Teenage Jesus and the Jerks  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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See teenage, Jesus, jerk

Teenage Jesus & the Jerks were an influential New York City No Wave music group of 1976-79 fronted by Lydia Lunch and James Chance, who later left the band after some conflict about their direction.

Reputed to play ten-minute sets of thirty-second songs (though "The Closet" and "I woke up dreaming" extended to around three minutes and performances up to twenty), they sought to take music beyond what Lunch saw as the traditionalism of punk rock ("I thought punk was lousy Chuck Berry music amped up to play triple fast", she later commented). Their frenzied playing and Lunch's shrieked vocals gained them a renown quickly matching and even surpassing that of other No Wave bands such as DNA or the older Mars.

The group left behind little more than a dozen complete recorded songs, most of the surviving titles being assembled in 1995 into an 18-minute career retrospective CD only slightly incorrectly titled Everything (though other studio versions of several songs exist alongside a few live recordings). Few bands can have achieved quite such an impact with so slim a body of work, one felt not only in the US but also via (extremely limited) radio play in Britain where their assault on convention contrasted even more powerfully with the punk music of the day. Lunch and Chance went on separately to continued success in the New York underground music scene and beyond.

The group has been cited as a significant influence on post-punk groups such as Sonic Youth.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Teenage Jesus and the Jerks" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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