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Old 06-08-2011, 04:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default The No Wave Movement... Reviewed

The No Wave Movement



I’ve been thinking about writing a journal or starting an album review thread for quite some time, but… I have been hesitant in doing so due to my lack of experience in reviewing albums. After a few months, however, I worked up enough courage to actually start one. So, why not choose a topic that I have a passion for and that has been relatively neglected? It’s obvious that I chose the No Wave movement (hence the fucking title).

Alright, so… allow me to briefly establish what the No Wave movement actually is/was. Essentially, it was an art movement that took place in New York City’s underground from the late 70s to the early 80s. It covered certain art forms, such as: film, performance art, music, and contemporary art. Of course, the purpose of this thread is to review the musical aspect of the movement and not the others (sorry to disappoint you). And now comes the almost cliché statement that is normally associated with No Wave… Even though it was merely a “blip” upon the screen of musical history, it had a profound influence on many musicians to come. To be specific, it only lasted around five to eight years (it varies), but it covered a vast array of genres in the process, like: noise rock, synthpop/minimal-synth, funk, post-punk, surf rock, jazz, alternative rock, blues, opera, industrial music, avant-prog, art rock, various forms of punk rock, and avant-garde/experimental music in general. I’m not going to get into too much detail, though. If you wish to know more, then just Google it or watch the Kill Your Idols documentary (highly recommended). '

Here are the bands and musicians that I will be reviewing:

3 Teens Kill 4
8-Eyed Spy
► Beirut Slump
Bound & Gagged
Bush Tetras
► Chinese Puzzle
► Circle X
► Circus Mort
► Come On
► The Dance
► Dark Day
► The Del-Byzanteens
► DNA
► Foetus
► Friction
► Glenn Branca
► Hi Sheriffs of Blue
► Ike Yard
► impLOG
► Inflatable Boy Clams
► James Chance and his collaborations and projects (I.e. the Contortions, the Blacks, Flaming Demonics)
► Jill Kroesen
► Jody Harris
► John Gavanti (Mars & DNA)
► Judy Nylon
► Liquid Liquid
► Lizzy Mercier Descloux
► The Lounge Lizards
► Mars
► Massacre
► Model Citizens
► Mofungo
► Oil Tasters
► Plebs
► Pulsallama
► Raybeats
► Rhys Chatham
► Rosa Yemen
► Seems Twice
► Sonic Youth
► The Stick Men
► The Static
► Swans
► Suicide
► Teenage Jesus & the Jerks
► Theoretical Girls
► Tools You Can Trust
►Tunnel Canary
► UJ3RK5
► UT
► V-Effect
► Von Lmo
► Y Pants

I realize that I might possibly be missing a few acts, and for that I apologize. You may also see that a few bands aren’t technically from the No Wave movement, such as AKA, Friction, Tools You Can Trust, and Tunnel Canary, but some people may unofficially associate them with the movement or claim that they had the “No Wave spirit,” etc. So, I’m adding them anyways…

Here is what I am going to do… I’m going to go through the entire list alphabetically. I’ll most likely cover one or two LPs, EPs, or singles (some of them didn‘t record that much). I will also give a bit of information about them as well as a photograph… Now, I realize now that locating some of the recorded material and information may be a bit problematic, but I will do the best I can.

Quick note… I may end up reviewing some of the new “no wave” bands in the future, but I think I have more than enough on my plate for now.

Last edited by Cenotaph; 06-17-2011 at 11:51 AM.
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Old 06-08-2011, 04:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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yes!!! If you tackle this, you are the man.
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Old 06-09-2011, 12:39 AM   #3 (permalink)
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3 Teens Kill 4 (1980 - 1983/84)


General Information

While I have yet to see a creditable source label this band as "no wave," they were a New York post-punk/art punk band that was active roughly around the same period of time that the movement was. Not much is really known about this band, though, except for the fact they featured a semi-famous artist, David Wojnarowicz, and the fact that "3/5 of the band was gay"... Not entirely sure WHY that keeps showing up every time I look for information on them, but it's something I guess.

Band Members

►Doug Bressler
►Brian Butterick
►William Gerstel
►Julie Hair
►Jessie Hultberg
►David Wajnarowicz

Album Review

No Motive (1983)



Track Listing

1. Hold Up.................................. 3:57
2. Tell Me Something Good......... 4:29
3. 5/4 ........................................ 5:52
4. Crime Drama .......................... 2:50
5. Hunt/Bean Song..................... 7:48
6. Hunger ................................... 1:58

Total Length: 26:44

No Motive, 3 Teens Kill 4's only album, isn't really what I would consider to be a "gem" of the No Wave movement, but... it's certainly a decent post-punk album. Its repertoire of sound includes that of: sampling and tape looping, synthesizers, guitar, bass, and various toys and electronics. The percussion in most of the tracks tends to be a bit uniform and typical of that of most post-punk albums, but their unique and whimsical use of toys makes up for this. The songs themselves, for the most part, tend to be catchy and sometimes safely-structured. However, tracks like "Hunger" and "Tell Me Something Good" lean away from this mentality. "Hunger" tends to be very fast-paced and electronically noisy, while "Tell Me Something Good" sort of adopts an industrial-type approach to its sound/beat. Topics range anywhere from robbery ("Hold Up") to physical appearance ("Bean Song").

