Stay Cool Dad


A really worthwhile read by Simon Sharwood
June 29, 2006, 5:14 am
Filed under: Just listened to ..., Mission statement

I blogged a while back about Rip it Up and Start Again, Simon Reynolds’ history of post-punk.

Now I want to recommend it to you.

At least one reason why is Reynolds’ own reason for writing the book, which in his introduction he says is partly down to the fact that “… when you reach a certain age, you begin to wonder if all the time mental and emotional energy you’ve invested in this music thing was such a shrewd move.”

“What made me believe music could matter so much?

This question makes the book “… in part a reckoning with my younger self.”

These notions are all things that this blog aims to explore, both for ourselves as parents but also as we watch our kids grow and invest their mental and emotional energy in music and other culture.

So if only because Reynolds is on our wavelength, the book deserves our attention.

It is also worth a read because it is very, very good. Many music books are pretentious, starry-eyed drivel. This book has none of that.

It does, however, offer a detailed look at the period 1978-1984 that leaves you in no doubt as to why it was important. From that you can easily draw your own inferences about why the dynamic period he describes was so attractive to a young audience and how your own youngsters will respond to similar change and the way it helps them develop their personalities.

Lastly, it’s a good example of an author using the web (see www.simonreynolds.net) to extend the life and usefulness of a book. I see surprisingly little of this, so kudos to Reynolds.

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