer Earl Hudson), performing within the cramped confines of the legendary CBGB club (which closed its doors in October). Recorded over a three-day stint in December 1982, the DVD footage shows Bad Brains at its most excellent and erratic — from the blistering version of "Big Take Over" that opens the disc (complete with footage of stage divers and mosh pits) to the anarchic rendition of "Pay to Cum" that wraps up the 60-minute montage. A band of black punks singing hardcore songs infused with reggae was an anomaly back then, and the band's unfettered energy and raw passion is an anomaly even today. With 19 performances, interview clips, and liner notes from Big Takeover Magazine editor Jack Rabid (who calls the '79-'83 Bad Brains lineup "the hottest rock 'n' roll band ever"), this DVD provides proof that if punk is dead, it's only because Bad Brains beat the living shit out of it in the early '80s.
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Niki D'Andrea has covered subjects including drug culture, women's basketball, pirate radio stations, Scottsdale staycations, and fine wine. She has worked at both New Times and Phoenix Magazine, and is now a freelancer.
Contact: Niki D'Andrea