I personally got some enjoyment out of listening to the album, but I really don't see myself playing it a lot in the future. Let me also point out that I wouldn't necessarily recommend this to anyone wanting to get into No Wave music; however, I would recommend it to someone who loves artsy post-punk.

My Rating: 6.5/10



For those of you who managed to read through this damn thing... here is your prize: a picture of David Wojnarowicz.



(Enjoy.)

Last edited by Cenotaph; 06-09-2011 at 06:19 PM.
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Old 06-09-2011, 06:29 AM   #4 (permalink)
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i'll probably be checking out some of the stuff you review here

been always curious about that movement
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Old 06-09-2011, 07:44 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Besides Sonic Youth and Swans none of those ring any bells with me so I look forward to having my horizons broadened.
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Old 06-09-2011, 07:53 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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I'm looking forward to the rest of this. I'm already familiar with a few of the bands but there's quite a few I haven't heard.
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Old 06-09-2011, 02:27 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I am really excited for this, looks awesome so far
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Old 06-09-2011, 02:59 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Pat View Post
3 Teens Kill 4 (1980 - 1983/84)


General Information

While I have yet to see a creditable source label this band as "no wave," they were a New York post-punk/art punk band that was active roughly around the same period of time that the movement was. Not much is really known about this band, though, except for the fact they featured a semi-famous artist, David Wojnarowicz, and the fact that "3/5 of the band was gay"... Not entirely sure WHY that keeps showing up every time I look for information on them, but it's something I guess.

Band Members

►Doug Bressler
►Brian Butterick
►William Gerstel
►Julie Hair
►Jessie Hultberg
►David Wajnarowicz

Album Review

No Motive (1983)



Track Listing

1. Hold Up.................................. 3:57
2. Tell Me Something Good......... 4:29
3. 5/4 ........................................ 5:52
4. Crime Drama .......................... 2:50
5. Hunt/Bean Song..................... 7:48
6. Hunger ................................... 1:58

Total Length: 26:44

No Motive, 3 Teens Kill 4's only album, isn't really what I would consider to be a "gem" of the No Wave movement, but... it's certainly a decent post-punk album. Its repertoire of sound includes that of: sampling and tape looping, synthesizers, guitar, bass, and various toys and electronics. The percussion in most of the tracks tends to be a bit uniform and typical of that of most post-punk albums, but their unique and whimsical use of toys makes up for this. The songs themselves, for the most part, tend to be catchy and sometimes safely-structured. However, tracks like "Hunger" and "Tell Me Something Good" lean away from this mentality. "Hunger" tends to be very fast-paced and electronically noisy, while "Tell Me Something Good" sort of adopts an industrial-type approach to its sound/beat. Topics range anywhere from robbery ("Hold Up") to physical appearance ("Bean Song").

I personally got some enjoyment out of listening to the album, but I really don't see myself playing it a lot in the future. Let me also point out that I wouldn't necessarily recommend this to anyone wanting to get into No Wave music; however, I would recommend it to someone who loves artsy post-punk.

My Rating: 6.5/10



For those of you who managed to read through this damn thing... here is your prize: a picture of David Wojnarowicz.



(Enjoy.)
Love to see a review on Circle X a very underrated and amazing act.
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Old 06-09-2011, 06:06 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Side Note # 1


Influences of the No Wave Movement

► Suicide
► The Velvet Underground
► Several avant-garde jazz/free jazz musicians, such as Sun Ra
► Krautrock bands, such as Can and Faust
► Captain Beefheart
► Protopunk bands, such as The Stooges

Allow me to also inform you that it is believed that the No Wave movement took place around 1977-1980, but some say it took place around 1978-1982. It doesn't look like a considerable difference, but... trust me when I say that there is. Many of the bands didn't last very long, and many of them didn't record much. By omitting one or two years, I would possibly be dropping anywhere from ten to fifteen (maybe more, maybe fewer) bands and artists. Hell, they deny there even was a movement, so you can kind of see how vague this whole situation is... Anyways, to sort of clear up this mess, I'll begin to highlight band/artist names in red to indicate whether they were "officially" apart of the movement or not. To be specific, I'll be highlighting the acts that released/recorded material in the Lower East Side of New York City between 1978 to 1980. The other bands and artists are possibly either Pre-No Wave (which is basically just Suicide), Post-No Wave (like Swans), or bands from other areas of the world, but shared similarities/same outlook on music (like Friction and Tunnel Canary). If I am unsure, then I will just highlight it in green.
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Old 06-09-2011, 09:30 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Can't wait for the Suicide review, listened to A Way of Life for the first time recently and loved the hell out of it. Rev & Vega are geniuses.
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