Posted in music | pictures on November 17, 2009

words & photos by Benjamin Lozovsky

Richard Lloyd

Like the store that one of the "hosts" of the evening owns, CBGBs it wasn't. A jerky stroll along downtown New York's dark and decrepit memory lane, it might have been. A show of stormy brilliance from a largely unsung legend still brimming with ability and art-punk attitude? Absolutely.

Try as it might, Richard Lloyd's show with Hey Battlefield last Thursday at the Studio at Webster Hall wasn't the-larger-than-life punk tribute it hoped to be. Rock photo legend Bob Gruen was in attendance, I'm sure 'co-writer of I Slept with Joey Ramone' (as he was introduced in publicity material) scenester Legs McNeil was there too. Neither served as hosts (as advertised) by any means however, more just like colorful wallflowers set amongst the spattering of younger fans and Mudd Club veterans that showed up for the under-attended performance. It was fortunate that it never felt like a prehistoric echo of remembrance though; instead it was just a high-caliber rock show with some gooey bits of nostalgia tucked inside for Television faithful.

continued below...

Richard Lloyd

Opener Hey Battlefield played a set of indie-approved alt-country with mixed success to begin the night. Touches of Caribbean and doo-wop sounds blended with their generally rollicking approach. Sounding like a mix between Bob Dylan and Joe Strummer, albeit with more irony, singer/guitarist Jason Rossi was perfunctory with a detached charm, displaying just enough of it to avoid any potential eye-rolling. The music was largely held down by drummer Michael Scheideler though, who kept the band afloat with a moving pulse that unexpectedly ushered subtle fills into the air.

As for Lloyd, he was just as expected; raunchy, bluesy, and industrious, with as much roadhouse as arthouse in him. His raspy, full-bodied guitar moved in direct bolts, upward and downward through his angular fret-play. Performing both songs from his solo catalogue, like the powerful Field of Fire, and those hotly requested jams from his old band, Lloyd played as enigmatically as he might have done at Hilly's place so many years back. Whereas Tom Verlaine might be withdrawn and overly cathartic during his Television interpretations, Lloyd added a begrudging gregariousness to his inviting performances of such classic numbers as Friction and See No Evil.

Of course its not quite the same to see each of them perform without the other, especially evident in Lloyd's rendition of Elevation. It still had the mysterious weeping quality of the original, despite being without the supreme melodic counterpart of Verlaine. But all the underlying dissonance was still there, which will always remain Lloyd's greatest gift to the group. He brought the rock and roll aesthetic to Television, one he learned from the ground up through his idol and greatest musical inspiration, Jimi Hendrix.

Lloyd continues to honor Hendrix not just with his heavy Stratocaster playing, but also through his recently released album of Hendrix covers entitled The Jamie Neverts Story. Early in his musical development, a teenage Lloyd befriended Hendrix pupil Velvert Turner, and subsequently met the rock god and became a "secondhand student," as Lloyd calls it. He demonstrated some of that education Thursday night as he ran through a gamut of Hendrix covers, performed note-for-note with a Bowery-style savvy only Lloyd could personify. With a typical punk wit, he announced, "I'm going to play Beethoven's 5th by my favorite composer," before launching into Hendrix classics Purple Haze, Spanish Castle Magic, and Axis: Bold as Love. Even if CBGB is smoldering in the ashes of high-end menswear fashion, one of those brilliant men who made it all happen is still holding its torch high. Maybe it was a reverential night, after all.

More pictures from the show below...

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Hey Battlefield

Hey Battlefield

Hey Battlefield

Richard Lloyd

Richard Lloyd

Richard Lloyd

Richard Lloyd

Richard Lloyd

Richard Lloyd

Richard Lloyd

Richard Lloyd

Richard Lloyd

Richard Lloyd

Richard Lloyd

Richard Lloyd

Richard Lloyd

Richard Lloyd

Richard Lloyd

Richard Lloyd

Richard Lloyd

Richard Lloyd

Richard Lloyd

Richard Lloyd

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Comments (29)

sick pics!

Posted by vinny | November 17, 2009 8:31 PM

Come on. I thought the Wolfmother piece was some sort of campy commentary on the overblown music that was reviewed. Apparently, though, this guy always writes like this, "perfunctory with a detached charm" "overly cathartic" "begrudging gregariousness" "moving pulse that unexpectedly ushered subtle fills into the air" "smoldering in the ashes of high-end menswear fashion".

Please make it stop.

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2009 12:51 AM

The Drummer is JP "Thinderbolt" Patterson from the Dictators and Danny fuckin Tamberelli from Pete and Pete on bass.... I think that should have been mentioned in the article. I was at the show and it was really great. Seen them with Billy and and another bassist, but this show was much more hard-hitting. Didnt get he hosts though...

Posted by Josh | November 18, 2009 1:41 AM

Lloyd continues to honor Hendrix not just with his heavy Stratocaster playing

Posted by nsk bearings | November 18, 2009 7:50 AM

yeah ben, don't be so overbearing. write like you're a person - you aren't impressing anyone on this space. you hit all the points I'd like to know, but it takes you a mile of adverbs and adjectives to get there. loosen the tie a bit dude, you're writing for a blog. are you trying out for the times? we get it. we get it.

