This collection from Good Press (Glasgow), starts itself in the year of 2000, collects writings on music and DIY activity from Swan’s back-catalogue. Musically it is broad, we begin with Meltdown moving to Shudder To Think; singular considerations on tracks by Tracey Thorn, Unrest and Jane’s Addiction. Further focuses on Saturday Looks Good to Me, Roy Harper, Panax, Slick Rick. There are documentary works and interviews covering Felix Kubin, The Homosexuals, Graham Lambkin & Spencer C. Yeah, Cass McCombs, and Bridget Cross. An expansive amount of ground is covered in this single collection, and this isn't the start of the wealth Swan has created. The writing is immediate, thoughtful, touching and honest—just like Ethan. Meticulously crafted, the painstaking layout is accompanied by photographs by Lisa Anne Auerbach documenting 1980’s Chicago punk shows.
Ethan Swan's ideas are presented with generosity and almost complete absence of ego (to the extent that his most-recent project, a series of oral histories and collected ephemera on Black Dice, Brontez Purnell and David Wojnarowicz and Ben Neill’s ITSOFOMO, does away with the authorial voice altogether) and it is a pleasure to spend time with them.
Ethan’s belief in (and commitment to) people and his generosity in sharing information (which is STILL wielded as capital, as power even in radical or DIY communities) is remarkable and impressive and if this book presents a notion of the ‘fan’ it reveals its author to be a fan of people and their potential in a deep and true way. —