Teenage Jesus & the Jerks

Teenage Jesus & the Jerks were an influential New York post-punk group who formed part of the city's No Wave movement. Founded by one-time CBGBs waitress Lydia Lunch and saxophonist James Chance, the group was active from 1976 to 1979, releasing only a handful of singles. Chance eventually left to form The Contortions and pursue his own equally abrasive musical direction. Both groups were featured on the seminal "No New York" LP, a showcase of the early No Wave scene compiled and produced by Brian Eno. Infamous for playing ten-minute sets filled with thirty-second songs, they sought to take music beyond what Lunch saw as the traditionalism of punk rock. The group left behind little more than a dozen complete recorded songs with most of the surviving titles collected on the 18-minute career retrospective CD entitled Everything. However other studio versions of several songs exist alongside a few live recordings. Few bands have achieved quite such an impact with so slim a body of work, one felt not only in the US but also via limited radio play in Britain. Lunch and Chance both went on to become cult figures of the New York underground music scene and the group has been cited as a significant influence on subsequent post-punk groups such as Sonic Youth. The band briefly reunited in 2008 for a series of performances, with Sonic Youth guitarist Thurston Moore.

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Favorite Records Series: Stephen Sowley on Michael Guarrine on 'No New York'