NEW - barely updated 11/09/07

as you may have noticed, i stoped updating this site a few years back. regardless, consider this site a hub for information. i am glad to hear from no wave period alumni and anybody else who has any questions or comments. the marc masters book "No Wave" (Black Dog Publishing) is due in mid-December. I helped do a bunch of editorial/factchecking stuff on this tome and I think people will find that it's the most definitive document of the topic to date. also coming soon is a photo and oral history book on no wave by thurston moore and byron coley. soul jazz is issuing yet another book to coincide with their "new york noise" compilation series.

ROIR has just issued two no wave-releated CDs by James Chance and Bush Tetras - read a review here

Just showed my No Wave video presentation to a packed house in Brooklyn, NY. In the audience were members of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Seconds, Ex-Models, Zs, Vaz and many others. It was preceeded by a lovely dinner with Contortions' guitarist Jody Harris, his wife and a bunch of friends. There is talk of presenting the show again in San Francisco, New York and Pittsburgh next year.

past presentations:
University of Louisville, KY - January 2004
Alamo Drafthouse - Austin, TX - May 2004
Hemlock Tavern - San Francisco, CA - July 2004
San Francisco Art Institute - April 2005
Ocularis - Brooklyn, NY - December 2005

1.5 hours lecture w/ video on the New York No Wave featuring footage of the Contortions, Teenage Jesus, DNA, 8 Eyed Spy, Raybeats, Von LMO, Lounge Lizards, Friction, Bush Tetras and more. If you are interested in this presentation, please contact me and make an offer. Please keep in mind that I will only make the presentation in person.

I'm interested in trading video for video, but not interested in giving people free dubs, so please don't ask me for them. I don't sell copies of this footage.

Still no updates for a while. Sorry! No time. Trying to live in the present is a full-time job. I am deliberating posting mp3 samples of rare live material by most of the major bands as well as some short video clips. Hopefully my bandwidth will allow it. It would be a nice way to make this page a better resource . . . thanks to all the people who were there back in the day for writing to me and giving me more tidbits of info.


An official plug for the new DNA collection on No More Records: This (almost complete) release includes beautifully remastered versions of the Lust/Unlust 7", A Taste of DNA 12", the No New York and Fruit of the Original Sin comp tracks, a previously unreleased studio track as well as a ton of previously unheard, revelatory live tracks spanning the history of the band. (The only thing missing is a track called "Pompeii" that was to be included on the never-released Ze Records Grutzi Elvis soundtrack album (w/ Contortions, Teenage Jesus, Lizzy Mercier, Boris Police Band, Eno, etc.) -- nobody I have met has seen a copy of this tape -- if you have it, please get in touch.) A range of perspectives by Glenn O'Brien, Byron Coley and Jason Gross as well as photos. lyrics and images of fliers are contained in the 14 page booklet. For ordering info, click the image above. Now you can forget about paying hundreds for the vinyl if you don't already have it . . .


I don't ever work on this page anymore, so please enjoy it for what it is -- an archive of photos and not much more. If a link doesn't work, it's because there's nothing connected to it. I've noticed my distinctively captioned scans all over the place lately (a Lydia Lunch bootleg, a Nick Zedd video box, etc.) and magazines like The Wire, BB Gun, and Go Mag (Italy) have used them too. I think it's great. I wish I would have given the photographers their photo credits initially, but I just don't have the time to dig up all the originals and change them. So if you took any of these pictures . . . sorry! Regards to Julia Gorton, Stephanie Chernikowski, Roberta Bayley and anyone else.

The members of Mars recently reissued their studio works in their original audio state as a CD. I had the personal pleasure performing the digital remastering of Glenn Branca's The Ascension and Lesson No. 1 for reissues on Acute Records.

12/26/02 -- I'm slowly working out some bugs in this site. Still don't have a ton of time to deal with it! I added my liner notes for the new reissue of BUY The Contortions/Off White in the Contortions "history" section (it's funny, but the excellent BB Gun magazine interview with James Chance beat me to the street by a mere week!!!) It was nice to talk to many of the musicians from that group and get the story half-way straight for once and all. Tiger Style Records is doing a James Chance box set early next year with these tracks and much more, as well as liner notes by Glenn O'Brien. . . Acute Records in New York recently put out a retrospective of recordings by Theoretical Girls, although this release is exclusively slanted towards the songwriting of Jeffrey Lohn. . . Apparently the members of DNA would like to see a reissue of their catalog, but it's going to take some effort to legitimately license the material from their legal sources . . . Rumor has it that a reissue of Glenn Branca's "The Ascension" is in the works . . . Several alumni from the scene have dropped me e-mails lately including: Bobby Ryan (Von LMO band), Julia Gorton (photographer), Chris Nelson (Mofungo, etc), Stuart Argabright (Futants, Ike Yard, etc.) and it has been quite interesting to have been in touch with folks like Lydia Lunch, James Chance, Pat Place, Glenn Branca, Mark Cunningham, Otto Von Ruggins (Kongress), Don Christensen, James Nares and Dave Hofstra.

By the way, if a link is seems to be dead on this sight, it's because there's nothing there yet, so don't bother tell me about it.

2/26/02 -- some new pics and rescans. Look around.

Sorry I haven't had time in the last few years to work on this thing, but that's what you get for free. I'm in the process of writing liner notes for another reissue of Buy The Contortions/Off White, so hopefully I'll glean more little nuggets of trivia from the various musicians I'll be in contact with. Hopefully at some point I'll have enough server space to post some video clips. I've got a lot of great stuff I'd like everybody to see ... if anyone has stuff to trade, let me know. Email address is below

This site has been up for almost two years now and I think it's high time to start adding actual useful information (or trivia) to it. I've been researching various aspects of the so-called New York No Wave scene/movement/phenomena since 1988. It has occurred to me that I should consider writing a definitive book, but that is a commitment I find way too daunting to engage. Somebody else can have the dubious 'glory'... Meanwhile I intend to make some of my research accessible here, including lists of relevant historical gigs as well as biographies, articles and interviews. There will also be plenty more new images in the future.

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


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