David Bowie

David Bowie may no longer have a lucid plan for how to keep up with the stylistic grandchildren — his 1995 tour with Nine Inch Nails proved to be a generation-gap disaster as young Reznorfarians turned their backs on the funny old guy doing a bunch of songs that weren’t half as fuckinamazin as “Closer”…

Specials

Coventry’s Specials spearheaded the British ska revival in 1979, with leader/keyboard player Jerry Dammers also serving as head of 2-Tone, the band’s trendsetting label, which altered pop culture by releasing records by Madness, the Beat, Selecter and Bodysnatchers. Produced by Elvis Costello, the Specials’ debut LP also boasted the assistance of an elder statesman of…

Defunkt

Led by singing trombonist Joe Bowie (younger brother of famed jazz trumpeter Lester Bowie), the seven-man Defunkt peddled black funk with dry bounce. Originally formed as James Chance’s horn section, Defunkt also had ties with the world of avant-garde jazz, putting it in a unique and culturally resonant position. Defunkt isn’t a revolutionary breakout, but…

Laurie Anderson

After kicking around the New York art scene for a decade, Chicago native Laurie Anderson reached the masses in the early 1980s when the improbable UK success of “O Superman” suddenly made her the world’s most famous performance artist. Singing in a droll deadpan and playing violin and keyboards, she followed up on her surprise…

Joe Jackson

What songs! What shoes! What a hair(line)! Look Sharp! sounded as striking as its cover photo looked, and Joe Jackson was anointed a member — alongside Graham Parker and Elvis Costello — of England’s angry young troubadours club. (It took a while to recognize how completely dissimilar the three were at the time.) Although he…

Rachel Sweet

The proverbial little girl with the big voice, Rachel Sweet burst out of Akron, Ohio in her teens under the watchful eye of producer Liam Sternberg. An integral component (along with Lene Lovich) of the second Stiff Records signing blitz, Sweet recorded an impressive debut on which Sternberg figured prominently as both writer and producer.…

Grace Jones

At the outset of her singing career, model-cum-actress Grace Jones was a musical product in the truest sense of the word, more or less invented by artist Jean-Paul Goude. When new wave became the dance-club staple around the turn of the decade, this glamorous disco diva sailed into the genre on an airbrush jetstream, performing…

Eyeless in Gaza

Named for Aldous Huxley’s ode to pacifist integrity, England’s Eyeless in Gaza consisted of guitarist Martyn Bates and bassist/keyboardist Peter Becker, both credited with voice and instrumentation on the first album, a better- than-decent stab at hook-filled spareness. The tasteful music is marred only occasionally by overly anguished vocals. Caught in Flux has a more…

Scritti Politti

Originally formed in London by way of Leeds as a post-art school trio with drummer Tom Morley and bassist Nial Jinks, the high-mindedly political and conceptual Scritti Politti underwent a number of drastic developmental changes on its way to becoming, ultimately, a slick vehicle for Welsh-born singer and guitarist Green Gartside. By the time Scritti…

Fripp & Eno

The two early collaborations between King Crimson leader Robert Fripp and ex-Roxy Music muckraker Brian Eno are excursions into effete electronics, with Fripp simply playing his guitar through Eno’s synthesizers/tape recorders. More surprising at the time than truly affecting, the resulting side-long montages of loosely structured sound on (No Pussyfooting) are pleasant and recall the…

ESG

Who would have imagined that four sisters and a pal from the South Bronx would emerge as one of the most dynamic bands that New York could offer at the top of the ’80s? (Or that they would pop up again in 1987…) Mixing a solid combination of dub, chant and beat, ESG — simply…

Heartbreakers

The New York club circuit’s first supergroup, the Heartbreakers originally (circa 1975) consisted of ex-NY Dolls Johnny Thunders (Genzale) and Jerry Nolan, ex-Television bassist Richard Hell and ex-nothing guitarist Walter Lure. After butting heads with Johnny over leadership of the band, Hell quit to go solo and was replaced (in only the most technical sense)…

Contributors

These folks either wrote reviews that appear on the site or wrote for Trouser Press magazine. If anyone listed below cares to E-mail us with a link you’d like added, just let us know. And ditto if anyone is AWOL from this list. Grant AldenDavid AntrobusJem AswadTroy J. AugustoMichael AzerradCary BakerMichael BakerEmily BeckerJohn BergstromArt BlackJohn…