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mwalker on 11/03/2010 at 12:00PM

Theoretical Music


Beginning tonight (11.3), ISSUE will host “Theoretical Music: No Wave, New Music, and the New York Art Scene, 1978-1983” a three-day event organized by art historian Branden W. Joseph and musician David Grubbs (Gastr del Sol, Bastro, Squirrel Bait, Red Krayola, etc) to take place at ISSUE Project Room.  Its purpose is to examine the intersections as well as the failed encounters of art, music, and cinema in downtown Manhattan from 1978-1983.  The festival commences this evening with a rare screening of James Nares' epic Rome '78 (starring Lydia Lunch, James Chance, John Lurie, amongst a host of other no wave luminaries). Tomorrow evening will feature an evening of panel discussions among some of the most notable figures to emerge from the art, music, and film scenes of the time (Dan Graham, Thurston Moore, Byron Coley, Kim Gordon, Nina Canal, John Miller & many more). The series concludes with a performance from crucial downtown band, Ut (playing their first U.S. show since '91) + an opening set from contemporary torch-bearers Talk Normal. Grab the three-day package set here.

In honor of Theoretical Music, Ut has offered a couple of tracks off their final studio album Griller (1989) produced by label-mate Steve Albini.  We've also included in the mix some Teenage Jesus & the Jerks (Lydia Lunch stars in James Nares' Rome '78, screened tonight), a track from Northampton Wools (Thurston Moore will speak on a panel discussion as part of the series), and an excellent jam from Talk Normal (live at WFMU on Marty McSorely's show!).

Formed in 1978, after Peter Gordon (speaking on Nov. 4th) introduced Sally Young and Jacqui Ham to ex-Gynecologists and ex-Dark Day member Nina Canal, Ut developed a distinctly dark sound based on free improvisation and spontaneous song writing. As with many No Wave bands Ut lacked a strong grounding in musical training, which they intentionally accentuated by changing instrumentation on each song. These methodological approaches channeled the raw energy of Ut’s song writing process into their live performances and finished songs.  Ut left the LES in 1981 to tour with The Fall and eventually settled in London releasing a number of albums, playing and recording until they disbanded in 1990.

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