Book pReview: No Wave

I’ve read some quality books lately, I’m currently plowing through “Green to Gold” and just cleaned up “Made to Stick.”  I also polished “The Alchemist” on two flights from here to Chicago and back (opting for the hypnotics of Coelho’s text rather than the standard Jameson on the rocks to get me through).

Made to Stick was great, Green to Gold is a little amateurish in parts for someone already involved in the scene but it’s a great conversion book for the old guard and I’ll elaborate on my feelings on the Alchemist soon enough.

Those reviews are coming, but what I’m really excited about is a new book by Byron Coley and well known avant-garde Sonic Youth guitarist/indie rock historian Thurston Moore: “No Wave: Post-Punk. Underground. New York. 1976-1980.”  Usually I bear no particular love for art books, per se, however their previous effort re: CBGB’s, 2005’s “CBGB & OMFUG: Thirty Years From the Home of Underground Rock,” was polished and great so I expect nothing less here.  However, CBGB’s attacks 30 years, digging deep and producing profound moments from a fabulous collection, how can this new book capture the camera flash of a movement that enthralled and destroyed the Lower East Side in it’s brief 4-5 year shelf-life?

Well, that remains to be seen, but I trust that the effort will be fruitful in learning for the uninitiated and will have pearls for even the most accomplished in the genre.  “No Wave” a term said with wink and a kick in the rear to the “new wave” of The Cure and such bands was a music devoid of the previous tropes of rock and is to be particularly appreciated for it’s elevation of female rockers (who dominated the scene unlike any before it, save “serious musics” such as opera).  As someone entrenched in the roots of John Cage over John Lee Hooker and Steve Reich rather than Steve Perry, I’m ready for a book that shows the visceral and raw nature of a music that pulled no punches about displeasure with the current music situation.  I’m ready for No Wave.

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