Archive for the Glen Branca Category

Theoretical Girls – Theoretical Record (Acute) 2002

Posted in Glen Branca, Music, No Wave, Theoretical Girls with tags , , , on February 8, 2010 by noisenoisenoise

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In the past couple of years there has been an increased interest in everything No Wave. One of the bands  that  gets overlooked in a scene dominated by DNA and Lydia Lunch and the other No New York bands  is Theoretical Girls. The band were a four piece lead by Jeffrey Lohan but rightly or wrongly it is better know for two of the other members  Glen Branca and Wharton Tiers. During it’s  life time the band only released one seven inch single so this compilation is the most complete, and I think only, record that deals comprehensively with their output. It consists of some studio tracks, demos and live tracks. Despite the hammy lyrics of tracks like Computer Dating Theoretical Record contains some of the best late 70’s punk you can hope to meet. In many ways it is a classic of the  No Wave genre because whether they are being  punk, rock or producing walls of dense sound, everything is infused with slabs of nihilism and detachment. The live tracks on Theoretica lRecord display the indifference that No Wave bands had for their audiences and the apathy they received in return.  This is not only a great no wave record but one of the best punk records you’ll hear. A band that deserves a much better place in history.

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Glenn Branca – Indeterminate Inactivity of Resultant Masses (Atavistic) 2009

Posted in Glen Branca, Music on September 10, 2009 by noisenoisenoise

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Now I’m no expert on Branca but what I’ve heard of his I’ve really enjoyed. There are three tracks on this record. The first is an archival piece from 1981 featuring Lee Ranaldo and Thurston Moore in a  guitar symphony chock full of atonal cacophony. The third track, Harmonic Series Chords,  is performed by the New York Chamber Sinfonia in 1989. The real treat though is the 17 minute second track which is actually a recording of John Cage in an interview with Wim Mertons, a Flemish journalist recorded in 1982. It is a recording of Cage’s famous ponderings on his experience of one of Branca’s pieces where he calls Branca’s work “Fascist”. Cage engages Mertons in a dialectic on the merits of Branca’s work. It’s a fucking hoot. Now I gotta be honest Cage comes across as an absolute cunt. I dont want to ruin it for you but Branca’s work according to Cage represents a society that he doesn’t want to continue to live in. As for Mertons, he pisses his pants and seems to be overwhelmed by his interviewee. He can not articulate why he likes Branca’s work and his defence of it is struck down with Cage’s  bitchy non-arguments. He suggest that Branca’s work is like a scream, it is hopeless, it is only about energies without content and without dialectics. I think he’s wrong but try to track this down and come to your own conclusion  At one  point Cage seems to belittle Branca by saying Branca is succesful and when Mertons points out that Branca is less successful than Cage, Cage says “I don’t know what that means.” What a cunt. As an aside get yourself a copy of Lewis Hyde’s book Trickster Makes This World. There is a great bit in it on Cage that is great fun. The funny thing is, that by including this rather caustic criticism on his record and bookending it with two great pieces of modern composition makes Cage’s argument appear even more churlish and pathetic.

I can’t find a clip from this record but I enjoyed this from youtube. It gives you a general idea if you’ve never heard Branca before

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