I tend to lean more Paul McCartney than J Mascis, but early 90’s rock has a special place in my somewhat charred heart. So it was with great joy I went up to the Walter Reade theater in Manhattan last night for a screening of Dave Markey’s tour documentary, “1991: The Year Punk Broke.” Remember when Nirvana was still new, before they were blasting incessantly from frat house windows across the country?
I’d never seen it before, and if it was off my radar, maybe it was off yours too. Set during a tour through Europe with Nirvana and Dinosaur Jr. opening for Sonic Youth, what was once carefree concert footage and tom foolery stands as a fascinating look at music history now nearly 20 years old. The Ramones, Gumball, and Babes in Toyland are also featured, but the star is Thurston Moore who is as much a comedian as he is a noise rock legend. He raps, he lectures, he loves bratwurst. I could watch an entire film of him going around Germany just blowing people out with his amplified antics (he carries a microphone everywhere).
At one point he films a colossal turd he just created in a toilet, then runs out onstage and rips into some heavy shit like “Kool Thing.” If you ever took interest in any of those bands, see this film.
No recess for record labels.