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Leaders of Men
Posts: 161
Reply with quote  #1 
The dedicated amongst us might have been looking forward to an intelligent and considered review of "So This is Permanence" in the so-called intelligent magazine known as The Wire.

Readers across the pond might not be aware of the publication - one of the last left in the UK that purports to cover "independent/leftfield" music and such like.

Well they've excelled themselves this time. There's a full page review of the Ian Curtis book which is a total hatchet job, and would be highly amusing if it wasn't riddled with errors and clichés the likes of which we seldom encounter, even in the post-myth-making context of current JD and NO affairs.

We learn about "Steven Morris' taped hypnotherapy sessions with Curtis", "the flogging of live bootlegs", and an allusion to how 'I Remember Nothing' reminds the reviewer of a scene out of 'Blue Velvet'. ('Blue Velvet' was released in 1988!).

The book itself is described as a "grey clothbound slab" and "a morbid display of relics". Fair enough; he, the reviewer Dan Barrow, didn't like it. A bad review can often be very positive in giving a new angle on a subject or a release, but in this case it's a complete travesty.

It is given a whole page, with a pic of the LWTUA lyrics from the Appendix section of the book (to make Curtis look even more like a "sixth form poet"). The editor of the magazine, Chris Bohn, incidentally used to work for the NME back in the day and gave a glowing review to 'Closer' when it first came out. But here, in my opinion, we see clear evidence of a magazine that has totally lost the plot and thinks it's part of the mandate to give airspace to opinions that are 1. Badly written 2. Part of a hidden agenda and C. Just plain wrong.

Put your safety helmets on, "use reading protection" if and when you see it everyone (the magazine only came out yesterday), then why not hit their letters page with a drumbeat faster than 'Heart and Soul'.

Or maybe we shouldn't even dignify it with a response... What do you think?


Posts: 311
Reply with quote  #2 
Looking forward to seeing the actual article in question...

From Barrow's Linkedin profile:

"A writer on the arts, nationally, since the age of 18. Former regular contributor to Plan B magazine, currently writing on music, books, film, TV, theatre, visual art and politics for The Wire, The Quietus, Review 31, The Cadaverine, The Liminal, Muso and The Screen Vanishes. Former reviewer and column writer for university newspaper The Boar, for which I was shortlisted Writer of the Year at the 2010 Guardian Student Media Awards, and won runner-up in the Critic of the Year category at the 2011 Awards. 

Short fiction has been published in Under the Radar, Spilt Milk and Vertigo of the Modern. Poetry has been published in The Cadaverine, Horizon Review and included in The Salt Book of Younger Poets (Salt, 2011).

Currently writing two books for Zer0 Books - on English radicalism and collective memory, and on 80s pop, postmodernity and the transition to neoliberalism.

Specialties:Writing on arts, politics, etc."

So I think he (or Bohn, by letting his charge crash and burn like this) damn well knows what he's doing, though he looks to be only a couple of years out of uni.  The Wire are up to something, for sure!
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