Friday, April 23, 2004
Fridays are No Wave and related days here for the foreseeable future.
I was still in high school in the early 80's, and I don't want to pretend to be an expert when I'm not, so I'll refer you to this article at Perfect Sound Forever which gives a lot of background for the bands that followed and were influenced by the original no wave groups. (I had no idea that Amy Rigby was once part of that scene!)
I do mean "influenced": V-Effect don't sound like anyone on No New York. They were much less chaotic, noisy and aggressive, and will probably remind you more of "downtown" or "Knitting Factory" music. My working definition of "Knitting Factory music" (which is no longer the right term, since the club books differently now): music with annoying saxophones that Americans don't like.
As you might guess from that definition, it's not a kind of music that I normally take to. But, V-Effect have a few things in their favor. Their songs have fairly tight structures, there's a lot of post-punk evident in their rhythm section, and their lyrics, which often sound like a Seven Sisters version of the Minutemen, are especially sharp. From their one album Stop Those Songs, here are my three favorite tracks: A Tree Grows in Managua, Boyce Life and New Song (Old Story). If you have to pick just one, I'd go for Boyce Life which features a clever take on its theme of cold war spying. [note: I currently have the line "I'm betraying my country, it's no longer top secret" just terrifyingly stuck in my head. What a great song!]
Band members were Rick Brown (who I know the best due to his later band Run On, formed with his wife Sue Garner and ex-Love Child guy Alan Licht), Ann Rupel (later in Curlew and probably other Downtown Music Gallery-type acts that I don't follow), and David Zonzinsky (about whom I know nothing).
The album is very much out of print, and has never been on CD. I kind of think that now might be a really good time to reissue it, given the recent resurgence of interest in this sort of thing.