Now that Kraftwerk-gate is nearly a week in the past, it’s time for us to remind you once again that you didn’t get tickets. Sorry…A quick look at Craigslist reveals that unless you’re willing to pay $2,500, it’s unlikely you’re going to see Trans-Europe Express performed live, at least at MoMA. But the idea of a band performing a residency at a New York City museum is intriguing, and something I’d like to see become a Thing. Below are 10 suggestions for other NYC museums to consider if they’re thinking about booking bands, too.
Whitney Museum of Art
Silver Jews, American Water
Before the Jicks, before that song for the Schoolhouse Rock soundtrack about taxation without representation, even before Slanted & Enchanted, Stephen Malkmus worked at the Whitney as a security guard, along with percussionist Bob Nastanovich and singer-guitarist David Berman. The three of them would go on to form Silver Jews in 1989, and release one of the finest albums of the 1990s, American Water. I suppose they could play the Jewish Museum, too.
American Museum of Natural History
Pink Floyd, The Wall
I can’t think of the Museum of Natural History and NOT think of the 94-foot-long blue whale in the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life, just as I can’t think of blue whales WITHOUT thinking of Noah Baumbach’s The Squid and the Whale. And I can’t think of The Squid and…I’ll stop this, but: Pink Floyd, reunite, and play “Hey You” under a blue whale with accompaniment from Dean Wareham, preferably.
Queens Museum of Art
The Cars, Panorama
There are only so many songs with “panorama” in the lyrics, most of which aren’t very good, including the titular track from the Cars’ third album, Panorama. But the record does have “Touch and Go,” and “Misfit Kid” and “Up and Down,” and those are all pretty good tracks. In conclusion: Can they just play “My Best Friend’s Girl” instead? They can play it by the panorama.
Museum of Sex
Faces, A Nod Is as Good as a Wink… to a Blind Horse
The options are plentiful here (“Tired of Sex,” “Sex and Dying in High Society,” the entirety of Confusion Is Sex, etc.), so I Googled “What is the greatest song about sex?” and Billboard’s list of the sexiest songs of all-time was the first result. At the top of the list: Olivia Newton-John’s “Physical?” Um, no. #2: Rod Stewart’s “Tonight the Night.” Uh…let’s go with Rod Stewart’s post-Jeff Beck Group band, Faces, and their best album, A Nod Is as Good as a Wink… to a Blind Horse, instead. “Stay with Me” is pretty damn sexy.
New York Transit Museum
New York Dolls, New York Dolls
An obvious choice, sure, but few albums GET the New York transit system as well as New York Dolls — assuming there’s not a Slayer B-sides album out there called Beware the Closing Doors…to Hell. There are songs called “Trash” (even if it’s not referring to discarded issues of Metro, it still counts) and, of course, “Subway Train.” Many other bands could work here, too, as long as it’s not The Cure (“The Subway Song:” “She tries hard not to run/But she feels she’s not alone”).
Lil’ Kim, La Bella Mafia
“So, like it or not, I am who I am/When I die, hold my body in the Brooklyn Museum.” Sure thing.
Neue Galerie New York
Neu!, Neu! 75
Hallogalo, a super group made up of Neu!’s Michael Rother, Sonic Youth’s Steve Shelly, and Tall Firs’ Aaron Mullan, sees Kraftwerk’s MoMA residency, and raises them a 16-night stand at Neue Galerie (renamed Neu! Galarie, obviously), in which each of Neu!’s four albums gets a four-night celebration. Your move, Cosmic Jokers.
Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art
Also acceptable: Josie and the Pussycats, Jem and the Holograms, Dethklok, Jabberjaw and the Neptunes, and Sadgasm.
Museum of Television and Radio
TV on the Radio, Return to Cookie Mountain
Should TVOTR call it quits, their final show could be held inside the former-Museum of TV and Radio (now the Paley Center for Media). Hearing “Playhouses” while a clip from Pee-wee’s Playhouse plays in the background would be divine. David Bowie could make a special appearance as Jambi!
Ripley’s Believe It or Not
The Misfits, The Devil’s Rain
The current incarnation of the Danzig-less Misfits is cheesy, charges you a lot of money to see them live, and something you’d otherwise avoid — not unlike the Ripley’s “museum” in Times Square. Fittingly, the Misfits’ current drummer is nicknamed “Chupacabra.”