Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Downtown 81 with Kid Creole and the Coconuts.

I'm totally channeling early 1980s New York at the moment. I saw Downtown 81 at the weekend, a film that follows Jean Michel Basquiat at the beginning of his career, scraping a living as an artist and living on the streets in the lower east side. For a city fancier, it's heaven. Almost a documentary of that time, it shows the derelict streets of the LES – it looks like a bomb site! – the clubs and for me, best of all, some awesome footage of Kid Creole and the Coconuts playing a live gig. Watch the clip here. Look out for Disco Donuts.

Kid Creole, aka August Darnell, has been a favourite musician / producer of mine for years. I love his sound. I love this picture of the Coconuts, above. In fact, I'm touching the screen. My people. This was taken in May 1980 outside their rehearsal studio. I am LOVING their look.

As well as this, the gods rained down an Arthur Russell mix today. Courtesy of Feel Up and mixed by Yam Who? to coincide with the release of Tribute To Arthur Russell on Electric Minds, this is an amazing mix that basically IS late seventies, early eighties New York. This music is truly ethereal.

[Photo by John Rynski]


  1. I watched Escape from New York, featuring Clint Eastwood impersonator Kurt Russell, for the first time the other week. Rated by many as a very good evocation of the spirit of pre-Guilani NYC (not been there, so couldn't comment) - you should check out. Though virtually none of it was filmed on location.

    There's a good article on Escape, and the New York filmography, in the recent issue of Vice, too.

  2. Hm, I'll check it out. Thanks dude. I'll also deign to pick up the shlock that is Vice mag and have a look!

    Have you seen The French Connection? I've been jonesing a re-view of that. Awesome street scenes. And my all time fave After Hours. (I need a re-view of that too.)

  3. Sounds like a great film, I'll have to check it out (loved the LES when I visited last year). xx