Yep, here it is: “No Wave: Post-Punk. Underground. New York. 1976-1980,” a visual history by Thurston Moore and Byron Coley. It got reviewed in New York Times and everything.
This is the kind of book that I sneer at (a coffee table book about underground music is almost as bad as a coffee table book about coffee tables) but actually am really excited about. Suicide! James Chance! DNA! Pictures of Eno hanging out producing while “No New York“! Lydia Lunch ranting! Gah!
Lydia sums up her era like nobody else (go read rest of excerpt here):
Beneath the scowls of derision, the antagonism and acrimony, and the nearly unbearable shrillness that was our soundtrack, we were howling with delight, laughing like lunatics in the madhouse that was New York City, thrilled to be rubbing up against the freaks and other outcasts, who somehow, for some unknowable reason, had all decided to run to land’s end and all at once scream their bloody heads off.
—Lydia Lunch, July 10, 2007
Skip to 2008: Thurston getting a latte and rubbing up against the outcasts? Perhaps not. But Thurston is still cool, though. No, I’ll never knock Thurston on this blog. Speaking of Thurston, noise isn’t dead and his participation in the ongoing scene in the city proves it. A few years ago in a loft in Long Island City I saw my friend Dom of Prurient and Hospital Productions play a show with Thurston benefiting some hipster/noise-centric magazine. It was a heavy bill. I was mesmerzied by one band playing in particular: Magik Markers. Lead singer Elisa Ambrogio was like a hyperactive child crossed with a less sexed up Lydia Lunch and screamed and cowered simultaneously. Thankfully they have not faded into complete obscurity but have actually begun to put on some highly listenable albums. Here’s a track from their new album BOSS, produced by, of all people, Mr. Lee Renaldo.
Lastly, I do know some freaks who still live in Alphabet City and they don’t go to Starbucks: