Wednesday, February 23, 2005

What I'm Really Up To...

if you care, is thinking now about this book I want to write and have been framing out. I figure it looks like this:

Preface: London, 1965. A snapshot of the aesthetic.
A chapter on the early 70's, The Raspberries, Blue Ash, that sort of thing.
Then the sort of flowering in the late 70's. early 80's, organized by scene: NYC, Chicago, LA, Great Britain. Maybe a chapter on each, looking at a couple of bands, thinking through differences.

It looks to me like everyone had something perfect and effervescent in 79, but that by 81 something had changed radically. I'm working on that now. I'm trying hard not to blame the Thatcher/Reagan shift, but I keep coming back to that basic change in the zeitgeist. I'm always hesitant to ascribe certain artistic forms to certain political situations: as a postcolonial lit scholar, I see a lot of people do that, and I know sometimes it's just sloppy work. But in this case it might be true. I'm also willing to entertain the idea that MTV had something to do with it.

I'm thinking a postscript on the alternative pop scene of the mid 90's as well.

What do you think?

(I've also been fascinated with the burgeoning gay-conservative-shill-who-just-happens-to-be-a-hooker scandal, and have taken on organizing duties for EschaCon. So a full plate.)


refinnej said...

Actually I think the Thatcher/Regan/MTV combo is something you really can't ignore.. MTV in particular really did change things. And I like the idea of looking at the 90's.. Interesting things happened then. I'd also suggest you look at Canadian alternative/pop.. really interesting things go on up there..

Anonymous said...

The famous Power Pop issue of Bomp had extended pieces about early to mid seventies pop scenes in Cleveland and Montreal that were fascinating. I've also always been a little fascinated by Fuse from that same era, which was half of Cheap Trick and half of the Nazz. I think you'd also want some late sixties coverage on what is now called the Freakbeat era. All those bands emulating the mid-sixties Who really helped codify Power Pop (Creation, of course, but also The Smoke and The Eyes and others).

Another area of interest might be the widespread pop mafia through the south in the 80s. A strong look at all the Stamey /Easter/Holsapple combinations like Sneakers and H-Bombs. Spare a mention for the Windbreakers in there if you can.


Anonymous said...

another thing was the influence of Rockpool and espcially CMJ in making alternative/indie music more of a commodity, rather than a labor of love. another good place to look for info on indie pop is lots of info on Sarah, Creation and other labels

Anonymous said...

My memory of the downhill early 80's transition period you describe was the sudden fascination with synth sounds. I would argue that in this period there was experimentation/ obsession with some new technology, most of it awful failures...