No wave was an underground music, super 8 film, performance art, video art, and contemporary art scene that had its beginnings during the late 1970s through the mid-1980s in downtown New York City. The term "no wave" is in part a punk subculture satirical wordplay rejecting commercial elements in general, that was based in the specific rejection of the then-popular new wavegenre. The term became used in downtown New York City concurrent with the 1981 show, "New York/New Wave" that had been curated by the artist/curator Diego Cortez.
No wave is not a clearly definable musical genre with consistent features. Various groups drew on such disparate styles asfunk, 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 overmelody—typical of La Monte Young's early downtown music.
No wave music presented a negative and nihilistic world view that reflected the desolation of late 1970s downtown New York and how they viewed the larger society.
In 1978 a punk subculture-influenced noise series was held at New York's Artists Space that led to the Brian Eno-produced recording "No New York", documenting James Chance and the Contortions, Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, Mars, and DNA.
Sonic Youth made their first live appearance at Noise Fest, a noise music festival curated by Thurston Moore at the art space White Columns in June 1981. Each night three to five acts performed, including Glenn Branca, Rhys Chatham, Rudolph Grey, Robin Crutchfield's Dark Day, Off Beach and others.
No wave had a notable influence on noise music and industrial bands which followed, such as Big Black, Helmet, and Live Skull. Theoretical Girls influenced Sonic Youth, who emerged from the scene and eventually reached mass audiences and critical acclaim.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_waveNo Wave bands: 5 bands in database
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