Newsletter September 2007

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Sprawl Lene Lovich: Shadows and Dust  
The Contessa's Party Mad Sprawl  
Raven Cry  
  Carnival to the

September 2007

Hello Stereo Society aficionado.

As some of you must have noticed, we are posting newsletters but not sending them.  We’ll sort out this and other site issues over the next few weeks.  Like Topsy, it growed.  There are over 1100 pages now, and it’s a challenge to keep them current and functional.

Most of you must know that Hilly Kristal died in his sleep Tuesday morning August 28, a month shy of his 76th birthday.  For over a year, he had to deal with lung cancer, probably a legacy of years of second-hand smoking in the clubs he managed.  Chemotherapy caused unpleasant secondary complications, thus becoming unfeasible, until at the end he was enduring many physical problems.

We will miss him, badly, but his musical legacy will persist.  His encouragement of new and novel musical creativity will be more formal once the Hilly Kristal Foundation is announced publicly (the legalities are already in place, more details to follow). There will be other events to honor him and further his ideals (again, more follows). 

The flowers and notes left outside 315 Bowery are very poignant.  We have added three photos to the Shirts/CBGB's/Hilly Kristal gallery taken late evening the day after he said goodbye, along with a personal card assembled by JR Rost of his photos of Hilly and the other CBGB’s players.  The original is signed by many of them, but sadly it won’t now be given to him on his birthday.  See the graphic (signatures omitted) and download a hi-res tribute if you would like.

Also, check out Hilly’s gallery, all of whose photos are available for hi-res download.  Our personal favorite is of a full-on portrait from 2000, looking serious.  Except when in a bad mood, thanks to the phone company messing up or the failure of a beer delivery, he was in private a genial person, yet most of the pictures printed around his many obituaries often look rather surly.  Admittedly, he didn’t suffer fools gladly.

It’s a mystery to us why Hilly’s only album, Mad Mordechai, isn’t more widely appreciated.  It’s certainly not in sync with punk sensibility, but all rock+roll enjoys a sense of humor (along with the passion).  So did Hilly, as his songs and singing confirm.  Thorne’s booklet notes for the CD issue can be taken as a sincere epitaph: a shame that they were transformed so soon. 

Now to a mechanical bit.  Many of you must have been annoyed by the CD Baby popup page (ironically, to Hilly’s CD) when you moved to a new Stereo Society page with a BuyCD button on it.  That bug has been squashed.  If you suppressed pop-up windows in your browser preferences, you wouldn’t have been troubled.  We do, so we didn’t notice until some time after it happened.

Another bug, which we haven’t fixed yet, affects some streaming mp3.  Ideally, and this is how we set it up, if you click on a ‘download/stream mp3’ link you would see a new, small browser window open and the music would play.  Sometimes, you get a new window but full-size, in defiance of our instructions.  Sometimes, iTunes opens without effect, sometimes with.  Please bear with us.  Standards are slipping, as they say, made far more complicated as code gets more varied and competing interests make their own variants.

We still deal with all mail to us and to our artists, through the Contact page.  Please don’t hesitate.  We forward to our artists without confirmation, expecting that they will reply in turn (although some of them prove to be human and fallible).  The newsletter will resume service shortly, but in the meantime this section will show the latest changes.

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