new wave Archive

The 411 on 415

Last November I wrote a cover story for SF Weekly; it focused on a series of reissue/compilation CDs on the Liberation Hall label. Those releases contained music originally released on 415 Records, an influential and trend-setting indie label based in San Francisco in the late ‘70s and early-to-mid 1980s. Founded by Howie Klein and Chris

Hundred-word Reviews: February 2021, Part 3

These five are all archival, reissue and/or compilation releases. There’s even a vinyl release here. Wolfgang Lackerschmid & Chet Baker – Quintet Sessions 1979 I was only recently introduced to the sublime collaborative genius of Lackerschmid and Baker via this release. Now, from the same era, comes this archival release. It’s even better, featuring as

The Discs: Old New Wave is New Again

When punk and new wave were exploding in New York City in the late ’70s and early 1980s, Allan Day wasn’t old enough to drive a car, much less play a gig in a bar. But the New Jersey youth was inspired to his core by the sounds coming out of the metropolis across the

Always Comes Back: 415 Records and the SF New Wave Scene (Part 3 of 3)

Continued from Part Two… The Uptones Ska was relatively unknown in the United States when The Uptones got their start. Eric Din – who still leads a version of The Uptones today – recalls that he and a bunch of high school friends formed the group in 1981 to play the kind of music made

Always Comes Back: 415 Records and the SF New Wave Scene (Part 2 of 3)

Continued from Part One… The Mutants In late 1978, Sally Webster had a giant loft on First and Mission where she often held salon-type events. “A lot of bands played there for their first time; it was sort of an experiment, but it was super fun.” She and some friends recruited musicians “who could actually

Always Comes Back: 415 Records and the SF New Wave Scene (Part 1 of 3)

An edited version of this feature appeared previously as a cover story in SF Weekly. And LATE BREAKING NEWS: My book about 415 Records will be published in 2021. — bk In the mid- and late ’60s Howie Klein was a student at Stony Brook University on Long Island, 50 miles outside New York City.

Album Review: The Limits – Songs About Girls

Reunions are a common occurrence in rock music. 1960s garage rock band The Limits never achieved any notability outside their hometown, but a new group bearing that name came out in ‘79. With a sound that drew from garage rock, pub rock, new wave and hard rock, the new band wouldn’t really have much musical

Prog in Disguise: The Buggles’ ‘The Age of Plastic’ at 40

The late 1970s were an odd time for popular music. Today’s listeners know that punk made its mark in the middle ’70s, but it’s worth noting that from a commercial standpoint – especially in the U.S. – punk rock was a comparatively insignificant phenomenon. Instead, its effect was felt mostly in the ways in which

Hundred-word Reviews for December 2019, #3

Here’s the final installment of the year (and the decade!) of my quick, condensed album reviews. Ten titles, 100 words each. Seven are new releases; the remaining three are archival and/or reissue releases. There are some SERIOUS gems in here. Sweet Lizzy Project – Technicolor When most people think of Cuban music, their thoughts turn

Album Review: Roger C. Reale and Rue Morgue — The Collection

An obscure and overlooked bit of music history is revived with a reissue/archival release by Roger C. Reale and Rue Morgue. Reale led a band that was together for a relatively brief period (specifically 1978-9), and that group cut two albums. The first, Radioactive, was released in 1978 on Big Sound, a small independent label.