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Ian Penman

Ian Penman
Ian (right) with the Red Crayola's Mayo Thompson © Jill Furmanovsky

(CUTS TRACKS & BRUISES//59-77-03)

1959

Born: Wiltshire, amid the shadows of strange neolithic statuary.

1960-69
Scotland, Middle East, Africa, Beirut, Cyprus.

1970-78
Norfolk
(‘Anti-climax? Wherever did you get that, herr Professor...’)

EARLY PIVOTs
Roy Orbison
The Crazy World of Arthur Brown
Jimi Hendrix esp ‘Voodoo Chile’
Roxy Music
Little Feat
Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Bootsy et al
Augustus Pablo, Big Youth, Culture, et al

circa mid-1970s
First published: RAF base ‘free paper’. A ‘Summer 45s’ round-up, inc. Millie Jackson, Swamp Dogg, The Jimmy Castor Bunch & vrs. impossibly obscure Deep Soul import 7"s. No copies extant. Not recommissioned.

circa 1976-77
Threatened with expulsion from Grammar School for thoughtless graffito. Literally thoughtless: the oxymoronic ‘ANARCHY RULES’. Also, for endangering prospects of two bigger ‘brighter’ boys: marooning them overnight on Liverpool St station the night before life-determining exams. Well, it was a LITTLE FEAT concert. How cool is that for your first gig and a lifetime memory which most Mojo writers would kill for?

IP breezes "A" in Art a-level ‘Representation of a Doo-wop trio, after Juan Gris’ and is due to attend Art School; deeply suspicious of Conceptual Art then prevalent, takes ‘year out’, working part time (and wholly Pro Plus) in a precinct jewellry store while hitch-hiking round country to Northern Soul nites and Punk gigs. Passed over in NME’s infamous ‘Hip Young Gunslinger’ round-up after submitting breathlessly laudatory review of Van Morrison’s wondrous (but achingly un-Hip) Veedon Fleece. Persistence is all: submits Live reviews of, inter alia, Blondie/Television, Heatwave, Tapper Zukie and Wire. Taken on as NME’s Norfolk stringer - like, right, Norfolk: WHERE THE HOT PUNK ACTION IS.

Autumn 1977
First NME review published: Only Ones/Stranglers, Cambridge Corn Exchange. (In hindsight: how odd that IP’s baptismal words should hymn the fey, drug-blitzed, overly literate & Romantic-dysfunctional Peter Perrett.)

August 1978
Transplants to London permanently on 19th birthday.
Same night:... Annette Peacock at the Lyceum, promoting X-Dreams. Sigh.

1978-82; 1983-1985: NME
Gets a kiss from Grace Jones.
Gets drunk with Paul Schrader.
Gets a kiss from Pat Phoenix.
Gets VERY VERY drunk with Nicolas Roeg.

Spring 1985
"The Roeg text was a demented cut-up of quotation, a dialectically unbalanced construction that refused to deliver comfortable Poalroids of its subject. It was, in itself, an artwork. A portrait in the form of a resignation note. The editors agreed, published half the piece and sent Penman his P45." Sinclair

Undated apocrypha
At pre-publication editorial meeting for the nascent Q, in which house style is set, the work of Penman-Morley is held up as everything Q is definitively NOT to be. A visibly choked Penman later tells Martin Bashir this is the proudest moment of his life.

1982-[present?]
"He was rumoured to be working on a magnum opus (he started the rumour), a book of essays on Billie Holiday and the blues." Sinclair

1983
Infamous CUTS TRACKS & BRUISES outline is rejected by Routledge Kegan Paul. Since when this (far-ranging, visionary, deeply flawed, etc) text has circulated in samizdat form across a series of computers owned by its author.

1985-86
Any takers? All/any info please contact IP at address below.

1986
Freelance work for:
The Face, Arena, Tatler, Times, Sunday Times, Independent, Sunday Correspondent, New Statesman. REpublished: Japan, America, Germany.

mid-late 80s
3rd best interview of all time: Charlotte Rampling, Arena.
7th best night out of all time: in Paris, w/ Nick Kent, to see Happy Mondays.

late 80s
Powerful 80s uber-agent nearly succeeds in bringing together IP and BRYAN FERRY for "official biography" made in some twisted Touch of Evil type hell. 1980s come and go with no sign of any such book. Phew.

early 90s
Resumes music writing for The Wire under inspired/deluded editorship of Mark Sinker.

early 90s
IP/Chris Petit submit proposal to BBC for (far ranging, visionary, deeply flawed, etc) music documentary series, working title REMIX CULTURE. 90s come and go with no sign of any such non-performance non-biography based music documentary. Phew... say Q, Mojo, Jools Holland et al.

