mark sinker is creating a history of the uk music press
27

patrons

$129
per month
For the last two years, I’ve been putting together an anthology of conversations and essays about the first two-and-a-bit decades of UK rockwriting: whence it came, why it flourished, where it went. A Hidden Landscape Once a Week: the Unruly Curiosity of the UK Music Press in the 1960s-80s, in the Words of Those Who Were There will be published by Strange Attractor later this year (now looking like September or October in the UK, a little after that in the US I think).    

To fire up the conversation and to let more people know about it, my friend Hazel Southwell and I are recording a series of fortnightly podcasts. Hidden Landscapes, it's called—the pilot is here, to give you a sense of it, and the rest can be found by scrolling down the posts. I’ll also be blogging regularly about issues arising, some factual and historical, some speculative, some contentious: so far topics include Morrissey (and how we made him bad), Tom Wolfe's legacy, Lennon's Revolutions 50 Years On, and A True Map of True Punk (warning: includes false punk). Again, scroll through the posts to find them. And if you like them, share them!  

This is after all a field rich in feuds and disputes, fads and weirdness. Lots of them get into the book, but lots inevitably don’t—which is why the podcast will be fun to do. Hazel is too young to be there for most of the period the book covers, so she will be challenging my memory and my cliches, mainly by contrasting them with how the present day works… while I bring to the picnic my [checks notes] sage wisdom and unique clarifying perspective.

A Hidden Landscape will be an excellent and inexpensive birthday or Christmas present for those of a certain age, keen for a memento of their youth. But in sweep and in detail, it's also a story about a lost era of journalism, arriving at a time when journalism has never been under more corrosive pressure. So there’s much of general interest for people of every age and background, and plenty at stake for all. The book is already a gaggle of voices—a meet-point of self-taught curiosity, arcane knowledge and pop-cultural obsession, with writers and editors improvising a language to negotiate a bewildering terrain of contrasting cultures arriving from everywhere, sometimes fusing, sometimes clashing… 

And here’s where you come in! The book itself is funded, but the wider conversation is only just starting. As old media formats hobble off towards the dustbins of history—and noting that some forms were much better than others!— let’s start talking about the new ones that need to emerge. If any of this discussion is something you like the idea of—and would like to be part of—you can help us defray the costs of our admin and time spent (plus the inexpensive tech) by sending a few pounds (or actually dollars) our way. Levels and rewards are in the column on the right.

Hazel is a sports and music journalist, some years younger than me and hence able to ask pertinent and impertinent questions about what we all imagined we were up to back then, good and terrible. I’m also a writer. I’ve written about music and other things on and off since the early 80s at a variety of titles, starting at NME and The Wire (where I was also editor in the early 90s), and continuing all across the internet since then. If you don't know my writing, here's some more recent examples (some carefully edited for publication, some more like free-form bloggy scribble): celebrations of Whitney Houston and the late Cecil Taylor, memories of my parents buying Sergeant Pepper when I was seven, a review of Julian Temple's Doctor Feelgood documentary, an essay on art, class and autodidacts featuring Oasis, Arthur Scargill and Joseph Beuys, among others, plus an entry-level guide to jazz that isn't Kind of Blue for once, and a long and intense conversation I had with a friend a few years back, about what it is critics think they're supposed to doing

The podcast will be roughly fortnightly, the blogging will be roughly weekly, posted here at preview stage, before being crossposted a few days later at hashtag tashlan and at Freaky Trigger. Some posts will be long, some short, some more on topic than others, and some jumping a ways sideways (because I always can’t help myself). But even when brief and scribbled, they will be reasonably carefully fact-checked and scholarly. Not simply anecdotes, memories or impressions, in other words, but notes towards a richer history; sketches of the various milieus this world emerged from, including the Beatniks and the New Journalism, the Underground Press and the forest and specialist and pop titles that flourished in the 50s and 60s — how this came together, and how it all began to divided against itself again. Meanwhile the podcast will be chatty and cheeky—tales of key titles, big trends and tiny fads, the social role played by this mess of nonsense, its idiocies and its innocence and its potential. Now and then we’ll have guests, including contributors to the book.

And to prove it's all a thing, here's the cover, courtesy the inestimable Savage Pencil


Tiers
Support and gratitude tier
$1 or more per month 7 patrons
We are very thankful towards you for your kind support! 
Preview tier
$5 or more per month 15 patrons
You get to to hear the podcasts and read the posts  a few days in advance! 
Q&A tier
$10 or more per month 2 patrons
You can send us questions to be read out and answered during the podcast (they should probably be related to the podcast, we can do relationship advice but it might not be good advice)
Transcript tier
$15 or more per month 1 patron
You will receive annotated* transcripts of the very entertaining and story-rich podcasts, so you can pore over them at your own leisure 

*this will never involve factual corrections, it says here
For the last two years, I’ve been putting together an anthology of conversations and essays about the first two-and-a-bit decades of UK rockwriting: whence it came, why it flourished, where it went. A Hidden Landscape Once a Week: the Unruly Curiosity of the UK Music Press in the 1960s-80s, in the Words of Those Who Were There will be published by Strange Attractor later this year (now looking like September or October in the UK, a little after that in the US I think).    

