Long before the city of lights became a nostalgia factory, Paris was a vast, teeming organism where all hustled and mixed company for business or pleasure. His subjects are rag-pickers, artists, sex workers, addicts, criminals, cops, merchants, shopkeepers, political agitators and the streets they prowled. These were folks who lived dangerous yet resourceful lives. With this masterwork, Luc Sante secures his place as one of the greatest historians of the underclass. He allows us to learn the truth about our past so that we may better serve our future.
Spoke is a gorgeous photographic encyclopedia of the D.C. punk scene A-Z. Author Scott Crawford and the various photographers featured here grew up in the scene dodging boots, fists, and head-butts to document the scene with in-depth interviews and gorgeous pictures. Everyone from stalwarts like Bad Brains and Fugazi to anomalies like Nation of Ulysses and Shudder to Think is featured here. Spoke is essential for anyone who cares about the cultural history of Washington, D.C.
“1971 would turn out to be the busiest, most creative, most innovative, most interesting, and longest-resounding year of the rock era.” So begins David Hepworth’s whirlwind, month-by-month breakdown of the astonishing output and ascendancy of rock ‘n’ roll and its practitioners. In that auspicious year The Who released Who’s Next; Joni Mitchell made Blue; Zep toured the clubs in-between stadiums; Carole King put out Tapestry; Lennon killed the Beatles with Plastic Ono Band, while George Harrison put on the Concert for Bangladesh, to name just a few events. What makes this more than a collection of “golly-gee” anecdotes is Hepworth’s ability to place it all in a greater context of where the culture came from and where it was going.