Retromania is about the anxiety of influence; how our present moment is feeding into it, how it emerged framed as a historical inevitability, and how its necrotic collateral is any futurism that may have the audacity to disregard the past.
PopMatters talks with music critic Simon Reynolds about his new book Retromania: Pop Culture’s Addiction to Its Own Past, as well as the modern state of pop futurism, the changing nature of music criticism, and the post-punk historian's favorite '80s alt-rock bands.
Why wouldn't they burn out instead of fade away? Berman examines the sad spectacle of punk-rock reunions and shows how they destroy the two elements that actually made punk attractive: sex appeal and impermanence.
Focusing primarily on British and American music between 1978 and 1984, Reynolds emphasizes the idea that the glossed-over post-punk years were not marginal to the history of rock in Rip It up and Start Again.