Friday, June 6, 2014
Cutiestalgia, or "Where Were You In '86?"
something in the air....
exhibit 1: Mark Spitz's new book Twee: The Gentle Revolution in Music, Books, Television, Fashion, and Film - an archaeology of the cult of innocence, whimsy and the DIY-handcrafty-Etsy aesthetic as it's spread from indie music and zine culture into the mainstream. Check the interview with Spitz at Largehearted Boy
exhibit 2: new book Simply Thrilled: The Preposterous Story of Postcard Records, by Simon Goddard. Reviewed by Sukdev Sandhu in The Guardian.
exhibit 3: I was recently interviewed for a book on Sarah Records that Michael White's doing for Bloomsbury. As a representative of the anti-Sarah view generally prevalent at Melody Maker, naturally.
exhibit 4: Neil Taylor, one of the people who covered the shambling beat for NME at the time and co-compiled the C86 cassette, is using Kickstarter to fund C86 & All That: Indie 1983-86 - A History.
Where was I in '86? Writing about it in MM, of course. Quite enthused by the spirit and the subcultural trappings but rather more guarded about the music, most of which was fairly flimsy.
One of these days I will get around to scanning + posting the Cutie Fashion piece I did for MM in late 1986 -- second installment of a (unintentional) three-part series that began with "Younger Than Yesterday" and finished with this January 1987 piece on Fanzines. (Although maybe it was a four-parter: my ambivalence about cutie/shambling as music finally switching to outright repudiation with the "Regressive Rock" piece later in '87).
Here also is something I wrote eight years ago about an earlier wave of cutie-stalgia, the 20th Anniversary of C86.
(Alert readers will notice that I recycled the intro para of this piece for the intro of Retromania. Or was it that I used the opening para of my book proposal, then a work-in-progress, in the Time Out piece? I can't remember the sequence of events. Either way, thrifty fellow that Reynolds.)
And here's something I wrote for Uncut on Orange Juice, who did the whole "worldliness must keep apart from me" thing first and best.