Music Geek-Out #4
[This is a series on my setlist from philoSOPHIA 2012.]
From “My City Was Gone” to Siouxie’s “Cities in Dust”.
In a way, these are both about rust belts–Hynde is talking about the US Midwest, and Siouxie is referring to post-industrial Britain (South London, Manchester, etc.). It’s really interesting to think about the geographical, politico-economic, and, above all, musical parallels among Manchester, Detroit, and Chicago: all three are non-capital, second-tier, “midlands-y” industrial cities whose disused factories and warehouses sprouted globally significant electronic dance music scenes in the late 20th century.
This song, with its guitars, its melodious lines both vocally and instrumentally, that chime hook, it just SOUNDS like a paradigm of 80s British Indie…by which I mean, what all the modern rock kids listened to pre-Nirvana.
Also worth noting: Siouxie (and Billy Idol, and Sid V) were part of what was called the “Bromley Crew,” a bunch of punk kids from the South London burb of Bromley. Interestingly, there is a south Cincinnati (i.e., Northern KY) burb also called Bromley, probably after the UK version. [My mom and dad grew up in the town next to Bromley, Ludlow.]