Yep, workload means I’m still recycling Black Lodges blogs from last week…I know that’s lame, but I’m not reorting to shooting what I got free this week.
I don’t know if I stand alone in this sentiment, but I’ve got little interest in reading books or publications about anything I already know. I prefer to be in-the-dark about a topic and emerge either a zealot for the cause, whatever it was, come out the other side as confused as I was when I took the plunge. Too many magazines and books trying to pander to sectors of…uhhhh…I’ll whisper it, street culture, flop because enthusiasm outweighs ability, or they’re treading absolutely no new ground at all. Seriously, who fucking cares about the same old faces that have been done to death? All, without fail, have been covered in a far superior style back when they were unknowns.
Paper doesn’t deserve a heavier status than pixels on a screen by right – it’s the potential realised when good writers, illustrators and photographers try to push things forward, or get thoroughly retrospective and immortalise a topic that warrants respect. Me? I’m a regressive fucker, and I love nostalgia-fests.
I had no idea about anything pertaining to the UK jazz dance scene. I knew it had ties to b-boying. I knew many of the attendees of the Wag club in its heyday ended up forming clothing brands, distributing product, stores or DJing and building many of London’s foundations. Reading Mark ‘Snowboy’ Cotgrove’s labour-of-love, ‘From Jazz Funk & Fusion To Acid Jazz’ in the sun, so intently it induced multiple migraines, a bigger picture emerges, linking a subculture to pretty much any other key subculture of the seventies, eightes or nineties. Now that’s deep. Definitely worth your time if you ever hoarded ‘Big Daddy’, ‘Grand Slam’ or ‘Keep On’ – oral histories built on interviews, from ‘Please Kill Me’ to ‘It’s Not About A Salary’ are usually fascinating – even Steven Blush’s ‘American Hardcore’ is classic despite his non-objective approach to the topic.
I had no idea about the jazz dance scene, but now I have a little insight – job done. The motherlode is the new book by Dave Tompkins, ‘How to Wreck a Nice Beach’ on the history of the vocoder and talkbox that’s published soon (on Stop Smiling/Melville House) and if it’s as strong as the recent ‘Wax Poetics’ article on Roger Troutman (best read of the year thus far) this year is shaping up to be particularly edumacational.
This one goes out to the Troutman brothers and my new MacBook…