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Old 03.28.2007, 12:02 PM   #1
dazedcola
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Who do you all consider the best of this great, but short lived genre. Mars? DNA? James Chance and The Contortions? Theoretical Girls? Teenage Jesus and The Jerks? 8 eyed Spy? Bush Tetras?

I mean in terms of albums too, not just a few songs.Im interested to hear your opinions.
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Old 03.28.2007, 01:13 PM   #2
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Mars are my personal faves, although I think that Teenage Jesus and DNA were probably more important. I think Mars' 78 LP is the most consistent of all the No Wave albums. And 'Helen Forsdale' maybe its greatest song.
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Old 03.28.2007, 01:46 PM   #3
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Either the Contortions or Bush Tetras get my vote. But then I don't know; maybe that's because they're marginally less abrasive than the likes of Theoretical Girls. I appreciate some of the no wave era's slightly more melodic tendencies as opposed to noise for noise's sake a la DNA.

EDIT: Also, Liquid Liquid... good stuff.
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Old 03.28.2007, 01:56 PM   #4
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Branca gets my vote...the early releases and The Static and Theoretical Girls.
Teenage Jesus & The Jerks are okay.
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Old 03.28.2007, 02:16 PM   #6
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sway: it wasn't a historical fact, there was a certain rift between greewich and soho musicians, one camp said they were artists, the other said they were punkers and didn't like each other for the same reason; they weren't fond of each other, they really wanted to explode that negativity between, don't you know why there's only four bands in no new york?
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Old 03.28.2007, 02:40 PM   #7
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Branca / DNA
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Old 03.28.2007, 03:54 PM   #8
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Pretty much anything considered no wave is awesome, apart from Teenage Jesus and the Jerks. They are absolutely atrocious. I'm seeing the Contortions next month! ^_____________________^
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Old 03.28.2007, 03:58 PM   #9
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What about The Shadow Ring? They are the materialized discordance. I'd say in terms of haggardness they outshine anything else that got mentioned. Which doesn't necessarily mean I really like them just because of that.

I think Teenage Jesus gets my vote, but the whole no new york compilation kicks ass.
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Old 03.28.2007, 04:12 PM   #10
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Apologies for anyone already hip to what was going on back then/whoever's read Confusion Is Next... but yeah Everyneurotic's right; Brian Eno apparently effectively killed no wave because Lydia and Arto insisted he only include 4 artists on his comp. when he was originally gunning for 10 or 11. Obviously that kicked off a rift between the "included" East Village types and the rest (ie. SoHo bands), whereby the scene fractured into two; the more art-inclined (Branca and the boys) and the more punk-inclined (DNA et al). The result? Game over. No Wave wasn't really a singular movement per se.

I guess in retrospect though it's easy to group them all together, even if, say, Bush Tetras sound a thousand miles away from someone like Branca.
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Old 03.28.2007, 04:35 PM   #11
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I've never really dug deep enough into No-Wave to be any sort of an expert, I intend to try and get that 'No New York' compilation. I do love Glenn Branca though. 'The Ascension' is perhaps one of the most inspirational pieces of music ever written for guitar (as well as one of the most transporting). Its had a huge impact on how I view the guitar.

If it is as John Cage described it "Fasist" music...fasistism never sounded so Beauitiful.
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Old 03.28.2007, 05:31 PM   #12
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can i be a snob and say DNA? lionel is the best song ever -- danceable no wave? surely, you jest.
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Old 03.28.2007, 05:57 PM   #13
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Too 1337 for school, huh? I don't know... I appreciate a *lot* music, but DNA for me... it's really pretty average, I think.
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Old 03.28.2007, 07:00 PM   #14
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Mars and DNA
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Old 03.28.2007, 07:02 PM   #15
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DNA or The Contortions cause they're so much fucking fun.
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Old 03.28.2007, 08:36 PM   #16
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So long as you read this and agree that most people's definitions of "no wave" is far too limiting...