Returns in earnest to music writing at The Wire [vrs harassed editors, passim].
Freelance work: Guardian, Harpers & Queen, Sight & Sound, Esquire, GQ, Dazed & Confused, Modern Review, Ikon.

1996
2nd proudest moment of life: Out-cools a visibly shaken Lou Reed, one-upping him with knowledge & possession of rare Icepick Slim spoken word CD.

1998
Publication of IP compilation: Vital Signs (Serpent's Tail). Reviews 98% positive -

"... whenever he sounds like any other rock critic, you must remind yourself that this stylist’s been tapping away since the early '80s. So it’s all his fault; but what separates him from his mimics at Time Out, or the publicists who call him the ‘coolest cultural critic on the planet’, is that he doesn’t just sound hard, he thinks hard."
Tom Payne, Observer

" Full of contradictions and witty one-liners, Penman uses language as an art form, playing with puns, synonyms, repetition, and punctuation for added effect. [...] Two decades of politics, music and pop culture with a whip-smart wit and wisdom that draws you in and doesn’t let go."
Julia Kenna, Rolling Stone

"Penman explores this post-publicity, post-exploitation ghost world better than anybody ... an exercise in time travel, a posthumous confession."
Iain Sinclair, London Review of Books

... etc; except for lukewarm reviews in The Daily Telegraph and ... The Wire.

1998
Nicest interviewee of all time aw gee shucks you don’t have to sign and give me that Bob really you don’t aw ...: Robert Frank.

2000
Wire article on ‘microphonics’ leads to invitation to lecture at Cinesonic conference, Melbourne. Original (far ranging, visionary, deeply flawed, etc) conceptual presentation abandoned when stereo speakers imprinted with the faces of Martin Heidegger and Marcus Garvey prove unavailable.

2000-2002
Lead reviewer, UNCUT; until contretemps involving insufficiently ass-kissy (but far ranging, visionary, etc) Elvis Costello review.

2003
Uncut wins Best Consumer Magazine award. Go figure.

hEXcerpts

‘The Shattered Glass’ in
Zoot Suits & Second Hand Dresses ed. Angela McRobbie [MacMillan 1989]

"Garvey’s Ghost > K L A N G! < Heidegger’s Geist" in:
Cinesonic 3 ed. Philip Brophy [AFTRS 2000]

‘ON THE MIC: How Amplification Changed The Voice for Good’ in: Undercurrents: The Hidden Wiring of Modern Music [WIRE/Continuum 2002]

paperCUTS
Vital Signs [Serpents Tail 1998]

Ian's blogspot

List of articles in the library by artist

999: Separates

Review by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, October 1978

AND YES, this unfortunately is where it separates. 999's second album – always a fateful thing – and the illusory packaging hides a regression. ...

A Certain Ratio, Cabaret Voltaire, Echo & The Bunnymen, The Fall, Hawkwind, Joy Division, The Monochrome Set, The Only Ones, Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, pragVEC, Public Image Ltd, Punishment Of Luxury, Scritti Politti, Spizz, The Teardrop Explodes, Tymon Dogg: Joy Division, Pil et al: Futurama '79 Festival — Set The Controls For The Squalor Of Leeds

Live Review by Andy Gill, Ian Penman, New Musical Express, September 1979

The World's First Science Fiction Music FestivalWords: Ian Penman and Andy Gill. Pix: Kevin Cummins ...

Adam & The Ants, Grace Jones, Spandau Ballet: Mirror, Mirror On The Wall... What Aspect Of 1981 Does It Pain You Most To Recall?

Essay by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, December 1981

Overdressed twits taking Polaroids of one another in posey little clubs? Or the stern soapbox caterwauling of commentators who got themselves into a blue funk about everyone else's ...

Adam & The Ants, X-Ray Spex: X-Ray Spex, Adam & The Ants, The Automatics: The Roundhouse, London

Live Review by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, May 1978

AS MS. POLY'S strychnine air-raid voice shreds the encore and all present, the audience front-line snaps. ...

Joan Armatrading: Steppin' Out (A&M)

Review by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, September 1979

THE AUTHOR of the song is individualised out of all proportion in rock culture. The singer/songwriter subject is built up in such a way that ...

