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Little Steven pulled off what seemed the impossible- in the spirit of Alan Freed’s Rock & Roll revues of the 1950's, Little Steven Van Zandt, a member of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band and an actor on "The Sopranos", assembled a half-century’s worth of garage rockers in a frenetic one-day fest: 45 bands playing outdoors on a muggy Saturday, August 14, at Randall’s Island (adjacent to upper Manhattan). His International Underground Garage Festival kicked butt over the course of 12 hours from 10:30 a.m. to nearly 10:30 p.m.

What exactly is garage rock? Rock & roll at its most primal is usually played loud with three chords (think “Louie, Louie” and “Wild Thing”), a danceable beat, often with angry or angsty lyrics. Feel is more important than technique when it comes to garage rock. Lenny Kaye, former rock critic and longtime guitarist with the Patti Smith Group, who back in the 1970’s, was the first to pay homage to garage rockers by compiling the two-album set, Nuggets, which was comprised of such bands hailing from the ‘60s, many of them one-hit wonders. (Nuggets has since been expanded and is available on CD from Rhino Records.) One of the most recent new bands influenced by Nuggets, New York’s The Strokes performed the next-to-the-last set of Little Steven’s Fest.

www.Dishmag.com / Issue 40 - September 7243
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