Honestly speaking, I really don’t know much about the band UT beyond that they were spawned towards the tail end of the No Wave era here in NYC, only to decamp to London and sign with the maverick indie lable, Blast First. They’re considerd an formidable influence on the nascent iterations of Sonic Youth and Sleater Kinney, among others.
While I’d read their name in various rock tomes, I don’t think I ever actually heard their music until getting a hold of those New York Noise compilations I spoke of as recently as two weeks ago. In fact, the only real reason I’m invoking them here now is because of this portrait I spotted of them, taken by renowned photographer Cindy Sherman.
Now it’s a cool photo on a variety of levels. For a start, it’s just a cool shot of a cool band. Secondly, it’s a stylishly staged image of an era of NYC that obviously doesn’t exist anymore. Thirdy, I find it intriguing in that depicts the space across the West Side Highway around Murray Street as still being undeveloped, landfill beachfront. Click on it to enlarge.
Today, of course, the spot where UT are depicted loitering is a very different scene. Here that’s same approximate spot today, courtesy of Google Maps.
Some added bits of trivia: Sonic Youth would later name one of their albums Murray Street, which was where, I believe, they maintained a rehearsal space circa September 2001. Also, shot nearby was that single sleeve for “Always” by Tom Verlaine on Vesey Street, …also snapped when it was just sandy landfill.
For reference, meanwhile, this is my favorite UT track. Crank it.