A bunch of bands in the late-70s downtown Manhattan scene; four of them -- Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, DNA, The Contortions (later known, amongst other names, perhaps including "Dickhead" har-har-har, as James Chance and the Contortions), and Mars -- were on the No New York compilation, produced by Brian Eno. Imagine The Stooges, Velvets, Albert Ayler, and Captain Beefheart as the co-founders of rock, and the co(n)founding took place at a meeting near a hot-dog vendor seven minutes ago on Houston Street -- that's, perhaps, one definition of No Wave. The musics made, back then (and you can include slightly-later bands, like Swans and 3 Teens Kill 4), were a nice uneasy-listening antidote to the creeping ennui caused by the homogenizing of punk rock into a predictable, user-friendly genre/industry.

There are many famous (?) alumni: Lydia Lunch (Miss Teenage Jesus herself), composer Glenn Branca (of the Theoretical Girls; Sonic Youth's and Swans' roots are in Branca's early works), and Ikue Mori and Arto Lindsay (drummer and guitarist in DNA).