… of the book book of the conference of the politics and history of rockwriting
Hullo ILM! I have not been on you for a while bcz I needed my best brain to begin preparing for my BOOK to land well (current exact publication day tbc but aug/sept is still looking likely).
Anyway, alongside the book, I am gradually creating a broader, more detailed history of the UK music press. This includes a PODCAST (roughly fortnightly) featuring my good friend Hazel Southwell quizzing me on various topics (for topics so far and individual links see below), plus weekly blog-posts about this project and topics arising (ditto). And to help us cover costs and to get more people involved in the emerging conversation, I have over the last six weeks been running a PATREON which you are invited to support if you choose.
The podcast is Hazel and me and a bottle or two of red wine, where she gets to quiz me on about things I hadn't thought to explain and shakes up my aged boomer brain with impertinent millennial queries (of the what were you all THINKING?? variety). The blogposts — roughly weekly — will sometimes be topical, will sometimes respond to on expand on things thrown up in the pod, and sometimes just be be braindumps of something on my mind that needs exploring. The idea is that they’ll gather gradually together to form a context for the book when it arrives — and also that everyone read and listen and comment and challenge, in the comments at the Patreon, or at Freaky Trigger /], or in relevant threads here (including maybe this one as the the response-to-podcast thread).
If you like stuff, please share it! It’s fun to do but it’s also time-consuming and there are admin costs to cover (Soundcloud isn’t free, for example, and Hazel and I are both working freelancers who will need to give up day job stuff to give our best to this). And join in! Obviously we are ALWAYS right about everything (even when we disagree with each other) but you are right too (even when you disagree with us) (ok except YOU, you’re just WRONG… )
pod 1: is the PILOT, explaining the background to the project and my reasons for starting it pod 2: is abt the NME, and some thoughts on the demise of the print format of the final UK music weekly pod 3: an old man explains PUNK, in the knowledge that literally no one will agree with what’s being said (=definition of punk)
post 1: OTHER JACKSONS IN YOUR HOUSE, or how when we made Morrissey we made him bad post 2: THE INVISIBLE DANDY: scribbled farewell notes on Tom Wolfepost 3: NO LONGER A DEBATE? Lennon’s Revolutions 50 years onpost 4: THE EIGHT-AND-A-HALF PILLARS OF TRUE PUNK (disclaimer: some of them are false)
MORE WHEN IT GETS MADE OR WRITTEN!! (which will be SOON!)
And now over to SAVAGE PENCIL: https://freakytrigger.s3.amazonaws.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/07122252/hiddenlandscape-web.jpg
(x-posted at ILE)
― mark s, Sunday, 17 June 2018 11:26 (one year ago) link
new post up about Mick Farren, how the values of the 60s underground press transferred into the music papers, and how they fared there
― mark s, Friday, 22 June 2018 14:42 (one year ago) link
rip penny reel, who spoke on a panel and wrote a piece for the book -- i ran into him (very frail) with his wife a few months back outside hackney M&S and promised i'd pop by and then never got round to it
― mark s, Tuesday, 14 August 2018 18:01 (one year ago) link
pod 1: is the PILOT, explaining the background to the project and my reasons for starting it pod 2: is abt the NME, and some thoughts on the demise of the print format of the final UK music weekly pod 3: an old man explains PUNK, in the knowledge that literally no one will agree with what’s being said (=definition of punk) pod 4: looks at undergrounds and overgrounds, and WHAT GOES ON BETWEEN THEM, media-wisepod 5: the art of the discussion of the NOT EVEN QUITE SEMI-POPULAR, and what you do when it’s never going to be big: from Sun Ra to Ut, from Bhangra to Kpop
(Bhangra and KPop are obviously way way more than just semi-popular, except with the targeted demographics of the publications in question — so the issue of how you talk about them becomes even more complicated… )
post 1: OTHER JACKSONS IN YOUR HOUSE, or how when we made Morrissey we made him bad post 2: THE INVISIBLE DANDY: scribbled farewell notes on Tom Wolfepost 3: NO LONGER A DEBATE? Lennon’s Revolutions 50 years onpost 4: THE EIGHT-AND-A-HALF PILLARS OF TRUE PUNK (disclaimer: some of them are false)post 5: FROM ICEBERG TO TITANIC, AND FROM TITANIC TO ICEBERG, AND FROM ICEBERG TO TITANIC AGAIN: THE MICK FARREN STORY — a semi-forgotten UK rockwrite great, and the 1976 polemic that maybe kickstarted UK punk post 6: WHAT EVEN IS AREVIEW? Pro and con lost or discarded ways to approach the evolving art of rock criticism: noiseboys dept (=Nick Tosches being a dick and why that’s maybe not all bad… )
Sad interlude: two obits of key figures at the NME, late 70s and early 80s. ROY CARR (1945-2018) here and here; PENNY REEL (1948-2018) here, video interview here. Next post will be a longer appreciation of Penny, a key contributor to conference and anthology (and a Hackney neighbour I’ve known for years).
