:: Buzzwords

No New York

“No Wave was a short-lived but influential art music and art scene that thrived briefly in New York City during the late 1970s and early 1980s alongside the punk subculture. The term No Wave is in part satiric wordplay rejecting the commercial elements of the then-popular New Wave genre. The term also highlights the music’s experimental nature: No Wave music belonged to no fixed style or genre. In many ways, No Wave is not a clearly definable musical genre with consistent features. Various groups drew on such disparate styles as funk, jazz, blues, punk rock, avant garde, and experimental. There are, however, some elements common to most No Wave music, such as abrasive atonal sounds, repetitive driving rhythms, and a tendency to emphasize musical texture over melody. No wave lyrics often focused on nihilism and confrontation. No Wave is often better defined in terms of the artistic environment in which it thrived and the character of performances typical to its context. No Wave performances drew heavily on performance art and as a result were often both highly theatrical and minimalistic in their renditions.”

The Weaklings, Dennis Cooper‘s wonderful blog, hosted a No Wave day the other day. Included in the (incomplete) No Wave line-up was Sonic Youth‘s ‘Death Valley ’69’ [above]. You can read a new poem by Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore right here in 3:AM.

First posted: Wednesday, May 14th, 2008.

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