Monday, July 09, 2012

Kill Your Idols - documentary

The NYC No Wave movement started in the early 80's as a reaction against - or an extension of - the punk rock sounds of the late 70's. Most - if not all - of the people involved in the newer scene were fans of the old bands but wanted to do something even more extreme and less traditional rock'n'roll - which, as much as some of the groups would protest, really was what punk rock was based on. No Wave could sometimes be pure noise, with little relation to music at all, much less r'n'r. Combos like the Contortion, Teenage Jesus & the Jerks, DNA, Theoretical Girl, etc. took the ideas of people like Suicide and expanded and expounded on them and created a short-lived, but intense underground scene.

But, while the original groups didn't last long, their legacy continued, inspiring the Swans, Sonic Youth and others in the 90's through the 2000's and spawning the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Black Dice, Liars and others that I had never heard of. Oddly - to me, at least - the filmmakers include Gogol Bordello in this mix of new acts and while I suppose they have some of the anarchistic spirit of the No Wavers, they are far more musical and even call upon earlier traditions than the original punks ever considered!

I like that the interviewers have the old talk about the new and vice versa, but after the initial burst of creativity in the 80's, this style is not all that appealing to me, and certainly not something that I tink anyone should aspire to decades later. I'm old fashioned enough to dig the power of the beat, so, as much as I dig noise, I want the primal, primitive sounds behind it.

Not the final word on any period of this sound but an interesting overview. Again, not something that I would buy, but I'm glad that Netflix has items like this to choose from.