I define No Wave as an (anti-)aesthetic demarcation and not necessarily an idiomatic one -- that is to say that I think No Wave had (or has) more to do with a nihilistic, but sometimes totally sardonic outlook than a certain cliched guitar sound or drumbeat, as many would have you think. Simply put, the term could be utilized to define any negatively charged music destroying or disemboweling the tradition of Rock music and its platitudes through intentional noise, abstraction or atavism. By this stretch, prototypical groups like The Electric Eels, pre-first album Stooges, Suicide, Kongress, Debris, early Residents and Captain Beefheart seem to fit the parameters of term beautifully. Simultaneous to the original New York No Wave scene there was plenty of simultaneous/sympathetic activity in other places: Nervous Gender, Noh Mercy, The Screamers, Z'ev, Johanna Went, Chrome, Vox Pop a.o. on the West Coast; Einstuerzende Neubauten, Malaria a.o. in Berlin; Silver Abuse and Ama-Dots in the Midwest; Blurt, Glaxo Babies, Crawling Chaos, Whitehouse, Biting Tongues and (arguably) the whole Rough Trade brigade in the U.K.
1977 seems like a significant starting point with the concrete formation of a New York "scene" and perhaps even the coining of the actual term (need confirmation on this last point). It seemed like by 1981, most of the linchpin bands had self-destructed and that the focus, particularly in Manhattan, showed a trend veering away from primitive artistic catharsis of a group like Mars and towards somewhat dissonant or angular dance-based New Wave/No Wave/Punk Jazz/Disco/whatever (e.g. The Dance, Bush Tetras, James Blood Ulmer, Golden Palominos, Science, The Bloods, Liquid Liquid, Konk). The more intellectual, Jazz or Classical-derived "Downtown" improvisation/new music scene began to flourish at this point as well: John Zorn, Elliott Sharp, Bill Laswell, Fred Frith, etcetera. Later NYC groups like SWANS, Sonic Youth, V-Effect, Mofungo, Hi Sheriffs of Blue, Carbon, Live Skull, Rar At Rat R, etc. show varying degrees of influence of the "original" No Wave groups, but are not included here for sake of limitation.
The New York No Wave seemed directly reactionary to Punk Rock at times - Lydia Lunch in particular has been quoted as saying that Punk was basically just sped-up Chuck Berry riffs and that bands like Teenage Jesus and the Jerks were easily pushing the proverbial envelope off the edge of the desk and onto the floor. I'm not going to waste too much time arguing No Wave semantics with people -- take this site or leave it... I'm sure there are groups here that don't 'fit in' and other ones that someone else thinks are relevant that are missing; I'm game to hear these opinions or suggestions.
I am looking for more information on the groups Made in U.S.A., Devil Dogs (not the band on Crypt!), Information, Kongress, Jack Ruby, Screws, Antenna, Tone Death, Gynecologists, Rosa Yemen, 2 Yous, Daily Life, Loved By Millions, Youth-In-Asia, Blinding Headache, Boris Police Band, Arsenal, Morales, Circle X, Chinese Puzzle...
Please check back periodically for updates and please leave a message at the bulletin board.
- Weasel Walter, 1/15/00


...then perhaps we can come to recognize more than the same four bands over and over.
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Old 03.28.2007, 08:40 PM   #17
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Now, that having been said, I think a crowning no wave moment is the "Ward" LP by End Result.
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Old 03.28.2007, 09:07 PM   #18
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that's the legacy of no new york, people just think of those 4 bands.

yet, getting to hear the music of the other, more obscure bands is very difficult.
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Old 03.28.2007, 11:12 PM   #19
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And the gravity of New York makes people think of only New York.

What so many Chicago bands did in the mid-90's made no wave relevant again, and it made it all the world's to share.

If no wave had a sense of ideals as Weasel Walter explains, then it really must be bigger than a musical/artistic milieu in one place at a moment in history.
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Old 03.29.2007, 05:31 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ Rick
So long as you read this and agree that most people's definitions of "no wave" is far too limiting...


