I made the most horrific discovery only minutes ago. I made a mistake on C&CM Mod Podcast #1.
It was only by reading the Wool City Rocker that I discovered my mistake. It was an accidental discovery, as I didn't think I would find anything of material relevance to C&CM. Although occasionally alienating, I like reading of the mod revival antics of Bradford in the early 1980s. The Wool City Rocker is considerably more composed than any of my other zines. It was written in a fine hand and it carefully described and predicted the success of groups such as the Negatives, Terminal 3, Middle 8 and other groups you've never heard of.
It is to be contrasted with other zines, Sniffin' Glue, Intensive Care and the like, which refer to many of the well-trodden traditional punk songs typically associated with the movement. There are photocopied bits of photocopied photocopies, jagged lines and thick capital letters, akin to that very keen, DIY punk aesthetic. The rants have a real, detectable voice, a growl perhaps and an aggression you can never really take seriously. They gruffly declare who is in and who is out: "The Stranglers are not included in our list!!!!!" They are to be loved, for the nuances of personal taste are so often ignored in the latter-day documentation of punk.
Sure, as an outsider, there are moments when you don't quite get the musical references. It happens particularly in mod revivalist zines which focus upon the more local, esoteric groups who never produced anything more than a home-made demo in 1979. It is frustrating, as I want to know of all the releases of the Negatives, Terminal 3 and the other one. I suppose it serves to demonstrate the fragmented nature of scene. It makes me wonder if every street had their own little mod revival band. Like a group of dapper town priors with Rickenbacker guitars, tight suits, thin ties and glowing-white socks. You could only imagine such a phenomenon with such reviews as, "they’re practically as good as the Chords!" or "they’re nearly as good as the Jam!". I could imagine those excitable kids reading those reviews. "A locally-produced, fat-free alternative to our musical heroes? Right here in Hull? Surely not!"
I must assure you that no musical reference is ever truly lost. The education is swift and stimulating, thanks to a veritable smorgasbord of mod sites: the ModPopPunk Archives, Music Ruined My Life, Low Down Kids, Short Sharp Kick in the Teeth and other sites I adore but fail to mention. From there, singles can be downloaded, lineups can be obtained. All the data is there to be accessed and I use that word carefully, data. Yet, we are so often left to ask one another, how can we find Colin Swan and Geno Buckmaster? How can I be sure that XL, who wrote the World to Me is the same Excel that wrote Summer of '42? Who the hell were the Mystery Guests? For these questions, we must turn to the frantic, flaming and occasionally shambolic zines of March 1980. For without the zines, we cannot understand the songs and without the songs, none of this would be worth our time.
Ohes. And that mistake I made? The City Limits had nothing to do with the Squares.
Cassettes & Chocolate Milk: Mod Podcast #24
Virgnie Rodin - Commando Spatial
Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti - Bright Lit Blue Skies
Gents - Honor Bright
Rotjoch - Ghostride
Excel - Summer of '42
Jacqueline Taieb - Le Coeur Au Bout Des Doigts
Erick St Laurent - Le Temps D'y Penser
REM - Carnival of Sorts (Box Cars)
Backdoor Men - Out of My Mind
The Heartbeats - Funny Anymore
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