Monday, October 24, 2016

Shock and Awe - interviews + reviews + related pieces

some of the S+A related pieces by me so far... 

Killer Riffs - a historical survey of parody in pop - Pitchfork

"Is Politics the new glam rock?" - a Guardian Review piece about glam's premonitions of Trump / looking at the current political scene (Trump, Clinton, Obama, and Corbyn) through the lens of glam and the concept of political theatre  (written before the Trump campaign imploded, when he was still a contender/threat - but overtaken by events by the time it ran). 

Lady Gaga as the 21st Century digi-glam superstar - a remixed and expanded and updated excerpt from S+A, in Vice

some of the interviews so far... 

Dazed & Confused with Alex Denney

some of the reviews so far... 

"An engrossing intellectual history of glam rock, providing as much structure and coherence as the sprawling, protean genre will bear....  Encyclopedic, and idiosyncratic.... To the extent that one could accuse Reynolds of overreaching, it’s done in glam’s devil-may-care, raid-the-storeroom spirit. But if Shock and Awe takes occasional walks on the wilder side of cultural history, it always comes back to the music....  Tawdry, ridiculous, pretentious, and crass, glam produced some of the most sublime pop music of its era. Now it has a history worthy of it." - Chris O'Leary, Los Angeles Review of Books - full review

"Simon Reynolds' book :Shock And Awe...  - which is a career highlight - shows you what can happen when the right writer attacks a fresh subject with finesse and dynamism. In a book that takes in The Heavy Metal Kids and Cockney Rebel as well as the more obvious candidates such as Bowie and Roxy Music (in fact Shock And Awe is better when it spends time on its subject's periphery), Reynolds uses his inquisitiveness and scattershot research mechanisms to produce a classic piece of academic pop criticism. In the past, Reynolds has often overemphasised the lines he has drawn between big cultural themes and seemingly unrelated pop music, yet in this book all his reference points come together perfectly. No one has written about glam rock with such dedication, enthusiasm and ingenuity, and by dint of that, Shock And Awe will become a classic text" - Dylan Jones, GQ

"Vast, entertaining trawl through the history of glam rock.... Shock and Awe is so captivating it comes and goes in a flash - much life glam itself" - Will Hodgkinson, The Times

'Something great happens in Shock and Awe: the eight-year-old enthusiastic pop-lover that Reynolds once was combines with the 53-year-old deep thinker he now is. The results are frequently giddy and wonderful.' - Jude Rogers, The Observer - full review 

"This study of the elaborate and the outrageous is written with windowpane clarity and great humour." - Andrew Harrison,  The New Statesman, - full review

Book of the Day  The Guardian -  "This is a wonderful celebration of – and reckoning with – a generation of chancers, chameleons and lunatic geniuses who proved, as Adam Ant later claimed, that “ridicule is nothing to be scared of”." - Sukhdev Sandhu, The Guardian - full review

"Reynolds has written perhaps the most incisive commentary on Bowie’s career that has yet appeared. An essential account for the Record Collector reader"  4 stars/ **** - Jamie Atkins, Record Collectorfull review

"A panoramic and appropriately dazzling history of glam"  9/10  - Uncut

"Impeccable journalism and intriguing thought processes. A fascinating read"  4 stars   Mark Blake, Mojo


Fordham University newsletter report on the talk / live-dialogue at Fordham with Asif Siddiqi


Glamour, noun – 1. (archaic) visual illusion, a magical haze in the air causing things to appear different from how they really are (as in “cast the glamour”). Etymology: Scottish, variant of Scottish gramayre,  “magic, enchantment, spell”.

Trumpery, noun -  1.  worthless nonsense  2/ practices that are superficially or visually appealing but have little real value. 3. (archaic) tawdry finery.  Etymology: Middle English (Scots), trumpery -  deceit or fraud;  from Middle French, tromper – to trick, as in trompe l’oeil.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Shock and Awe Los Angeles events - reminder + updated info

LOS FELIZ  Thursday, October 20, 2016 - 7:30pm

Skylight Books, 1818 North Vermont, Los Angeles CA 90027

chatting with Dean Wareham (author  Black Postcards: A Memoir /Dean & Britta /Luna etc)
+  Q & A

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Shock and Awe New York events THIS WEEK - reminder with updated info

BROOKLYN - DUMBO  Thursday October 13th  - 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Powerhouse28 Adams St., Brooklyn , NY 11201
chatting with Luc Sante (author Low Life, The Other Paris + forthcoming Lou Reed book) 
+ Q &A
info -  718 666 3049

BROOKLYN – WILLIAMSBURG Friday October 14th - 7pm
Rough Trade NYC,  64 N 9th St, Brooklyn, NY 11249
chatting with Mark Dery (author All The Young Dudes: Why Glam Matters and I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts)  + Q & A
info -

 MANHATTAN – MIDTOWN  Monday, October 17th  - 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
*UPDATED VENUE INFO*Fordham University’s Lincoln Center Campus, McNally Ampitheater 140 W. 62nd St., New York, NY 10023 (between Columbus and Amsterdam)
chatting with Asif Siddiqi (author Challenge to Apollo: The Soviet Union and the Space Race and The Rockets' Red Glare: Spaceflight and the Soviet Imagination)  
+  glam video clips +  Q &A
this event is open to the general public.

Saturday, October 01, 2016

Here's a remixed excerpt from SHOCK AND AWE - taken from "Aftershocks", the book's extended coda wherein I track the echoes and reflections of glam as they reverberate through the Eighties, Nineties and into the 21st Century. It's a slideshow of snapshots across Lady Gaga's career to date, looking at her as the 21st Century's first digi-glam superstar and assessing her claim to be the inheritor of David Bowie's art-pop provocations. 

Friday, September 30, 2016

And here's the first interview about Shock and Awe - with Craig Austin of Wales Arts Review.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Shock and Awe UK events next week - reminder with updated info

SHEFFIELD  Tuesday October 4th - 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm (as part of the Off the Shelf Festival of Words)
The Auditorium, University of Sheffield Student's Union, Western Bank, S10 2TG  
chatting with Lee Ford (BBC Radio Sheffield) +  Q &A  +  Rocky Horror Picture Show film
tickets and info - 0114 22 33 777 –

LONDON  Wednesday October 5th   - 7 pm - 10 pm
The Forge3–7 Delancey Street, Camden, NW1 7NL
chatting with Alexis Petridis (Guardian + Q & A + glam video clips + DJ Simon Price
tickets and info – 0207 383 7808 -

MANCHESTER  Thursday October 6th   -  18.45 pm pm - 10 pm
Home2 Tony Wilson Place, First Street, M15 4FN
chatting with Bob Stanley (author Yeah Yeah Yeah+ Q&A +  T. Rex: Born To Boogie film
tickets and info: 0161 200 1500 -