Blondiefest: One Way Or Another, Celebrating The Cultural Legacy Of Blondie

220px-Blondie_-_Parallel_Lines

Blondiefest: One Way or Another at the ICA will survey and celebrate the cultural legacy of Blondie and their iconic front-woman Debbie Harry.

Blondie is one of the greatest bands ever to come out of New York. Debbie Harry and the band define their epoch – their records and image are synonymous with their time and place. Beginning in New York in the mid-70s’ punk and new-wave scenes, by the late 70s and early 80s their eclectic musical style, compelling rhythms and seductive pop melodies, had propelled them from the fringes to the mainstream.

Founded by Debbie Harry and guitarist Chris Stein, Blondie have released nine studio albums. And despite a fifteen-year hiatus (from 1982 to 1997), they are back touring to sell-out audiences, and have worldwide record sales of over 40 million. More than 35 years after it was founded, the band remains hugely popular, relevant and culturally significant.

“More than any other act, Blondie represented the synthesis of New York City’s multiple influences. Raised on Village folk and underground rock, the girl groups and glam, they were the only band of the 1970s CBGBs punk scene to embrace both disco and hip-hop. Without Blondie, pop music would have sounded so very very different – and it wouldn’t have looked half as good, either.”

Tony Fletcher, author of All Hopped Up and Ready To Go:
Music from the Streets of New York 1927-77

Debbie Harry also has a prolific and distinguished 30-year film career that includes some remarkable movies – think Videodrome and Hairspray, both of which the ICA will be screening at Blondiefest.

Blondiefest programme highlights include:
• In-conversation between Clem Burke (legendary drummer with Blondie) and television presenter and journalist Katie Puckrik
• Screening of David Cronenberg’s Videodrome
• Tony Fletcher and David Quantick talk on Blondie and the 70s NYC music scene
• Blondie as fashion icons debate with BEAT Magazine’s Hanna Hanra, designer Luella Bartley and journalist Francesca Burns
• Screening of John Waters’ Hairspray
• Screening of Tales from the Darkside – the Movie, introduced by funk and punk legend Chaz Jankel with journalist Sophie Heawood
• Music and stories from Manhattan with Philip Rambow
• ‘Blondieoke’ in the ICA Bar

For the complete Blondiefest programme, please see the ICA website.

Blondiefest will be the fifth in a series of festivals held at the ICA concentrating on the work of a specific musical artist, following on from the success of Bowiefest and Princefest in 2012, Smithsfest on 29 and 30 March 2013, and MickRonsonfest on 27 April 2013. Future ICA ‘fests’ include Iggyfest on 22 and 23 November 2013 and KateBushfest in early 2014.

Blondiefest is curated by Tom Wilcox, Associate Curator ICA and Hanna Hanra, Editor in Chief of BEAT Magazine.

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