Thursday, September 11, 2008

Swing High!



Over at my other blog, Steady Diet of Books ('unveiled Fugazi reference') I've made the first post in a good while, on a book that I've barely just finished reading, Jon Savage's Teenage: The Creation of Youth Culture. The whole book is fascinating, from a historical, social and cultural perspective, but what was obviously going to be of particular interest to me was the chapter on "German Swing Kids and French Zazous". The first being the inspiration for the 90s San Diego emo/hardcore group, but the movement being in general a fascinating expression of rebellion through the cutting-edge music of the 30s and 40s, jazz (and a mirror to a lot of the later youth rebellion of punk).

Hence, after a cursory description and review of the book, I spend most of the post providing a summary of the relevant chapters.

The picture above is nothing to do with jazz, it's just on the front cover. 'Swing High' was, apparently, the adopted greeting of the 1930s Dusseldorf-based International Rhythm Club.

3 comments:

lex dexter said...

I would highly recommend _England's Dreaming_ for what it's worth. It's a nice combination of memoir and rock-crit. Of course it's true that Savage is not always up to some of the theorists he evokes - but that's also true of Greil Marcus, and he seems to get off scot-free on that!

I think Richard Meltzer is probably the only rock writer who is consistently up to the philosophical tasks he sets out for himself. But then, he knows enough to pose as a lewd drunk, which gets him out of having to labor underneath evocations of walter benjamin.

*#..(brad said...

gab, you might like this: http://weburbanist.com/2008/09/10/10-brilliant-book-artists/

Backmasking said...

And it basically makes the argument that all youth subcultures post oh, about the end of the first World War were due wholly to their marketing/branding/commodification. Shit, that mean we are what we own? *sigh*