What's true?

Songs are mercurial things, their writers’ biographical unburdening acting so readily as cyphers for the experiential and emotional realities of the audience – us – that we take ownership of them, use them as crutches or waymarkers in the narrative journey of our own unfurling lives. Here, singer-songwriter Pete Astor examines the porous border between…

33 1/3: Blank Generation

Pete Astor (Bloomsbury) Part of the fun of the 33 1/3 series of books on classic albums is trying to anticipate which direction the author will take. We’ve been treated to track-by-track details of the writing and recording processes, personal and poetic takes from jaded band members and giddy fans alike, and even a short…

The Image Has Cracked

Born in 1953 within the sound of Bow Bells, but raised in the wheat belt of Western Australia, Bleddyn Butcher is one of the prime rock photographers of recent times; emerging in the 1980s, he is responsible for key images of artists such as Nick Cave, The Go-Betweens, The Triffids, The Moodists and even the…

Chapter and Verse

Over the years, David Sheppard has been charged with writing or editing more than half-a-dozen musicianly monographs, and lived, as it were, to tell the tale; so he knows from bittersweet first-hand experience how penning a half-decent tome about the life of a popular recording or performing artist can be a pursuit littered with impediments…

Face To (The) Face

Postmodernism is a notoriously difficult idea to pin down; sometimes it feels like the best you can do when asked for any kind of definition is to roll your eyes and say how tricky it is to get to get to grips with, thus proving how well you understand the complexity of the subject. The…

Resonance: '74/'80

Perhaps surprisingly, Thurston Moore, flannel shirted avant grunge god, has emerged as a lifelong David Bowie freak; he recently introduced ‘Early Music Videos by David Bowie’ – part of MoMA’s Looking at Music exhibition. This fictional piece imagines his early encounters and interactions with Bowie’s work. Initially we find the teenage Moore in the mid-’70s,…