Friday, December 21, 2007

Next month I'll be heading to Germany for a book tour, where I and Rip It Up translator Conny Losch will be presenting an audio-visual entertainment package of text, videos and music at venues in seven cities across the nation.

Dates and locations:

17.1. Marburg – Café Trauma
18.1. Stuttgart/Schorndorf – Manufaktur
19.1. Freiburg – Café Swamp
20.1. Frankfurt/M. - Mousonturm
21.1. Köln – Gebaeude 9
22.1. Hamburg - Uebel & Gefaehrlich
23.1. Berlin – Festsaal Kreuzberg

More information re. times and street locations to follow, as well as related events and attractions (e.g. Mark Stewart looks likely to be deejaying after the event in Berlin)

And in further Deutschland-related new:

Rip It Up and Start Again was voted #6 Book of 2007 by the readership of Rolling Stone Germany, jostling amidst fiction by Cormac McCarthy, Mark Z.Danielewski, and J.K. Rowling.

Rip It Up was also selected as Music Book of the Year by two critics at the weekly magazine Die Zeit.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

FOOTNOTES #17 / CHAPTER 16 SEX GANG CHILDREN: Malcolm McLaren / Adam Ant / Bow Wow Wow

can now be found here at the Rip It Up Footnotes blog

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A Greek translation of Rip It Up and Start Again will be coming out through
Athens-based publisher Sonic Playground. ETA: possibly late 2008, more likely early 2009.

Sunday, October 21, 2007


can now be found here at the Rip It Up Footnotes blog

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The German language edition of Rip It Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978-1984 ... aka Schmeiss alles hin und fang neu an is out now on Hannibal Verlag

check here for further information on my Deutchsland book tour, set for early January 2008

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

in-depth (and how!) interview with stuart argabright of ike yard and "dominatrix sleeps tonight" fame

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

piece from last year on the Rip It Up comp

Never mind the bleakness
The Guardian, Saturday May 13, 2006

When I embarked on Rip It Up And Start Again, four years ago, a big impetus was my impatience to shove punk rock out of the limelight. I was fed up with the relentless focus on 1976-and-all-that by rock chroniclers and documentary-makers. As much as Never Mind The Bollocks changed my life, it seemed clear that the most adventurous music emerged during the so-called aftermath years, 1978-84. The groups who made it, while sparked into existence by the Pistols/Clash, rapidly moved into far more expansive terrain than the back-to-basics rock'n'roll offered by most punk bands. Yet the post-punk period had never received its fair share of attention. Even John Lydon spent only a few pages on PiL in his 1994 autobiography, seemingly capitulating to the fact that the Pistols' over-told story was where his immortality resided.

Post-punk's stock has risen enormously in the last few years. 2006 will see the inevitable rash of 30th anniversary of punk retrospection, but the land is overrun by young groups who've been frenziedly looting the archives of post-punk. With the original battle won, a different impetus took hold when selecting tracks for the Rip It Up compilation: the desire to expand the conception of what post-punk was. Today's remake/remodel squad - Bloc Party, Franz Ferdinand, Futureheads, etc - operate from a rather narrow notion of post-punk, based around a handful of key bands (Wire, Gang of Four, the Cure, Joy Division...).

Post-punk tends to get equated with fractured guitars, agitated punk-funk basslines, and angst-racked vocals. In reality, post-punk was less a defined genre than a space of possibility, out of which a vast range of styles emerged, shaped by open-ended imperatives to innovation, wilful oddness, the jettisoning of all things obvious and rock'n'roll. With this compilation, I wanted to go beyond the cliches of "angular" and "bleak" and showcase post-punk's other facets: the ethereal, the quirky, the downright daft. There's frenetic high-energy tunes from Devo, the Fall, Josef K and others, but overall the compilation is slanted towards dream-drifty atmospherics and eerie bliss from the likes of Young Marble Giants, the Raincoats, Fatal Microbes and Thomas Leer.

Most pleasing to me personally is the tribute paid to Ivor Cutler (inadvertent - we had no idea he was going to die), through the inclusion of Robert Wyatt's wonderful cover version of Grass. A perennial presence on John Peel's show, Cutler was a post-punk fixture, his Scottish surrealist storytelling slotting perfectly alongside DIY weirdos like Native Hipsters and Family Fodder. Yet Cutler actually loathed rock, along with all amplified music, and was a dedicated member of the Noise Abatement Society. Somehow that seems to capture the eccentric spirit of post-punk.

Friday, May 04, 2007

interview with me by Italian writer Fabio Izzo (in Italian and then in English)

Thursday, March 15, 2007

a programme dedicated to Rip It Up and Start Again, aired on the Radio Campus Rouen's show L’Opéra des Dieux and based around tracks selected by moi , is now downloadable at -> emissions -> rip it up & start again

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

an interview with me by Jonathan Clancy for Radio Città Del Capo in Bologna

strangely we did not once discuss "Skank Bloc Bologna"

Thursday, January 18, 2007

the French edition of Rip It Up and Start Again (cover above) is published on January 25th by Editions Allia

the Italian translation came out late last year on ISBN -- check out the index cover

Friday, January 12, 2007

FOOTNOTES # 15 / CHAPTER 14: CAREERING Public Image Ltd and Postpunk’s peak and fall

can be found here at the Rip It Up Footnotes blog
FOOTNOTES # 14 / Chapter 13 FREAK SCENE San Francisco

can be found here at the Rip It Up Footnotes blog
FOOTNOTES # 13 / CHAPTER 12 INDUSTRIAL DEVOLUTION Throbbing Gristle. Whitehouse. Nurse with Wound. Clock DVA. 23 Skidoo

can now be found here at the Rip It Up Footnotes blog
FOOTNOTES #12 / CHAPTER 11 MESSTHETICS: The London Vanguard Scritti Politti. London Musicians Collective. Flying Lizards. This Heat. Raincoats. Red Crayola. Pere Ubu. Young Marble Giants. John Peel

can now be found here at the Rip It Up Footnotes blog
FOOTNOTES #11 / JUST STEP SIDEWAYS The Fall, Joy Division and the Manchester Scene

can be found here at the Rip It Up Footnotes blog
FOOTNOTES #10 / LIVING FOR THE FUTURE Cabaret Voltaire, Human League and the Sheffield scene

can now be found here at the Rip It Up Footnotes blog

Monday, January 08, 2007

FOOTNOTES #9 / CHAPTER 8 ART ATTACK Talking Heads and Wire

can now be found here at the Rip It Up Footnotes blog

Friday, January 05, 2007

FOOTNOTES #8 / CHAPTER 7 MILITANT ENTERTAINMENT Gang of Four, Mekons, Delta 5 and the Leeds Scene

can now be found here at the Rip It Up Footnotes blog

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

FOOTNOTES #7 / CHAPTER 6 AUTONOMY IN THE UK Independent Labels and DIY - Rough Trade, Mute, Fast Product, Factory, Cherry Red, New Hormones, Swell Maps, Buzzcocks

can now be found here at the Rip It Up Footnotes blog

Monday, January 01, 2007

FOOTNOTES # 6 / CHAPTER 5 TRIBAL REVIVAL The Pop Group Alternative TV and The Slits

can now be found here at the Rip It Up Footnotes blog