R.I.P. Mark E. Smith

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.

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Quit Your Band! Japanese edition "バンドやめようぜ!" now in stores!

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!”)

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Quit Your Band! Soundtrack 1 (Japanese Pop 1950-2001)

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 scenes infrastructure work, and they fall into two main categories.

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Quit Your Band! media coverage

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.

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Quit Your Band! book trailer

I've heard that book trailers are a thing, so I made this out of a pile of old film & TV footage, iMovie, and a set of vague memories of Godard from film studies classes.

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