Wednesday, May 26, 2010

BOOK REVIEW! BABYLON'S BURNING by Clinton Heylin, reviewed by BRAD KOHLER!!!!

Hey, that guy from Nirvana is on the cover. Remember how he was a "spokesperson for a generation" or some crap like that was the result of Ballpark Franks brand 24 hour media overkill? "They plump when you cook 'em!" Yeah, and not too far down the line it looks like one of those shriveled weiners that resemble a greasy dog turd that has been languishing by the counter of a 7-11 for weeks. Who in the hell writes a rock song called "Sliver" anyway?

Johnny Rotten is on there as well. He just came through town doing interviews and sounding like the kind of democrat that has a dreamcatcher hanging from the rear view mirror in his car. Thirty-five bucks for him and his pickup band. I played "Poptones" on an internet juke once and when the line "the CASSETTE played poptones..." came on, I thought it might as well be "the eight track tape". How many songs can you list that mention obsolete technology? Bonus points for laser discs. "Poptones" is a pretty good song, but when you come right down to it wouldn't you rather hear CAN? But they're not on the internet juke where I drink. I guess the Iron Butterfly catalog took up too much bandwith or something. Disclaimer: I don't know what bandwith is.

The fact that Rotten was into Van Der Graaf Generator, though not a key component in the lyrical impact he would bring to the Pistols, does, I'm fairly sure, have some kind of subconscious effect. I just won't figure out what it is. "Praise picnicking in the British countryside". OK yeah, that's from "Poptones" but do you get my drift? Only someone who sits in their suburban prat room and examines record covers and inner sleeves the entire time the record is playing comes up with a line like that. I swear, was Rotten discovered in Malcolm's shop or in Piccadilly Square? Is this the sort of thing a college professor can write a thesis on now and get tenure with? Did Malcolm import punk straight from Richard Hell's living room or...enough. Like the dinosaur stadium rock that was targeted for extinction (though let's face it, this "movement" was the equivalent of a remora catching a ride on a great white shark) dinosaur punk history books must die. No wonder the eyes of the kids in the country are glazed over by rap videos. "Your assignment is to read chapters seven and eight and list three antecedents for Sonic Youth." "Oooh, you got Punk World Culture with Mr. Heylin? He gives too much homework. And don't wear your Dead Boys t-shirt. He'll give you detention!"

P.S.-The fact that Mclaren was actively trying to come up with a band he wanted to call MASTERS OF THE BACKSIDE during the early days of punk should have been the lead in his obit. But at least he didn't bloodlessly freeze dry history.

The cassette played...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Heylin only seems to like 'art rock', not greasy kid stuff. He's our Limey versh of that prig, (Holey) Greil Marcus. Sorry bout dat!