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LTW newsletter 69

A lot of talk of the death of ‘music journalism’ seems to be bouncing around the, er, music media this week. Sparked by Tony Fletcher’s blog a couple of weeks on the same topic it was quickly followed by Pitchfork being gobbled up by its parent company GQ. If the amalgamation of a million-dollar music blog into a million-dollar lifestyle magazine and website signals the end of music writing, then we truly are in dire straits.

In truth, music writing is as good/bad, as vital or corporate as ever; there was never really truly a golden era of writing - maybe just a time when there were far fewer distractions than now. In the seventies, you would zip down to the paper shop on a Wednesday to pick up all the music weeklies and devour them, not because they were all written brilliantly but because they were the ONLY portal to an outside world in the far-flung towns most of us were in.

These days everything and everyone is media, and music writing competes with social media, youtube, algorithms and the much-reduced power of radio in creating some kind of narrative in the endless noise. It’s much harder to survive financially in music media, but then the model was always flimsy - the old-school music papers survived on their ad revenue, and the cover price was just was a small addition to that. Then and now music media is peppered with rubbish ads to survive - we have to do it at LTW to add to our survival revenue from our much cherished subscribers - you! It all helps keep the damn thing going and is massively appreciated.

We spent hours, often unpaid, to keep this magnificent beast trundling along. It’s a labour of love that, despite having thousands of readers, is tricky to finance. We survive on the music and the music is everything and this week has been another week of great sounds, stunning live gigs and sadly deaths of comrades in the music world.

We ran an in-depth, almost old-school feature on Crass which was a brilliant read and a reminder of how engaging old-school rock writing can be. It gave a glimpse into the two key personalities at the core of the anarcho band who, despite their almost opposite backgrounds and attitude to life somehow sparked a band whose influence resonates through the decades. (Opens in a new window)

Erotic Secrets Of Pompeii’s debut album is the year's first classic new band release, and the thousands of hits the review has received underlines just how fast this band is growing. Their idiosyncratic post-punk art rock and flamboyant image should see them catapulted into the middle of the indie landscape, and we reckon by the summer, they will be a band on everyone's lips..get their first with LTW! (Opens in a new window)

Dom Joly popped into our office to give us his top ten favourites all-time goth tracks to celebrate his one-hour doc on goth culture that was on BBC Radio 4. It’s a mixture of classics and some curveballs! (Opens in a new window)

Another great and entertaining top 10 came from Paul Hanley who celebrated his brilliant new book on Buzzcocks and how they were entwined into his life by giving us his top 10 favourite Buzzcocks songs. It’s a great list, and Paul’s explanations of the songs are brilliantly written and a great portal to his engaging book that celebrates one of the great bands of that period. (Opens in a new window)

We also took a look at the egg punk scene - the loose collective of bands mainly from the USA and Australia who play frenetic and melodic punk rock with often hilarious lyrics. The speeding thrills see most songs last a minute, and the jerky twitching songs owe a massive debt to Devo if sped up to the max. (Opens in a new window)

Gruff Rhys returned with the 25th album of his career and proves that he can still weave a magical tapestry of melodic psych-pop. (Opens in a new window)

Manchester Punk Festival announced its bill for its 2024 event. The festival has been growing and growing, and its takeover of many of the city centre venues in Manchester is a celebration of not just the underground success of the punk scene but also how healthy the amount of venues are in Manchester. (Opens in a new window)

We were sorry to hear of the death of former Melody Maker music writer Neil Kulkarni. (Opens in a new window)

Like unmovable granite New Model Army exist on their own stubborn and brilliant trajectory. The band's lineups may have fluctuated, but the songwriting remains as brilliant as ever, and their recent hot streak continues with the new album that wears its heart very much on its sleeve. (Opens in a new window)

Depeche Mode breezed through Manchester and sold out the Arena with a brilliant gig of their moody dark energy Electro pop that we captured with words and some truly stunning live photos from the LTW team. (Opens in a new window)

The Breeders are set to make a welcome return to our shores with their first tour here in five years. This will almost definitely shift fast and coming on the heels of Pixies touring you’ll get to catch the real Deal if you know what I mean… (Opens in a new window)

LGBTQ icon Dorian Electra, the experimental pop artist from Houston, drive the Manchester crowd wild performing on their Fanfare show as part of their world tour. Dorian are known for exploring both masculine and feminine gender roles, don’t follow the normal conventions of a pop star, and they have a fanbase called The Holy Church of Electra. Dorian has collaborated with many artists, such as Lady Gaga, Tove Lo, Charli XCX, Village People and Pussy Riot. (Opens in a new window)


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