The CBGB Festival has returned to New York City for its third year. The festival is taking place in various venues across the city through October 12th, 2014. On Sunday night, there will be a free concert in Times Square – with Devo and Jane’s Addiction – to wrap up this year’s festivities.
Devo is an American rock band that formed in Akron, Ohio, in 1972. The band began to gain a larger underground fan following in 1978, after the release of Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!. Yet, some listeners and critics believed that the sound, image, and material of Devo was threatening. According to Devo’s official online biography, Rolling Stone labeled the group fascists. “But such criticism missed the point: DEVO dramatized conformity, emotional repression, and dehumanization in order to attack them, not to pay tribute to them,” according to Devo’s website.
Devo released Duty Now for the Future in 1979, and followed that with Freedom of Choice in 1980. Freedom of Choice contained the platinum selling single, “Whip It”. The music video for “Whip It”, featuring a futuristic-looking Devo on a farm, would go on to become an MTV staple when the channel began in 1981. Many years later, “Whip It” would be featured in a Yoplait yogurt commercial.
Devo’s next two albums New Traditionalists and Oh NO It’s DEVO!, spawned the successful singles: “Beautiful World” and “That’s Good”. The band would go on to record Shout in 1984, Total Devo in 1988, and a live album titled Now It Can Be Told: DEVO Live at The Palace in 1989. Following the release of Smooth Noodle Maps in 1990, the band took a hiatus to focus on film and television projects.
During the band’s hiatus, a series of compilation albums were released, but the members of Devo would not collaborate on new music until 2007, when they did a song for Mother NYC, an advertising agency, that would become part of a Dell commercial that aired during the NFL Playoffs and Superbowl. The band went on to release and tour in support of their 9th studio album. And, since then, the band has been working to develop a musical based on their alternative world, according to their official website.
American alternative rockers, Jane’s Addiction, were one of the first band’s to gain mainstream attention in the late 1980’s. Their groundbreaking album, Nothing’s Shocking, was released 26 years ago, as of August 2014. The single, “Mountain Song”, had a complimentary music video. But, MTV refused to air it, due to a scene showing nudity. Instead of reacting negatively to this censorship, the band responded creatively. They included the video for “Mountain Song”, with additional footage, on a videotape that was sold in stores.
The band followed Nothing’s Shocking with 1990’s Ritual de lo habitual. Ritual de lo habitual’s cover image, depicting male and female nudity, caused controversy for the band, when several music stores refused to carry it. But, instead of being dismayed once again, the band reissued the album with a white cover featuring the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, according to the band’s official online biography.
The band would breakup following their 1991 tour, which included being part of the first Lollapalooza, which their singer Perry Farrell helped create. Jane’s Addiction would not reform again until 1997, and that proved to be temporary. They would try to reunite again in 2001, and that reunion was fruitful. During 2001, they recorded their third studio album, Stay. Then, there would be no new music from the band until 2011, when they released their fourth album, The Great Escape Artist.
At the CBGB Festival, Devo will take to the stage at 4:00pm, and Jane’s Addiction will headline the night with a set starting at 6:15pm. The Times Square audience will also be able to see performances by Japanese J-pop girl group Cheeky Parade, Indie rockers We Are Scientists, alternative rockers Surfer Blood, and electronic musician Robert DeLong.
Check out the timetable, below, courtesy of Brooklyn Vegan.
Times Square Free Concert – Sunday Oct 12th, 2014
Cheeky Parade Performance – 12:00PM at Times Square South Stage
We Are Scientists Performance – 12:30PM at Times Square North Stage
Surfer Blood Performance – 1:15PM at Times Square South Stage
Devo Performance – 4:00PM at Times Square South Stage
Robert DeLong Performance – 5:30PM at Times Square South Stage
Jane’s Addiction Performance – 6:15PM at Times Square South Stage