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Facing the Other Way: The Story of 4AD by Martin Aston

Facing the Other Way: The Story of 4AD
Facing the Other Way: The Story of 4AD

A couple years ago, I picked up Facing the Other Way: The Story of 4AD. The book is the 4AD record label’s story, with history and biographies of many favorite artists. I recently picked it up again and got back into it. I’m about 9 chapters in and it’s filling in the blanks for me. I learned of most 4AD artists in the mid to late 90’s and it started in the early 80’s. So far, I’m up to 1985 – which is a third of the way through.

I relate to reading about shy withdrawn artist types (of both the bands and label people). 4AD always struck me as a very artist focused and unique label. They have an impressive roster that most likely influenced most of the bands I like. 4AD has connections to many other bands and labels I admire, which is also interesting.  Still too early for a proper review, but I find it interesting and well-written enough way for me to continue.

Mad World: An Oral History of New Wave Artists and Songs That Defined the 1980s

Mad World: An Oral History of New Wave Artists and Songs That Defined the 1980s
Mad World: An Oral History of New Wave Artists and Songs That Defined the 1980s

Another music related book I recently picked up was Mad World: An Oral History of New Wave Artists and Songs That Defined the 1980s.  Stereogum posted about Ian McCulloch remembering being in A Shallow Madness and being depressed until he met Will Sergeant. Their mutual love of the Velvet Underground lead them to form Echo & the Bunnymen (who I’m seeing again later this week!). He said that before meeting Will, he might be a tambourine player for XTC (another favorite). That would have been a waste of his talents, but I found that interesting.

Complicated Game: Inside The Songs Of XTC

Complicated Game: Inside The Songs Of XTC
Complicated Game: Inside The Songs Of XTC

Speaking of XTC, another book on my to-read pile is the interview book with Andy Partridge – Complicated Game: Inside The Songs Of XTCI’ll read that next since a conversation with Andy Partridge is full of his wit and wisdom. Probably a good mood lightener after reading about the 4AD world.  My reading list is full for now and lots of shows are coming up next month.

I’m excited to see my friends and catch up on their shenanigans. I’d bring some books with me to these shows, but I doubt I’ll have time for reading. I have other books I haven’t started because I find novels especially hard for me to escape into. Even started reading some manga, but stopped when I didn’t have all the books in the series. I guess in that case, it’s like binge-watching a show. I’m very excited about Rocktober and I’ll be attending TwitchCon this year. No idea what that’ll be like, but hopefully exciting!

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Copyright 2016 Liane Chan