Simon Reynolds announces expanded edition of Energy Flash, apparently experiencing a little retromania of his own

Simon Reynolds announces expanded edition of Energy Flash, apparently experiencing a little retromania of his own

Apparently music writer Simon Reynolds is following in the footsteps of backward-looking musicians everywhere and reissuing his foundational 1998 rave history, Energy Flash. Seems a little ironic, don’t you think, that a guy who basically book-length yelled at all of us for being a little too stuck in the past is now repeating his own history?

Just kidding! Reynolds is the author of some of the most interesting music writing available these days, including 2005’s Rip It Up and Start Again and 2011’s Retromania. Energy Flash is his essential book on rave culture and dance music of the late 80s and 90s, and it’s been called a “must-read” by all sorts of people who both read books and are known for telling other people what to do. For those unfamiliar with it, the book relies heavily on Reynolds’ firsthand experiences of the early rave scene and features interviews with artists like Aphex Twin and Goldie. The expanded edition has a new section on the rise of dubstep and America’s current obsession with EDM. I, for one, am looking forward to Reynolds explaining the American EDM thing and am seriously hoping that he’ll include a section called “Taylor, Here’s How to Talk to Your Grandmother about footwork,” because, let me tell you, I was at a total loss over Christmas.

The expanded version will be out in bookstores and as an e-book on June 20. If you’re not too stuck in the past, maybe download it to one of your digital devices and read it in between cat videos. The book is published by Faber & Faber, and Reynolds will be reading from the book’s new section at The Faber Social on April 2 in London.

• Simon Reynolds:
Energy Flash:
• Faber & Faber:

Sic Alps mount single release expedition with She’s on Top 12-inch

What’s that from up on the mountaintop? Aye, it’s word of a new 12-inch single from the Bay area’s highest flying psych-pop outfit, Sic Alps. Titled She’s on Top, could this be the tip of the iceberg, an avalanche of new music just around the next ridge? The yodel of a press release does not say, so savor these soaring peaks of jangly rock, for we know not how many more months we must traverse before we’ll reach another summit of the Sic Alps.

This three-track single will be available via Drag City May 20 and comes on the heels of Sic Alps’ 2012 self-titled release (TMT Review). Sic Alps was no bunny slope of a record, so cheers to Sic Alps for giving us more music so soon; it’s like the slow trickle of spring rejuvenating the land after a snowy winter, the sun melting the water-encapsulated caps. Or it’s just three cool new tracks to be devoured via heavy slabs of vinyl.

She’s on Top tracklisting:

01. She’s on Top
02. Carrie Jean
03. Biz Bag

• Sic Alps:
• Drag City:

RIP: Robert Zildjian, founder of Sabian Cymbals

From Billboard:

Robert “RZ” Zildjian, founder of the Sabian Inc. musical cymbal manufacturing company, has died. He was 89.

Sabian announced Zildjian’s death on its website Thursday. The firm was closed until Monday and the company announcement had no details about his death.

Zildjian founded Sabian in 1981 after a legal battle with his brother, Armand, over their inheritance of the family business, Avedis Zildjian Co., a major cymbal maker. The companies remain competitors.

The family’s U.S. business was founded in the Boston area in 1928 by their father, Armenian immigrant Avedis Zildjian, and a great-uncle. The rock `n’ roll era brought an expanding demand for its percussion products.

RZ Zildjian began working for his father as a teenager and set up a subsidiary, AZCO, in Meductic, New Brunswick, Canada, in 1968.

• Sabian:

King Dude expands his dominion with West Coast tour and new video

Former guitarist of Seattle metal band Book of Black Earth and current purveyor of pentagram-themed fashion T.J. Cowgill a.k.a. King Dude is hitting the road this spring. Fresh off a tour with Chelsea Wolfe and a stint headlining around Europe, King Dude is making his way down the West Coast of the US.

In addition to that, there’s a new King Dude music video for “I Know You’re Mine” from last year’s Burning Daylight (TMT Review) directed by Cowgill himself. It’s short, just under a minute and a half, and features Cowgill staring at you with some candles and skulls and shit. All your favorite spooky tropes.

The dates are as follows:

03.29.13 - San Francisco, CA - Elbo Room
03.30.13 - Santa Cruz, CA - Catalyst Atrium
03.31.13 - Los Angeles, CA - The Echo
04.01.13 - San Diego, CA - The Casbah
04.03.13 - Sacramento, CA - Luigi’s Fun Garden

• King Dude:
• Dais:

RIP: Paul Williams, founder of influential rock crit magazine Crawdaddy!

From Billboard:

Paul Williams – the writer and editor who helped create what we now know as rock journalism with Crawdaddy!, a magazine he founded in 1966 – died last night at the age of 64 from complications related to a bike accident in 1995.

Williams began publishing Crawdaddy! at the age of 17, following his earlier work publishing science fiction fanzines – as Johan Kugelberg stresses on Williams’ website, “science-fiction fandom roots… all rock fanzines and of rock fandom” – continuing for two years, printing the early work of influential writers such as Sandy Pearlman and Jon Landau; the former would go on to produce The Clash’s Give ‘Em Enough Rope, while the latter of whom would go on to manage and produce Bruce Springsteen. In its two-to-three-year run (as Williams described it), the magazine’s distribution went from 500 copies to 25,000 and could count among its fans Paul Simon and Bob Dylan.

Following the initial success of Crawdaddy!, Williams closed up shop in New York, moving to Mendocino, California where he traveled with Timothy Leary and “ended up at John and Yoko’s Bed-In for Peace in Montreal.” It was also around this time that Williams struck up a friendship with the influential science fiction author Philip K. Dick, a relationship that continued after Dick’s death, when Williams was named his literary executor. Williams is often credited with securing Dick’s literary legacy and influence through the position.

• Paul Williams:

Pharmakon and Sacred Bones team up to bring fear, pain, and suffering to your ears on Abandon, because you deserve it

When ever-less-obscure author H.P. Lovecraft wrote “The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown,” it may as well have been the lead-in to an essay about Noise music. Because, in all of its gut-punching, screeching, masochistic migraine-inducing, sine-wave ripping, sadistic brain-twisting, lobe-scrambling, and tympanic membrane-tearing it has a purpose: making the listener feel those very old emotions. Noise seeks to puncture the primal roots and let their contents leak out where everyone can sift through them in a disagreeable-but-necessary exploration of the unknown and fear-inducing.

For the last five years Margaret Chardiet, in her guise as Pharmakon, has been one of the most meticulous, adventurous, and effective purveyors of those primordial and ever-present states of mind. While her live shows have been numerous, her recorded output is desperately small. When May 14 rolls around, she’ll be spreading her carefully crafted black miasma further with the help of storied label Sacred Bones. Pharmakon’s first LP to rise out of the cassette-fetishists’ club is called Abandon; check out “Crawling on Bruised Knees” below for a taste of the coming wickedness. Play it loud, and prepare a soft spot on the floor to spasm and convulse after the song is over. That’s normal; it means the music did its job and made you feel those necessarily unpleasant things.

Abandon tracklisting:

01. Milkweed/It Hangs Heavy
02. Ache
03. Pitted
04. Crawling on Bruised Knees

• Sacred Bones:

[Photo: Jane Pain]