Every sentence is a poem in Patti Smith's prose memoir about herself and her soulmate Robert Mapplethorpe.
I had heard rumors of many of the anecdotesEvery sentence is a poem in Patti Smith's prose memoir about herself and her soulmate Robert Mapplethorpe.
I had heard rumors of many of the anecdotes - once saw the film of Robert getting his nipple pierced, knew that Patti was in a play with Sam Sheppard, but I didn't know how all the pieces fit together....more
The 500 pages of this book flew by. It covers quite a length of time, about 25 years from the late 70s to the present. All of the text is from excerptThe 500 pages of this book flew by. It covers quite a length of time, about 25 years from the late 70s to the present. All of the text is from excerpts of interviews with participants in the various phases of the Bay Area scene.
In some cases editing makes people appear to comment on other people in a way that the interviewees probably didn't intend. Also a lack of contextualizing intros to the chapters makes the chronology unclear. For instance, two chapters on 924 Gilman, the second of which mentions that Tim Yohannan quit and a new crew started running it, but doesn't make clear whether this happened in the middle of the previous chapter's events or after it. Also, the Dead Kennedys' Frankenchrist legal battle and the lawsuits between band members are in the same chapter, with no indication that more than a decade separated the events.
The sheer quantity of material meant that several chapters didn't make it and are on the associated website instead; I would have preferred the chapter on Epicenter to be in the book in favor of some of the material on fights.
But complaints aside (and where would the San Francisco Bay Area punk scene be without complaints) it's definitely a worthwhile read....more
The author is a sociologist who was a member of an all-women band The Mistakes, who were based in Oxford, England starting in 1978. Apparently Simon FThe author is a sociologist who was a member of an all-women band The Mistakes, who were based in Oxford, England starting in 1978. Apparently Simon Frith was her PhD tutor. She started with a study of women musicians in bands in the early 80s. However, after her thesis was completed, she was not able to publish a book immediately. So she undertook another round of research and interviews in the mid-90s, at the time of Riot Grrrl (though most of the women she interviewed saw British Riot Grrrl as a media construct that they didn't want to be a part of.) Therefore she had two groups of women to compare.
She notes in the introduction that the book is intentionally written in an accessible manner - it is not dry and doesn't suffer from critical theory language problems.
Due to the way the research was conducted, some of the musicians from the earlier cohort (i.e. the era this mailing list focuses on) are referred to by pseudonyms. There are some "name" musicians she interviewed for the book, like Judy Parsons of the Belle Stars (who was also in The Mistakes), Debbie Smith, Skin, Natasha Atlas, Amelia Fletcher, Candida Doyle, Emma Anderson of Lush, Gail Greenwood of Belly, Manda Rin of Bis, Vi Subversa, and Vicki Aspinall. There are also interviewees who were in more locally-based bands.
Unfortunately the book was only ever published in hardcover from an academic press, so is expensive to own, but I checked it out from the SF Public Library and it should be available from many libraries or via interlibrary loan....more
I was talking to a young whippersnapper music fan the other day and I mentioned that when I was in college I read the Trouser Press Record Guide coverI was talking to a young whippersnapper music fan the other day and I mentioned that when I was in college I read the Trouser Press Record Guide cover-to-cover. "Trouser Press?" he asked. Naturally, he had no idea what I was talking about. This guide (this one is basically a third revision) was a spin-off of a defunct "New Wave" magazine, and is pretty much the definitive review guide. They have a website with their reviews, too, but for obsessives it's nice to have it on paper. There is actually a fourth edition that contains a little more than this one. Then they did a "Trouser Press Guide to '90s Rock" which had a totally new set of reviews an covered that decade. Anyway, it's been great having trivia from reading their guides in my head so I can bluff my way out of many a musical conversation, and often spot interesting items in record stores....more
This is an almost-contemporary reprint of the seminal British punk zine Sniffin' Glue. Not a complete reprint, however - the more recent reprint "SnifThis is an almost-contemporary reprint of the seminal British punk zine Sniffin' Glue. Not a complete reprint, however - the more recent reprint "Sniffin' Glue: The Essential Punk Accessory" has the full issues, while this one often leaves out pages, some of which contain record reviews, others with material on bands. The photo reproductions are better -it looks like it was shot and re-stripped from original boards, while the other edition looks to have been reproduced from photocopies. Also, this one is on good paper which hasn't yellowed, while the other has the reproduction pages on newsprint and non-zine pages on glossy....more
Interesting book by a straight-edge sociologist who studied the straight-edge scene, primarily in Denver, Colorado. I was familiar with the Dick HebidInteresting book by a straight-edge sociologist who studied the straight-edge scene, primarily in Denver, Colorado. I was familiar with the Dick Hebidge school of subcultural theory (aka Birmingham Unicersity's Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies.) However, Hanfler argues that the CCCS' focus on style shortchanges other forms of resistance. In the third chapter, he examines sXe as a social movement rather than as a style-based subculture. Haenfler draws parallels to the gay and lesbian movement in terms of a movement that is not only bounded by formal organizations, but is in part based on individuals' expressions and identifications.
Haenfler discusses masculinity and the role of women within straightedge. He has a feminist viewpoint and points out straight edge's need to be more inclusive to women as one of its biggest areas for improvement.
The book has good footnotes and references, but the index is somewhat lacking - while there is an entry for "homophobia, opposition to", there is no index reference to the comparisons of straight edge with the gay and lesbian movement that pepper the book. Also the referenced writers are not listed in the index, and not all bands mentioned are in the index.
I think Haenfler's approach could be useful for a sociologist studying other youth movements, particularly riot grrrl and queercore. Also, I think that someone needs to do a sociological study of drunk/gutter punks.
My copy is a third printing, so apparently it is being bought, hopefully both by "the kids" and by academics....more