Early Contortions photos unearthed by James Nares

Here are several recently discovered & rarely seen shots of the original Contortions. They were sent to James Chance from James Nares, an original member of the band. Here is what James Chance had to say about them: 

Here are the photos James Nares sent me. Besides being an artist & filmmaker, James Nares was the guitarist in the very first edition of the Contortions circa late 1977 to early '78. 

The photo above was taken in late Jan or early Feb '78. By that time, our original bassist, Reck, had been forced to return home to Tokyo when his visa expired, and been replaced on bass by George Scott, who played with a group called the Jack Ruby Band and was introduced to me by Lydia Lunch. The lineup on the top photo from Max's, left to right, is myself, George Scott, Adele Bertei, James Nares, Pat Place & Chiko. This lineup did 1 Max's date and a weekend at CBGB opening for the Cramps before Chiko also had to go back to Japan and James Nares also decided to leave.

The picture taken in the garage (below) was, I believe, our first photo session - one of the other shots from it was used on the flyer for the first ever Contortions gig at Max's Kansas City in early Dec 1977. The personnel in the garage shot is, left to right, Adele Bertei, James Nares, myself, Pat Place, & Reck, our Japanese bassist. There was also a Japanese drummer, Chiko, who was also the original bassist in Teenage Jesus & the Jerks. The other 3 shots (above) were taken in the dressing room at Max's, and it's very likely also at that first gig. Unfortunately, James doesn't seem to know who took these photos. 

Contort Yourself: (from left) Adele Bertei, James Nares, James Chance, Pat Place, and Reck


James Chance touring & recording: Italy & France

Photo by Matthew Eisman/Getty Images North America
James Chance is happy to announce some new European tour dates for late November/early December in Italy and France. He'll be backed by Les Contorsions. The trip will include a recording session in Bordeaux from Dec. 2-5.

Here are the tour dates for Nov 26 thru Dec 7:
Nov 28: Rome / Italy - Init
Nov 29: Bari / Italy - Teatro Communal
Nov 30: Bologna / Italy - Freak Out
Dec 06: Bordeaux / France - Le Comptoir du Jazz 
                                    Dec 07: Tulles / France - Les Lendemains qui Chantent


James Chance related items of interest

Its been a little while since we've posted anything, so here's a little something to tide you over - two items relating to James & No Wave that may interest you:

- First up, our friends Pat & Emily from Nightclubbing have a new column up this week at Bedford & Bowery featuring footage of DNA shot at the Mudd Club in 1979. See that here.
- Secondly, Marc Miller over at 98 Bowery just launched an online exhibition of No Wave film related photos & ephemera. See it here. This includes the above poster, plus a photo of Anya Phillips (from Amos Poe's The Foreigner) we've never seen before, and other items of interest.


A rare gig flyer for a James White show at Save The Robots

This is a flyer for a James White gig (sometime in the 80's) at Save The Robots - a well known after hours club in Alphabet City in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Via.


James Chance at Ubu in Rennes, France, Feb 2013, by Stem

Thanks to French photographer, Stem, who just sent these fantastic images of James in action at Ubu in Rennes, France, back in February. See the complete set after the jump

Be sure to visit Stem's website here.


James Chance Top 10 Film Noir Movies: Part Two

By Jeff Ellis

It's finally here: The second part of James' comprehensive take on his top ten film noir movies. Read it at Perfect Sound Forever now! If you missed part one, you can access that here. Thanks to Jason at Perfect Sound Forever.


James & Walter Steding to appear at EmZ Big Sexy POSTCARDS Album Release Party 7/30 at Gershwin Hotel

Two Years in the making, "POSTCARDS" is a collection of original Big Sexy songs that capture the brittle nature of love, life and the journey of a soul in bloom. Honest, and electrically eclectic, these are some seriously SWEET AND VICIOUS TUNES.

What>POSTCARDS Album Release Party
Where>The Gershwin Hotel - 7 E 27th St NY 10016
When>Tuesday July 30, 8-10pm.
Cost>$10 (Entry gets you a free CD and a big sexy kiss)

The legendary James Chance will be kicking off the night with a solo set on piano, followed by EmZ and the Big Sexy Orchestra with special guests including Walter Steding and many more...


Don't forget - James and band at Le Poisson Rouge this weekend!

Photo by Richard Dumas
Nothing says 4th of July weekend quite like a James Chance show! Make sure you salute when he hits the stage at (le) poisson rouge on Saturday, July 6, with Ivan Julian (guitar), Richard Dworkin (drums), Robert Aaron (tenor sax, keyboards), Mac Gollehon (trumpet), and Orrin Bloedour (bass). Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door, and are available here.


X Magazine 1978 benefit footage with the Contortions, Boris Policeband & DNA! Party Picks exhibit at Salon 94 Bowery!

