I've been backlogged on responding to all the thinkers out there, so in the meantime here's a quick look at some of the posts from the last ten days or so that have been giving me food for thought:
—I'm only just getting to Parlando's post on post-punk from last week, which has some good comments in addition to the main post. It was written as a response to the Pitchfork review of U2 that dared use the p-p-word to describe their early albums. Though I've never been a U2 fan in any of their phases, I'm with Scraps that I'd never think to refer to any of their material as "post-punk." Some of the comments, however, are interesting—partly because they coincidentally get into something I just brushed at in my Marquee Moon post at Star-Maker Machine on Monday, which is that Television and the Ramones existed on the same stage, in the same scene, at the same time. Thinking about it renders the whole idea of "post"-punk a little ridiculous, since the genres really did happen simultaneously, not chronologically. (Not that the Ramones or Television were the very first of either genre, but we're talking 1977 here—the dawn of both genres.)
—Sunday's Los Angeles Times filled its Calendar section with essays and musings on the idea of the guilty pleasure. Ann Powers' contribution, about critical pissing matches, was linked in a few blogs, and out of context from the rest of the paper it seemed a little half-baked. Carl Wilson picked up on the thread and added his always-interesting two cents over at Zoilus.
—The Guardian did a nice interview with Les Paul, who still plays out every single week, despite his arthritic fingers. For anyone who doesn't grasp how important Paul was to music, this is a great read. There is no Jimi Hendrix or Thurston Moore without Les Paul. [via Rich Girls]
It took many more years of tinkering before he made his first solid-wood guitar, in 1941; he had to wait another 10 years before Gibson finally embraced the idea, in 1951. "The electric guitar was laughed at! They called me the character with the broomstick with pick-ups on it. It was terrible. Before we came along the guitar was an apologetic wimp - the weakest, most unimportant guy in the band. As soon as we put a pick-up on him, and a volume control, he became the king."