Thursday, February 3, 2011

sienna, umber, ochre, beige

Speaking of excellent friends who write books, Bill Brown has been very busy of late.

He's collected his reviews of popular and locally produced music in the '80s, originally written for the Ann Arbor News and Michigan Voice, into one volume called You Should've Heard Just What I Seen. I did the proofreading for the book, correcting him on such fine points as there being no hyphen between "Electro" and "Boogie" in the title of the Jonzun Crew's "Electro Boogie Encounter."

The juxtaposition of reviews of acts national (Devo, Violent Femmes, Olu Dara) and not (The Electrifying Mojo, Trinidad Tripoli Steel Band) suits Brown's democratic dancehall politics, where the floor and the stage are at the same height. It also made me wish that I had experienced being a member of a smaller community than NYC in those days, someplace where the band and I really lived in the same place, not merely crossed the same streets.

Michael Jackman of Michigan's Metro News ran a good interview with Bill, very amusing.

Brown, a devotee of Guy Debord, for many years has been publishing thoughts and provocations concerning Situationism, politics, Letterists/Lettrists, etc., as well as, comment dit-on?, informal translations by many hands of otherwise unavailable or ill-treated articles by and about the Situationists and their ilk, at the website NOT BORED! He's collected these, too, in a big black book, NOT BORED! Anthology 1983-2010. You can read them all online, of course, but I prefer reading longer, more challenging stuff on paper. Bill's own prose is clear and direct; this tendency can make difficult, even deliberately difficult, writing easier for a simple American like myself to understand.

The NOT BORED! book completes Bill's project of putting his work of years between covers and moving on. It's reminded me of Bart Simpson avidly hawking his conscience to Lisa after selling his soul to Milhouse: "It's a Bart sales event! Everything about me must go!"

1 comment:

  1. God bless excellent proofreaders. Long may they live and prosper.

    Can't wait to read this anthology.