Yesterday I was floating around the Record Store Day website looking for limited releases coming out on that day. At the bottom of the page I noticed a trailer for a movie about independent British record stores. As I watched all of the talking heads flash on the screen, Johnny Marr appeared. On his jacket he had a button, and on that jacket was a Ray Johnson bunny pin.
I wasn't sure what to make of this? Is he a fan of mail-art, does he do mail-art, or is he just that cool?
You can see the pin at 2:19 in the trailer for the documentary Last Shop Standing
you are so right on, and it's something so frequently/egregiously missing from discussions about punk/post-punk/industrial/electronic/experimental/etc music of that timeframe.
a book i read over the summer that did a really great job of incorporating zines/fan publications and m-a networks into the narrative was s. alexander reed's 'assimilate', a critical history of industrial music and culture. while i don't really consider myself a fan of the genre overall - my interest lying more with stuff like the early cut-ups of cabaret voltaire and the experimentation of TG than what the term grew to encompass - i found it fascinating and maybe my favorite read of last year.
reed does a great job of placing those missing bits (missing for those of us who didn't experience it due to interest or by virtue of age, i should say, but found it years later) back into the larger discussion. would recommend to most anyone, really. it's a good piece of critical cultural history.
i don't purport to know from experience, having been born in '85, of course - i just know what i've read/observed/learned from others who were there - i would love to see a more organized project / interviews / collection of materials take place to make more of a record / survey of mail art and respective networks relating to subcultures and different music. i don't know of one, maybe it's already out there! i wish i had the resources and connections to do it.
O geez, Johnny Marr is one of the greats, IMHO. Don't let Morrisey throw you off.
Kerri's been pimping that new album & I'm a believer.
Luis Drayton aka Queen of All Pus is an IUOMA member & great correspondent. Sends cds as well as art:
Sorry, I just can't do it. Morrisey is just too annoying for me to get past his persona. Marr is great, great tone, and great player, but I cannot get into the Smiths even though I've tried and tried. I have similar issues with The Misfits, and for almost the same exact reason. Gotten yelled at a lot for that one too!
Wow, that is so cool, he is one of my fave guitarist!!!! AND OF COURSE ray JOHNSON, THE GODFATHER OF MAIL ART..nice!!! Great info on punk-rock- and mail art i did not know about..Thanx! Wow, can't believe you saw Throbbing Gristle DVS!!! There used to be a great experimental band in Connecticut called the "Anglion Audio Theater" with an "electric -toy-lama instrument! Did see skinny puppy once which was a wild and very artistic show, they had a real tree on stage with all kinds of artsy stuff on it..
As a follow up, I came across a Johnny Marr interview that says The Smiths were planning a disco album when they broke up. In retrospect it seems like a terrible idea that, luckily, didn't happen.