Aswad: Hulet (Groove)

Review by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, September 1979

IT'S EASY TO feel alienated by certain aspects of reggae, not the least of which is the idolatry afforded it by impressionable whites: 'Milky Bar ...

Arthur Baker, Rockers Revenge: Rockers Revenge: The Big Bang Theory

Report and Interview by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, September 1982

Or... how a crate of records fell onto producer Arthur Baker's head and created a new jazz music and the beginning of Rockers Revenge ...

Barclay James Harvest: XII

Review by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, October 1978

POOP GO the wizened wastrels! The starry, clammy curtain rises once again, and here they are, still waiting. ...

David Bowie: Brechtfast In Bed

Report by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, March 1982

IN BAAL, DAVID Bowie finally shed his skin and played the part of someone else. ...

Boy George, Culture Club: Boy George and the War On Pop

Essay by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, December 1984

2003 note: I don’t know about this: "this" being the original 2,000 words I handed in at the very last minute to a poor, frazzled ...

The Brides of Funkenstein, Funkadelic, Parliament: Parliament/Funkadelic/Parlet/Brides Of Funkenstein: Hammersmith Odeon, London

Live Review by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, December 1978

THE "MOTHERSHIP" arrives. Everybody gets on out of it and has a "party". And I dance. And slump. And dance and slump. ...

Tim Buckley: T.B. Sheets: In Praise of Tim Buckley

Retrospective by Ian Penman, Wire, The, April 1994

TIM BUCKLEY was small - "this little man," as he said in one of his slow sly seducer's songs - he was small, and white, ...

Tim Buckley: The Dream Belongs To Me (Manifesto)

Review by Ian Penman, Uncut, July 2001

NO COMPILATION HAS ever been adequate to the task of representing Tim Buckley in his full groove, strangeness and charm; this is a man responsible ...

Kate Bush: Lionheart

Review by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, November 1978

Grrrrnrrhhhh!!! Repressed reviewer laments a bird and her bush ...

John Cale: Music for the Last Day

Interview by Ian Penman, Wire, The, July 1994

JOHN CALE IS rock's international traveller, his work a trans-continental drift of moons and maps, seas and seachange, envoys and ennui. From his early (unfashionable) ...

Can: Out Of Reach

Review by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, July 1978

Reach Out, We'll Be There (Ha, Ha – Fooled You) ...

James Chance: Save The Last Chance For Me!

Interview by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, June 1981

Sax and drugs and contorted soul – Ian Penman meets his hero in another instalment of conversations with James Chance. London 1981. ...

The Clash: Black'n White Drop Outasite

Live Review by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, November 1978

The Clash: Roxy Theatre, Harlesden ...

Elvis Costello: Eivis Costello and the Attractions at West Runton

Live Review by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, March 1980

BETTER put it all in present tenses... ...

Elvis Costello: 10 Bloody Marys And 10 How's Your Fathers

Review by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, April 1984

10 AND 10 is 20 postaged stamps of the left-out-of-mainstream Costello: mislaid or temporarily missing 'B'-side moves, free 45s that got lost on the Press, ...

Julie Covington: Julie Covington

Review by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, November 1978

MOVING BACK from stage to a studio, Ms Covington neatly avoids the cliches offered by the potentially drear and damaging Solo Album. ...

Culture Club: NEC, Birmingham

Live Review by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, December 1984

WHEN, EXACTLY, did this creature stop aspiring to be like Bo Diddley, and want to turn into Barbara Streisand? ...

Defunkt: Embassy Club, London

Live Review by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, June 1981

Make my funk the D-funkt ...

Howard Devoto, Magazine: Howard Devoto: Calm And Confusion

Interview by Paul Morley, Ian Penman, New Musical Express, December 1978

WERE YOU a wimp at school?I wouldn't say I was a wimp. I think I did get bullied. ...

The Doors: Bright Midnight/Live In America (Elektra)

Review by Ian Penman, Uncut, September 2001

ONE BRIGHT MIDNIGHT: 2 songs from 1969 & 14 songs from 1970, a moment of magickal cusp, a genuine celebration, a true revelation, a breathtaking ...

Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band, Kid Creole & The Coconuts: August Darnell: From Dr. Savannah to Kid Creole

Profile and Interview by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, November 1980

"To try to write love is to confront the muck of language: that region of hysteria where language is both too much and too little, ...

