ian penman's back

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http://apawboy.blogspot.com/

in case you missed him

phil turnbull (philT), Saturday, 22 November 2003 22:32 (fifteen years ago) link

you don't say so!

*scurries off*

t\'\'t (t\'\'t), Saturday, 22 November 2003 23:24 (fifteen years ago) link

nice one!
i was hoping he hadn't just given up on it

robin (robin), Sunday, 23 November 2003 03:31 (fifteen years ago) link

hooray!!

geeta (geeta), Sunday, 23 November 2003 21:11 (fifteen years ago) link

reminder: you can check when Penman and over 100 music blogs get updated here:

http://blo.gs/3600/favorites.html

DJ Martian (djmartian), Sunday, 23 November 2003 21:22 (fifteen years ago) link

Thanks, Martian!

*adds to favourites*

t\'\'t (t\'\'t), Sunday, 23 November 2003 22:26 (fifteen years ago) link

that's made my monday!

enrique (Enrique), Monday, 24 November 2003 09:11 (fifteen years ago) link

"laziness is GOOD, people!" Quite right too; ditto not reading blogs en masse. Wish I had his fortitude. In a way I'm almost sorry he started posting again (thinking of Doomie's idea of the only good blogs being "dead" blogs).

(Then again next week I am moving house and then it's THAT time of the year, so maybe nothing else on Naked Maja until end-of-year best-ofs come Xmastime. I might do my top 50 people of this year as well as albums and films and bleurgh)

Marcello Carlin, Monday, 24 November 2003 09:26 (fifteen years ago) link

four months pass...
Hey, Penman's done a li'l up(awboy)date there, last week :)

http://apawboy.blogspot.com/

t\'\'t (t\'\'t), Wednesday, 31 March 2004 11:12 (fifteen years ago) link

one year passes...
The tease.

N_RQ, Wednesday, 27 July 2005 14:54 (fourteen years ago) link

three months pass...
eh?

Theorry Henry (Enrique), Wednesday, 16 November 2005 11:36 (thirteen years ago) link

I think JB = John Balance (of Coil).

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Wednesday, 16 November 2005 11:51 (thirteen years ago) link

there's a terrible pun that i prob wdn't want to make if i had actually heard coil...

Theorry Henry (Enrique), Wednesday, 16 November 2005 11:57 (thirteen years ago) link

I should've added - though you prog guessed - that JB died a few months ago. IP ws a big fan so I'm guessing that he is feeling his death v deeply.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Wednesday, 16 November 2005 12:08 (thirteen years ago) link

three weeks pass...
He seems to be back again.

Jerry the Nipper (Jerrynipper), Wednesday, 7 December 2005 14:17 (thirteen years ago) link

(in a manner of speaking) YES! (?)

t\'\'t (t\'\'t), Wednesday, 7 December 2005 14:24 (thirteen years ago) link

He's had more comebacks than Frank Sinatra

We Buy a Hammer For Dadaismus (Dada), Wednesday, 7 December 2005 14:25 (thirteen years ago) link

...and counting.

t\'\'t (t\'\'t), Wednesday, 7 December 2005 14:26 (thirteen years ago) link

is he in print, anywhere, these days?

i would like it if he would do a book about roxy music, as well as m. bracewell.

Theorry Henry (Enrique), Wednesday, 7 December 2005 14:27 (thirteen years ago) link

Have you read IP's essay on Ferry in 'Zoots suits and second-hand dresses', Henry? Apparently at one point in the 80s he was due to write the official Roxybook, but it fell through...

Jerry the Nipper (Jerrynipper), Wednesday, 7 December 2005 14:43 (thirteen years ago) link

no, i havenae, is that a book? i shall have to seek. i read that rumor, yeah.

Theorry Henry (Enrique), Wednesday, 7 December 2005 14:47 (thirteen years ago) link

Rumor? You bring shame on your family and nation!

We Buy a Hammer For Dadaismus (Dada), Wednesday, 7 December 2005 14:48 (thirteen years ago) link

i read the essay in 'zoot suits'. the bits i understood, i liked, but i have to fess that sometimes with penman, i don't get it. basically the punning--i like the gags ('World Warhol Two'), but when the going gets derridean, i'm less sure. at the end of the essays (or 'notes') it says 'the pieces are extracted from a longer work on roxy...'.

it's a dece collection, also includes a 'director's cut' of reynold's anti-cutie essay 'against health and efficiency'.

Theorry Henry (Enrique), Tuesday, 13 December 2005 09:24 (thirteen years ago) link

four years pass...

where the hell is ian penman?

the highest per-vote vag so far (history mayne), Friday, 5 February 2010 16:28 (nine years ago) link

Supposedly his Ferry study is going to be published this year by Zero Books!

