Monday, October 10, 2011

CMJ 2011 Preview: Death @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

The official CMJ Music Marathon 2011 schedule just went up over the weekend, so we'll be posting a lot more shows we're excited about as the week progresses. I write to you today on the subject of Death. Not the '80s metal band or the final stage of life. I'm talking about the early '70s Detroit punk band that often does not get the credit they deserve. Formed in 1971 by the Hackney brothers (Bobby, David and Dannis), Death were in a class of their own, predating many of the bands that are often credited with inventing the sound of punk rock.

In 1974, the band entered the studio with the intention of recording a twelve song LP to be released by Columbia Records. Clive Davis, president of Columbia at the time, insisted that the band change their name to something more commercially acceptable, which the band refused. Their decision would ultimately result in Davis withdrawing funding for the album, and only seven of the planned twelve songs being recorded. The recordings from those sessions sat in limbo for close to forty years, up until Drag City released them in 2009 as ...For The Whole World To See. The songs are an extremely important document of the very early beginnings of punk music, and an exciting collection of songs by any measure.

After the album's release, Death reformed to play three shows with new drummer Bobbie Duncan (David Hackney passed away in 2000 from lung cancer), and they've since intermittently performed to incredibly grateful crowds. Luckily, Death will be headlining Music Hall of Williamsburg as part of Afro-Punk's CMJ showcase on Tuesday, October 18. Tickets for the showcase are still on sale for only $12.90 after fees, an amazing deal to see a legendary act perform in an intimate setting. Get on that ASAP.

Below, check out some videos of Death performing at SXSW in 2010, as well as a panel discussion with the band...