Posted in music | tour dates on July 20, 2011

Gray 2011, photo by Linda Covello
Gray 2011

April 29th, 1979, Jean Michel Basquiat and Michael Holman met for the first time at "The Canal Zone" party, and decided to start a band together.

Gradually, they invited various Downtown artists to join the group, first Shannon Dawson, then Wayne Clifford, then Nick Taylor and eventually Vincent Gallo. In 1981, Basquiat named his industrial sound band, Gray. Jean named the band after Gray's Anatomy, an important reference source for his later paintings and the perfect name to capture the haunting, machine-like, ambient music the band wrote and performed. In the Whitney Museum's catalogue for Basquiat's 1991 Retrospective, Robert Farris Thompson, professor of Anthropology at Yale University, wrote this about Gray,"They worked the Mudd Club, CBGB's, and Hurrah's in New York, where Blondie and the Talking Heads were at that time emerging. They performed, in other words, at the epicenter of New Wave. Here they contended for space and recognition with a style that, in Basquiat's own words, was "incomplete, abrasive, and oddly beautiful." -[via Michael Holman]

Gray reformed twice since the death of founder Basquiat, "once in 1988 at Basquiat's memorial service and again in 1996 for a scene in the film Basquiat". Now Gray will reform again, for their first public appearance in twenty years, to play the New Museum Theater on Thursday, July 21st - there's an early show and a late show.

Gray recently welcomed their first ever LP entitled Shades of... via Plushsafe Records. As Allmusic points out, " Gray's case is an unusual one, in that their reunion album also happens to be their debut album." Stream a sample of one track, "Wig", at Plushsafe. Stream other Gray tracks at Michael Holman's site. Listen to "So Far So Real" from the soundtrack of Basquiat movie "Downtown 81" below...



Comments (17)

When NYC was actually cool.

Posted by Anonymous | July 21, 2011 12:01 AM

So is Gallo part of this reunion?

Posted by Anonymous | July 21, 2011 12:39 AM

This sounds like a 1/2 "Gray" reunion. Weak. $ grab leveraged on other temple's names. One dead and one absent.

Posted by Anonymous | July 21, 2011 12:44 AM

Yeah, the lesser Grays. Nothing to see here...

Posted by Anonymous | July 21, 2011 12:53 AM

Is that Fred Armisen and Mike Myers?

Posted by Anonymous | July 21, 2011 1:32 AM

jon stewart and spock

Posted by Anonymous | July 21, 2011 1:58 AM

guy on right looks like bloomberg

Posted by Anonymous | July 21, 2011 3:38 AM

Peter Lorre and Burt Lancaster

And Jeffrey Wright was way cooler than the actual Basquiat

Posted by Anonymous | July 21, 2011 8:26 AM

Mike Bloomberg on the MIC?

Posted by Anonymous | July 21, 2011 8:59 AM

They are being as vague as they can about it, but the record seems to be mostly new material, recorded by just Holzman and Taylor, some of it based on samples of the original work.

Although it will include a crank call Basquiat made to a suicide hotline. Excuse, a "performance piece," not a crank call. I forgot: ART!

Posted by Anonymous | July 21, 2011 9:33 AM

wow... that really is bloomberg. hilarious

Posted by Anonymous | July 21, 2011 9:38 AM

8:26: K-Douglas trumps them all!!!

Posted by Anonymous | July 21, 2011 9:42 AM

Artists should stick to art and leave the music to musicians.

Posted by Anonymous | July 21, 2011 10:02 AM

I heard Jean Michel Basquiat was dead, how wonderful to hear he is not and is alive and well.

Posted by nygrump | July 21, 2011 10:14 AM

12:44 had it right. This is lame. Cash grab built on the names of two people who won't be playing.

Posted by Anonymous | July 21, 2011 10:23 AM

pretty kewl

Posted by Anonymous | July 22, 2011 10:39 AM

You can't judge them without seeing their performance... The show was pretty amazing!

Posted by Anonymous | July 25, 2011 6:02 PM

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