New York Dolls to release Cause I Sez So
Legendary NYC proto-punk glam rockers the New York Dolls are back! The band that kick-started the NYC rock scene with their self-titled debut back in 1973 reunited with producer Todd Rundgren for their May 5th release, Cause I Sez So, on the newly revived Atco imprint.
The album comes roaring out of the gate with a classic Dolls riff on the title track and ends 12 tracks later with "Exorcism of Despair," an anarchic rocker that's vintage Dolls. The quintessential NYC band performs a private show on May 5th at the John Varvatos store on Bowery, the site of landmark punk club CBGBs.
While the Dolls have nothing left to prove, their live shows are a testament to why they remain one of the most influential, beloved rock bands of all time. Founders David Johansen (vocals) and Sylvain Sylvain (guitar), the only surviving members of the original group, are joined by Steve Conte (guitar); Brian Delaney (drums); and Sami Yaffa (bass). With rave reviews for their 2009 performances at the SXSW festival and South America, the Dolls continue to prove that lipsticked or otherwise, they can still kick your ass.
Artist: New York Dolls
Title: Cause I Sez So
Release date: 05/5/09
Label: Roadrunner Records
New York Dolls
Buy at: Amazon
New York Dolls tour dates
Tour Dates *with Black Joe Lewis:
Wed May 20 Solana Beach, CA @ Belly Up Tavern
Thu May 21 Los Angeles, CA @ Henry Fonda Theater
Fri May 22 Anaheim, CA @ House of Blues (OC)
Sun May 24 San Francisco, CA @ Grand Ballroom
Tue May 26 Portland, OR @ Berbati's Pan
Wed May 27 Seattle, WA @ El Corazon
Thu May 28 Vancouver, BC @ Richard's On Richards
Sun May 31 Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theater
Tue Jun 2 Oklahoma City, OK @ Diamond Ballroom *
Wed Jun 3 Dallas, TX @ House of Blues Dallas*
Thu Jun 4 Houston, TX @ House of Blues Houston *
Fri Jun 5 Austin, TX @ Emo's *
Sun Jun 7 New Orleans, LA @ House of Blues*
Tue Jun 9 St Petersburg, FL @ State Theatre*
Wed Jun 10 Orlando, FL @ House of Blues*
Sat Jun 13 Atlanta, GA @ Center Stage*
New York Dolls biography
This is what you need to know — the New York Dolls were the first and the best, and that hasn’t changed.
When the Dolls whipped their first long-player on an unsuspecting world in 1973, they were positively terrifying. Next to the Dolls, the other so-called glam boys who clogged the pages of Creem magazine looked like spoiled children who had just toodled home from ballet class.
With the Dolls, there was something gone horribly wrong. It was as if they were daring you to call them names and start a fight. They weren’t prep-school dweebs dabbling in drag for the springtime variety show — in the bucket-of-blood rock’n’roll clubs of New York City, if you somehow felt that you had to wear bedroom pumps and a halter top to get your message across, you had better be the best goddamn rock’n’roll band in the world, or get ready to die.
The Dolls kicked ass and their detractors shut the fuck up. Beneath their thick layers of mascara and lipstick (which they famously passed around backstage the way other bands passed around joints), there was a spirit that thrived on jungle beats and shing-a-ling, on the broken-heart sagas of the Shangri Las, Tin Pan Alley radio hits, the lingering essence of British Invasion beat music, the scorched-earth blues of Chicago’s Southside, and a vision of the City as a monster. It was tough stuff.
The first great era of the New York Dolls (1971-75) crashed in a drug and drag tragic-comedy, but their outré glitter punk couture and decadent gutter groove was indomitable. Like the Rolling Stones, The Dolls may have begun by covering Bo Diddley, but The Dolls had outer-borough panache and delivered their licks with an irreverence that mutated New York City’s perverse sense of humor with the rebellion-for-rebellion’s sake of Marlon Brando, twisting a deadly double-helix of razz and snarl that changed rock’n’roll forever.
If there is such a thing as the New York Sound, the New York Dolls are it.
Credits: Written by Mike Edison
* * *
The Dolls new record is called ’Cause I Sez So, and like all of their records, it is a contract between themselves and their fans. Dolls fans are as tough as the band themselves — street smart and rock savvy. They would not accept a New York Dolls that was anything less than pure.
