Dial-A-Poem Poets – Big Ego (1978)


“American label set up in 1972 by the poet John Giorno, the earliest releases were exclusively poetry collections of the ‘Dial-A-Poets’ (John Giorno, William S Burroughs, Brion Gysin, Allen Ginsberg, John Cage etc.): ‘In 1961 I was a young poet who hung out with young artists like Andy Warhol, Bob Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns, as well as with members of the Judson Dance Theatre. The use of modern mass media and technologies by these artists made me realize that poetry was 75 years behind painting and sculpture, dance and music. And I thought, if they can do it, why can’t I do it for poetry. Why not try to connect with an audience using all the entertainments of ordinary life: television, the telephone, record albums, etc? It was the poet’s job to invent new venues and make fresh contact with the audience. This inspiration gave rise to Giorno Poetry Systems.’ – John Giorno”
Discogs
Discogs: Various ‎– Big Ego
UbuWeb (Video)

No Wave Cinema


Steve Mass & Diego Cortez.
No wave cinema was an underground filmmaking movement that flourished on the Lower East Side of New York City from about 1976 to 1985. Sponsored by and associated with the artists group Collaborative Projects or ‘Collab’, no wave cinema was a stripped-down style of guerrilla filmmaking that emphasized mood and texture above other concerns — similar to the parallel no wave music movement. This brief movement, also known as New Cinema (after a short-lived screening room on St. Mark’s Place run by several filmmakers on the scene), had a significant impact on underground film. No wave cinema spawned the Cinema of Transgression (Scott B and Beth B, Richard Kern, Nick Zedd, Tessa Hughes-Freeland and others) and a new generation of independent filmmaking in New York (Jim Jarmusch, Tom DiCillo, Steve Buscemi, and Vincent Gallo). … In 2010, French filmmaker Céline Danhier created a documentary film titled Blank City. The film presents an oral history of the no wave cinema and Cinema of Transgression movements through interviews with Jarmusch, Kern, Buscemi, Poe, Seidelman, Ahearn, Zedd, John Waters, Blondie’s Debbie Harry, hip-hop legend Fab 5 Freddy, Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth, and Jack Sargeant. The soundtrack includes music by Patti Smith, Television, Richard Hell & The Voidoids, James Chance and the Contortions, Bush Tetras and Sonic Youth. …”
Wikipedia
Shooting Blanks: A History of No Wave Cinema (Video)

“No Wave 78”

Joy Division – Closer (1980)


“If Unknown Pleasures was Joy Division at their most obsessively, carefully focused, ten songs yet of a piece, Closer was the sprawl, the chaotic explosion that went every direction at once. Who knows what the next path would have been had Ian Curtis not chosen his end? But steer away from the rereading of his every lyric after that date; treat Closer as what everyone else thought it was at first — simply the next album — and Joy Division‘s power just seems to have grown. Martin Hannett was still producing, but seems to have taken as many chances as the band itself throughout — differing mixes, differing atmospheres, new twists and turns define the entirety of Closer, songs suddenly returned in chopped-up, crumpled form, ending on hiss and random notes. Opener ‘Atrocity Exhibition’ was arguably the most fractured thing the band had yet recorded, Bernard Sumner‘s teeth-grinding guitar and Stephen MorrisCan-on-speed drumming making for one heck of a strange start. Keyboards also took the fore more so than ever — the drowned pianos underpinning Curtis‘ shadowy moan on ‘The Eternal,’ the squirrelly lead synth on the energetic but scared-out-of-its-wits ‘Isolation,’ and above all else ‘Decades,’ the album ender of album enders. A long slow crawl down and out, Curtis‘ portrait of lost youth inevitably applied to himself soon after, its sepulchral string-synths are practically a requiem. Songs like ‘Heart and Soul’ and especially the jaw-dropping, wrenching ‘Twenty Four Hours,’ as perfect a demonstration of the tension/release or soft/loud approach as will ever be heard, simply intensify the experience. Joy Division were at the height of their powers on Closer, equaling and arguably bettering the astonishing Unknown Pleasures, that’s how accomplished the four members were. Rock, however defined, rarely seems and sounds so important, so vital, and so impossible to resist or ignore as here.  …”
allmusic
Guardian – My favourite album: Closer by Joy Division
W – Closer
YouTube: Closer (Full Album) 9 videos

