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Year: 2004
USA: Palm Pictures
UK: ICA Projects
Cast: Lydia Lynch & Jim Sclavunos - Teenage Jesus & The Jerks, Arto Lindsay - DNA, Glenn Branca, Thurston Moore, Lee Renaldo - Sonic Youth, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Black Dice, Liars, Gogol Bordello, Michael Gira - Swans, Theoretical Girls, Suicide, A.R.E. Weapons
Director: Scott A Crary
Country: USA
USA & UK: 75 mins
USA Release Date: 7 July 2006 (Limited Release - New York)
UK Release Date: 8 April 2005 (Limited Release - London)
US Distributor
UK Distributor


A thrilling, comprehensive guide to New York's buzzing downtown underground post-punk scene.

First time filmmaker Scott Crary who also directed, produced, shot and edited the film, couldn't have picked a more apt title for his vivid and complex history of New York's art-punk scene. After all, how do you draw a timeline of a movement for which the point is and always has been to consciously rebuke what came before you?

Scott Crary kicks things off with the birth of No Wave in the 1970's, providing an angular rush with a priceless collection of live performances from Suicide, Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, the Theoretical Girls and DNA. From this initial explosion of artistic energy, the film moves through the 1980's, passing the torch to Thurston Moore and Lee Renaldo of Sonic Youth and Michael Gira of Swans, before crashlanding in the noisy Now! of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Black Dice, Liars, A.R.E. Weapons and the Gypsy stylings of Gogol Bordello.

Interviews connect the threads between the past and the present, an ever-fertile scene is defined, celebrated and trashed with equal amounts of enthusiasm, and the creators of some of the most challenging rock music of all-time get to explain what they do, why they do it and where it's all heading.

"We weren't trying to make music, we were trying to be monsters", says Teenage Jesus & the Jerks bassist Jim Sclavunos. Support from such claims comes from band-mate Lydia Lynch, DNA's Arto Lindsay, Glenn Branca, Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore and others from the late '70s / early '80s art-punk explosion. Exclusive interviews with these originators and a new generation of practitioners reveal a consistent hunger for invention through subversion, motivations that come into cacophonous focus in the new and archival concert footage bridging the interviews.

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