Saturday, January 17, 2009

This blog should start with a bit of full disclosure: I'm starting this blog because my publisher says it's a good way to generate some informal publicity for my new book. I'm happy about the book's publication, and also not shy about doing what I can to pitch a book of mine, so here I am.

For those who can't read the small print on the mini book cover to your right, the book is called This Ain't the Summer of Love: Conflict and Crossover in Heavy Metal and Punk, and it's published by University of California Press. Here's a link to the book's webpage at the UC Press website, where you can see a table of contents and even read a sample chapter:

The title of this blog - The Metal/Punk Continuum - is a term from the book and was actually meant to be in the book's subtitle (This Ain't the Summer of Love: Rock Music and the Metal/Punk Continuum was my working title for a long time). The publisher thought it sounded too nerdy or something, so they made me change it. Maybe they were right, though I still like the ring of "metal/punk continuum" and it speaks to the main argument of the book, which is that heavy metal and punk are two genres that are best thought about in relation to each other. Rather than treat them as polar opposites the way they're often portrayed, I try to show that metal and punk have an enormous amount of common ground and that they arose from a number of shared concerns, most notable being the issue of how to maintain a sense of meaningful participation in a medium - rock - that was undergoing some major changes at the end of the '60s and beginning of the '70s.

At this point in time it may not seem so radical to think of metal and punk as having a lot of common ground, and I think a lot of fans of both genres are aware of the connections. But when I was growing up in the 1970s and 1980s there was also a lot of conflict between them, and it was easy to think that metal and punk were competing camps that represented genuinely different ways of relating to rock and the world at large. I don't try to gloss over those conflicts - thus my current subtitle, conflict AND crossover - but I try to put them in a bigger historical context where we can see that even when pitted against one another, metal and punk shared a lot of underlying concerns.

1 comment:

  1. Ran into the book at the library today, where I'd retreated to enjoy an hour of air conditioning in the midst of one of Toronto's annual disgusting heatwaves, and greatly enjoyed what small portion I was able to read before I was compelled to leave. Nonetheless, I made sure to write down your name, both in order to track down a copy for myself and to send you a link to some (much less ambitious) writing I did on the same topic five years ago. I'm much, much more metal-friendly now than I was then (hearing the first couple Pentagram LPs will do that to a fellow), but I'm resisting the urge to revise. Anyways, check it out if you have a minute?