“In the late 1970s,
Marc Masters makes this statement in his 2008 book No Wave in reference to those at the white hot center of anti-commercial and underground music, film, and performances in the city during the ’70s and ’80s. Scraping guitars, reused and scratched film reel, guttural screaming, trash sculptures—anything went, so long as it was raw and abrasive.
Out of it came bands that would influence industrial music, darkwave, and metal such as Sonic Youth, Swans, Birthday Party, Foetus, and Lydia Lunch. What connected these artists wasn’t a genre or movement, but an attitude. Lydia Lunch said it best to Masters when describing what it was that drove her performances:
“I had to document my insanity, my anger, my history, in a very direct and specific way. I had to document what was driving me insane.”
When these bands performed their lives and resulting emotions were immediate. Genesis P-Orridge of Throbbing Gristle’s (considered to be No Wave but not part of the
It’s this type of staged performance that Jim—a leather jacket with a quiff from
Inside the club, the bouncer offers you “red candy” and “green candy” before you head on in. As a result, you’re now high on some drug, so you can stand and listen to the band inside but, inevitably, will end up wrecking the joint, or yourself. Hang out in the dingy back rooms with the smokers, piss in a urinal next to an unconscious dude, or try various other acts of stupidity that only a person out of their mind would dare. You win, you lose; it doesn’t matter.
Dorian’s tribute to the No Wave performers of
You can play No Wave in your browser right here.