I define No Wave as an (anti-)aesthetic demarcation and not necessarily an idiomatic one -- that is to say that I think No Wave had (or has) more to do with a nihilistic, but sometimes totally sardonic outlook than a certain cliched guitar sound or drumbeat, as many would have you think. Simply put, the term could be utilized to define any negatively charged music destroying or disemboweling the tradition of Rock music and its platitudes through intentional noise, abstraction or atavism. By this stretch, prototypical groups like The Electric Eels, pre-first album Stooges, Suicide, Kongress, Debris, early Residents and Captain Beefheart seem to fit the parameters of term beautifully. Simultaneous to the original New York No Wave scene there was plenty of simultaneous/sympathetic activity in other places: Nervous Gender, Noh Mercy, The Screamers, Z'ev, Johanna Went, Chrome, Vox Pop a.o. on the West Coast; Einstuerzende Neubauten, Malaria a.o. in Berlin; Silver Abuse and Ama-Dots in the Midwest; Blurt, Glaxo Babies, Crawling Chaos, Whitehouse, Biting Tongues and (arguably) the whole Rough Trade brigade in the U.K.
1977 seems like a significant starting point with the concrete formation of a New York "scene" and perhaps even the coining of the actual term (need confirmation on this last point). It seemed like by 1981, most of the linchpin bands had self-destructed and that the focus, particularly in Manhattan, showed a trend veering away from primitive artistic catharsis of a group like Mars and towards somewhat dissonant or angular dance-based New Wave/No Wave/Punk Jazz/Disco/whatever (e.g. The Dance, Bush Tetras, James Blood Ulmer, Golden Palominos, Science, The Bloods, Liquid Liquid, Konk). The more intellectual, Jazz or Classical-derived "Downtown" improvisation/new music scene began to flourish at this point as well: John Zorn, Elliott Sharp, Bill Laswell, Fred Frith, etcetera. Later NYC groups like SWANS, Sonic Youth, V-Effect, Mofungo, Hi Sheriffs of Blue, Carbon, Live Skull, Rar At Rat R, etc. show varying degrees of influence of the "original" No Wave groups, but are not included here for sake of limitation.
The New York No Wave seemed directly reactionary to Punk Rock at times - Lydia Lunch in particular has been quoted as saying that Punk was basically just sped-up Chuck Berry riffs and that bands like Teenage Jesus and the Jerks were easily pushing the proverbial envelope off the edge of the desk and onto the floor. I'm not going to waste too much time arguing No Wave semantics with people -- take this site or leave it... I'm sure there are groups here that don't 'fit in' and other ones that someone else thinks are relevant that are missing; I'm game to hear these opinions or suggestions.
I am looking for more information on the groups Made in U.S.A., Devil Dogs (not the band on Crypt!), Information, Kongress, Jack Ruby, Screws, Antenna, Tone Death, Gynecologists, Rosa Yemen, 2 Yous, Daily Life, Loved By Millions, Youth-In-Asia, Blinding Headache, Boris Police Band, Arsenal, Morales, Circle X, Chinese Puzzle...
Please check back periodically for updates and please leave a message at the bulletin board.
- Weasel Walter, 1/15/00


...then perhaps we can come to recognize more than the same four bands over and over.

Yes, but then that "stretch" relies upon Walter's own definition itself being assumed correct. Categorising no wave too broadly invariably leads to one losing sight of the key characteristics of the movement itself.

Thus we have The Stooges and Suicide being defined as no wave acts by Walter which, in my humble opinion, is ludicrous. No wave was equal parts attitude as it was the music itself. To liken the vision and intent of the Stooges to someone like the Jerks is, at best, too generous and at worst a total misdirection. I see where Walter's coming from but he's not understood the visceral nature of the NY scene that differentiated it from the other, albeit relatively similar sounds, of the same period.
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