Hilly Kristal’s CBGB is known as the house that gave birth to punk rock, where bands like The Ramones, Television, The Dead Boys and Talking Heads all got their start. Though the club closed down in 2006 with a final performance by Patti Smith, and Kristal passed away in 2007, the spirit of the club lives on in the inaugural CBGB Festival: 300 bands at 40 different venues, film screenings, a spirits festival and a music conference featuring Nirvana’s Krist Novoselic as the keynote speaker. Bands like Duff McKagan’s Loaded, David Johansen (NY Dolls), Superchunk, Fishbone and more will be playing, and be sure to catch highlights like Brooklyn’s own Violent Bullshit (awesome hardcore band featuring members of Panthers and Les Savy Fav) playing at The Flat in Williamsburg Thursday night (RSVP here). Also, if you are looking for something truly different, don’t miss the comedic and musical stylings of Reggie Watts at the Bell House on Friday night at 7:30. Watts exploded on the scene a few years ago when he opened for Conan’s national tour and blew audiences away with his crazily brilliant performances featuring many accents and an expertly manipulated loop machine. Tickets are $25 and the program also includes Brooklyn-based bands Radio 4 and The Jigglers.