Bob Dylan: Love And Theft (Columbia)

Review by Ian Penman, Uncut, October 2001

ON 1997’s Time Out of Mind, Bob Dylan sounded like a man coming to accounts with himself, with the fact that anything from this point ...

Emerson Lake And Palmer, Mike Oldfield: Emerson, Lake & Palmer: Love Beach; Mike Oldfield: Incantations

Review by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, November 1978

JEAN-PAUL Sartre took mescaline once, to prove to himself that he wasn't necessarily the institution people thought he was, and as a result became convinced ...

Brian Eno: Music For Films

Review by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, October 1978

"I'M NOT really interested in the quality of the film, what they furnish is an excuse to do some music...they're areas where I can experiment ...

The Fall

Report and Interview by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, August 1978

REEL-TO-REEL life: patt-ur stagg-urs on... In bu-tween the s-o-n-g-s... ...

The Fall: All Fall Down

Interview by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, January 1980

JUST ABOVE my typewriter on the mantlepiece is an eye-catching tube of 10 orange flavoured effervescent tablets. Each tablet contains 1g orange flavoured concentrated Vitamin ...

Fatboy Slim: Halfway Between The Gutter And The Stars

Review by Ian Penman, Uncut, December 2000

Can't Cook, Won't Cook: Macy Gray guest slot aside, disappointing follow-up to You've Come A Long Way, Baby ...

Vincent Gallo: Recordings Of Music For Films (Warp)

Review by Ian Penman, Wire, The, May 2002

NOTE THAT STRICTLY utile title. Here we find not vanity project Muzak for 'imaginary' films, projected by some vain musclehead Hollyweird jerk-off with more friends ...

Marvin Gaye: Here, My Dear (Tamla Motown)

Review by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, January 1979

IF THE LANGUAGE is clearly familiar, the filling clear, the concept perhaps a little cloying then at least, at length, the soul is back to ...

Emmylou Harris: Anthology (Warner Archives/Rhino)

Review by Ian Penman, Uncut, September 2001

ALTHOUGH RARELY FORWARDED as a "woman in music" icon, it’s hard to think of a more exemplary career - male or female, consistent and daring ...

PJ Harvey: Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea

Review by Ian Penman, Uncut, December 2000

Self-produced sixth album is curate's egg ...

Heatwave: West Runton Pavilion, Norfolk

Live Review by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, June 1978

Waiting for the Getdown gestalt ...

Michael Jackson: Imitation Of Life

Essay by Ian Penman, Modern Review, The, Summer 1993

Michael the archangel listen/Michael don't you see?/If you are on the side of good/Now where does that leave me?Paddy McAloon, 'Michael'When I was 17 I ...

David Sylvian, Japan: David Sylvian: Everything And Nothing

Review by Ian Penman, Uncut, November 2000

COLLECTED OUEVRE of Japan's finest ...

David Sylvian, Japan: David Sylvian: Melancholy Baby

Interview by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, January 1982

MELANCHOLY PROPS up his head and whispers, half to himself and half to me... ...

Grace Jones: The Savoy, New York NY

Live Review by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, August 1981

THE FANFARE hardly pronounced itself...when out folds a larger-than-our-life toy monkey with a grass skirt on its bandy thighs and a big tin drum, swinging ...

Grace Jones: The State Of Grace

Interview by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, December 1980

GRACE JONES. Grace Jones is a nice lady who loves Japanese food. But how does the name Grace Jones figure in your code book? ...

Rickie Lee Jones at the Jazz Cafe

Live Review by Ian Penman, Guardian, The, February 2001

RICKIE LEE JONES is something of an anomaly. Her latest album, It's Like This, has just been nominated for a Grammy – but how many ...

Rickie Lee Jones: The Magazine (Warner Bros)

Review by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, October 1984

For song, as sung by you, is ... notWooing of something finally attained.Far other is the breath of real singing.An aimless breath. A stirring in ...

Rickie Lee Jones: Sheet Music

Essay by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, July 1982

IS EVERYTHING AS wonderful as it seems in the current reiteration of the Song? ...

Kid606: ps i love you

Review by Ian Penman, Uncut, December 2000

Mixed bag of tricks from latest Electronica whiz ...

Fela Kuti: Fela Anikulapo Kuti & Africa 70: Hippodrome, Paris

Live Review by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, March 1981

FELA ANIKULAPO KUTI is probably the unlikeliest of candidates to win the dubious honour of being the Great African Dance's Bob Marley – popularizer to ...

