135 Grand Street, New York, 1979
DVD - Dir. by Ericka Beckman
Soul Jazz Records
Available now on DVD (and separate bargain-priced CD soundtrack with bonus tracks).
“135 Grand Street, New York, 1979 is invaluable. No Wave music and cinema didn’t just share a name. They were perhaps more intimately related than any other concurrent movements in the history of those two media.”
“Ericka Beckman’s film finds these ensembles deconstructing rock with unpretentious vitality and uncompromised vision. … Remarkably kinetic performances.”
Marc Masters (Author of ‘No Wave’) THE WIRE
Ericka Beckman’s film captures the driving energy and posturing of early No Wave bands’ performing live in a sparse downtown loft. Featured bands include Theoretical Girls, UT, A Band, Rhys Chatham, Chinese Puzzle, The Static, Morales, Youth in Asia, Morales, Steven Piccolo and Jill Kroesen.
‘135 Grand Street, New York, 1979’ is a unique film capturing both the aural and visual aesthetics of New York’s No Wave scene in its ascendant. Punk rock and non-musicianship fight it out with art world attitude. Garage band line-ups in varying degrees of musical destruction sit alongside post-everything poetry and experimental noise terrorists. Ericka Beckman’s film matches the rawness, minimalism and radicalism of the music - a fitting document and visual statement of new forms created out of New York’s anti-everything musical nihilism, circa 1979.
‘135 Grand Street, New York, 1979’ is history. It includes the only known footage of the Theoretical Girls, The Static and a number of other No Wave bands of the period. This is a film about bands filled with painters, filmmakers, actors - and occasionally musicians - thriving and thrashing in the pulsating, vibrant post-punk world of New York where high art met low culture, where Glenn Branca, Rhys Chatham, Wharton Tiers, Taro Suzuki and the others featured here made the connections between John Cage and Joey Ramone, between the questioning of art and ? and the Mysterians.
The film is currently showing as part of Sonic Youth’s ‘Sensational Fix’ touring art exhibition as well as being screened before Glenn Branca’s most recent shows in New York City (Sep 2009).
"If you wanna see what the Soho side of No Wave looked like this is the only place you're ever gonna find it" Glenn Branca