July is already upon us, though it seems like Spring just started. We’re off until July 6 when regular posts will resume, see you then.

For the last few years I’ve added a favorite relevant song to our 4th of July out of office notice, X‘s “4th of July”, but this year, given the turmoil of both Brexit and a sharply divisive US election, I’m going with another song by the same band, “See How We Are”. Though released in 1987, every year it seems to (sadly) fit a little better to our world. Here’s a powerful acoustic performance from 2010.

(For those with an interest in the history of the Los Angeles punk rock scene, a new book, Under the Big Black Sun offers some new stories, told by the participants including John Doe and Exene from X, Henry Rollins from Black Flag, Mike Watt from the Minutemen, Dave Alvin from the Blasters and Jane Wiedlin from the Go-Go’s. I found the book to be a bit self-indulgent — old people talking about how cool they were as teenagers — but learned quite a lot about the strong Latino/East LA influence on the culture, as well as the demise of the scene as the jocks and surfers came in and turned an burgeoning art scene into a violent outlet for machismo. Under the Big Black Sun is an addition to, but not a replacement for, the essential book on the times, We’ve Got The Neutron Bomb. Really, if you’re interested in understanding punk rock from beginning to end, you need three oral histories:  Please Kill Me, which covers the original New York scene, England’s Dreaming, all about the second wave of punk in the UK, and finally, the aforementioned We’ve Got the Neutron Bomb as things moved to Southern California, all of which provide entertaining reading.)

David Crotty

David Crotty

David Crotty is the Editorial Director, Journals Policy for Oxford University Press. He serves on the Board of Directors for the STM Association, the Society for Scholarly Publishing and CHOR, Inc. David received his PhD in Genetics from Columbia University and did developmental neuroscience research at Caltech before moving from the bench to publishing.

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