Friday, April 06, 2007

Let's put our heads together, and start some new music up

I thought that the Dirt would be the best rock book I read in 2007, but I was wrong. I am currently reading Rip it Up and Start Again, Postpunk 1978-1984 and it is masterful. The book's thesis is that postpunk was a creative forward looking reaction to backward looking punk. The movement was also intellectually oriented, often being grounded in political, literary or artistic theory.

In each chapter, author Reynolds takes a few bands related due to philosophy and geography and explores how they got started in music as well as what thinking drove their creative process. The chapters are wonderfully balanced between the band's philosophy and the juicy stories of living the rock life. Each chapter is short enough that if you are bored you can read it quickly enough to get to the next, but is also long enough to tell a story.

If you have any interest in the period or the bands, you will learn more about the bands you like and find more music you will want to find. If you can, get the UK version as it includes a few chapters nixed in the US version.

The author's website has a 26 page discography for those who want to search for new music. There is also an esoterica section which includes facts which didn't seem to make it into the book. Don't take this for how the book reads, this reads like unedited notes.

Among the bands covered are Devo, Joy Division, the Human League, Adam and the Ants, Public Image Limited, the Fall, Throbbing Gristle, and the Sisters of Mercy. And piles more.

And in super great book news, his next book is called Bring the Noise, 20 years of Writing About Hip Rock and Hip Hop. I've always wanted a sherpa for hip hop and I think this might be what I seek.


Anonymous said...

I don't like my music being "history." - nic

Tripp said...

Hmmm. If your music is indeed from this period, then it is in fact history or is "Preoccupied with 1985" song really about you?

Also the text is so alive that you immediately want to go out and listen.

Brack said...