To fire up the conversation and to let more people know about it, my friend Hazel Southwell and I are recording a series of fortnightly podcasts. Hidden Landscapes, it's called—the pilot is here, to give you a sense of it, and the rest can be found by scrolling down the posts. I’ll also be blogging regularly about issues arising, some factual and historical, some speculative, some contentious: so far topics include Morrissey (and how we made him bad), Tom Wolfe's legacy, Lennon's Revolutions 50 Years On, and A True Map of True Punk (warning: includes false punk). Again, scroll through the posts to find them. And if you like them, share them!  

This is after all a field rich in feuds and disputes, fads and weirdness. Lots of them get into the book, but lots inevitably don’t—which is why the podcast will be fun to do. Hazel is too young to be there for most of the period the book covers, so she will be challenging my memory and my cliches, mainly by contrasting them with how the present day works… while I bring to the picnic my [checks notes] sage wisdom and unique clarifying perspective.

A Hidden Landscape will be an excellent and inexpensive birthday or Christmas present for those of a certain age, keen for a memento of their youth. But in sweep and in detail, it's also a story about a lost era of journalism, arriving at a time when journalism has never been under more corrosive pressure. So there’s much of general interest for people of every age and background, and plenty at stake for all. The book is already a gaggle of voices—a meet-point of self-taught curiosity, arcane knowledge and pop-cultural obsession, with writers and editors improvising a language to negotiate a bewildering terrain of contrasting cultures arriving from everywhere, sometimes fusing, sometimes clashing… 

And here’s where you come in! The book itself is funded, but the wider conversation is only just starting. As old media formats hobble off towards the dustbins of history—and noting that some forms were much better than others!— let’s start talking about the new ones that need to emerge. If any of this discussion is something you like the idea of—and would like to be part of—you can help us defray the costs of our admin and time spent (plus the inexpensive tech) by sending a few pounds (or actually dollars) our way. Levels and rewards are in the column on the right.

Hazel is a sports and music journalist, some years younger than me and hence able to ask pertinent and impertinent questions about what we all imagined we were up to back then, good and terrible. I’m also a writer. I’ve written about music and other things on and off since the early 80s at a variety of titles, starting at NME and The Wire (where I was also editor in the early 90s), and continuing all across the internet since then. If you don't know my writing, here's some more recent examples (some carefully edited for publication, some more like free-form bloggy scribble): celebrations of Whitney Houston and the late Cecil Taylor, memories of my parents buying Sergeant Pepper when I was seven, a review of Julian Temple's Doctor Feelgood documentary, an essay on art, class and autodidacts featuring Oasis, Arthur Scargill and Joseph Beuys, among others, plus an entry-level guide to jazz that isn't Kind of Blue for once, and a long and intense conversation I had with a friend a few years back, about what it is critics think they're supposed to doing

The podcast will be roughly fortnightly, the blogging will be roughly weekly, posted here at preview stage, before being crossposted a few days later at hashtag tashlan and at Freaky Trigger. Some posts will be long, some short, some more on topic than others, and some jumping a ways sideways (because I always can’t help myself). But even when brief and scribbled, they will be reasonably carefully fact-checked and scholarly. Not simply anecdotes, memories or impressions, in other words, but notes towards a richer history; sketches of the various milieus this world emerged from, including the Beatniks and the New Journalism, the Underground Press and the forest and specialist and pop titles that flourished in the 50s and 60s — how this came together, and how it all began to divided against itself again. Meanwhile the podcast will be chatty and cheeky—tales of key titles, big trends and tiny fads, the social role played by this mess of nonsense, its idiocies and its innocence and its potential. Now and then we’ll have guests, including contributors to the book.

And to prove it's all a thing, here's the cover, courtesy the inestimable Savage Pencil


Recent posts by mark sinker

Tiers
Support and gratitude tier
$1 or more per month 7 patrons
We are very thankful towards you for your kind support! 
Preview tier
$5 or more per month 15 patrons
You get to to hear the podcasts and read the posts  a few days in advance! 
Q&A tier
$10 or more per month 2 patrons
You can send us questions to be read out and answered during the podcast (they should probably be related to the podcast, we can do relationship advice but it might not be good advice)
Transcript tier
$15 or more per month 1 patron
You will receive annotated* transcripts of the very entertaining and story-rich podcasts, so you can pore over them at your own leisure 

*this will never involve factual corrections, it says here