[All throughout the month of November, all NW4NW entries have been based on requests made by you, dear readers. I want to take a moment to thank all of you who submitted requests. I hope that you were pleased with my efforts. The NW4NW series will resume its regularly once-a-week schedule in December. Although NW4NW All Request Month comes to a conclusion with this post, I am always open to your suggestions and requests for future entries - your feedback is greatly valued!]
Cover of Bush TetrasWe close out this year's NW4NW All Request Month with a bit of No Wave funk requested by Ron Parker. Ron and I met online a few years ago and I have always enjoyed talking music with him. He got his request in under the wire this year, and it's a nifty one to end on.
Pat Place had just left a gig as guitarist in James Chance's bleat-and-skronk combo The Contortions when she teamed up with singer Cynthia Sley to form The Bush Tetras. Building on the atonal foundation of the swiftly fading NYC No Wave scene, the Tetras cranked up the funky beat and found a greater semblance of melody amid screeching and stunted guitars than their predecessors. Sley's chanted vocals keep things from sounding completely safe, and the songs wobble a bit, but fans of Gang Of Four or The Slits will understand.
The Bush Tetras original releases, the 4-song Rituals EP (1981) and the cassette-only Wild Things (1983), are both long out of print, but can be had if one is willing to look around a bit. Their two best-known songs were dance-club favorites in New York: their biggest underground success was the sparse but excellent "Too Many Creeps;" "Cowboys In Africa" is a bit more substantial musically but does not stray far from the boundaries of "Creeps."
Reuniting in 1990s, The Bush Tetras issued Boom In The Night, which collected their previous recordings and a few unreleased nuggets in one easy-to-own package. Tetrafied, a collection of rare and unreleased demos and live performances, appeared in 1996. Another reuinion came about in the middle of this decade, resulting in 2007's Very Very Happy, which combines old and new material.
For this request, I am happy to share both of The Bush Tetras classics; the video for "Too Many Creeps" and an audio-only of "Cowboys In Africa." My thanks to Ron Parker for this request, and my thanks again to everyone who submitted requests for this month's fun. Hope you've enjoyed!