Sunday, November 19, 2017

Dü the Dü


 

Currently at your local newsagent or record store, the December issue of The Wire features an essay-review by me of the Hüsker Dü box set Savage Young 

Bit of a nightmare keeping the umlauts consistent throughout the review! I think I missed only one. If you inspect the front cover, you'll see that they actually forgot the umlaut over the Dü.



Apart from umlaut-anxiety, this was a most enjoyable trip down memory lane - taking me back to the mid-Eighties, the moment just before I went professional, and a time when Hüsker Dü was pretty much my favourite band on the planet. They cropped up regularly in my Monitor pieces as a touchstone. Then, after joining the Maker, I reviewed Candy Apple Grey and Warehouse: Songs and Stories in swift succession. Finally got to interview the  not that long before they split up. 

Actually, continuing the diehard streak of reviewing, I also handled Bob Mould's solo debut Workbook when that came out. That review languishes somewhere in my ink-and-paper archive. Never did get into Sugar, though.  

Some years ago I read that Bob became a drum & bass convert and even recorded a whole album in that vein (seemingly following the same trajectory as Kevin Shields).  That seems to have been an exaggeration: listening now for the first time, it seems more a case of an uneasy merger of Mouldian noise-pop and electronica, not unlike that Jesus Jones record Perverse, perhaps, or even Earthling

  

Also in this issue of The Wire, a fascinating cover story by Rory Gibbs on the post-geographical virtual digitronica collective Quantum NativesBrood Ma, Yearning Kru (love that name!),  recsund, Rosen and others.  

A different kind of electronic collective is celebrated in the freebie CD that accompanies the issue, and it couldn't be more up my avant alley: a compilation of electronic and tape-music pulled from the archives of the Polish Radio Experimental Studio.












Wednesday, November 15, 2017

"Eloquent Rage"

A fascinating oral history convened by Joy Press of New York Radical Women: the Sixties feminist thought-cell and guerrilla theater unit, born in flames of rage 50 years ago, who pioneered consciousness raising, who coined concepts and slogans like "the Personal is Political" and "Sisterhood is Powerful," and who launched absurdist-satiric attacks on the Miss America pageant and Wall Street. Featuring the voices of Robin Morgan, Ellen Willis, Susan Brownmiller, Alix Kate Shulman, Shulamith Firestone, Kathie Sarachild, and more, this is an exhilarating memorial to a group whose ideas + spirit are more timely + urgent than ever in this savagely polarized political-cultural moment.


  New York Radical Women hurl cosmetics and feminine 
    accoutrements into the Freedom Trash Can at the 1968 Miss 
America pageant. Pic by Bev Grant. 


Protesting Miss America again, 1969. 


Hexing Wall Street, 1969. Pic by Bev Grant.