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riley

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The Belief in a Just World: A Fundamental Delusion
Melvin Lerner

Rip It Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978-1984

Rip It Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978-1984 - Simon Reynolds On the whole, this is an interesting and informative book with lots of information about an era of music that was, until the recent new new wave/post post punk revival, quite neglected. It may indeed be the definitive account (or not) but it sure as hell isn't complete. There are a couple big problems with this. The general one is an overall anglocentric approach. Reynolds grew up with this stuff, so it's natural he focuses on the British side more than the Americans. But he does this to his own detriment. For him, PiL was the first post-punk band. But later in his book we discover they hardly were. Chapters on significant American bands are not as in depth as chapters on British bands: he focuses on individual singles by British bands and then mentions that an American band put out an album or two. He completely ignores the Feelies, barely mentions the Dream Syndicate (and mentions them as if they were part of some later genre, alternative), barely mentions Swans, doesn't mention Wipers, etc. He implies that hardcore is not somehow a part of postpunk even though he discusses Flipper as a postpunk band. Then there is the great obsession with Lydon and McLaren. There are two whole chapters on Lydon and his band and three separate segments on McLaren. Reynolds as not convinced me that they are as seminal as he believes. I could go on. A pretty good book, but missing a lot and with too much bias.