Roger Manning

Roger Manning will perform at OJ All Day Downstairs Saturday May 24, 11:59pm

The first Roger Manning album was mostly recorded on a 4 track cassette machine and released in 1989 by California punk recording label SST (Black Flag, Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr.). Several other d.i.y. recordings followed. I toured the U.S ., and occasionally Europe, for over 10 years performing lyrical-solo-rock accompanied by highly amplified bass-heavy guitar playing.

My music developed in the streets, subways, and dance clubs of New York City throughout the 1980s. The result was a style of solo performing that was dynamic enough to allow me to play in places where solo acts were not ordinarily accepted such as rock and dance clubs.

The viewpoint conveyed in the dense lyrics is shaped by a life of hitchhiking, street singing, low-income living, disgust with authority, and pondering the mysteries of love and beauty.

"People work hard and end up with nothing. I ain't got nothing either, but at least I didn't work hard for it" (from the 'Pearly Blues').

The beat for many of the songs was inspired by the music being spun by DJs in New York clubs like Danceteria, The Ritz, and Palladium.

By the end of the 80s, the songs had evolved into a style where Jack Kerouac meets Led Zeppelin meets Joni Mitchell meets Sonic Youth meets Public Enemy meets the Clash meets Woody Guthrie meets Big Audio Dynamite. Various fellow downtown New York performers, including King Missile (John S. Hall) and Billy Syndrome were strong influences as well. These others, and I are associated with the beginnings of New York's "Anti-Folk" scene which came together in the mid 80s. Later influences include My Bloody Valentine, Elysian Fields (NYC) and various forms of electronica.

Last fall I started performing again after Jeff Lewis helped hook me up with a Berlin show. The March 2008 issue of German Rolling Stone included 'The Pearly Blues' in the compilation CD included with the magazine. The CD title, 'This is not a Folk Song' is taken from the lyrics.

I'm currently working on a new album, assisted by Craig Flanagin (from God is My Co-Pilot) who will be performing with me at the OJ fest.

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