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- What this man's learned from holding the UK's longest-running pub music quiz | Music | The Guardian
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What this man's learned from holding the UK's longest-running pub music quiz | Music | The Guardian
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Would you like to find out more about the hugely popular teenage singer? I'm not, generally speaking, a big fan of slab-like books that try to condense a whole musical movement or phase in culture into one single title, as they tend to either be a dry succession of facts or too patchy, not giving the full picture. However, Energy Flash: A Journey Through Rave Music and Dance Culture gets everything right, and you sense that Simon Reynolds is reporting from inside an exploding scene, sending vital transmissions to the world outside.
You also feel that he is being radicalised as he goes along, coining new terms and coming up with inventive ways of describing this revolutionary music. And he balances the weighty an approach that is serious but stops short of being academic with the fact that dance music is, essentially, good fun and exciting. People tend to forget now, but Reynolds - a former Melody Maker writer - was one of the ones who helped kick certain doors open in terms of music journalism.
Musical strains such as techno and house were often treated as a joke in the rockist world of 80s and 90s mainstream music criticism, and the style of writing that went on to become Energy Flash was a catalyst for change, helping lead to today's more critically balanced landscape. It was thrilling to me that so many of the book's main players were still within reach, despite the era that they defined seeming as distant and mythic as Arthurian times.
British punk was an extraordinary explosion of creativity that left its DNA in so much of what we consider quintessentially British culture - and not just in music. Joe Strummer is no longer with us, but we still live with the influence of the musicians and artists of 70s British punk. This book is the key text to understanding how that moment came about. Most music biographies have a job to make an enthralling story out of the bookends of an artist's career - i.
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Viv Albertine 's story isn't like that, in that her band The Slits didn't really have hits, and it's the unexpected, non-musical moments of her life that linger longest in the mind. Clothes Music Boys feels like the last untold story of the punk era, with Viv recounting in unflinching detail some of her insider peaks; starting a band with Sid Vicious, dating Mick Jones of The Clash , learning the guitar and joining The Slits, and then going on to explain what happened next in equally thrilling detail. It's the story of a girl growing up in s London, getting into music, wanting to take part, becoming a punk rocker then not being a punk rocker any more.
Being a musician, then not being a musician. She becomes many other things - aerobics instructor, video editor - without her life feeling like a downward slope, after the fame. There are terrible things and wonderful things, some are musical, some are not. This is the story of a life, rather than a career. Most music books are about the artist and the art. Few dwell on the fact that music is a business, except to offer, in passing, anecdotes of nefarious executives or cocaine-blinded nights with industry legends. But the biggest story of the past 20 years hasn't been the rise of a revolutionary artist or genre, it's been the collapse of the public's willingness to pay for recorded music, and the record labels' need to re-calibrate what they do.
How Music Got Free explains how that happened: how the labels precipitated their own crisis by encoding music in digital form on compact discs; how Dell Glover, a production line worker at a pressing plant in North Carolina, almost single-handedly ended the concept of the official release and, at one point, deliberately manipulated the US album charts ; and how the music industry found itself on its knees.
It's an astonishing piece of sustained reporting, from the upper tiers of the major labels to the pirates in their bedrooms, and it explains absolutely clearly why what happened ended up happening. One hopes Witt might at some point turn his attention to how the labels started to recover, and to the inexorable rise of streaming - and how that has impacted on artists. Journalists usually get to speak to bands twice - once during their rise to fame and once on the way back down. But somehow Bill Flanagan managed to persuade U2 to let him shadow them for two whole years at the peak of their career.
He's there in Berlin as they break apart recording Achtung Baby; and as they stumble across a song - One - that glues them back together.
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He's there as they decide to hang Trabants from the ceiling on the Zoo TV tour. You will notice that each product page on the Web site includes an estimated delivery date range for Saver Delivery, as well as for Express Delivery if it is available for that product. In addition to the estimated delivery date range, on the product page you will find how long an item will take to be dispatched.
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