Agony Shorthand

Wednesday, May 28, 2003
THE NO-WAVE GUIDE TO LATE 70s/EARLY 80s L.A. PUNK….If you’ve ever read Tim Ellison’s excellent MODERN ROCK MAGAZINE (long known as ROCK MAG during the 90s), you know that his approach to rock and roll is slightly more intense than the party/rockin’/pukin’ angle the rest of us often take. It may not be for everyone, but I’ve always had a real affinity for Tim and his didactic writing, as our tastes in underground rock bands are more or less aligned, and he’s not one bit afraid to aggressively deconstruct a band or rock movement to its bowels if he feels that it merits such an approach. I also dig that he’s about as non-kiss ass as they come in the fanzine/rock writing world; he’ll go way, way out on a limb for or against something you might scoff at or cheer, but never is he carrying water for a label or even a friend. More often than not Tim will be leading the cheers for a band that you might consider long past their coolness shelf life (though even I had some trouble with the No-Wave Guide To Emerson, Lake and Palmer).

The preface should prepare you for Mr. Ellison’s latest coup de grace in the pages of Titanium Expose magazine – “NO WAVE PARALLELS: A Study On The Aesthetics Of No-Wave Outside Of No New York”. Tim explores in depth the influence or parallels between the late 70s No New York bands & their progeny, and the Los Angeles punk rock and sub-underground rock scene that followed shortly thereafter. Each of the following icons and more are academically analyzed and are then dispatched with for the next: SCREAMERS, NERVOUS GENDER, URINALS, FLESH EATERS, DREAM SYNDICATE, and SALVATION ARMY. Trust me, you will never, ever read a deconstruction of THE DILS’ chord progressions like this again.