Newsletter May 2003

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Our update this month is large and includes four new photo galleries. Two are historical, one largely contemporary and one from precisely March 30 2003.

BETTY Rules, the musical written and performed by BETTY and directed by Michael Greif (he of Rent fame), called it quits in New York on March 30 after 212 performances at the Zipper Theater. Their next outing, apart from a vacation followed by their steady diet of club gigs, will be to take ‘the exception to the musical’ on the road first thing in 2004. Perhaps against the Rules, but certainly not against those of BETTY Rules, we sneaked a camera into the last performance. You can see the best 27 of 202 photos documenting the show, each with its own descriptive caption. A cast CD is ready for mixing, and will use some of the photos on its cover, and there are vague rumors of the group making ‘a holiday album’ in time for inspirational listening in December.

Now for the first bit of history in May. The CBGB’s and the late seventies were more special than we realized at the time, although it was certainly fun to be part of it all. The production commentaries on the first two Shirts albums (the Shirts and Street Light Shine), intimately connected with the club and manager Hilly Kristal, were posted last month. Our new gallery has 17 photos by JR Rost taken of the group, the club, and various prominent characters around the scene. Again, each has its own story. The Shirts will be playing with their newly-expanded eight-person lineup at CBGB’s on Saturday May 31st.

Back to the present with Carol Lipnik. With a strong style and songwriting and a voice to match, she’s still pretty much unknown outside New York, Carol first connected with the Stereo Society by the very downtown mechanism of being friends with a dancer living upstairs from our studio (thanks for putting up with the racket) and passing on a tape. Her distinctive song Ships That Pass In The Night was covered by Thorne on his Sprawl CD, with BETTY taking the principal vocals. Carol has a newly extended section of her own at the Stereo Society, and we also post 18 of her ‘headline poems’, creative and pithy juxtapositions of newspaper cutouts. Not to forget a small gallery of unique photos (no mug shots here). Carol Lipnik and Spookarama play New York’s Living Room (84 Stanton Street, at Allen) May 2 at 10pm.

Finally, a little more extended history. Sarah Jane Morris has always lived life a little louder and larger than most, starting her public musical activities in the very early eighties with the memorable Italian band Wop Avenue (named after Fifth Avenue and its Gucci shops). Through other largely unconventional bands, through huge hits with the Communards and acting, Sarah Jane landed Sarah Jane Morris photo gallerySarah Jane Morris photo galleryin her present steadily developing solo career. As part of her newly extended and revised Stereo Society home, we post 18 striking photos spanning activities from that 1982 start forwards.

At the site, we’re still growing dramatically. Last month we entertained over 24,000 visitors (310,000 hits). Thanks again for your support, keep visiting, and keep communicating (via the Contact page).

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