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2009 9:57 AM

It took me longer to read this than it took for them to play their set.

And you must mention Pete & Pete.

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2009 11:27 AM

@12:51 - please learn how to fucking google multi-syllable words. people who write good prose like this don't need to stoop to the level of morons like yourself.

@9:57 - you and 12:51 should move to virginia and have lots of retard babies and raise them on raccoon meat. you're commenting on a blog, we get it - now get your fucking G.E.D. and stop whining about some of the best music writing I've seen in a while.

This writer has some wonderful prose up his sleeve and always like reading his posts.

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2009 11:36 AM

haha PETE AND PETE

fucking love that show

Posted by nick | November 18, 2009 11:52 AM

The great thing about this guy's articles is that the comments end up being better reading than the article itself.

Posted by Ira Stinkowitz | November 18, 2009 11:52 AM

@ira i bet you DVR soap operas for your trailerpark BFFs @9:57 & @9:57. go read jezebel, dumbass.

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2009 12:20 PM

Dear 11:36,

12:51 and 9:57 were spot on. Mr. Lozovsky's writing is embarrassingly bad. I'm assuming 12:51 and 9:57 understood these "multi-syllable" (or polysyllabic, maybe?) words, but were left wondering: why would anyone write like this?

He's dressing the banality of his dull, recycled commentary in the fanciest prose he can muster. And it's gaudy, baffling and meaningless.

It's not beautiful, and it's not functional. Masturbatory writing fit for a student newspaper. Or hey, a blog.

Ben, reign it in. There's a place for expressive prose, but use sparingly. The last thing music journalism needs is another Pitchfork.

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2009 12:23 PM

@12:20

I don't have DVR, I use bit torrent.

I also don't use the term BFF.

And what is Jezebel? Is it like fleshbot?

You clown.

Posted by Ira Stinkowitz | November 18, 2009 12:24 PM

your mom's a student newspaper.

im going to write, i mean masturbate with her and a few polysyllables in mind now.

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2009 12:27 PM

@12:23 sorry dude i already called dibs on the word 'prose' - stop bitin' ma stylllleeee...ps it's funny it took u an hour to write ur garbage crit.

Don't cry, little hipster. Unicycling ironically is hard.

See you at recess fuckers.

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2009 12:32 PM

What the heck?!?!?!

Polysyllables! Do you use that regularly???

GET A LIFE.

Posted by Ira Stinkowitz | November 18, 2009 12:32 PM

only when waxing your mom!

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2009 12:40 PM

@12:27

A bit of a mixed metaphor, isn't it?

I mean, first my mom's a student newspaper. I got that part, a bit easy but, you know, whatever. Then you start to say that you're going to write with her in mind, which I kind of get, although I don't really understand why you'd ever be writing with a student newspaper in mind. Unless you were writing about that student newspaper?

Anyway, then you edit yourself and state that you're instead going to masturbate with my mother, the student newspaper, in your mind. Along with some unmentioned 'polysyllables,' as you endearingly call them. Maybe words like 'cunnilingus,' 'autoeroticism.' Or probably just 'refrigerator.'

Next time, you might want to try something like, "Your mom was in the student newspaper after I banged her on the quad during reading period last semester."

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2009 12:46 PM

The author is very attentive to detail, which is why I'd like to wash my balls in his mouth.

Posted by Jame Gumb | November 18, 2009 12:47 PM

GREENMAN!

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2009 12:51 PM

A metaphor is like a simile except that you don't sound like a pretentious assdouche when you say "mixed metaphor."

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2009 12:53 PM

no shit, fckface...

im not going to waste my time thinking about my comments...im writing under anon, anon. i didnt even read past the second sentence of what you wrote.

at least ben signs his name under what he writes.

but yes, ur mom is a student newspaper.


Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2009 1:01 PM

12:47 is the coolest comment ever.

Posted by brooklynvegan | November 18, 2009 1:01 PM

Benjamin Lozovsky raped my grandmother while she was in intensive care.

Posted by Anonymouse | November 18, 2009 1:25 PM

PEEEEEEEEEEEEEETE

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2009 1:32 PM

But none of the townsfolk believed the little hipster boy when he said the mustache was unironic and the wolves ate everyone. True story.

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2009 4:32 PM

little pete has a stache!! How weird is it that he is Richard Lloyds bassist? Iggy Pop and David Johanson on the show and now hes playing bass for Lloyd.

Posted by oldskoolnycpunkrock | November 19, 2009 11:00 AM

Raccoon meat? That stuff is lousy with parasites.

Posted by Frank Reynolds | November 19, 2009 5:09 PM

I don't find anything overly excessive about this guy's writing. Heck, he's writing ABOUT ROCK MUSIC -- overthinking and overreaching is the normal for rock criticism.

Does anyone have anything to say about the show itself? Personally, I thought it was sort of sad that Lloyd is reduced to doing Hendrix covers to make a living. He's one of the most innovative and distinctive guitarists alive. Such a shame he has to do this Hendrix thing. How terribly unoriginal is that? And limiting too. No matter how well he plays, he'll never own those tunes. No one can -- it's Hendrix for goodness sake.

Quite pathetic, really. Hendrix cover bands are a dime a dozen. I want to see Richard fucking Lloyd!

Posted by asdfasdf | November 19, 2009 8:16 PM

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