John Lennon, Yoko Ono: John Lennon & Yoko Ono: Plastic Ono Band/Double Fantasy

Review by Ian Penman, Uncut, February 2001

The dream is over… ...

Shane MacGowan and Simon Napier-Bell: The Sound And The Fury

Book Review by Ian Penman, Guardian, The, April 2001

Black Vinyl, White Powder, Simon Napier-Bell (390pp, Ebury Press £16.99)A Drink With Shane MacGowan, Victoria Mary Clarke and Shane MacGowan (360pp, Sidgwick & Jackson £15.99) ...

Magazine: The Lyceum, London

Live Review by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, August 1978

MAGAZINE, MYTHS AND MIRAGES ...

Bob Marley & the Wailers: Bob Marley & The Wailers: Babylon By Bus

Review by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, November 1978

ALL THE points are easily made. You have your join-the-dots special Christmas present package. Bob Marley and The Wailers skank in and out the Western ...

John Martyn: London School of Economics, London

Live Review by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, November 1978

YOU DON'T need me at all – you know what happened, what will happen. ...

John McLaughlin & The One Truth Band: Rainbow Theatre, London

Live Review by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, October 1978

THIS WAS A celebration of John McLaughlin's 25th anniversary as a guitar player — an event similarly rnarked by the recent Electric Guitarist album, which ...

Mercury Rev: All Is Dream (V2)

Review by Ian Penman, Uncut, September 2001

THIS IS AN AFTER record in all senses: after loving the highs and lows and then learning to disavow that love, after going through the ...

Joni Mitchell: Shadows and Light

Review by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, September 1980

LIKE, A Rolling Stone picnic or something more in touch with these headachey contemporary days? ...

Robert Palmer: The Deb's Delight Takes FRIGHT!

Report and Interview by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, November 1980

THREE TIMES I got out of my warm bath to answer the telephone. The first call was a few seconds of silence and down. The ...

Annette Peacock: A Rock & Role Alternative

Interview by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, September 1978

"I THINK what happened was, after I left New York all the anger and the toughness and the hostility seemed to dissipate – and in ...

Penetration

Report and Interview by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, November 1978

"Every night before I go to sleep/Find a ticket, win a lottery/Scoop the pearls up from the sea/Cash them in and..." ...

Pere Ubu: The Art of Walking (Rough Trade)

Review by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, August 1980

1. PERE UBU IS haywire, rudimentary, and patiently documentary. It operates on a yield of snared and shared rhythms, on symptoms that have been stitched ...

Pink Floyd: The Wall (Harvest)

Review by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, December 1979

FOREMEN OF the apocalypse Pink Floyd are still alive, four lost men in a popular music eclipse. ...

Iggy Pop: Pure Pop……For Iggy People

Live Review by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, June 1978

Iggy Pop: Music Machine, London ...

The Pop Group, This Heat: The Pop Group/This Heat: Collegiate Theatre, London

Live Review by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, July 1978

TWO SEEMINGLY unconventional, superficially 'bleak', jagged modern-music outfits. Both engineer music suggesting radical departure, still somehow quaint. ...

pragVEC: Another Strange, New And Enticing Pop Group

Profile and Interview by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, October 1978

A NEW extended play record to enthuse about. A new band to sell to you. Their name is pragVEC; the four tracks they've recorded are ...

Prince: Lyceum, London

Live Review by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, June 1981

HISTORY SHOWS us the horrible roster of agonising tortures which the human mind has devised in pursuit of the ultimate cautionary pain: bodies roasted over braziers, heads ...

Lou Reed: Life After The Leather Jacket

Interview by Ian Penman, Guardian, The, February 1996

MY ORIGINAL IDEA vis a vis this whole Lou interview situ and how to break his notoriously Siberian icepack reticence was to kick things off ...

The Residents: Nibbles! (Virgin)

Review by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, July 1979

MEET THE Residents!!! ...

The Runaways: And Now…The Runaways (Mercury)

Review by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, January 1979

THE TERMS are at once familiar and bizarre, charged with meaning and strangely vacuous: 'street,' 'action,' 'hungry and hot,' 'rock 'n' roll,' 'teenage,' 'weekend,' 'queen.' ...

Scritti Politti: Reflections On In(ter)dependence: Scritti Politti

Interview by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, November 1978

MEET SCRITTI Politti: three or four young musicians (one is a floating member), and equally important, a large circle of close friends who provide help, ...

