For those of you that do not know, the Taking Heads were part of the original punk movement to take over NYC in the mid to late 1970s. They would play almost regular shows, along with bands such as Television, Blondie, The Ramones, and many other pioneers of NYC punk. Venues like CBGBs and Max's Kansas City would be packed to the brim with people looking for something different from the disco garbage that was being played over most of New York radio. Also, even though WPLJ was a pretty good album rock station, most of the bands played on there were quite unapproachable. People wanted something a little more realistic to identify with.
Now, I know that a pretty vibrant indie music scene still exists in NYC. I, myself, have frequented venues like Pianos, Arlene's Grocery, and The Annex. The way the scene seems to have been in the 1970s, however, (as depicted by ex-Blondie bassist Gary Valentine in his book: New York Rocker: My Life in the Blank Generation, with Blondie, Iggy Pop and Others, 1975-1981) makes it clear that there isn't the same type of excitement that existed back then. It's become more "mod-ish" I guess. People just kind of stand around, drink their beers, and don't really show any interest in the band that is playing. In fact, it almost seems like they are passing judgment on said band (i.e.: how these people were described in the 1994 movie Hype!, about the Seattle music scene - seriously, it's a great watch).
I recall, in my younger days (1998-99), going to L.E.S. Stitches shows at the old Continental by St. Mark's Place. At these shows, there was that same raucous excitement that probably existed back in the 70s, and ironically in the same area. People would go on stage and sing along to every song...it was a wild scene. Now, I'm sure it never got THAT crazy in the 70s, but there was just that level of excitement that doesn't exist now.
So, as I walked around LES and The Village the other night, listening to Talking Heads, I realized that I was probably born in the wrong decade.