Joe Bucciero and Michael Blair have written the first long-form piece of criticism about the band Young Marble Giants. Join us as we celebrate the launch of their 33 1/3 book examining Young Marble Giants' sole LP, Colossal Youth. Joe and Michael will be joined in conversation by legendary writer and musician Vivien Goldman.
Welsh post-punk band Young Marble Giants released one LP in 1980 and then, like their vanishing portraits on the album’s cover, disappeared. Even though Colossal Youth received positive reviews and sold surprisingly well, Young Marble Giants slid into the margins of rock 'n' roll history, remembered only by ardent post-punk and indie rock fans. This cult appeal owes itself to the band’s singular response to punk rock. Instead of employing overt political ideology and abrasive sounds to rebel against the status quo, Young Marble Giants used restraint, ambiguity, and silence.
Where did their unusual style and impulses come from? Tracing Colossal Youth’s artistic origins from Ancient Greece to the 20th-century avant-garde, Michael Blair and Joe Bucciero uncover the idiosyncrasies of Young Marble Giants’ radical take on music in the post-punk age. By opening up their music to the sounds and ideas around them, the trio upended punk’s rebellion. In the gaps between the sounds are new ways of hearing the history of punk, the political and economic turbulence of the late 1970s, and the world that surrounds us right now.
Michael Blair grew up in St. Louis and lives in New York. He works at BOMB Magazine and is a founding member of the Hi Fi Snock Uptown collective.
Joe Bucciero is a writer born in Chicago and based in New York. He helps edit the music zine AdHoc and the journal Blank Forms, and has written for the Quietus, the Brooklyn Rail, and others.
Vivien Goldman is a London-born, New York-residing writer, broadcaster, educator and post-punk musician. In the first wave of punk, she covered the scene as a music journalist in the US and UK, along with reggae in Jamaica. The author of five books, the most recent of her two Bob Marley biographies is The Book of Exodus: the Making & Meaning of Marley & the Wailers' Album of the Century (Three Rivers Press/Random House.) An Adjunct Professor at NYU's Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music, she teaches rebel music like Punk, Bob Marley, David Bowie and Fela Kuti. New York University's Fales Library has acquired her archive as The Vivien Goldman Punk and Reggae Collection. Cherchez La Femme, the Musical she co-wrote with August Darnell, aka Kid Creole, was premiered by New York's La Mama Theatre in 2016. Her journalism appears in The Guardian, Okayplayer.com and the New York Times’ T Magazine. About Resolutionary, a compilation of Goldman's post-punk music, (Staubgold,) Pitchfork declared, “No-One is More Punk than Vivien Goldman.”
Welsh post-punk band Young Marble Giants released one LP and then, like their vanishing portraits on the album's cover, disappeared. Even though the album, Colossal Youth, received positive reviews and sold surprisingly well, Young Marble Giants quickly slid into the margins of rock & roll history-relegated to cult status among post-punk and indie rock fans.
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Bob Marley is one of our most important and influential artists. Recorded in London after an assassination attempt on his life sent Marley into exile from Jamaica, Exodus is the most lasting testament to his social conscience.