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No Wave Legends Teenage Jesus & the Jerks to Reunite in NYC

During their brief heyday in the late ’70s, Teenage Jesus & the Jerks never got around to releasing a full-length album. But that isn’t stopping the band that defined New York’s no wave movement and continues to inspire the city’s art-rock avant-garde from joining the recent frenzy of rock reunions. The hometown heroes have announced plans to play only two shows, both at the Knitting Factory on June 13. The new lineup will feature notorious singer/guitarist/ actress/author/performance artist Lydia Lunch, who founded Teenage Jesus in 1976 at the tender age of 16, along with drummer Jim Sclavunos (who has also played with Sonic Youth and Nick Cave’s Bad Seeds) and a mystery bassist the Knitting Factory is calling “a lost member of TJ & TJ.”

“Also on the bill will be a supporting act from the ashes of the original NYC No Wave nightmare,” the Knitting Factory adds, in yet another coy, teasing statement. Anybody have a guess? Mars? DNA? The Contortions, perhaps?

Apparently, the whole shindig is occurring in honor of No Wave: Post-Punk. Underground. New York. 1976-1980, a new book of photos and interviews edited by Thurston Moore and music writer Byron Coley. The book, to be published by Harry N. Abrams, Inc., will be available this May.

But that’s not all! For those of us who would prefer something more permanent than a few fleeting reunion memories, Atavistic Records will also be releasing a complete Teenage Jesus & the Jerks compilation in June.

It’s anyone’s guess whether Teenage Jesus will be any good 30 years later. And if one is to believe the mythology, they often played cheap sets of under 15 minutes especially designed to piss off fans. That said, the curiosity alone is probably enough to make me plunk down $25 and cross my fingers.
(Judy Berman)