18 January 2009

Welcome: A Rant

Welcome to "The Same Mistakes," a blog about the most vital period in popular music of the post-capitalist era, a time from about 1978 to 1982 when social conventions and accepted truths were called into question and there remained the possibility of imagining the world as other than it was.

We have been delaying for years starting this blog, and in the meantime have seen a renaissance of interest in the post-punk period. This has largely been spurred by a boat-load of bands claiming inspiration in this period. Thus, for example, Franz Ferdinand have tipped their hat to Joseph K. and The Fire Engines. Belle & Sebastian acknowledge the importance of the Young Marble Giants and Felt. And everyone seems to pilfer from the Gang Of Four.

By now there are many other sources of information for music of the types we will cover here. So why are we embarking on this journey so very late? Perhaps because we still have a few things to offer.

It has been said that the music one hears when one is 18 will live with one forever. I was 18 in 1981 and 1981 is the greatest year in popular music. Ever.

One thing we can offer, then, is passion. We are still living this music. It still reverberates within us and throughout our interactions with others. It has shaped our lives and will continue to do so until we lie down dead in our graves. We have been DJs, critics, radio producers, audio engineers, yes, even musicians. We are involved.

Another thing we can offer is perspective. Most of the music we are interested in came from the UK, and though we tracked its progress carefully, we lived across the ocean in North America. We had an outsider view of what was going on in that hot-house environment of multiple weekly music papers, television shows, radio programmes, billboard advertising, etc. Had we been enveloped in that media bombardment I am sure our experience would have been different. Would it have been more intense? More vital? More overwhelming? Perhaps so. But we use our distance as an advantage.

There is more than one mind behind this blog, more than one opinion, more than one perspective. Sometimes we might write in the first-person plural, and other times I might write in the singular. You might very well read contradictions or even arguments. Comments will stay open, so you can take part.

We will from time to time offer links to music that is difficult or impossible to find, or that we feel deserves greater attention. Some we have digitised from our own extensive collections. Other times we have collated from the best quality sources we have found elsewhere. Sometimes the original source of these is obscure. If we don't know enough to credit you, please accept our apologies in advance.

Music will stay available until it isn't any more. So subscribe using your favourite blog reader or RSS tool. You won't want to miss our posts.

The name of the blog? We'll get to that in the next installment.

Thanks for reading. Thanks for caring. Thanks, most of all, for listening.


  1. I agree the early 80s were wonderful especially in the DC area with WHFS radio. Good luck over there.

  2. Excellent.

    More power to your tape deck.