No Wave traces the history of this influential genre from its most famous names down to its many offshoots and sidetracks. From early pioneers like Suicide and Glenn Branca, to forgotten treasures like Red Transistor and Bush Tetras, No Wave charts all the cracks and crevices of a surprisingly diverse movement.
Flashing through the New York underground in the late 1970s, No Wave was the ultimate anti-movement. Its bands consisted of artists and poets untrained in music, looking to explode rock and disappear before the smoke cleared. The primary perpetrators - Lydia Lunch's howling Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, James Chance's skeletal Contortions, the dark-noise groups Mars and DNA - all drew on primitivism, performance art, and the avant-garde. They were best known for short songs and even shorter life-spans. The book also delves into No Wave cinema, a vibrant underground scene where figures like Jim Jarmusch, Nick Zedd, and Steve Buscemi first cut their teeth.
Illustrated with concert photos, record covers, and other ephemera of the times, and filled with quotes from those who were there, No Wave is the definitive guide to a genre whose sounds and ideas still vibrate through alternative culture today.