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CAT: 978144 1186058
01 Aug 11
Book studies the origins of Television and their album Marquee Moon, traces the downtown scene's influences, public image and reputation via a range of print, film and audio recordings (240 pages, paperback, black & white)
Review: This is a thoroughly researched study of the origins of the New York City punk scene, focusing on Television and their extraordinary debut record. 2 kids in their early twenties walk down the Bowery on a spring afternoon, just as the proprietor of a club hangs a sign with the new name for his venue. The place will be called CBGB which, he tells them, stands for Country Bluegrass and Blues. That's exactly the sort of stuff they play, they lie, somehow managing to get a gig out of him. After the first show their band, Television, lands a regular string of Sundays. By the end of the summer a scene has developed that includes Tom Verlaine's new love interest, a poet-turned-rock chanteuse named Patti Smith. American punk rock is born.
Bryan Waterman peels back the layers of the origin myth and assembling a rich historical archive, situates Marquee Moon in a broader cultural history of SoHo and the East Village. As Waterman traces the downtown scene's influences, public image and reputation via a range of print, film and audio recordings, you come to recognize the real historical surprises that the documentary evidence still has to yield.
33 1/3 is a series of short books about a wide variety of albums, by artists ranging from James Brown to the Beastie Boys. Launched in September 2003, the series now contains over 60 titles and is acclaimed and loved by fans, musicians and scholars alike. It was only a matter of time before a clever publisher realized that there is an audience for whom Exile On Main Street or Electric Ladyland are as significant and worthy of study as The Catcher In The Rye or Middlemarch The series, which now comprises 29 titles with more in the works, is freewheeling and eclectic, ranging from minute rock-geek analysis to idiosyncratic personal celebration: The New York Times Book Review, 2006. This is a brilliant series, each one a word of real love NME (UK).
CAT: 333075 BK
20 Dec 10
Book exploring the Radiohead's album from philosophical and cultural interpretations of time (160 pages, paperback, black & white)
Review: This is a brilliant exploration of Radiohead's game-changing album, looking at its place in the career of The World's Best Band with ten years of hindsight.
The Radiohead's Kid A never had a chance on paper. Not only did the band have the unenviable task of following up the near-universally lauded OK Computer, but Kid A didn't even have an official single or video. Neither did it help that the band largely abandoned rock-pop conventions for a sound that traversed glitch, free-jazz, modern composition and krautrock.
Rather than simply reinforcing Kid A's canonical status, Marvin Lin situates the album in the temporal, examining it from various philosophical and cultural interpretations of time in order to arrive at its political and social stakes. Why do you care how time is expressed through its aesthetic components like repetition, sampling and hybridization? Where does the album subvert our sense of time with songs like Treefingers? In which ways does it attempt to transcend time and with what implications? Time is perhaps art's biggest enemy, all human creations will be erased eventually, but it's through these various articulations that you are able to uncover some of the most interesting insights about Kid A.
CAT: 978082 6415486
13 Jun 11
Review: This epoch-making indie record of the early '90s effortlessly combines dense swathes of guitar noise and dance music. This turned out to be their last record, guitarist and studio maestro Kevin Shields having set their standards so high it was impossible to surpass them. Indeed such was the perfectionism that went towards this record, studio costs almost bankrupted Alan McGee's Creation Records - only bailed out by the success of Oasis! Shields is now playing with Primal Scream. Includes the classics Loomer, Soon and To Here Knows When.
CAT: 978082 6429148
13 Jun 11
Review: In contrast with many of their punk peers, Wire were enigmatic and cerebral, always keeping a distance from the crowd. Although Pink Flag appeared before the end of 1977, it was already a meta-commentary on the punk scene and was far more revolutionary musically than the rest of the competition. Few punk bands moved beyond pared-down rock 'n' roll and garage rock, football-terrace sing-alongs or shambolic pub rock and, if we're honest, only a handful of punk records hold up today as anything other than increasingly quaint period pieces. While the majority of their peers flogged one idea to death and paid only lip service to punk's Year Zero credo, Wire took a genuinely radical approach, deconstructing song conventions, exploring new possibilities and consistently reinventing their sound. THIS IS A CHORD. THIS IS ANOTHER. THIS IS A THIRD. NOW FORM A BAND, proclaimed the caption to the famous diagram in a UK fanzine in 1976 and countless punk acts embodied that do-it-yourself spirit. Wire, however, showed more interesting ways of doing it once you'd formed that band and they found more compelling uses for those three mythical chords.