Rock's Backpages Library Rock's Backpages
the online library of pop writing

James Chance & the Contortions

James Chance & the Contortions

32 articles


Nobody Waved Goodbye: Bands At Artists Space

Report by Roy Trakin, New York Rocker, July 1978

"He's in love with a rock 'n'roll world..." — 'Janie Jones', The Clash ...

Contortions, Teenage Jesus And The Jerks, Mars, D.N.A.: No New York (Antilles AN 7067 — US import).

Review by Ian Birch, Melody Maker, 11 November 1978

Manhattan cocktail ...

The Contortions, Teenage Jesus & the Jerks, Mars, D.N.A.: No New York (Antilles AN 7067)****

Review by Dave McCullough, Sounds, 2 December 1978

Terminal weirdness... ...

Various Artists: No New York (Antilles Import)

Review by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, 16 December 1978

I WAS wearing headphones. My teeth were aching again, and the lump behind my left ear was still as bad as ever. All 16 of ...

Q: Why Interview James Chance? A: Because He's There

Interview by Roy Trakin, New York Rocker, January 1979

Roy Trakin (Who Really Wants to Know) Talks to James Chance (Who Isn't Telling) ...

Various Artists: No New York (Antilles)

Review by Roy Trakin, New York Rocker, January 1979


No New York

Report and Interview by Peter Silverton, Sounds, 17 February 1979

PETE SILVERTON meets the second generation of New York new wave bands... TEENAGE JESUS AND THE JERKS, THE CONTORTIONS, DNA and other assorted weirdos ...

The Contortions, James White & the Blacks, Reasons, Information: Club 57, New York NY

Live Review by Tim Page, New York Rocker, April 1979

THE CLUB 57 is located in the Irving Plaza, an aging downtown vaudeville hall that manages to combine the worst features of a European grand ...

Various Artists: No New York (Antilles)

Review by Richard C. Walls, Creem, April 1979

WELCOME TO the unwave. I haven't heard so much ferociously avant-garde and aggressively ugly music since Albert Ayler puked all over my brain back in ...

James White and The Blacks: Off White (ZE)

Review by Paul Rambali, New Musical Express, 23 June 1979

JAMES CHANCE, alias James White, leader of The Contortions aka The Blacks, has been making something of a name for himself this past year or ...

James White and the Reds

Interview by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, 23 June 1979

A comparative study (sort of) of aggressive American nihilism and French anarchists with beer cans. IAN PENMAN adjudicates on matters moral and philosophical. ...

James Chance: Contortions Crack Up

Interview by Tim Page, New York Rocker, August 1979

"Sick of being on the losing end/Tired of playing the obliging friend..." ...

The Contortions: Buy — The Contortions (ZE ZEA 33-002. U.S. import)

Review by Jon Savage, Melody Maker, 5 January 1980

Let's twist ourselves ...

The Contortions: Buy The Contortions (Ze Records)

Review by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, 5 January 1980

LIGHTBULBS FLASH dutifully o'er our heads, signifying but an insufficient brightness. We go sleepily about our business. Flashbulbs slash daily at our eyes, fulfilling narcissism. ...

The Contortions: Buy The Contortions (Ze); James White And The Blacks: Off White (Ze)

Review by Richard Riegel, Creem, February 1980

SOME DAYS it's fun being a real Midwesterner trying to make it in the art rackets; the powers on the good-taste-is-timely Coasts already have you ...

Lydia Lunch: Queen of Siam; The Contortions: Buy the Contortions (Both Ze); Iggy Pop: Soldier (Arista)

Review by Kris Needs, ZigZag, March 1980

AMERICA TODAY: the old and the new. Play these in a row... ...

Defunkt, the Raybeats, James Chance: Funky, Punky and Chic

Report and Interview by Roy Trakin, Melody Maker, 15 March 1980

The Raybeats and Joe Bowie's Defunkt are working on New York's newest fusion: a post-No Wave music in which James Chance's punk meets George Clinton's ...

