Reading About Writing

Paul Gorman’s chronicle of the music press augments his 2001 oral history but again does not bring the story into the 21st Century.

Roger Shepherd and Flying Nun Records

Founded in 1981 by Roger Shepherd, Flying Nun Records set out to document the rock scene in the New Zealand cities of Dunedin and Christchurch. Starting with the Pin Group’s “Ambivalence” single, the label has survived for more than 40 years, with hundreds of releases to its name.

Poly Styrene: Woman on Film

Poly Styrene stormed her way into punk greatness with the opening lines of X-Ray Spex’s first single.
Her band’s 1978 album, Germfree Adolescents, is a classic, avoiding the genre’s traps and standing out through Styrene’s voice and perspective (as well as the unusual choice of including a saxophone in the mix.)

Julien Temple’s Crock of Gold: Ain’t That a Shane

Director Julien Temple talks about his new Shane MacGowan documentary, Crock of Gold. “Shane talking to other people he knows or respects gave us a more scattershot approach. We shot him and Johnny [Depp] for eight hours and probably only got three or four minutes out of it. But it was spontaneous and uninhibited.”

The Right Side of History

The new documentary film White Riot covers the first two years – 1976 to 1978 — of the British activist organization Rock Against Racism. Director Rubika Shah’s style, which incorporates animation and quick edits, builds on the energy of the punk scene and includes plenty of exciting music.

Other Music in a Different Kitchen

“I remember being an 18-year-old in New York coming to Other Music for the first time and being intimidated by the fact that I didn’t recognize 90% of the names on the bin cards. But that didn’t keep me from coming back. I wanted to find out who they were.”