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9 September 2010

I published my first review in Bookforum. It’s about Kristin Hersh’s Rat Girl.


Apparently it’s the 90s nostalgia week here on Teenage Kicks.

This month I published my first writing on paper in quite awhile, this brief(ish) review of 80s/90s rock figure Kristin Hersh for Bookforum‘s autumn edition. It’s headlined “Sing, Muse.” (Not my idea, but I like it.) Apparently she likes it. Which, you know, while not my intent, is nice to hear.

What I’m imagining she liked about it was my appreciation for her lack of nostalgia about the past. Her story is a story-qua-story rather than an excuse to burnish the reputation of her circle, herself, her older musical material. In fact, my conclusion is that her writing maybe even better than her music — at least to my ears. (I’d somehow avoided knowingly hearing Throwing Muses until I wrote this review, reminding me of the inevitable holes in one’s listening during this era of the endless archive & the celestial jukebox and reminding me, also, of one of my college English professors, a specialist in contemporary fiction, who sheepishly admitted to never having read Catch-22.)

(PS – Registration on Bookforum.com site is required to read the review.)

Posted by Alec Hanley Bemis  

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6 September 2010

ATP Festival & Large People Crowdsufing: Some thoughts on 90s nostalgia


I remember the underground pop culture of the 90s. Indeed, I prefer to think of that time as an archive now — albeit one consigned to a series of digital files, not actual libraries. This recent Twitter stream from my friend Brandon serves as a good encapsulation. (I joked to him that his feed could be nicknamed Shit My Dad Says: 90s Alt-Rock Edition.) Or you can visit YouTube, a trove of nostalgia that brings you closer to the source of what it was really like:

This weekend’s All Tomorrow’s Parties festival, which I’ll admit I (regrettably!) attended only Saturday felt more like a living library curated by none other than 90s icon Jim Jarmusch. There’s advantages to the live part well enumerated in the article links embedded in this sentence. And there are disadvantages only hinted at in the brief half-life of a Twitter hashtag.

Catching up with the 90s, though, is not why I usually go to rock festivals. For example, I go to Coachella to discover what the 16 year olds are wearing these days. Read more »

Posted by Alec Hanley Bemis  

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