Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Your Library is So Punk Rock
Yesterday's passing of Poly Styrene, formerly of X-Ray Spex, has put me in a pensive yet punk mood this morning. I am a latecomer to punk-in the '70s, I was a child listening to ABBA & my mom's show tunes-but I began reading about & listening to punk a few years ago & I just got caught up in it. Poly Styrene was one of my favorite artists of that era. Her new album, Generation Indigo, just came out.
Most of my punk research was actually done under the auspices of the library. Here are some of my favorite reads:
Punk by Stephen Colegrave & Chris Sullivan
Cinderella's Big Score: Women of the Punk and Indie Underground by Maria Raha
We Got the Neutron Bomb: The Untold Story of L.A. Punk by Marc Spitz and Brendan Mullen
Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk by Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain
Rip It Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978-1984 by Simon Reynolds
Also consider checking out Rob Sheffield's wonderful memoir Love is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time, where "Rob, now a writer for Rolling Stone, uses the songs on fifteen mix tapes to tell the story of his brief time with Renée...a hell-raising Appalachian punk-rock girl," as the publisher writes. It's not really about punk, but the way Sheffield uses music to remember & reflect is really well done.
The library system has some punk media offering as well, most notably:
The Clash Live: Revolution Rock (DVD)
American Hardcore (DVD)
The Filth & the Fury (DVD)
ABC Libraries' catalog also features a smattering of punk rock CDs.
More about X-Ray Spex: