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Encyclopedia > Simon Reynolds

Simon Reynolds (born 1963 in London), is an influential British music critic who is well-known for his writings on electronic dance music and for coining the term post-rock. Besides electronic dance music, Reynolds has written about a wide range of artists and musical genres, and has written books on post-punk and rock. He has contributed to Melody Maker (where he first made his name), The New York Times, Village Voice, Spin, The Guardian, Rolling Stone, The Observer, Artforum, New Statesman, The Wire, Mojo, Uncut, and others. He currently resides in the East Village in New York City with his wife, Joy Press, and his son, Kieran. 1963 (MCMLXIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (the link is to a full 1963 calendar). ... London (pronounced ) is the capital city of England and the United Kingdom. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Music journalism. ... Electronic dance music (EDM) is a broad set of percussive music genres that largely inherit from 1970s disco music and, to some extent, the experimental pop music of Kraftwerk. ... The term post-rock was coined by Simon Reynolds in issue 123 of The Wire (May 1994) to describe a sort of music using rock instrumentation for non-rock purposes, using guitars as facilitators of timbres and textures rather than riffs and powerchords. ... Musical genres are categories which contain music which share a certain style or which have certain elements in common. ... Post punk generally refers to the particularly fertile and creative period following the initial punk rock explosion. During the first wave of punk, roughly spanning 1976-1983, bands such as The Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Ramones and The Damned began to challenge the current styles and conventions of rock... Rock is a form of popular music from the mid 20th century which typically features a vocal melody (often with vocal harmony) that is supported by accompaniment of electric guitars, a bass guitar, and drums, often with a strong back beat. ... Melody Maker, published in the United Kingdom, was (until its closure) the worlds oldest weekly music newspaper. ... The New York Times is a newspaper published in New York City by Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. ... The Village Voice is a New York City-based weekly newspaper featuring investigative articles, analysis of current affairs and culture, arts reviews and events listings for New York City. ... Spin is a music magazine that reports on all the music that rocks. Founded in 1985 by publisher Bob Guccione, Jr. ... The Guardian is a British newspaper owned by the Guardian Media Group. ... Rolling Stone is an American magazine devoted to music, politics and popular culture. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... Artforum is an international monthly magazine specializing in contemporary art. ... The New Statesman is a left-of-centre political weekly published in London. ... The Wire is a British avant garde music magazine, often nicknamed the chinstrokers bible. It was founded in 1982 by jazz promoter Anthony Wood and journalist Chrissie Murray, and concentrated on contemporary jazz and improvised music. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Special Issue Example Queen UNCUT magazine is a popular monthly publication based in London, which is available across the English speaking world, and focuses on films, music and books. ... East Village Also known as Newmyers Seven Nuts, named for its inventor Chris Newmyer, East Village is a community card poker game. ... Nickname: Big Apple, City that never Sleeps Location in the state of New York Coordinates: Country United States State New York Boroughs Bronx (The Bronx) New York (Manhattan) Queens (Queens) Kings (Brooklyn) Richmond (Staten Island) Mayor Michael Bloomberg (R) Area    - City 1,214. ... Joy Press is a freelance writer and co-author of The Sex Revolts: Gender, Rebellion and RockNRoll (along with husband Simon Reynolds). ...

Contents

History and career

Reynolds' first experience writing about music was with Monitor, a fanzine he helped to found in 1984 while he was studying history at Oxford. The publication only lasted for six issues. When it was discontinued in 1986, Reynolds was already making his name writing for Melody Maker, one of the three major British music magazines of the time (the other two being the New Musical Express and Sounds). His early Melody Maker writings often contained strong criticisms of the concept of "soul", and of the somewhat earnest politicisation associated with the Red Wedge movement. He has since stated that his apparent de-politicisation at the time was mainly a result of his sheer despair at Thatcherism and desire to escape - into a parallel world which was, as in the title of his first book, "blissed out". He also wrote a number of articles analysing what has since become known as twee pop from a somewhat sociological perspective, seeing in it a desire to escape the dominant 1980s values of commercialism and Americanisation and to return to a perceived innocent past. A fanzine (see also: zine) is a nonprofessional publication produced by fans of a particular subject for the pleasure of others who share their interest. ... The University of Oxford, located in the city of Oxford, England, is the oldest university in the English-speaking world. ... Melody Maker, published in the United Kingdom, was (until its closure) the worlds oldest weekly music newspaper. ... The New Musical Express (better known as the NME) is a weekly magazine about popular music published in the UK. It is unlike many other popular music magazines due to its intended focus on guitar-based music and indie rock bands, instead of mainstream pop acts. ... Sounds was a British music magazine, published weekly from October 10, 1970 – April 6, 1991. ... For other uses, see Soul music (disambiguation). ... Red Wedge was a collective of UK musical artists who attempted to inform younger voters of the Labour Partys policies during the period leading up to the 1987 General Election. ... Margaret Thatcher Thatcherism is the system of political thought attributed to the governments of Margaret Thatcher, British Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990. ... This article is about the genre of music. ... The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view. ... Commercialism, in its original meaning, is the practices, methods, aims, and spirit of commerce or business. ...


In 1990, Reynolds left the staff of Melody Maker (although he would continue to contribute to the magazine until 1996) and began doing freelance writing, splitting his time between London and New York. The same year, he published Blissed Out: Raptures of Rock, a collection of his writings from the 1980s. Until his switch to freelance writing, Reynolds had focused mainly on rock, punk rock, post-punk, and pop. But in the early 1990s, he became involved in rave culture and the electronic dance music scene. He began writing about electronic music and became one of the foremost music critics of electronic dance music. A freelancer or (freelance worker) is a self-employed person working in a profession or trade in which full-time employment is also common. ... London (pronounced ) is the capital city of England and the United Kingdom. ... Official language(s) English de facto Capital Albany Largest city New York City Area  Ranked 27th  - Total 54,520 sq mi (141,205 km²)  - Width 285 miles (455 km)  - Length 330 miles (530 km)  - % water 13. ... Rock is a form of popular music from the mid 20th century which typically features a vocal melody (often with vocal harmony) that is supported by accompaniment of electric guitars, a bass guitar, and drums, often with a strong back beat. ... Punk rock is an anti-establishment music movement beginning around 1976 (although precursors can be found several years earlier), exemplified and popularised by The Ramones, the Sex Pistols, The Clash and The Damned. ... Post punk generally refers to the particularly fertile and creative period following the initial punk rock explosion. During the first wave of punk, roughly spanning 1976-1983, bands such as The Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Ramones and The Damned began to challenge the current styles and conventions of rock... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... A rave (sometimes referred to as a rave party) is an all-night dance event where DJs and other performers play electronic dance music and rave music. ... Electronic dance music (EDM) is a broad set of percussive music genres that largely inherit from 1970s disco music and, to some extent, the experimental pop music of Kraftwerk. ... Electronic music is a term for music created using electronic devices. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Music journalism. ...


In 1994, Reynolds moved permanently to the East Village in Manhattan. In 1995, Reynolds co-authored The Sex Revolts: Gender, Rebellion and Rock'N'Roll with his wife, Joy Press. Sex Revolts is one of the major reasons why Reynolds has gained a reputation for the discussion of gender roles in music; the book is a critical/clinical analysis of the theme of gender in rock. Click here for the New York Times review. East Village Also known as Newmyers Seven Nuts, named for its inventor Chris Newmyer, East Village is a community card poker game. ... The Borough of Manhattan, highlighted in yellow, lies between the East River and the Hudson River. ... Joy Press is a freelance writer and co-author of The Sex Revolts: Gender, Rebellion and RockNRoll (along with husband Simon Reynolds). ...


In 1998, Reynolds published Energy Flash: a Journey Through Rave Music and Dance Culture in the UK and became a senior editor at Spin magazine. In 1999, Reynolds went back to doing freelance work and published the American version of Energy Flash in abridged form, titled: Generation Ecstasy: Into the World of Techno and Rave Culture. Energy Flash is a comprehensive history of what became rave music, starting with Detroit techno and Chicago house and tracing the evolution of the music back and forth across the Atlantic, all the way up to the late 1990s. Reynolds combines analysis of the music, social background and history, and interviews with big names of the day. One of the most notable aspects of the book is Reynolds' analysis of the role of drugs, particularly ecstasy, in rave culture. Click here for a synopsis and review. Spin is a music magazine that reports on all the music that rocks. Founded in 1985 by publisher Bob Guccione, Jr. ... Motto: Speramus Meliora; Resurget Cineribus (We Hope For Better Things; It Shall Rise From the Ashes - this motto was adopted after the disastrous 1805 fire that devastated the city) Nickname: The Motor City and Motown Location in Wayne County, Michigan Founded Incorporated July 24, 1701 1815  County Wayne County Mayor... This article or section may contain original research or unverified claims. ... Nickname: The Windy City, The Second City, Chi Town Motto: Urbs In Horto (Latin: City in a Garden), I Will Location in Chicagoland and Illinois Coordinates: Country United States State Illinois County Cook Incorporated March 4, 1837 Mayor Richard M. Daley (D) Area    - City 606. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine), most commonly known by the street names Ecstasy, E or X, is a semisynthetic entactogen of the phenethylamine family, whose primary effect is believed to be the stimulation of secretion as well as inhibition of re-uptake of large amounts of serotonin as well...


In 2005, the UK version of Rip It Up and Start Again: Post Punk 1978-1984 was published; the American version came out in early 2006. Rip it Up is a history of post-punk, defining the genre and placing it in the context of 1970s and 1980s music. Click here for the New York Times Review. He runs a website to promote Rip it Up. The book was not named, as many believe, after the Orange Juice song, but rather moustached TV funnyman Rip Taylor, a big influence on Reynolds pre-music journalism career as a prop comic. Post punk generally refers to the particularly fertile and creative period following the initial punk rock explosion. During the first wave of punk, roughly spanning 1976-1983, bands such as The Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Ramones and The Damned began to challenge the current styles and conventions of rock... For other uses, see Orange juice (disambiguation). ... Rip Taylor Charles Elmer Rip Taylor (born January 13, 1934 in Washington D.C.), is an American actor and comedian known as The Crying Comic. Known for his high voice, zany hair, bushy handlebar mustache over a perpetual toothy grin and his heavyset physique, his schtick is to toss handfuls...


Reynolds has continued writing for prominent magazines, as well as his blog, Blissblog. He will be featured in the upcoming book by Spin magazine: Spin: 20 years in alternative music, due out Fall 2006. In a 2006 interview when pressed on the issue of his favourite song he named Flagpole Sitta by Harvey Danger. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


Critical theory

Reynolds has become well-known for his incorporation of critical theory in his analysis of music. He has written extensively on gender, class, race, and sexuality, and their influence on music. The Sex Revolts discusses gender in rock music. In his study of the relationship between class and music, Reynolds coined the term liminal class, defined as the upper-working class and lower-middle-class. This is a group he credits with "a lot of music energy".[1] In the humanities and social sciences, critical theory has two quite different meanings with different origins and histories, one originating in social theory and the other in literary criticism. ... The word gender describes the state of being male, female, or neither. ... Social class refers to the hierarchical distinctions between individuals or groups in societies or cultures. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... This article is about the issues and phenomena pertaining to human sexual function and behavior. ... The term working class is used to denote a social class. ... The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view. ...


Reynolds has also written extensively about drug culture and its relationship to and effect on music. In his book, Generation Ecstasy, Reynolds traces the effects of drugs on the ups and downs of the rave scene. His evidence of his interest in the topic can be found in Generation Ecstasy, and in his review of Trainspotting, among other things. Drug subcultures are examples of countercultures, primarily defined by recreational drug use. ... Spoiler warning: Trainspotting is a 1996 film directed by Danny Boyle based on the novel Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh about a group of heroin addicts in Edinburgh and their passage through life. ...


Reynolds was influenced by philosophers as well as music theorists, including: A philosopher is a person devoted to studying and producing results in philosophy. ... Music theory is a set of systems for analyzing, classifying, and composing music and the elements of music. ...

Reynolds says that he has been greatly influenced by Marxist thought. He talks about concepts like commodity fetishism and false consciousness where they apply to music (Reynolds spoke of the two examples mentioned in relation to hip hop). Gilles Deleuze (IPA: ), (January 18, 1925 – November 4, 1995) was a French philosopher of the late 20th century. ... Pierre-Félix Guattari (1930 - 1992) was a French pioneer of institutional psychotherapy, as well as the founder of both Schizoanalysis and the science of Ecosophy. ... Brian Peter George St. ... Joe Carducci is a writer, record producer, and former A&R executive, formerly most closely associated with the influential record label SST Records. ... Situationist, Situationism refers to a cultural praxis developed by the Situationist International (SI), a very small group of international, political and artistic agitators with roots in Marxism and the early twentieth century European artistic avant garde. ... Marxism is the political practice and social theory based on the works of Karl Marx, a 19th century philosopher, economist, journalist, and revolutionary, along with Friedrich Engels. ... In Marxist theory, commodity fetishism is an inauthentic state of social relations, said to arise in complex capitalist market systems, where social relationships are confused with their medium, the commodity. ... False consciousness is the Engelsist hypothesis that material and institutional processes in capitalist society mislead the proletariat — and perhaps the other classes — over the nature of capitalism. ... Hip hop music, also referred to as rap or rap music, is a style of popular music which came into existence in the United States during the mid-1970s, and became a large part of modern pop culture during the 1980s. ...


Books

  • Blissed Out. Serpent's Tail, August 1990, ISBN 1-85242-199-1
  • The Sex Revolts : Gender, Rebellion and Rock 'N' Roll . Co-authored with Joy Press. Serpent's Tail, January 1995, ISBN 1-85242-254-8
  • Energy Flash: a Journey Through Rave Music and Dance Culture (UK title, Pan Macmillan, 1998, ISBN 0-330-35056-0), also published in abridged form as Generation Ecstasy: Into the World of Techno and Rave Culture (North American title, Routledge, 1999, ISBN 0-415-92373-5)
  • Rip It Up and Start Again: Post Punk 1978-1984. Faber and Faber Ltd, April 2005, ISBN 0-571-21569-6 (U.S. Edition: Penguin, February 2006, ISBN 0-14-303672-6)

External links

  • Blissout - his blog.
  • simonreynolds.net Website for Rip It Up and Start Again
  • Simon Reynolds's Dance Music Archive
  • Rave and jungle on UK pirate radio A chapter from Energy Flash missing from the US edition
  • Rock's Back Pages Bio and list of articles Reynolds has written
  • Spin: 20 years in alternative music A book featuring Reynolds, due out Fall 2006

Sources

  • Furious.com Interview Interview about Rip it Up
  • Repellent review and interview Another Rip it Up interview with review
  • Seattle Weekly interview Another Rip it Up interview
  • Interview about Energy Flash (Generation Ecstasy)
  • Reynolds' review of Trainspotting
  • New York Times review of The Sex Revolts
  • Synopsis and review of Generation Ecstasy
  • New York Times review of Rip it Up

  Results from FactBites:
 
Simon Tam - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1672 words)
Simon graduated in the top 3% of his class, and promptly moved onto a medical internship, which he completed in a mere eight months (as opposed to a year), and is licensed to practice medicine.
Simon eventually makes it to Persephone, a planet slightly outside the Core, where, at the Eavesdown Docks, he decides to board Serenity, bringing with him a large case that is eventually revealed to be River, cryogenically frozen.
Simon's motive is to access the sophisticated neural scanners that are in St. Lucy's, as he has reached a wall in his attempts to find out what the Academy scientists did to River.
Robert Christgau: Awesome: Simon Reynolds's "Blissed Out" (1359 words)
True enough, Reynolds never exactly formulates the responses--though he's worked to make the pieces flow and cohere, he's comfortable with the pomo cut-and-paste of the anthology format, and he doesn't worry too much about repetitions, contradictions, or loose ends.
As Reynolds acknowledges, the stunned, dreamlike intoxication he celebrates makes more sense for whiteboys "trained to be aspirational and competitive" than for "those excluded from status and opportunity (fls, women, gays etc)." And it's pretty much youth-specific--hard on going to work in the morning, hell on parenting.
Needless to say, Reynolds and his posse were determined to escape co-optation, and they had their pathetic rhetorical strategies--the refusal to dictate taste, "writing that fervently seeks out its own limits," and so forth.
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