by Ian Chainey
Live at Max's Kansas City album art
'70s punkers Gina Harlow & The Cutthroats will play Brooklyn's Hank's Saloon tonight (5/2) with The Afterbirth, Sewage, Death to Slater, and F61. Doors are at 8 PM and there's no cover.
Kicking around New York City during punk's golden-era rise to prominence in the mid to late '70s, Gina Harlow & The Cutthroats may not be remembered within the same cluster of brain cells as the bands they shared stages with -- The Heartbreakers and the Mick Ronson-featuring Johnny Average Band to name two -- but they left behind notable nuggets of nervy garage punk which have endured to gain a cult following. The 1978-released Live on Stage documented the band in their element at a Max's Kansas City date in 1977. The spiky energy and spare guitars are more in line with the wave yet to come, suggesting a certain buoyancy. Yet Harlow's transgressive sleaziness ran counter to her sing-song-y vocals. It still has the ability to make cheeks blush, 30 plus years later. And that's divorced from the visuals which, as record holds, were pretty wild.
The band gigged around the city until 1985 when Harlow dropped out of the public view -- her whereabouts unknown until 2011 when the group started operating again. (The band's official bio floats a rumor stating she was hanging out with headhunters. The Rockefellers are not amused.) In 2012, they played Max's Kansas City reunion at Arlene's Grocery (not to be confused with the one at Bowery Electric), which coincided with Gina Harlow's presidential run as part of the Tea Party-tweaking T&A Party.
Neat stuff. Go catch a slice of punk rock history. To get you in the mood, stream their Live on Stage LP, in its re-released Live at Max's Kansas City incarnation, below.