On Thursday, August 23, the Secret Cinema’s Jay Schwartz will again guest
D.J. at Johnny Brenda’s bar/restaurant (downstairs). Jay will present the
third round of a music mix called I BELONGED TO THE BLANK GENERATION: HARD
HITS AND DEEP CUTS FROM THE ORIGINAL PUNK/NEW WAVE ERA, 1976-1979.
The event runs from 8:00 pm through Midnight, and admission is free.
While Schwartz is best known (for the last 26 years) for helming the
Secret Cinema film series, his involvement in local nightlife goes back a
bit earlier. When Philadelphia’s first new wave nightclub, the Hot Club,
started in 1977, Schwartz covered its opening night as local correspondent
for the important music paper New York Rocker. He also contributed writing
and photography to other local and national publications for the next
several years, and in 1979 was hired as the Hot Club’s publicist. Schwartz
continued this work later at such fabled nightspots as the original
(Kensington) Starlite Ballroom, the East Side Club and Filly’s Saloon.
In addition to rock journalism, photography and publicity work, Schwartz
also managed to capture the first video footage of Philly’s new wave music
scene — still embryonic in 1978 — for a Temple University student
project. The resulting short documentary, PHILADELPHIA SEEN, includes very
early footage of the band X, legendary d.j. Lee Paris, local punks the
Jags, and nightclub impresario David Carroll. The original tapes were
recently preserved by the University of Southern California’s film archive
(expect a screening soon!).
The Starlite Ballroom was also where Jay first worked as a club disk
jockey, and parts of his growing record collection were shared at several
other places in the ensuing years. However, the last installment of I
BELONGED… (January) was Jay’s first d.j. job since the 2007 closing of
Rick D’s Tritone nightclub, where he had spun at many different thematic
Schwartz had a front row seat to a musical revolution, and that will set
the theme of I BELONGED TO THE BLANK GENERATION… All of the music (most
of it played using first pressing vinyl issues) will come from the crucial
first years of punk and new wave. Iconic artists like Television, Richard
Hell, Blondie and the Ramones will be heard, but the night will also find
room for more obscure records and forgotten local bands.
SECRET CINEMA WEBSITE: http://www.thesecretcinema.com