new wave Archive

Album Review: SVT — Always Comes Back

As I’ve mentioned before, SVT is the band most often named among those interviewed for my latest book as the Bay Area band most deserving of greater success than they found. With a sound that touched on new wave, punk and power pop and featured the extraordinarily talented Jack Casady (Jefferson Airplane, Hot Tuna) on

Album Review: Times Beach — Step in Time

The creatively fertile arts community in the Bay Area – centered for a time around the San Francisco Arts Institute – informed the music scene. As I wrote about in my latest book, Disturbing the Peace: 415 Records and the Rise of New Wave, many of the region’s punk and new wave bands came out

DVD Review: SVT – The Price of Sex

SVT is one of the coolest bands you’ve likely never heard of. Led by singer, songwriter and guitarist Brian Marnell, this San Francisco-based band had talent to burn, combining musical muscle with sharp songwriting. But the group didn’t last long, and their recorded output was limited to a couple of singles, and EP and one

Nina Hagen: Ten Albums that Changed My Life

Nina Hagen has always cut an unusual figure in pop music. From Berlin in what was then East Germany, she escaped to the West and launched a career as a singer. Nominally working in punk and new wave, her accomplished and powerful operatic vocals transcended those styles. And her music drew from a dazzling array

Album Review: The Jars — Make Love Not War

My new book, Disturbing the Peace: 415 Records and the Rise of New Wave explores the story of the Bay Area independent record label and the nearly 30 artists – most all local to the Bay Area – who released music on 415. The punk and new wave scene of the late ‘70s and early-to-mid

Album Review: The Sound of Glassboro, 1980s

The reductive nature of popular culture dictates that when we recall the 1980s, we’re supposed to think of shoulder pads, big hair and vacuous MTV-era acts like Thompson Twins. But as those of us who came of age in that era know, the ‘80s also saw the ascendancy of punk and new wave and the

Boxed Set Review: Fuzztones Salute the Greats

For decades now, The Fuzztones have been doing the important work of keeping the garage punk flame burning. Originally a New York City aggregation, the band led by Rudi Protrudi resettled in Germany many years ago, and there they remain. The band’s body of work is extensive, and in recent years has been appended by

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