post 7: HOW NOT TO WRITE ABOUT JAZZ , PROBABLY, a long piece on the problems of explaining genre — and when and why you need to, and what you need to talk about to justify talking in terms of genre at all (probably)
(post numbering excludes all the ones where I’m basically saying “sorry I haven’t posted recently! more very soon!”)
Make yr opinions known in this thread, or at the Patreon or at Freaky Trigger. And sign up to the Patreon, because it helps pay for stuff like hosting and encourages more #content
― mark s, Wednesday, 12 September 2018 12:31 (eleven months ago) link
really enjoyed the PILOT, Mark. Looking forward to hearing the rest!
― Heavy Messages (jed_), Thursday, 13 September 2018 21:40 (eleven months ago) link
― mark s, Thursday, 13 September 2018 21:44 (eleven months ago) link
Hey Mark. Is the book coming out soon? Did a quick Amazon search and couldn't find it (I'm dumb, though).
― Rod Steel (musicfanatic), Thursday, 13 September 2018 21:58 (eleven months ago) link
(dec 5 is a longstop date, i've been told late oct/early nov: fingers crossed!)
― mark s, Thursday, 13 September 2018 22:06 (eleven months ago) link
Mark, you have a very nice voice to listen to also.
― Heavy Messages (jed_), Thursday, 13 September 2018 22:07 (eleven months ago) link
― mark s, Thursday, 13 September 2018 22:10 (eleven months ago) link
(thank you for saying so!)
― mark s, Thursday, 13 September 2018 22:11 (eleven months ago) link
― Heavy Messages (jed_), Thursday, 13 September 2018 22:33 (eleven months ago) link
A fuller obit for the great Penny Reel, pioneering reggae writer in the UK: https://www.patreon.com/posts/ites-reel-being-21446722(not subscriber locked)
― mark s, Sunday, 16 September 2018 12:54 (eleven months ago) link
post 9: about INDUSTRIAL ACTION AT THE POP TITLES and why it was good not bad (subscribers only since i need more subscribers)
there are two podcasts recorded and nearly ready to go up but my cohost and producer is overwhelmed by the pressures of freelancing currently: of course if you subscribe that will relieve pressure!
(end very good shill)
― mark s, Tuesday, 16 October 2018 13:58 (ten months ago) link
now available unlocked (and also at freaky trigger):http://freakytrigger.co.uk/hidden-landscapes/2018/10/the-other-kind-of-industrial/
― mark s, Friday, 26 October 2018 16:27 (nine months ago) link
Back with a backlog of updates after a long hiatus (caused mainly by the book actually being published and me taking a bit of a rest after that):
Anyway, here we go (blog posts): Following on the strike action piece, X Moore's two-part NME feature on the miners' strikeHow the PUFFIN CLUB made me a rock writerA review of Michele Kirsch's memoir CleanSilver Screen: NME's very strong early 80s film and TV section , and the role it played in the magazine's ethos
And links to podcasts:
On music-writing and the edge of the lawOn how to do the best work if you also want to get paid
― mark s, Friday, 9 August 2019 11:08 (one week ago) link
Oh man, the Silver Screen piece is grebt, mark s! I didn't start reading until 83/84 (after the strike?) but with its Bilko/Barthes/Blimp/Brookie focus it was the section that spoke most clearly to me (particularly since it was far easier to track down the stuff under discussion than eg a Scraping Foetus 12"). Would much rather read an anthology of IP's TV stuff than his LRB elegies, and still aspire to be a member of the silver screen screwball comedy squad :/
― Stevie T, Friday, 9 August 2019 12:23 (one week ago) link