Stevie T, Friday, 5 February 2010 16:30 (nine years ago) link

Sealink or P&O?

jed_, Friday, 5 February 2010 16:32 (nine years ago) link

lol.

that would single-handedly redeem zero books.

see that bracewell book about roxy music is widely remaindered. apparently it covers the band up to the point at which they began to make music, which, well, im sure that's interesting but.

the highest per-vote vag so far (history mayne), Friday, 5 February 2010 16:36 (nine years ago) link

penman has a sadly 'timely' review of lomax's haiti field recordings in the new wire

Ward Fowler, Friday, 5 February 2010 16:46 (nine years ago) link

Yes, I read that Bracewell book - it's really about 60s-70s art schools, music schools, pop art in the UK (v big on Richard Hamilton) & early 70s alt scenes (so Canterbury Scene & um.. what's that quasi-posh boho scene Peter York, Anthony Price - 'Them'?). It's sort of good if you want a history of that stuff in the 60s/70s.

Penman's got a big essay in the K-punk Michael Jackson book no?

nothing good came of it (woofwoofwoof), Friday, 5 February 2010 16:48 (nine years ago) link

haven't seen it in wh smiths

the highest per-vote vag so far (history mayne), Friday, 5 February 2010 16:50 (nine years ago) link

Someone told me that Roxy book stops short MB couldn't bear the bathos of interviewing ex-bassplayers etc, but I get the feeling Faber got fed up with waiting for the manuscript (the publication date was pushed back countless times I think) and told him to just give them what'd he done :/

The Penman thing in the MJ book isn't great, but it's his biog in that book that promises that the Ferry book is forthcoming.

Stevie T, Friday, 5 February 2010 16:52 (nine years ago) link

Ha right, ok. I thought it read a bit like some history stuff he was interested in + a Ferry fixation labelled with Roxy Music to sell, but a truncated version of an insanely huge social history of Britain told through the story of Roxy Music makes still more sense.

nothing good came of it (woofwoofwoof), Friday, 5 February 2010 16:57 (nine years ago) link

i am interested enough in all that stuff though iirc i read a book by ?simon frith? onm that selfsame subject.

the highest per-vote vag so far (history mayne), Friday, 5 February 2010 17:20 (nine years ago) link

This one?

Had a worryingly big impact on me when I read it age 17. :/

Stevie T, Friday, 5 February 2010 17:24 (nine years ago) link

thassaone. can't remember enough but it wasn't much fun, given its subject-matter.

the highest per-vote vag so far (history mayne), Friday, 5 February 2010 17:29 (nine years ago) link

I found it all interesting - the Them stuff (if I've got that scene's name right) I'd never heard about, would happily read more about that early 70s art/music school experimental period. Will look at that Frith (do find him a dull writer) but I am going to leave this office. NOW.

nothing good came of it (woofwoofwoof), Friday, 5 February 2010 17:31 (nine years ago) link

might pick it up. the thems postdated roxy music so it seems -- well, we'll see!

the highest per-vote vag so far (history mayne), Friday, 5 February 2010 17:36 (nine years ago) link

My impression of Ian Penman was fixed forever in the remote past. It happened when I read a very long essay by him in The Wire. The pretext of the essay was Billie Holiday. By the end of it I had only one thought in my mind: I must never be permitted to read anything this bad ever again..

The Wire had another reviewer at the time who maintained a more consistent level of badness. But somehow that Penman essay stood alone, unmatched.

alimosina, Friday, 5 February 2010 17:37 (nine years ago) link

serves you for reading the wire

the highest per-vote vag so far (history mayne), Friday, 5 February 2010 17:39 (nine years ago) link

I became very angry with The Wire for giving him print.

alimosina, Friday, 5 February 2010 17:42 (nine years ago) link

I think Penman's Pill Box blog was one of the more entertaining of its kind while it was still going, being refreshingly loose and acerbic and with a broader cultural range than most. He does have his ponderous moments though, which I fear the Jackson piece might be an example of, but maybe I'm wrong.

Freedom, Friday, 5 February 2010 18:08 (nine years ago) link

an insanely huge social history of Britain told through the story of Roxy Music

Perhaps the entire history of Britain could be told through the story of Roxy Music? With liberal use of analogy I think it could be pulled off, i.e. Brian Eno's exit from the band = the beheading of Charles I etc.

Freedom, Friday, 5 February 2010 18:16 (nine years ago) link

http://thequietus.com/articles/03545-the-resistible-demise-of-michael-jackson-reviewed

At the bottom, there is a small extract from his recent MJ piece.

xcixxorx, Friday, 5 February 2010 18:21 (nine years ago) link

see that bracewell book about roxy music is widely remaindered.

