Monday, December 15, 2008

Suicide - 23 Minutes Over Brussels


Suicide, "23 Minutes Over Brussels" (YSI link)

Every so often I like to focus on one particular artist or genre for a bit and that time has come again. I caught one of my favorite bands of all-time, Suicide, last Thursday night at Club Europa in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. I'll have more to say on that later, but for now I wanted to start posting up some live Suicide music.

There's no other place to start than the duo's most infamous show, June 16, 1978, live at the Anciennes Belgique, Brussels, Belgium. The band was in Europe opening for a few bands you've probably heard of - The Clash and Elvis Costello. This particular night, they were opening for Elvis Costello & the Attractions and this particular crowd was not happy at having to wait to hear their hero. Suicide opens with "Ghost Rider" and it's all downhill from there. The guys are booed pretty lustily after that one, but little does anyone know that booing is this audience being polite. You get an "Elvis! Elvis!" chant after "Rocket USA," booing and whistling throughout the fourth song, "Dance." By the time they get to "Frankie Teardrop," things are getting ugly. Someone in the audience steals the microphone, forcing the promoter to come out and demand it back or the show will be cancelled. Alan Vega subsequently begins to tell the crowd (or one person in particular) to "fuck off" and as the tape cuts, a full-fledged riot has broken out. Vega gets his nose broken, the club is torn up and the Suicide legend begins. 23 minutes.

This was a bonus track released as a second on the reissue of Suicide's self-titled first album. If you do not own that album, stop whatever you are doing and buy a copy. Then, buy a second copy to give out to a stranger. This is essential music from the studio and the stage, the darkest, most immediate music I've ever heard.

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