Although I am a fan of filmmaker Danny Garcia’s chosen subject matter in the past (The Clash, Johnny Thunders), I was a bit suspect of this particular story. Hadn’t the story of Sid been covered in movies like 1980’s DOA and Alex Cox’s Sid and Nancy? Apparently, I was wrong.
I’ll start my review by saying there’s only one big thing I can say to you about this book, which is not to read it. But you’ll want a synopsis, so here goes.
Big Bosses: A Working Girl’s Memoir of Jazz Age America By Althea McDowell Altemus, edited and annotated by Robin F. Bachin, 192 pgs.
Recommended for readers of American and women’s history, as well as for those who loved the narrator’s voice in Charles Portis’s novel True Grit.
Chris Clavin is probably best known for his involvement with Plan-It-X Records and a variety of folk-punk bands from central Indiana. In 2010, he convinced a few of his friends (and a few strangers) to move to Cairo, Ill. to create a punk utopia in a blighted, forgotten river town.
Nothing is cheap or illogical, a pitfall for many genre anthologies, and the stories are consistently entertaining throughout. I highly recommend this book for those who land in the horror/punk intersection of the Venn diagram, and for those who like a little yuck for their buck.
Marcade’s narration reads like a punk rock version of Zelig, as he appears in anecdotes with all the era’s heavy hitters. His friendship with Johnny Thunders, in particular, is an ongoing thread throughout the book. More important than the all-star cast is Marcade’s story, as he bungles a series of relationships, struggles to establish the Senders, gets a foothold, then succumbs to heroin addiction before finally getting clean and committing it all to paper.
The strongest aspect of Spoke is the photographs…. In reading Spoke, I read very little about the overarching theme of what the scene was about. There was no essay or narrative that brought everything together.
Dystopian lit and film are in vogue—stores and libraries are having a hard time keeping 1984 and Handmaid’s Tale on the shelves. But as Streetopia editor Erick Lyle notes, the flip side of the coin is the idea of utopia, which questions “when does the nonfunctional and intolerable status quo, endured for years, suddenly become an emergency that must be dealt with immediately at all costs?”
The first line of the second page sums up The American Dream nicely: “I’m forty-five years old and I’m angry.” This piece is printed in the fashion of so many other anarchist zines.
This is the first political zine I’ve read during the Trump administration, so fuck it. I, too, have often been consumed by inarticulable rage, and I have probably already used a lot of the same lines as this writer in Facebook arguments with my dad.