:: Friday, May 20, 2005 ::

What I've been up to, part 1
Thanks, all you virtual friends, Romans, countrymen (lend me your URLs!), for slaying the fatted calf in my honor upon my return from dining with the swineherds. Thought I'd tell you folks a bit about what's been happening the past -- what's it been, six months?

I've been working, reading, living, listening to music, and trying to work on that book about the spiritual aspects of punk rock. It's been nearly two years in the making now, but I'm still at three-and-a-half chapters (that's the intro, chapter 1, chapter 2 and a good start on chapter 3). I work on it in fits and starts. I get my hands on some great source material, think that I need to jam some more of what I learn into the book (the introduction's about 7,000 pages or so now; every argument in support of my thesis must be crammed into the intro, I keep thinking), and then find more great source material. For such a short-lived movement, there sure has been a lot of stuff written about punk. A lot of it is the same stuff, hashed out over and over again. (I'm talking about the "survey" materials, not the in-depth books about the Clash, the Ramones or Tesco's fave, Darby Crash.) But some of the materials shed new light on the movement.

This week, I finished reading (and rereading parts of)Let Fury Have the Hour: The Punk Rock Politics of Joe Strummer and the novel Tales of a Punk Rock Nothing (three stars [out of five] for both; mini-reviews on the sidebar). While the Strummer book -- a collection of essays -- gave me a lot of good material about the Clash and some nice quotes from Strummer to shoehorn into the manuscript, the book is an uncritical look at Strummer. He is idolized as the Patron Saint of Punk. I probably won't get much for the book from my reading of Tales... but it was an interesting novel of letters, zines and stuff, all strung together in a nice little DIY-looking package.

Also this week, I picked up a couple of more academic books about punk from the library: Break All Rules! Punk Rock and the Making of a Style, by Tricia Henry (a 1989 book that examines punk's roots, focusing on the Velvet Underground, New York Dolls and Sex Pistols), and Punk Rock: So What?, a collection of essays edited by Roger Sabin. I haven't cracked the spine on that one yet.

I've been reading some other stuff, too (see sidebar).

Coming in part 2, what I've been listening to.

:: Andrew 07:22 + ::

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What I've been listening to lately. Click album cover or hyperlink to hear track samples and learn more.

Sermon on Exposition Boulevard Rickie Lee Jones, Sermon on Exposition Boulevard

Children Running Through Patty Griffin, Children Running Through

Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? Of Montreal, Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?

Tones of Town Field Music, Tones of Town

The Girl Collection De Bossen, The Girl Collection

Robbers & Cowards Cold War Kids, Robbers & Cowards

Carinvore Simon Dawes, Carnivore

Until Death Comes Frida Hyvonen, Until Death Comes

Tratore Basics 2: New Brazilian Rock Tratore Basics Vol. 2, Novo Rock Brazil

Modern Times Yusuf: An Other Cup

Modern Times The Beatles: Love

Two Thousand The French Kicks: Two Thousand

Paper Television The Blow: Paper Television

Freedom Haters Unite! A Bloodshot Records Sampler, Vol. 1 Freedom Haters Unite! A Bloodshot Records Sampler

Beast Moans Swan Lake: Beast Moans

Prototypes Prototypes: Prototypes

Violence Is Golden Scanners: Violence Is Golden

Mothers, Sisters, Daughters & Wives Voxtrot: Mothers, Sisters, Daughters & Wives

Your Biggest Fan Voxtrot: Your Biggest Fan

Translate Macon Greyson: Translate

Get Evens The Evens: Get Evens

Veruca Salt IV Veruca Salt: Veruca Salt IV

Modern Times Bob Dylan: Modern Times

Look Your Best Pink Tuscadero: Look Your Best

Blue On Blue Leigh Nash: Blue on Blue

I Am  Not Afraid Of  You And I Will Beat Your Ass Yo La Tengo: I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass

Boys and Girls in America The Hold Steady: Boys and Girls in America

The Longest Meow Bobby Bare Jr.: The Longest Meow"

Hello Love The Be Good Tanyas: Hello Love

The Lemonheads The Lemonheads: The Lemonheads

Ben Kweller Ben Kweller: Ben Kweller

We Are The Pipettes The Pipettes: We Are the Pipettes

Surprise Paul Simon: Surprise

Sev7en Exene Cervenka and the Original Sinners: Sev7en

A Hundred Highways Johnny Cash: American V: A Hundred Highways

For the Best of Us The John Doe Thing: For the Best of Us

Runaway Bombshell The Fondas: Runaway Bombshell

Flat-Pack Philosophy Buzzcocks: Flat Pack Philosophy

Citrus Asobi Seksu: Citrus

The Loon Tapes 'n Tapes: The Loon

2006 Pitchfork Music Festival Sampler Various Artists: 2006 Pitchfork Music Festival Sampler (24 free tracks)

News and Tributes The Futureheads: News and Tributes

Zoysia The Bottle Rockets: Zoysia

Let's Get Out of This Country Camera Obscura: Let's Get Out of This Country

Bang Bang Rock & Roll Art Brut: Bang Bang Rock & Roll

A Blessing and a Curse Drive By Truckers: A Blessing and a Curse

Broken Boy Soldiers The Raconteurs: Broken Boy Soldiers

The Life Pursuit Belle and Sebastian: The Life Pursuit

The Greatest Cat Power: The Greatest

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