Kill Your Idols

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Movie Review by Almiro Jorge

Starring: Lydia Lynch & Jim Sclavunos – Teenage Jesus & The Jerks, Arto Lindsay
Director: Scott A Crary

…makes you feel that even you can be a celebrity…

In the late 1970’s what we now know as punk had it thunderous beginnings in the heart of the Big Apple. Bands such as Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, Suicide, Lydia Lunch, DNA and Sonic Youth created quite a stir with their discordance. This aptly named documentary focuses on its development.

Even though every noise band is indebted to the movement, which surfaced about 30 years ago, the so-called No Wave is seldom given an ounce of credit because of its brief history, spanning just two years. Finding its roots in New York, punk was supposed to be a revolt against the traditionalism and conservatism of the then current music. KILL YOUR IDOLS takes a wider view still, into the new millennium.

Crary gathered every key figure in punk from the last three decades including Lydia Lunch (Teenage Jesus and the Jerks), Arto Lindsay (DNA), Martin Rev (Suicide), Glenn Branca (Theoretical Girls) from the No Wave era and Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth), Lee Renaldo (Sonic Youth), Michael Gira (Swans).

Adversely contrasting the contemporary acts such as A.R.E. Weapons, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Liars, Black Dice and Gogol Bordello, which join in for a profane two cents worth, to their No Wave predecessors, Crary shows resentment to them; not necessarily saying that the bands are not as good as they used to be, but probing at the fact that their music does not depict the same chaos and anarchy: the ideal of punk.

Crary made this documentary feature with less than US $300, making it very low budget. Although some of the film is difficult to watch because it is raw, the style is completely enjoyable and the subject matter makes for very interesting viewing.

Finally we can forge the links between the No Wave beginnings and some of our favourite bands. Unfortunately this film is not for everyone. If you don’t like loud music and idle profanity it is probably better to skip this one.

4 out of 6 stars