Ladies and germs! May we present Joe Bucciero and Michael Blair who will pen the 33 1/3 on Young Marble Giants’ 1980 album Colossal Youth. This book is one of 16 new titles in the 33 1/3 series.
Give it a good long listen!
We caught up with Joe and Michael to learn more about their listening and reading habits…
33 1/3: What was your favorite book or record store growing up?
JB: Reckless and Permanent for records; Myopic for books – all on Chicago’s north side.
MB: My go-to two were (and still are) Vintage Vinyl and Left Bank Books in St. Louis, MO.
33 1/3: What is your favorite book or record store in the world?
JB: Still partial to Reckless and Permanent, and once I got a bit older, Dusty Groove (Chicago again). As for books, also still partial to Myopic, but John K. King in Detroit is amazing too.
MB: I’ve never seen a record and book store quite like APOP Records in St. Louis, though it sadly closed down a little over a year ago. And though you can’t buy anything except a homemade tape there, Joe Bussard’s basement has by far the best set of records I’ve ever seen. My favorite bookstore is still Left Bank.
33 1/3: What are you listening to right…NOW?
JB: Today, the new Doug Hream Blunt album on Luaka Bop, the new Giant Claw tape Deep Thoughts, and Battle of Bosworth Terrace by The Spies.
MB: Right now? I’m doing the method!
33 1/3: What are you reading right….NOW?
JB: Just started Microgroove by John Corbett.
MB: Some Flaubert stories.
33 1/3: Where do you live?
JB: New York
MB: Brooklyn, NYC
What to expect from Joe and Michael’s 33 1/3:
Welsh post-punk band Young Marble Giants released one LP and then, like their vanishing portraits on the album’s cover, disappeared. Even though the album, Colossal Youth, received positive reviews and sold surprisingly well, Young Marble Giants quickly slid into the margins of rock & roll history—relegated to “cult” status among post-punk and indie rock fans. Their lasting appeal, however overlooked, owes itself to the band’s singular approach to punk rock. Instead of using overt political ideologies, abrasive sounds, and anti-establishment appearances to rebel against the social and musical status quo, Young Marble Giants used restraint, ambiguity, and silence. In rejecting punk’s loudness and opening it up to a host of new sounds and approaches, Young Marble Giants redefined the genre’s sense of rebellion.
Here, Michael Blair and Joe Bucciero expand upon this observation. Yes, Colossal Youth is a quiet album with simple lyrics, stark production, and few compositional flourishes. Yes, recording such an album in the “punk” era might have been a radical statement. But where did these radical ideas come from? By tracing Colossal Youth’s logistical, geographical, ideological, and 20th-century art historical origins, Blair and Bucciero aim to re-situate Colossal Youth’s legacy. It’s established as a brilliant record, a cult favorite, and a continuing influence on musicians today. More importantly, however, it’s a hinge on which punk rock as a whole turns.
Say Hello to Joe and Michael!