Saw Joe Carducci do a little reading/Q&A thing at Quimby's Bookstore tonight for 20-25 people. It was great. He read four short excerpts from his books - three from Enter Naomi, none from Rock and the Pop Narcotic - but most of the time he just sat and talked about MUSIC, the way he's always talked about it, not just stylistically, but culturally, economically, geographically. He didn't really get into anything that wasn't already in Naomi and Narcotic, but it was nice to hear it straight from the guy and off the top of his head for almost two hours. He's a soft-spoken guy, "a music guy" as he writes in Enter Naomi (describing fellow SST employee Ray Farrell but it fits him too), which is why he moved from Chicago to L.A. to sleep on the floor of the SST office in 1981, and it's why he was at the bookstore tonight, not for some nostalgia showcase or brag session, but because the music is still out there being discovered. Much like his prose, points weren't so much made as they were accrued, often in roundabout fashion. During the Q&A a guy in the audience asked him for his take on the rock culture of today and how 1980s bands are reuniting and this and that, and Carducci sort of answered it by mentioning, among a few other things, that Saccharine Trust has been regularly playing new material in L.A. for the last ten years, in which time they recorded an album in Germany that long-time fan Bill Stevenson said was the best of their entire career. Earlier he had repeated something that was pointed out in Narcotic, that it's very difficult and rare for a band to make vital music for more than five years, and at another point he gave these ideas further nuance with an insider's description of Husker Du (I'm quoting him from memory here): "The thing about Husker Du was that they didn't like each other enough to practice. [Laughter from audience.] So they'd write their songs separately, get together just long enough to figure out how to perform and record them as a band, and then they figured that three weeks in one shot was the most they could tour without breaking up. That's how they made it work." He didn't even mention reunion fever, because the real question is, are they getting together to play vital music or not? And if so, is their personal dynamic such that they can make it work? And, most importantly, how is the rhythm section?
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