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No Wave: Post-Punk. Underground. New York 1976-1980. Hardcover – 1 Jul 2008

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: HNA Books (1 July 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810995433
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810995437
  • Product Dimensions: 25.4 x 2.5 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 635,216 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


An extraordinary book. -- Uncut Magazine

It reads as an affecting love letter to a city. -- Observer Music Monthly

About the Author

Thurston Moore is one of the founding members of the iconic rock band Sonic Youth as well as a music writer and archivist. His previous books have been very successful and garnered much media attention. Byron Coley is a music writer and critic for many music magazines and web sites.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Delvis Memphistopheles TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 20 Mar. 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
No wave was one step further away from the Rhythm n blues of punk into sculpturing noise into waves. This book charts the impact of a group of kids and young adults taking forward a belief with minimal musical training and screaming anger into each others bodies in New York. Drawing on a fusion of art, punk and avant garde, the Contortions, Teenage Jesus, Mars, DNA and all of the others created a huge sonic impact built on the legacy of Vega/Rev audience confrontation.

The results were stunning in the legacy, affecting like Kraftwerk a huge chunk of everything whih came after. Out of the mire tumbled Foetus, Neubauten, Laibach, Swans, Sonic Youth, Nick Cave in fact anything worthwhile and having some form of meaning in the 80s/90's to present.

This book compiled through the photos assembled by Thurston Moore is a pictory of events now rapidly fading into art/music history, paradoxically standing out because it has not been equalled since.

This book appeals to those who were around at the inception. It also should be part of the younger generations lexicon to remind them the older generation were at one time vital and full of meaning and they had a purpose. Then it may motivate people to do something or themselves. Looking back is a way to go forward, if only to learn the lessons so they are no longer repeated.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Charles Miller on 13 July 2012
Format: Hardcover
It certainly was a special time and place, but no one knew it then. As previous reviewers indicated, this book represents the best documentation available for this unparalleled time and place: the late 70s in New York City. Having lived in the East Village during that time frame, I can attest to the absolute authenticity of this title. With a plethora of photographs as well as authoritative text, this is as close as you can get to being there. Additionally, the complex and incestuous ties between the people that operated within the No Wave movement are well discussed here, to include a two-page chart, clearly depicting the relationships between these bands.

Of important note is the fact this Japanese publication was also released in Japan, but with the addition of perhaps the rarest "bonus" CD of all time. It features pre-No New York (the first official album title and produced by Brian Eno) concert performances by The Contortions (February 1978) as well as early DNA (November 1978). Both shows were recorded at CBGBs. While the sound is just okay, to hear these early documents of such an important musical movement is priceless. Strangely, this CD is not included in the U.S. version, however, is available from Amazon in Japan. The book is exactly the same as the publication available in the U.S. and includes a presumably Japanese translation of the same as a second book included in the package along with the CD. It is quite expensive, however, is truly worth the extra expense. Click on the Japan link at the bottom of any Amazon page, when there, click English and search for it. If the book without the CD is 5-stars (and it is), the Japanese version is certainly 6-stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By T.M.A on 26 Mar. 2011
Format: Hardcover
I never knew about the No Wave scene until I read this book. But I got it because I liked the photos and art within - facile I know! But this book explains the scene fully using a mixture of first-hand interviews, art and photos. The book is worth just buying for the photos and poster art.

What makes this book so interesting is that really lifts the lid on an underground scene that would otherwise would be unrecorded.

If you love music history or love poster art - then I could not recommend this more highly!

However, if you don't like art kids - then it's probably not for you.

