If I ever have a solo show (cross your fingers for me) I would love to play studio mix selections during the opening. And I want to create a vibe similar to the late 70s / early 80s New York underground art scene. If ever there was a time I would want to go back in time to it would be then, even considering all of the social strife, inequality, the Crack and AIDS crises, and having Ronald Regan as president (insert vomiting emoji here).

Because that’s when the counter-culture was at its best when political, anti-establishment art hit its stride and had a hand in the change we all know eventually happened. I mean, look at what Keith Harring was able to create and accomplish. He brilliantly merged attractive and fun pop art and normally superficial, emotionless, and substanceless movement and used it to bring the plight of Gay Americans and the  AIDS crisis to light.

And then there’s Jean-Michele Basquiat; no more comment is needed.

This brings me to this week’s selection; one of my favorite discoveries of the past five years or so is No Wave music. A post-punk, anti-New-Wave genre that was at the heart of late 70s NYC counterculture. I discovered it and reignited my love of the era by watching the film Downtown 81 starring Basquiat, as well as Debbie Harry, Fab Five Freddy, and several of the bands I came to love, like Tuxedomoon and James Chance and the Contortionists. This led me down the rabbit hole leading to today’s selection, Lizzy Mercier Descloux. While not in the film, she was one of the No Wave pioneers and one of my favorites who will most certainly play during my first solo exhibit.

The mix of no-rules punk sensibilities with the attention to song structure of post-punk, with influxes of disco, ska, and acid jazz, makes me want to go see some of today’s counter-culture to be reminded it’s still out there, and just as much an agent of change as these artists.