“If we didn’t respond to the people, we might as well get jobs,” says lead mouth David Johansen, who along with guitar ace Sylvain Sylvain is the original Dolls’ sole survivor.
“We’ve got nothing left to prove. This ain’t a pissing contest, this is something pleasurable. Today, so many records are forgettable, but a lot of people seem to have opinions about Dolls records. I go with the power of my gut. If I start intellectualizing it’ll become something that is not the Dolls.”
The new members of the Dolls are not mercenaries or dilettantes, ringers, post-punk primitivists, or poseurs, they are the real deal, and as durable (they have now officially outlasted the original line-up) as they are self-aware. They no longer need to raid their girlfriend’s wardrobes to shock and outrage, nor do the times demand it. You can measure them by the street suave and swagger of the last five years of transcendent live shows, and this shiny new CD, rolling off the line like a bad-ass Chevy, fins pointed and sparkling in the sun. It became bell clear when the Dolls reformed to do a reunion gig in 2004 that you could take the boys out of the Dolls, but you couldn’t take the Doll out of the boy.
“You gotta respect the name you hang on the door,” says Sylvain. “And that’s ‘The New York Dolls.’ We never forget that. We go out there and kill’em, that’s what the Dolls do. The new guys are perfect. They are New York Dolls. They’ve got the style and the individuality. You can tell by how they walk, whether they’re in drag or wearing suits, they are Dolls.”
This is the second record of the Second Coming of the Dolls, and with it they have come full circle, re-enlisting the talents of Todd Rundgren, the same knob-twirling wizard who produced their first LP in 1973. It should come as little surprise, then, that the record comes roaring out of the gate with a classic Dolls riff on the title track, one sharp and jagged enough to open up a tin of soup — and ends twelve tracks later with “Exorcism of Despair,” a big, sloppy mess of cymbal crashes and guitarisms battling it out over an enormous beat, sounding an awful lot like a rock’n’roll apocalypse. According to Johansen, this is the good voodoo, the get happy salve, the stuff that makes you feel better.
“It’s a tonic for the blues. People can walk around living a life of quiet desperation, but maybe if they started shouting about it, they’d be happy.” He half laughs; half growls. “The New York Dolls make me happy.”
’Cause I Sez So takes it’s time and delves into the old world stylings of Brill Building pop — the kind of songs that always sound best coming out of a dashboard radio when you’re parked on Lover’s Lane — with more patience and experience than they have ever been able to conjure. “Temptation to Exist” borrows a lick from a forgotten Spaghetti western, “This Is Ridiculous” channels Howlin’ Wolf (Dolls-style, natch), and then, just before the blast-ola of “Exorcism,” they take a moment to revisit “Trash,” the classic love-in-the-gutter number from their first record. This time, however, recording at Rundgren’s Hawaiian retreat, it takes on a decidedly tropical lilt. Is it a put on, an inside joke, or something deliberately subversive, designed to lull you into a false sense of security before they bring out the flick knives and chains?
The Dolls are just full of surprises. In fact, ’Cause I Sez So is like a heart-shaped box of candy. A big old-fashioned Valentine, seemingly glamorous and sweet. But be careful, Dearheart, ‘cause that bon-bon over there has a cherry-bomb center, and that other one over their has a razor blade at its core. Almost certainly there is a chocolate in the box that tastes like raw sex and will make you break out in fever and a cold sweat, but it is just as likely filled with some crazy kind of pills.
Says Sylvain — “We never made a hit song. Our albums became hits, our fashion became a hit, our way of life became a hit. We put the ‘roll’ back in ‘rock’n’roll.’”
Yes, some things never change. As Gotham City self-destructs in the shadow of a global recession, the one thing you can count on is the New York Dolls. Thirty-six years after they put the hurt on with their first long-player, The New York Dolls are just as pretty as they want to be. They walk tall, with or without the platform boots and puffed-up hair. And they can still kick your ass.
You better pray for the Rock’n’Roll nurse.
Cause I Sez So Tracklisting
01. 'Cause I Sez So
02. Muddy Bones
03. Better Than
04. Lonely So Long
05. My World
07. Temptation To Exist
08. Making Rain
10. Nobody Got No Bizness
12. Exorcism Of Despair
"Cause I Sez So" by New York Dolls - release date: 05/5/09..