As my post from a ten days back might imply, I've been away from my computer and completely out of the loop on all the Very Important Topics happening in the bloggysphere. Today I'm catching up on a few.
Nicholas Rhombes is writing a book called A Cultural Dictionary of Punk, 1972-1984, and today he asks himself, "why write about punk?"
I'm not sure, but I think it has something to do with the fine granularity of punk: it is music subtracted from, as opposed to something like disco, which is music "added to." At its best, it is distinctive for what it reveals when things are taken are taken away, things like over-production, overdubbing, expertise. There is an over-precise distinctiveness to punk, which makes it both absurd and alluring at the same time. Punk organized itself around the denial of excess. In America, especially, this amounted to critique, whether intended or not.
Setting the Woods on Fire gives us a second installment on the roots of country-rock. Part I was one of the most essential blog posts I've read all year; I haven't had a chance to check out Part II in depth yet but Paul's got a great track record.
If there is a poster child for the phenomenon of blog-driven tastes, it may well be Destroyer. Just when I thought discussion of Dan Bejar had finally been exhausted, along comes a thoughtful post from Ryan Catbird, with a followup from Chromewaves and a parallel back-and-forth between Zoilus, Radio Free Canukistan, and Zoilus again.