This book was kind of a bust. It covered the right stuff but, like all Bracewell, isn't that perceptive. It also has a weird thing where it'll spend a paragraph explaning who someone like, say, Andy Warhol is but will then namedrop some cybernetics pioneer with no explanation like you should know who they are. On Some Faraway Beach, the recent Eno biog, did a much better job of covering that side of things, and hopefully if Penman's ferry book appears it'll render the Bracewell completely pointless.

I effing love Penman so I hope his Ferry book does appear.

Animal Bitrate (Raw Patrick), Friday, 5 February 2010 18:30 (nine years ago) link

I probably wouldn't disagree with the lack of insight - Bracewell usually seems to be onto the right stuff, but without anything great to say (England is Mine felt like that) - but since I didn't know anything much about that world, it was informative. oh wait we've had this conversation before.

May look at that Eno biog - had written it off, can't remember why.

nothing good came of it (woofwoofwoof), Friday, 5 February 2010 19:13 (nine years ago) link

Lolz the Frith was pretty informative (knew half of it by piecing bits from music revs, which probably sourced from that bk anyway) but yeah a slog considering how exciting that subject is.

I think about that piece on the Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy as one of my faves of recent years. Paris Hilton thing also good. And so much else. But blogging is so 2002 or some such. Dislike that he isn't writing there anymore but its for the best.

He's never had a good collection => Vital Signs I loved at 18 or so but the pieces on Fassbinder/Jim Thompson aside its sorta unreadable now. I read Dave Hickey's Air Guitar a few weeks ago and I think if there could be a collection of essays with an agenda of sorts behind it, whereby you could a strength of feeling, his conceptions of things he writes about...maybe I could get behind that.

xyzzzz__, Friday, 5 February 2010 21:48 (nine years ago) link

“It-don’t- matter-if-you’re: black-or-white.
It don’t MATTER
It isn’t matter
I am not matter
I am neither black nor white, I am black and white, black AS white, sometimes black sometimes white, sometimes beyond white...”

Ick.

Freedom, Saturday, 6 February 2010 12:54 (nine years ago) link

yeah... mm.

i think in circumstances like these, the only thing you can do is blame the editor.

Vital Signs I loved at 18 or so but the pieces on Fassbinder/Jim Thompson aside its sorta unreadable now.

idk, really? i don't think this at all. it's not perfect. i think i like penman best when he isn't being a pale theory boy, ie reviewing TV for the NME. or taking down tarantino. actually wtf dude? 'vital signs' has that takedown of zappa which is one of the best bits of music criticism i've ever read ever! the theory stuff dates very badly, whereas dissing robert elms doesn't -- dats my opinions anyway.

the highest per-vote vag so far (history mayne), Saturday, 6 February 2010 13:49 (nine years ago) link

to clarify: i like him best when he's just reviewin' tv shows, or spoofing celebrity memoirs, or taking down hip (tarantino was basically hip) sacred cows. not when he's in jacques derrida mode.

the highest per-vote vag so far (history mayne), Saturday, 6 February 2010 13:51 (nine years ago) link

I agree entirely. It's strange the way someone who's capable of such irreverence and irony is also in thrall to a lot of, "When I am sitting down, I am actually standing up, but merely with a greater emphasis on the horizontal. I think a system of gradations of horizontalism would be more semantically satisfying than the stark sit down-stand up dichotomy." etc etc.

Freedom, Saturday, 6 February 2010 14:18 (nine years ago) link

"'vital signs' has that takedown of zappa which is one of the best bits of music criticism i've ever read ever!"

Totally. I reread that essay about once a year.

gotanynewsstory? (Dorianlynskey), Saturday, 6 February 2010 16:58 (nine years ago) link

Nah, enjoyed it enough at the time but now I think its the weakest music related essay in that collection. Zappa was shit but its way to easy to shoot down the guitar geek crowd while propping up the dub constituency (in the Pablo essay) - we're all record collectors (as in over 17 and perhaps quite into listening to older stuff by mostly dead people) here and have our own damn quirks. Zappa is put down as a dabbler but he really dabbled in what seemed to be EVERYTHING. I never spent an awful lot of time on it but his ear always seemed so intent on sabotaging his ideas; it was really OFF in a weird way I've never gotten to the bottom of, maybe the point at which the counterculture really goes off (he discusses that in a great rant against John Sinclair). But Ian never even bothered, instead of going for an obnoxious 'I am a punk and I did not listen to punk to write about this'.

Compare that to the Tricky and Tim Buckley essays. Way more engaged, in both mind and ear.

