When i recommitted to this blog last year, i promised a lot of regular features that have, frankly, fallen on their face. That is mainly because I have been writing music reviews for The Waster and comic reviews for Multiversity Comics, and not dedicating as much time as i would like to this blog. Well, a New Year is nothing if not an opportunity to make changes, and so i'm going to try to really bust my ass to do some more writing here. I have an interview tentatively set for this month with writer Ian Peel (author of The Unknown Paul McCartney) which will launch "McCartography," a look at all of Paul McCartney's solo albums/singles/weird one-offs, one or two at a time. I have a huge audio file of my chat with artist/musician David Heatley waiting to be turned into a two or three part conversation, and I plan on returning to the "You'd Be Surprised" and "Five Song Shuffle" series this week or next (don't quote me on that). But, last night i was inspired to start a new feature that i think will be fun for me and, hopefully, somewhat interesting for you guys.
So, i am pleased to announce the first of a new series called "Playing Catch-Up With..." - Playing Catch-Up with Black Flag.
In this feature, i will dive into a pop culture subject that i am not sufficiently knowledgeable in and take a month to really dig in deep and see what i've been missing. The first three i have planned are bands/artists, and then plan on taking three TV shows, then three film directors, and then three types of books, taking us through an entire year. Wonderful internet services like Netflix and Spotify make this much, much easier than before, as well as the wonderful public libraries in this great country. So, hopefully, this is something i can keep up with (ha!), and we'll all have fun. Or, i'll do it this month and that'll be it. Whatever, let's stay hopeful!
So, my first topic is Black Flag, the seminal hardcore band from Southern California. This month, i will:
(Finish) reading Spray Paint the Walls: The Story of Black Flag by Stevie Chick
Re-read the Black Flag section in Michael Azerrad's wonderful Our Band Could Be Your Life.
Listen to every Black Flag release - studio, live, demos
Re-watch American Hardcore by Paul Rachman/Steven Blush
Watch Penelope Spheeris's The Decline of Western Civilization Part I
Read Henry Rollins's Get in the Van: On the Road With Black Flag
Watch Chuck Dukowski's appearance on Tomorrow
Do some selected listening from the key members' post-BF musical careers
At the end of the month, I will give a report of what i liked/didn't like, what i would recommend to a Flag neophyte (like i was mere weeks earlier), and if i felt it was worth my time.
So, if you see me violently lifting weights to get in Rollins shape, or talking about anarchy as a viable means of social change, or spray painting the four bars/flag logo, you know why.