Saturday, 3 November 2007

So, people are into No Wave again.

Just in time to be slightly too late to help my award-winning* MA thesis come two great new books about New York's late '70s/early '80s No Wave scene. This is good not only because information about bands like Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, the Contortions, and my beloved Suicide and Swans is super hard to come by, but also because if people become more aware of No Wave groups perhaps over-cool English young people will stop giving their musical projects names that are for all intents and purposes THE SAME FUCKING NAME AS A BAND FROM 25 YEARS AGO. (Theoretical Girl, I'm looking at you. I'm sure you're a lovely young lady, and your music has a nice Camera Obscura (the Scottish one, not the Troubleman Records one) thing going on, but SERIOUSLY? If I was Theoretical GIRLS member Glenn Branca I would bitchslap you with the power of my 100 Guitars symphony.)

First on the Christmas list is Black Dog Publishing's No Wave, written by music writer-y dude (Pitchfork, Village Voice, The Wire) Marc Masters and edited by The Wire editor Rob Young. It comes out in December, and promises pictures, interviews, and "ephemera." You can find out more on Black Dog Publishing's No Wave Book MySpace page, which also includes some excellent footage from live DNA, Suicide, Teenage Jesus, and Contortions performances.

Next up is the Thurston Moore/ Forced Exposure writer Byron Coley's No Wave coffee table book, which calls No Wave: Post-punk. Underground. New York. 1976-1980, which may or may not be published under a less Beat Poet-ish title when it comes out in June 2008. The introduction is attributed to Lydia Lunch, winner of my "Who's Scarier: Lydia Lunch or Siouxsie Sioux" bar survey of 2004. It's supposed to be mainly pictures, and I hope there are lots of pictures of young Lydia's vast array of hairstyles. Lookin' good, girlfriend!!

Check it:

(Extra points for the levitating Siamese.)

From what I can gather, both of these books got a sizable amount of assistance from the lovely Weasel Walter, the mastermind behind the Flying Luttenbachers, Lake of Dracula, and To Live and Shave in LA, as well as the totally invaluable New York No Wave Archive. I especially love him because he was kind enough to give me some last minute quotes for the aforementioned award-winning* MA thesis. His is probably one of the best websites ever, with tons of great pictures and information.

*Not strictly true.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Two things.

I'm not over-cool. I'm a twat. And secondly I'd never heard of Theoretical Girls until it was too late. So you can blame it on my lack of no-wave knowledge. If only this book you speak of had been around three years ago. :) I do hope I don't get bitch slapped. That'd hurt.

love from Theoretical Girl x