Doors at 7:30
Music at 8pm
Emerging in the early 80s at the end of New York’s legendary No Wave scene, Live Skull reshaped the aggression of burned-out post-punk into heavy, guitar-driven rock. Mark C and his fellow founder, guitarist Tom Paine, were inspired by the nihilistic sounds of No New York and the dissonant walls of Glenn Branca and Rhys Chatham. Like their Manhattan comrades Sonic Youth and Swans, Live Skull funneled those influences into hard-edged music that valued melody as much as anarchy. “We loved the noise and the chaos that was happening in the No Wave bands,” says Mark. “But we really tried to fit it into a song.”
Over the next decade, Live Skull released five albums and three EPs with a rotating cast of 11 members, all of whom added new ideas to the group’s evolving sound. Themes of struggle and chaos egged them on. Their constant progression inspired New York Times critic Robert Palmer to call them “as challenging, as spiritually corrosive, and ultimately as transcendent as Albert Ayler’s mid-’60s free-jazz or the implacable drone-dance of the early Velvet Underground. It’s one of the essential sounds of our time.”
In 2019 an updated line-up with C, Rich Hutchins and bassist Kent Heine recorded the first Live Skull album in nearly three decades, the urgent, forceful Saturday Night Massacre. The following year, joined by guitarist Dave Hollinghurst, they returned with Dangerous Visions.
The band’s new tunes tear into the air with the same ferocity of their early material. Four decades since they began, the world still needs music from this band that never stops evolving and pushing itself–because there’s still no one who sounds like Live Skull.
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