The famed CBGB & OMFUG (Country, BlueGrass and Blues and Other Music For Uplifting Gormandizers) was more than a music club at 315 Bowery; it was also a focal point underground culture and a launching pad for punk, rock and new wave bands. When it closed in 2006, plenty of people mourned its demise. Thus, the CBGB Festival was born: an ode to what the music club was and a celebration faithful to its original purpose–to showcase emerging artists and provide an environment to help them get started.
Below the jump are our five must-dos for the jam-packed weekend offerings (panels! screenings! rock shows!) of the inaugural festival.
1. Free CBGB Festival Concert in Times Square
Why we’re excited: Uh, guys, it’s a free concert in Times Square. Six hours of indie rock, hard rock, electronic rock and bluegrass, featuring bands such as Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, the Hold Steady, Superchunk and Zulu Wave–no wonder they’re expecting record attendance.
When: Saturday, July 7, noon to 6 p.m.
Where: Times Square, stages on Broadway at 45th and 61st Streets
2. Scoring on the Bowery Doesn’t Mean What It Used To: Creating Original Music For Film, panel discussion
Why we’re excited: This panel, part of the film conference branch of the festival, focuses on the unique challenges of creating music for film. Beyond technical chatter, there is the promise of “scandalous dish” from panelists and veteran composers Nathan Larson (Silent House), Paul Cantelon (The Other Boleyn Girl, New York, I Love You), Missy Cohen (The Big Lebowski, Sex and the City) and Stephen Trask (Hedwig and the Angry Itch, Dreamgirls).
When: Friday, July 6, 3 p.m.
Where: Magno Screening Room, Theater B
3. Michael Cerveris and Loose Cattle, concert
Why we’re excited: Mr. Cerveris just got his 5th Tony nomination for his role in Evita this year. And for the scatterings of fiercely loyal Fringe fans, just think about it: It’s September, our favorite Observer (Get it? Read this, if you don’t.), singing on stage. Mind. Blown. And Loose Cattle, the band named after a road sign, plays music that has been compared to “a night in a neglected pasture corralling Ferdinand the Bull, Babe the Blue Ox and mad cow disease.”
When: Friday, July 6, 5 p.m.
Where: Eataly’s Birreria
4. End of the Century: The Story of The Ramones, screening
Why we’re excited: This beloved 2003 documentary feature is a modern classic. How better to celebrate the CBGB Festival than remembering the band that’s practically synonymous with CBGB? (And, to work up some excitement before the screening, you can catch Tommy Ramone, the last surviving member of the original line-up of the punk quartet, performing with a slew of others tonight at 7 p.m. in the Map Room at BE.)
When: Friday, July 6, 8:15 p.m.
Where: Anthology Film Archives, The Maya Deren Theater
5. CBGB: Tales from the Club, panel discussion
Why we’re excited: We’re feeling nostalgic, and this panel will give the opportunity for the people who were there–a bartender, a manager, an artist and a booking agent–to reminisce about what the club was like, and what it stood for.
When: Thursday, July 5, 5 p.m.
Where: Landmark Sunshine Cinema
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