Free Jazz/Punk Rock

Essay by Lester Bangs, Musician, April 1980

IN A New York City nightclub, a skinny little Caucasian whose waterfall hairstyle and set of snout and lips make him look like a sullen ...

Sons and Daughters of No New York — James Chance & the Contortions: Live Aux Bains Douches (Invisible Records)

Review by Andy Schwartz, New York Rocker, October 1980

LAST MAY, James Chance left New York for Paris, France — and he hasn't returned yet. The feisty funk merchant was accompanied by guitarist Patrick ...

Eight Eyed Spy: George Scott (1953-1980)

Obituary by Andy Schwartz, New York Rocker, 8 October 1980

ON AUGUST 6, N.Y. Rocker received the following press release from Bob Singerman, the booking agent and acting manager of Eight Eyed Spy: ...

James White & the Contortions: Second Chance (PVC)

Review by Barney Hoskyns, New Musical Express, 1981

IT ALL depends how deranged you are to start with. James Chance – née White, née Black – makes impossibly futile, dead music, fit only ...

Why the Big Apple Lacks Real Bite

Report by Mary Harron, The Guardian, 7 February 1981

London's rock scene is fizzing, but New York's has turned flat. Mary Harron reports ...

James Chance: Save The Last Chance For Me!

Interview by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, 20 June 1981

Sax and drugs and contorted soul – Ian Penman meets his hero in another instalment of conversations with James Chance. London 1981. ...

ZE Records

Profile and Interview by Peter Silverton, New Sounds New Styles, July 1981

New York record label ZE is the product of a remarkable partnership between August Darnell and Michael Zilkha. Peter Silverton profiles the Z of ZE... ...

James Chance & the Contortions: Live In New York (ROIR cassette); 8-Eyed Spy: Live (ROIR cassette)

Review by Roy Trakin, Musician, October 1981

LISTEN TO the cacaphonous cutting edge of no wave punk-jazz in the privacy of your very own SONY walk-man. Be-bop down the street snapping yer ...

Will Punk Jazz Replace The Sounds Of Funk?

Overview by Don Snowden, Los Angeles Times, 15 November 1981

PUNK JAZZ? It's hard to imagine a more unlikely musical combination. Punk rock favors short, fast songs and disparages musical technique in favor of "anyone-can-do-it" ...

Traditional Discs: Is It R.I.P. FOR R.P.M.?

Report and Interview by Richard Cromelin, Los Angeles Times, 15 May 1982

IS THE phonograph record on its deathbed? Neil Cooper, who runs a record company that doesn't sell records, thinks so. "Within five years, vinyl will ...

Cassette rock comes on with a "Roar"

Report and Interview by Jim Sullivan, The Boston Globe, 27 May 1982

IN THE competitive record business, how can a company that releases dated rock 'n' roll and aims well below the top of the pops prosper? ...

James Chance: Middle East, Cambridge

Review and Interview by Jim Sullivan, The Boston Globe, 15 September 1995

CAMBRIDGE – James Chance, Milwaukee born 'n' bred, as well as musically educated, tried to fit in when he moved to New York City in ...

Bow To The Devilish Prince: James Chance Interviewed

Interview by Zoë Street Howe, The Quietus, 7 July 2010

Zoë Street Howe talks to James Chance about his new retrospective collection Twist Your Soul and his relationships with James Brown and Lydia Lunch. ...

James Chance: Twist Your Soul – The Definitive Collection

Review by Stevie Chick,, August 2010

Two-disc retrospective of scabrous No Wave figure’s searing jazz-punk contortions. ...

Hello Goodbye: James Chance & the Contortions

Interview by Mike Barnes, MOJO, February 2013

Start: punk jazzers picked for their looks. End: the boss alienated them ail... ...

see also James White and The Blacks

see also Raybeats, The

see also Adele Bertei

see also Melvin Gibbs


back to LIBRARY