We Owe You Nothing
Punk Planet: The Collected Interviews
Reading Punk Planet is always an unexpected treat, a consistently honest look at music and politics that somehow avoids both the pratfalls of mass media and the insularity of other zines and "voices of a generation." The magazine's sparse and clean layout forms a perfect backdrop for the writing you'll find inside -- essays and profiles on a wide variety of topics and characters, with the only uniting characteristic being a high level of intellectual commitment and integrity. Punk Planet's subjects and observers often have big ideas and stories to tell, and these spring out of the pages raw yet fully-formed.
Because of that, We Owe You Nothing ends up being one of the most thought-provoking collection of interviews you'll find. Noam Chomsky expounds mere pages from Henry Rollins, art director Art Chantry has a say alongside Negativland, Steve Albini, Chumbawamba, Jello Biafra...
While overall there's a lot of criticism and resentment present here, it's never the sort of inarticulate mumbling that can pass for activism these days. The subjects stand behind their ideals, and that depth is rare in these days of talking heads and we'll-be-right-back. A must-read for the thinking human.
Akashic Books, PO Box 1456, New York, NY 10009; http://www.akashicbooks.com