Interlude Docs

Doc 068: Samara Lubelski

Interlude Docs_sonic youth_of a mesh
NYC from a certain time ruled. Downtown NYC⁠—the E. Village, Lower East Side, and Soho⁠—when I was born and raised there. Early days of textile factories and the occasional artist cohabitation. Empty spaces in the late 60s/early 70s. No walls/no heat during off commercial hours. Dead silence after 5PM. Night time was the best time for feeling it all out, running wild, and getting spooked by Shadowman lurkings. Cheap-o flea markets on Canal St.⁠⁠—leather jackets, 50s sweaters, stilettos, iron cross earrings. Moolah dead zone takeover still a few years away.
I was a music freak from an early age. ’79 – ’81 were the years of expanding out of the factory hood. My dad escorted me on MSG trips to see Styx, Fleetwood Mac, and Cheap Trick (Cheap Trick being the best), which receded against the new wave onslaught hitting hard on the radio and the streets. Our youngster crew would hang around W. 8th and its side streets: Bleecker Bob’s (on MacDougal then), Venus (before it moved over to St. Marks), the 8th St. Playhouse (my first A Clockwork Orange, Rude Boy, and Rocky Horror Picture Show viewings), mod facade Electric Lady Studio, 99 Records (imports! that first Cure rec⁠—the refrigerator), and Johnny Ramone buying ice cream with his girlfriend most wknds.
I was super pissed when I missed the Clash at The Palladium gig, and got in line at 6PM the night before the Bonds shows’ tkts went on sale. Not exactly sure why my folks let me hang at Times Square all night, but it gave ‘em a taste of the teenage life to come. Got filmed by one of the local news stations while I waited. Ended up going to the Clash gigs that Allen Ginsberg and Bush Tetras opened, but that explosive ride was already on the wane.
My pal David Scilken looked like he was 9, dressed in the current punk style⁠—mohawk, blazer with band pins, and pegged black jeans. He took me to see Black Flag at the Mudd Club, Bad Brains, a couple of punk hardcore shows at A7, and Bleecker Bob, which I was afraid to go into on my own. He went ticketless up to Bonds to check out the scene, found an open emergency exit door, and⁠—with loads of others⁠—checked out the gig for free, got kinda trampled by the crowd, complained to management, and got to hang with the Clash backstage. But before all that went down there were the Ramones and the B-52s gigs at Central Park (those girls being equal to any France Gall chanson lung-ing; a spectacle of one mind wavelength, laser beam glory between band and audience), Artless at little Carnegie Recital Hall (performance art mockery), the Stranglers, a low-key (stoned) Cure at a sparsely attended Ritz gig in between Faith and Pornography, maybe the Tuxedomoon gig at that bank on Broadway and Houston, and a bunch more.
This poster was sent to me recently. My first (teenage) band was Of A Mesh. I don’t remember this particular CB’s gig, and, anyway, most of the rest is within the catalog of momentary experience, in the permanent memory brain capture, waiting for some next wave.

Samara Lubelski is a singer, multi-instrumentalist, and recording engineer living in New York. She has released several studio albums under her name since 2003 and has also been a member of the bands Of A Mesh, Metabolismus, Salmon Skin, the Sonora Pine, Hall of Fame, the Tower Recordings, MV & EE, and Chelsea Light Moving. As a guest musician, she has played on recordings for the Fiery Furnaces, White Magic, Thurston Moore, God Is My Co-Pilot, Jackie-O Motherfucker, Sunburned Hand of the Man, and Sightings, and as a recording engineer she has worked with Double Leopards, Magik Markers, Mouthus, and others.


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