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Reading: Wire
11/03/2000 Wire: reading

While I was in the Bay Area, I happened to pick up Everybody Loves a History, a biography of Wire published in the early 90s, just after Robert Gotobed left and they became Wir. I listened to a lot of Wire and Colin Newman solo stuff as an adolescent, and hadn't been keyed into the whole background, so the book was a must-read for me, as well as inspiring. It's mostly the band speaking for themselves. When I got back, the book and Mike Watt's cover of "The 15th" made me resolve to go back to all that Wire and related vinyl I'd accumulated, and work my way through it again. Gotobed is probably the perfect rock drummer--everything crisp as it should be, great timekeeping, no grandstanding. The textures they developed and the structural choices they made were striking. I had started with Pink Flag and pretty much worked my way through chronologically when I was buying the stuff, so my reactions were probably not too different from that of their fans the first time through. I remember loving the punk of Pink Flag, and not knowing quite what to make at first of Chairs Missing, which I now think is far superior. I remember being put off by the dissonance and darkness of 154 at first, but hearing it now...it's amazing how many patterns, beats, and choices became lodged in my brain as something elemental to music. It became a real foundation for me. For the band, things fell off a bit for me after Snakedrill, and the biography sheds a lot of light on why that was.

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