Friday, May 4, 2012

David J Visits MCA Denver

by Joshua Novak

Adam Lerner & David J at MCA Denver
As I teenager, I must have listened to my Sweet F.A. cassette tape by Love & Rockets five hundred times while attempting to finish homework in my room. The truth was, I was less interested in math and science then I was in music and spent that time wishing I was hanging out on stage in a band, working along side collaborators like David J.

Last weekend, the music legend payed a visit to the Mile High City and to the MCA where he give a lecture about his life and work in the early UK punk scene, and in bringing about pioneering bands Bauhaus and Love & Rockets. He gave the packed room insight to his teenage relationships with Kevin Haskins, Daniel Ash and Peter Murphy while the wall behind him flashed slide show images of his unique art work over the years. These days, David has been exploring other avenues of his creative expression with play and screen writing, producing and still manages to tour Europe and America with his own musical project which simply bears his Nom De Rock.

Although we didn't collaborate on an artistic level, I did have the pleasure of hanging out with David on several occasions while he was here. We shared our love of PJ Harvey and of gloomy weather over tamales and margaritas. I warmed up the bustling crowd prior to his DJ set with my own set and when asked, snapped a photo of his bug-bitten heart tattoo on his phone as we dined at The Kitchen on 16th Street Mall.

That evening at the Museum, Mr. J played an invigorating DJ set with an electric mix of punk and post punk. The songs (which included Patti Smith and The Sex Pistols) were an aural history of a time in music where David and his peers felt they had found something that spoke directly to them and gave them a voice. It belonged to them. It wasn't purely about anarchy, but about a blinding shift in the culture--Revolt in the hearts of the young who were rejecting the stale paradigms of art that had been put in place their parents. It was a movement that caused a sea change in not just music, but in fashion and politics as well. Pretty exciting.


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