why tapes matter


“I’m pretty obsessed with contemporary cassette culture. Over the last few years, countless young and ambitious efforts have adopted the format – sculpting one of the most vibrant contexts of new music I’ve encountered, yet it seems – caught by the object itself (or simply not having a tape deck), people often miss what makes it so special. It feels reductive to mention the all mighty dollar – but it counts, and is generally downplayed in narrative of seminal music. Art is supposed to come first – and it does, but particularly for those of us who have shuffled through a frustrating flux in formats during the last three decades, it has played a significant role. Though everyone has their preferences and reasons, a largely unspoken factor which contributed to the vinyl revival we are currently witnessing, is that for many years (the 90’s and the first half of the 2000’s) LPs were the cheapest way to buy music. …”
the hum

Signals, Calls, and Marches – Mission of Burma EP (1981)


Signals, Calls, and Marches is an EP and the debut release by American post-punk band Mission of Burma. It was released in 1981 by record label Ace of Hearts. The album’s first track is ‘That’s When I Reach for My Revolver,’ which features a singable, anthemic chorus that helped make it one of the band’s most popular songs. Though Mission of Burma’s live performances were characterized by noise and chaos, Signals, Calls, and Marches has a notably ‘cleaner’ sound in comparison to the band’s live performances and subsequent recordings. Marc Masters of Pitchfork called this different sound ‘somewhat misrepresentative’ of the band, as ‘[Producer Richard] Harte’s production cleaned up the band’s brutally loud live sound.’ Guitarist Roger Miller noted that the sound probably helped the band become more accessible, recalling. …”
Wikipedia
Pitchfork
YouTube: Signals, Calls and Marches (Full EP)

Brian Eno – Music for Films (1978)


“The basic core of tracks making up Brian Eno‘s Music for Films was originally assembled in 1976 for inclusion in a promotional LP of prospective cues sent to film directors. In early 1978, a bit before Music for Airports, Editions EG released Music for Films with little more than Eno‘s cryptic comment: ‘some of it was made specifically for soundtrack material, (and) some of it was made for other reasons but found its way into films.’ As with most things Eno, this led to a good deal of speculation and controversy. One filmmaker long ago stated, ‘All of that is crap — this music was never used in any films,’ and another film student who had tried out some of the cues: ‘this is the worst music for films ever. These cues don’t synch to anything.’ However, the second filmmaker unintentionally discovered the essence of Music for Films — the 18 pieces here are little films, stimulating the visual part of one’s brain and thus fulfilling their promotional purpose. In that sense, Music for Films was revolutionary in 1978.  …”
allmusic (Audio)
Wikipedia
design contest 8: music for films, brian eno
YouTube: Music for Films (Full Album)

Chairs Missing – Wire (1978)


Chairs Missing marks a partial retreat from Pink Flag‘s austere, bare-bones minimalism, although it still takes concentrated listening to dig out some of the melodies. Producer Mike Thorne‘s synth adds a Brian Eno-esque layer of atmospherics, and Wire itself seems more concerned with the sonic textures it can coax from its instruments; the tempos are slower, the arrangements employ more detail and sound effects, and the band allows itself to stretch out on a few songs. The results are a bit variable — ‘Mercy,’ in particular, meanders for too long — but compelling much more often than not. The album’s clear high point is the statement of purpose ‘I Am the Fly,’ which employs an emphasis-shifting melody and guitar sounds that actually evoke the sound of the title insect. But that’s not all by any means — ‘Outdoor Miner’ and ‘Used To’ have a gentle lilt, while ‘Sand in My Joints’ is a brief anthem worthy of Pink Flag, and the four-minute ‘Practice Makes Perfect’ is the best result of the album’s incorporation of odd electronic flavors. In general, the lyrics are darker than those on Pink Flag, even morbid at times; images of cold, drowning, pain, and suicide haunt the record, and the title itself is a reference to mental instability. The arty darkness of Chairs Missing, combined with the often icy-sounding synth/guitar arrangements, helps make the record a crucial landmark in the evolution of punk into post-punk and goth, as well as a testament to Wire‘s rapid development and inventiveness.”
allmusic (Audio)
Everyone Stopped In Their Tracks – Wire’s “Chairs Missing”
W – Chairs Missing
Genius
YouTube: Chairs Missing 42:36

