Sunday, August 22, 2010
Simon Reynolds' "Totally Wired"
Not only did Simon Reynolds wrote the ultimate history of Post-Punk, but maybe the only one? Nevertheless "Totally Wired" is a perfect brother or sister to his "Rip It Up." Basically a collection of interviews with the key players of Post-Punk - all British except for David Thomas, Lydia Lunch, and the great James Chance/White.
The subject matter of both books are interesting, but what makes it really shine is Reynolds intelligence and asking the right question to the right person. All interviewees are superb, intelligent, the cloudy area of early 80's music is given much deserved focus. Meaning groups like Gang of Four, Public Image Ltd, Slits, etc. It was an exciting time for music because Punk opened up the door, but who did what and how once that door was opened is an interesting subject matter. For me as a listener it was a paradise of sorts with beautiful graphics and wonderful fashion.
But beyond that was heavy thinking, heavy fun, and weird beautiful recordings. Post-Punk is a huge canvas and Reynolds does a good job in covering the major thinkers and stars and almost stars. I wished there was something on my favorite, Cowboys International, but alas, another book perhaps.