The Skids: Schizophrenia On Skid Row

Report and Interview by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, November 1980

"I've no desire to push myself into being a media figure. I'm quite happy with my cameras and my wife and my guitars."– Stuart Adamson ...

Slaughter and the Dogs: Do It Dog Style

Review by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, July 1978

UNFORTUNATELY, A posthumous debut album. Quite something, not even the anti-Christ (Sex Pistols) managed to pull that off. But it is a rather sad, inevitably ...

Patti Smith: Babel

Book Review by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, November 1978

WHAT HAS rock and roll got to do with poetry? What is a poetess doing with rock and roll? What am I doing reading and ...

The Soft Boys: A Can Of Bees (Two Crabs)

Review by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, May 1979

TAKE THE "mystery" out of rock'n'roll and you're left with an evaluation of current rock'n'roll that relies upon the recognition of traditional principles or objects. ...

Sparks: No. 1 In Heaven (Virgin)

Review by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, March 1979

COME OUT, come out wherever you are! It safe now! Those critics'll love yez all again! ...

Spiritualized: Let It Come Down (Spaceman)

Review by Ian Penman, Uncut, October 2001

"I WON’T GET TO Heaven the state I'm in," weeps Jason Pierce, but it sounds more like "I won't get as far as the Corn ...

Donna Summer: Cats Without Claws (Warner Bros)

Review by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, September 1984

LOOKING DARKLY into her TV's eyes and chastizing it as media plasma, Donna sings of its ruptured picture: "From the next apartment we hear music/Bleeding ...

Talking Heads: Stop Making Sense

Review by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, October 1984

WHAT, WITHOUT wandering, is here? A company move, accompanying live movie (directed by Jonathan Demme), a record – another live LP, so soon? Where's the ...

Frank Zappa, Richard and Linda Thompson: Frank Zappa: Joe's Garage ; Richard and Linda Thompson: Sunnyvista

Review by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, 1979

ROCK AND ROLL survives on an illusion of dynamism built upon critical inertia, upon endlessly repeated truths such as the oft-heard oppositions of 'old/new wave' ...

Tricky: [the Phantoms of] TRICKNOLOGY [versus a Politics of Authenticity]

Essay by Ian Penman, Wire, The, March 1995

"Machine technology is a type of transformation." Martin Heidegger ...

UK: UK

Review by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, May 1978

Less Pop, Less Style ...

Ultravox: Systems Of Romance

Review by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, September 1978

The Further Decline And Fall Of The Western World ...

Tom Waits: Swordfishtrombones (Island)

Review by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, September 1983

NOW, BEFORE I step before you again to review some music, and then have to face an old familiar tune (videlicet: guilty of obscurantism), I ...

Tom Waits: The Beat Buff Speed Poet Home Booze Hayseed

Interview by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, March 1981

Or: the ten piece Tom Waits jigsaw puzzle As manufactured by Ian Penman ...

Was (Not Was): Was Not Was: That Was The Freak That Was

Interview by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, May 1984

O Dialectic, says the philosopher, when he notices that perhaps the true philosophy laughs at philosophy. ...

Weather Report

Interview by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, October 1978

THIS YEAR'S Weather Report is twice as nice as last year's. And doubly dodgy. ...

Frank Zappa: Studio Tan

Review by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, September 1978

STUDIO TAN drops into the industry's autumn orgy unheralded. ...

Frank Zappa: From Z to A and Back Again, or: QUANTITIES AND LEER

Comment by Ian Penman, Wire, The, July 1995

I CANNOT FOR the pop life of me see why anyone over the age of 17 would ever want to listen to Frank Zappa again, ...

List of genre pieces

Drugs In Rock Culture: Don’t Try This At Home

Essay by Ian Penman, Guardian, The, August 1996

TAKING DRUGS CHANGES things. It changes your blood stream and brain waves and bank balance; your heart rate and slang of choice and the circumference ...

Ginsberg's Flannel And Other Stories

Book Review by Ian Penman, Guardian, The, October 2002

In the Sixties, Barry Miles, 322pp, Jonathan Cape, £17.99 ...

Various Artists: Back To Black (Universal)

Review by Ian Penman, Uncut, May 2001

Ten-CD, 220-track History Of Black Music behemoth put together by Morgan 'Streetsounds' Khan in tandem with 35-strong industry committee ...

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