James Chance by Jimmy Desana

This is extremely exciting. Very rarely seen footage from the 1978 benefit concert for X Magazine has surfaced featuring The Contortions, Boris Policeband, and DNA. Astounding! Thanks to Frieda's Whip for the tip. The film/video was made by Coleen Fitzgibbon and Alan Moore, and finished in 2009.

The film is part of an exhibition called Party Picks at the Bowery branch of the Salon 94 Gallery, and features the work of artist & photographer, Jimmy Desana. It runs June 21, 2013–August 09, 2013. For more information click here.


Previously unseen photos of James White & The Blacks, Vancouver, May 1982

by Jeff Ellis
James-fan, Jeff Ellis, very kindly has shared these previously unpublished images of James White & The Blacks that he snapped way back in May 1982 when he saw the band perform in Vancouver at the Luv-A-Fair nightclub. A big thank you to Jeff!

by Jeff Ellis

by Jeff Ellis

by Jeff Ellis

by Jeff Ellis

by Jeff Ellis

by Jeff Ellis

by Jeff Ellis


James at Le Poisson Rouge on July 6 with Ivan Julian!

Image source
James will be making a return visit to Le Poisson Rouge on July 6 with special guest guitarist, Ivan Julian. Sal Principato of Liquid Liquid will also be appearing. Only $12.00 in advance...Get your tickets here.


James in action at Virada Cultural 2013, Sao Paolo

Here are a few amazing shots of James in action on the big, and we mean big, stage at Virada Cultural 2013 in Sao Paolo, Brazil, this past weekend. Wow! 

Photos courtesy of Ariel Martini / I Hate Flash


James Chance in São Paolo this weekend at Virada Cultural 2013

For James Chance fans in or near São Paolo, Brazil, we're happy to announce that James will be making his first ever appearance in South America this weekend at the Virada Cultural Festival! The festival takes place May 18 & 19. For more information, please visit the festival's website or Facebook page. As they say in Portuguese, obrigado!



All About Jazz: James Chance and Les Contortions in Cologne, Germany, 02.28.13

AllAboutJazz.com reviews James' February 28 gig in Cologne, Germany, and liked what they heard.

"James Chance—still influential after his role as a catalyst in New York City's seventies-based No Wave movement—proved his enduring career amidst the upper creative edges is no novelty act.
Chance and his cohesive French backing trio (bassist Jacques Auvergne, guitarist Pierre Fablet and drummer Alex Tua) showed it was just as suited to tasks of timbre and turmoil as its namesake; more punkish progenitors, the group brought a rollicking, hundred minute set to an appreciative audience ready to swing hard and low. Chance provided an electrified outlet for the feeling. The small club, in a busy artists' colony of remodeled warehouses, heated to a boil." Continued here.


Le Petit Bain 02.22.2013

Vinz Guyot took a bunch of wonderful photos of James in action in Paris on Feb 22 at Le Petit Bain. We've posted a few here for you, and you can see the entire set on Facebook here.


James Chance, Andrew WK, ?uestlove, Kim Gordon, at Red Bull Academy, May 1

As Tiny Mixtapes reports, James will be appearing at the Red Bull Academy at the Brooklyn Masonic Temple on May 1 along with an all star line up of musicians for an evening of improvisation. Read about the event & get your tickets here.


Sept 23, 1979: The M-80 Festival, Minneapolis MN (Part 2)

Here's a rare bit of history - an actual ticket stub from the M-80 Festival held in Minneapolis in September 1979 where the Contortions appeared. We've posted video footage of this before.


Anya Phillips by Edo Bertoglio (1979)

As we await James' return from the tour, we take a moment to share this beautiful image of Anya Phillips, taken from a recent New York Magazine piece on women of the NY post punk scene, as photographed by Edo Bertoglio in 1979. See the entire story here.


History in the making...Brian Eno watches The Contortions

This photo by Julia Gorton popped up on Facebook yesterday, and I hadn't thought about it for some time. Eno seems to be looking at the camera and thinking, "Hmm...maybe I should put together a compilation called No New York..." And who knows...Perhaps this was snapped the evening that idea was born?

Gorton, who I don't know much about, was around the No Wave scene quite a bit as evidenced by the use of her photos in books such as No Wave: Post-Punk. Underground. New York. 1976-1980 and No Wave, and quite a few record sleeves. Unfortunately she doesn't seem to have a website of her work at this time.


James White & The Blacks, 1980

As James makes his way across western Europe, our friends at Bedazzled have shared this nice little collection of four songs by James White & The Blacks, taped live back in May of 1980. Note the gorgeous pink satin jacket James is sporting!

01. I Feel Good 
02. King Heroin 
03. Put Me Back In My Cage 
04. Contort Yourself