new wave Archive

Album Review: Jim Basnight and The Moberlys – Seattle – New York – Los Angeles

Describing something as underrated is sometimes little more than a lazy way of approaching an artist’s work. But it can have useful meaning. In the case of The Moberlys, the group could well be described that way. But the label doesn’t quite get to the heart of the matter: how can you be underrated if

Book Review: Shut Up You Animals!!! A Remembrance of Dirk Dirksen

Dirk Dirksen wasn’t known as musician, but his importance to the music history of San Francisco is substantial. Imagine a sort of Bill Graham writ small, with a perhaps unexpected interest in (and affinity for) the then-new punk rock and new wave, and you’ll have the beginnings of what he was all about. Dirksen –

Book Review: Paul Collins — I Don’t Fit In

One of the finest among the so-called new wave bands of the late-late-late ‘70s and very early 80s (the subgenre’s peak period) was The Beat. Renamed Paul Collins Beat to differentiate itself from the similarly-named UK ska-rock band (renamed to the English Beat, the group led by guitarist Paul Collins made some compelling music that

Album Review: Pylon — Pylon Box

With great and due respect to R.E.M. – and, to a lesser extent, the B-52’s – there was a lot more significant musical activity going on in and around Athens, Georgia in the 1980s. For those who weren’t there, a 1987 documentary film, Athens, GA: Inside/Out offered a glimpse into the college town’s musical riches.

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.