Following the death at the age of 60 of Mark E. Smith of Manchester postpunk band The Fall, Japanese music magazine ele-king asked me to write an article (an obituary, I suppose), about him. I can't claim a deep or extensive knowledge of his enormous back catalogue of music, but nevertheless I count myself as a fan, not least because he was one of the most extraordinary poets in the English language of the modern era. For Japanese-speakers, the ele-king article is here. I'll post the original English text below the fold.
Last week, on the one year anniversary of the English edition’s release, the Japanese translation of Quit Your Band! came out, with the title バンドやめようぜ！ ("Band Yameyouze!”)
When writing Quit Your Band! I made a conscious decision that the book wasn't going to be a guide to the music itself so much as a book about the world musicians inhabit and the background against which their music exists. Under this structure, the artists I talk about really function as examples for broader points I want to make about trends in music culture or aspects of how the scene’s infrastructure work, and they fall into two main categories.
Over the past few months, I've had the interesting experience of being on the receiving end of quite a lot of media coverage about the book, mostly from Japan-focused web sites, magazines etc.