I wouldn't separate the daytime TV watching Ian to the Derrida reading Ian. I guess I'm comparing Ian to Dave Hickey. Looking over Vital... there are lots of great pieces but plenty of flab (are those essay on curry, beer and drugs worth revisiting?). It would be nice if a selection came out where you got a flavour of what battles he fought and won and lost (I kinda know, then again I've read way more than what's on that book). Its all way too scattered at the minute.

xyzzzz__, Sunday, 7 February 2010 12:44 (nine years ago) link

two years pass...

http://www.city-journal.org/2012/22_4_diarist-charity-shops.html

of all the places for him to turn up...

before and after broscience (goole), Friday, 7 December 2012 22:12 (six years ago) link

He is working on a book-length study of Billie Holiday.

i.e. a book

Mark G, Friday, 7 December 2012 23:04 (six years ago) link

three years pass...

Pitiless on Patti Smith.

http://www.lrb.co.uk/v38/n09/ian-penman/ways-to-be-pretentious

Mr. Hathaway. (jed_), Wednesday, 4 May 2016 21:16 (three years ago) link

Great piece and worth reading before/after watching the doc on Mapplethorpe that's doing the rounds atm. In that the cover for Horses is celebrated but the cover for Wave is not mentioned.

xyzzzz__, Wednesday, 4 May 2016 22:26 (three years ago) link

three years pass...

heard a sad story recently of one old NME star who now flogs his record collection from a table outside a tube station.

?

Ward Fowler, Wednesday, 14 August 2019 12:27 (one month ago) link

Can't say I'm that excited for these. A lot of them are fine enough at first but looking back they just seem like work for an audience that doesn't need these essays to exist (I think ILM has said what it needed to on the Prince one lol).

Really feels like he is running away from the work that made his name and I wonder what's up with that.

xyzzzz__, Wednesday, 14 August 2019 12:43 (one month ago) link

but where would "the work that made his name" be published?

mark s, Wednesday, 14 August 2019 12:51 (one month ago) link

I'm saying is this collection could've been a selection from his 80s work instead of re-printing essays published in the last 2/3 years?

xyzzzz__, Wednesday, 14 August 2019 12:59 (one month ago) link

he already has a collection of his 80s work tho

mark s, Wednesday, 14 August 2019 13:00 (one month ago) link

Hmm vital signs? I don't know feels like there are gaps?

xyzzzz__, Wednesday, 14 August 2019 13:04 (one month ago) link

well it's VS is his selection of his own work from that era (and the early 90s also) -- i mean maybe he'd choose a bunch of different stuff this time (but i have often had the impression that he doesn't actually *like* a lot of the work that others found important, plus a lot of it is very situational, as music-writing and TV writing tends to be, and doesn't quite work any more without more contextualisation than a collection of just his work cold deliver)

plus it would amplify the "didn't you used to be ian penman?" problem (i am not as big an unfan of his recent work as some tho i admit i have not yet tackled the prince piece lol)

if it's true he's not currently at his best that's more grist for the "LRB editors no longer pulling their weight" argument of course

mark s, Wednesday, 14 August 2019 13:12 (one month ago) link

Ok "more contextualisation" could explain it because what this collection comes off as a somewhat lazy re-print seeking to cater for the people who are chasing him for product. He could just tell us where to go, it's fine, but why do this instead..

(I do like lots and lots of VS btw, but yeah there was some of mid-90s Wire-era work that was real good in there, not just 80s)

xyzzzz__, Wednesday, 14 August 2019 13:26 (one month ago) link

Of the pieces in the new book I have only read the Mod one, and that one's tremendous, so I for one am looking forward to it. I am super-relaxed about IP and me both having the chance to be lazy.

Those Fitzcarraldo white covers are a menace, mind.

Tim, Wednesday, 14 August 2019 13:27 (one month ago) link

i mean i think this is very much part of LRB's own promotional backstroking outreach and self-funding project and to be honest rather IP than the lanch or AO'H!!

mark s, Wednesday, 14 August 2019 13:29 (one month ago) link

four weeks pass...

... genuine/apocryphal rock n roll rebel LoL ... someone sitting in back rows of last night's @LRBbookshop event tells me that when I mentioned my love for Frank Ocean, Solange & Lana Del Ray, a certain Mr B Gillespie shook his head in bewilderment/disgust... 😂

— Ian Penman (@pawboy2) September 11, 2019

xyzzzz__, Wednesday, 11 September 2019 18:53 (one week ago) link

good for him, what a self-congratulatory shithead

american bradass (BradNelson), Wednesday, 11 September 2019 18:55 (one week ago) link

Ok, the piece on Prince wasn't good, got it.

xyzzzz__, Wednesday, 11 September 2019 19:57 (one week ago) link


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