Anyway, buy it!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 10 reviews
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
eye candy and history 15 July 2008
By David M. Madden - Published on
Format: Hardcover
1970's New York, a time of polemic filth and fury with displaced art kids crashing head first into the detritus to form bands without which we would have no Rapture, Yeah Yeah Yeahs or (insert a hundred names here). Framed around this incredible gathering of black & whites are interviews (conducted by the Thurston Moore and writer/editor/et cetera Byron Coley) with artists deep in the thick of said scene (i.e. James Chance, Glen Branca, Ikue Mori, Robert Quine and the ever-verbose Lydia Lunch), club owners, iconic groupies and passers-by, including Brian Eno who gives his perspective on the immortal Eno "produced" No New York compilation. Having been active participants during this era, the authors do a spectacular job of detailing the tenuous camaraderie, insular tension and the seeds of No Wave's demise. Not simply for those who know the difference between "No Wave" and "New Wave", the eye candy and history lessons make for an illuminating, universally appealing document.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
The scene that never was 15 July 2009
By Lovblad - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Basically if you were listening to music at the end of the 70's, beginning of the 80's, you had heard of all these people. Their records were available in most record stores world-wide, but nothing really became directly of it. This record documents this scene very well: we see a NY underground scene that intermingled with then and future celebrities (Iggy, Blondie, etc) but somehow did not connect. The whole scene centered finally on the Eno-produced No New York LP containing music by the more prominent acts in this book. While Eno seemingly had an eye on the future appraisal of the scene and merely wanted to document it (which shows as I wrote that EVERYBODY had heard of this scene, even my mom...). This book is surprising because while most of the rock books especially the ones covering this era tend to use mostly the same material and sources, this is fairly original stuff. It is based mostly (a little like PLease Kill Me) on personal recollections but without necessarily having a storyline. This does not matter since Moore and his collaborator get the vive of this underground scene beautifully. It is more a photo book with some essential anectdotes. Retrospectively a lot of intellectual bs has been put on the music that was really partly unlistenable and really hilarious stuff to annoy your parents or friends in the 70's who might like their rock music to be listenable. Mars and DNA is particularly atrocious as is some of the Lydia Lunch stuff (she was at the time the arhetypical indie queen and seems to have been a bad influence on everyone). Arto Lindsay ended up doing almost commercial stuff nowadays and Lizzy Mercier Descloux (God Bless her) had a huge afro-beat hit in France with "ou sont passees les gazelles". James Chance was more interesting and apparently still tours France. Anyway this is a splendid book, lovingly done by two people involved in a scene that existed while I was a teenager. I still have all these records and they are to be cherished because they really pushed some (not always artistic} boundaries by being simply too extreme. It was a scene that took itself way too seriously but which had some really very colourful characters. The book does indirectly explain on the one hand why they were extremely influential on the people who heard them, bought their records but failed to go beyond that for recognition. Anyway, it is also quite cheap for the work they have put into it and this kind of work must be supported.
Lesgal... 21 Sept. 2009
By Marcos T. N. Andrade - Published on
Verified Purchase
Legal o livro... um pouco chato o lance de ter um monte de entrevistas no meio da narrativa. Vc está lendo no fluxo, de repente um sujeito começa a dar um depoimento e passam 2 ou 3 páginas de fotos (incríveis, por sinal)... aí vc já não sabe exatamente onde, quando, etc... E podia ter mais free jazz (esse rótulo é um lixo, mas da pra entender do que estou falando). Não é o foco, mas as duas cenas estavam mais do que conectadas e isso é apenas mencionado.

Vale pelas fotos e o texto é lesgal... Se vc usar ele como "coffee table book" na sua sala de estar e uma menina chegar lá e não te achar um cara sensacional por vc ter ele ao invés de um do Matisse ou um de decoração de interiores é porque ela não vale a pena!!!
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Something bizarre to behold 14 July 2008
By Midwest Book Review - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Best described as a mish mash of art and punk rock, the No Wave movement of the late 1970s was something bizarre to behold. "No Wave: Post Punk. Underground. New York. 1976-1980." is a look at the brief movement and those who were behind it, including James Chance and Lydia Lunch among others. Collected from oral history and interviews conducted by the authors, and enhanced with dozens of black and white photographs, "No Wave: Post Punk. Underground. New York. 1976-1980." is highly recommended for community library music collections.

Diane C. Donovan
California Bookwatch
GREAT no wave history in photos!!! 19 July 2013
By N. Smith - Published on
Verified Purchase
Absolutely the best writing on this largely forgotten and GREAT downtown NYC rock scene! DNA, Teenage Jesus And The Jerks, Mars and The Contortions (the "big four") are the tip of the iceberg here and there are so many GREAT photos it's hard to believe I'm actually really looking at this in my hands and that I have not been transported back in time to 1977!!! Truly GREAT!!!
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