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‘King Heroin’: No Wave legend James White and the Blacks on French TV, 1980
08:35 am


James Chance
James White and The Blacks

James Chance/White purveying his single-minded skronky musical melting pot of funky, free jazz, punk and disco—an unholy No Wave gumbo that sounds like James Brown meets Ornette Coleman—in these four numbers taped in front of a French audience in 1980.

“I Feel Good,” “King Heroin,” “Put Me Back In My Cage,” and “Contort Yourself.”

Some of the best James Chance footage I’ve ever seen. Courtesy of the Bedazzled blog.

Via Stupefaction

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
The sound of Manhattan before it got boring: NYC No-Wave

Whitney Weiss curated this little slice of NYC No-Wave goodness for Network Awesome.

James Chance and the Contortions - “I Can’t Stand Myself ” (live)
Bush Tetras - “Too Many Creeps “/ In the Night (live)
Lizzy Mercier Descloux - “Fire” (on French TV)
ESG - “You’re No Good” (live at Danceteria, 1984)
DNA live at the Mudd Club (on TV Party)
Suicide - “Ghost Rider”


Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Contort Your Tie:  post-punk icon James Chance the new face of Vivienne Westwood?

Legendary post-punk performer James Chance (aka James White, aka James Black, best known for the classic “Contort Yourself”) features on a fetching new tie print by Vivienne Westwood.

If you are a fan of late 70s No-Wave skronk AND snazzy ties, then this is may be of interest (here’s looking at you Richard!) However, to purchase this tie you’re going to have to hunt for it, as it is not featured on the Westwood website’s “Men’s Accessories: Ties” page.

And while we are on the subject, here’s a clip of the re-formed Contortions playing live in Poland in 2008:


Via Michel Esteban.


Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
Debbie Harry in Gloria Vanderbilt jeans commercial, 1980
09:10 am


Debbie Harry
John Lurie
James Chance
Gloria Vanderbilt

Until the mid-70s, the only kind of bluejeans anyone really wore were Levis, Lee or Wrangler. Then came designer jeans like Calvin Klein and Gloria Vanderbilt.

To take on the big three jeans companies, these upscale upstarts needed cutting-edge celebrities to flog their togs: Calvin Klein famously used Brooke Shields and Natasha Kinski in his memorable advertising campaigns. Gloria Vanderbilt’s teen line, “GV Jr.” by Murjani had style icon Debbie Harry of Blondie as the spokes-model.

In the first one, you can see Lounge Lizard John Lurie on sax. Eagle-eyed No Wave trainspotters will also notice Mudd Club co-founder Anya Phillips and James Chance if they watch this over and over again…

After the jump, another Gloria Vanderbilt jeans commercial with Debbie Harry…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment