No Wave Know-How

No Wave at Knitting Factory.

No Wave on BoingBoing.

From the publishers of No Wave City website:

You may know it as a musical and artistic movement that lasted a few short years at the end of the 70s. Or perhaps you know it as the loud, atonal noise that sounded like a rejection of everything. Maybe you know it as the subject of two new books, one by Pitchfork writer Marc Masters and the other by noise rock legend Thurston Moore. Of course, you might not even know what No Wave is at all.

In fact, No Wave began as a strange amalgam of punk rock discontent, boundless free jazz-style exploration, and outsider art’s embrace of anything weird or unusual. At the time New York’s Lower East Side was a burnt out hull, abandoned to poverty and neglect. In other words, perfect for a burgeoning artist’s movement whose members had neither the time nor the desire to work. Artist’s and musicians – or anybody aspiring to be one or the other – could live there for practically nothing. A single shift at a strip club or lunch counter could support a week’s worth of film making, painting, or band practice. The creativity that came out of that short period, in that one small part of one city, rivals the total combined output of the decade that followed.

As quickly as the No Wave scene flared up, it burnt out and disappeared. From its ashes rose bands like Sonic Youth, Talking Heads, and Blondie, but the No Wave artists themselves vanished before anyone could draw a bead on them. Over the past 25 years, No Wave hasn’t been so much as whispered about. Now a new generation of informed music lovers and culture hounds has rediscovered the abrasive cool of bands like James Chance & The Contortions, DNA and Mars. A reunited Teenage Jesus & The Jerks just played to a sold-out crowd at the Knitting Factory. The day before, people lined up around the block for a No Wave art exhibit at the KS art gallery in Manhattan.

It is with a perfect sense of timing then that we are proud to announce the launch of No Wave City. NWC is an online gathering place for the originals, the new generation, the fans, the musicians, the experts and the outcasts of the No Wave movement. The site is stocked with original artwork, archived video and audio footage, news and tour dates, and supports interactive commentary for all visitors. The site will feature contributions from the scene’s reigning experts, new projects from the godfathers of the movement, as well as a return to No Wave’s glory days.

Welcome to No Wave City the internet’s gritty downtown neighborhood. The rent is cheap, artists are welcome and you can smoke anywhere.

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