Hong Kong Garden – Siouxsie And The Banshees (1978)


“… ‘I used to go along with my friend and just be really upset by the local skinheads that hung out there,’ said Siouxsie after witnessing racist taunts against the staff. She turned her anger into song. The Banshees’ guitarist, John McKay, provided an intro, which his bandmates first heard on a tour bus during 1977.At rehearsals, McKay played the opening bars on an electronic xylophone and Siouxsie added her serrated vocals. The punk-lite ‘Hong Kong Garden’ was first aired on a John Peel session, prompting Polydor to sign the band in 1978. … It wasn’t written as a single, but after waiting over a year to be signed, and with the song established as a live favourite, their manager Nils Stevenson pitched it as their best shot. They were reluctantly booked into Olympic Studios with an American soul producer, Bruce Albertine, using downtime between Eric Clapton sessions. They failed to capture the right sound. Within days they had regrouped with a young producer from the right side of the punk tracks, Steve Lillywhite. It took them two days to re-record ‘Hong Kong Garden’, replicating the earlier version cut for the Peel session, but this time climaxing with the crash of an orchestral gong. Much anticipated in the summer of 1978, following months of music media speculation, it made it to number seven on the charts and was arguably the most important of the early post-punk hits.”
Independent – Story of the song: Hong Kong Garden, Siouxsie and the Banshees (1978)
W – Hong Kong Garden (song)
YouTube: Hongkong Garden 1979 (Live)
YouTube: Hong Kong Garden, Voices (On The Air)

King Tubby, Prince Jammy And Scientist ‎– First, Second And Third Generation Of Dub (1981)


“King Tubby’s music career began in the 1950s with the rising popularity of Jamaican sound systems, which were to be found all over Kingston and which were developing into enterprising businesses. As a talented radio repairman, Tubby soon found himself in great demand by most of the major sound systems of Kingston, as the tropical weather of the Caribbean island, (often combined with sabotage by rival sound system owners) led to malfunctions and equipment failure. Tubby owned an electrical repair shop on Drumalie Avenue, Kingston, that fixed televisions and radios. It was here that he built large amplifiers for the local sound systems. In 1961/62 he built his own radio transmitter and briefly ran a private radio station playing ska and rhythm and blues which he soon shut down when he heard that the police were looking for the perpetrators. Tubby would eventually form his own sound system, Tubby’s Hometown Hi-Fi, in 1958. It became a crowd favourite due to the high quality sound of his equipment, exclusive releases and Tubby’s own echo and reverb sound effects, at that point something of a novelty.”
YouTube: King Tubby Prince Jammy & Scientist
NY Times: RINGING CHANGES ON JAMAICAN REGGAE (April 26, 1981)

Mars ‎– 3 E / 11,000 Volts (1978)


“Mars was a New York City No Wave band formed by vocalist Sumner (Crane) Audrey in 1975. He was joined by China Burg (née Constance Burg; a.k.a Lucy Hamilton) (guitar, vocals), Mark Cunningham (bass), and artist Nancy Arlen (drums), and briefly by Rudolph Grey. The band played one live gig under the name China before changing it to Mars. They played a mixture of angular compositions and freeform ambient noise music jams, featuring surrealist lyrics and non-standard drumming. All the members were said to be completely untrained in music before forming the band. …”
popsike
W – Mars
YouTube: 3E, 11,000 Volts