City Paper is not for tourists
Reason behind the three-volume Postpunk Chronicles (Scared to Dance, Left of the Dial, and Going Underground): Nostalgia for college radio, back when it was alternative or had cultural meaning or something like that.
Number of sentences before liner notes declare punk rock dead: Four.
Organization: None. Iggy Pop shares space with the Cult, the Jam with Sonic Youth and Gang of Four.
Difference between Rhino’s Faster & Louder series, D.I.Y. multi-volume set, 120 Minutes twin discs, New Wave hits of the ’80s volumes (now at 15), and Chronicles: Minimal.
Number of repeat bands between D.I.Y. and Chronicles: Six.
Fraction of bands in this survey that already have box sets, reissues, jumbo live albums, and greatest-hits packages: More than half. But, as the press postcard insists, Postpunk Chronicles is “a desperate attempt to recapture the glory days of black trench coats and silly haircuts.”
Number of tracks before you get to R.E.M.’s “Radio Free Europe” : 17.
Best disc: Going Underground, featuring the Jam’s “Going Underground,” Billy Bragg’s “A New England,” and “Upside Down” by the Jesus and Mary Chain.
Worst disc: Scared to Dance, featuring Heaven 17, Simple Minds, and Magazine, among others.
Number of songs about silly haircuts: Zero.
Demographic: Those who buy into Rhino’s philosophy that all things are worth nostalgia, who believe that all music can be divided by clothes and haircuts, and who don’t hold a major credit card to purchase New Wave Hits of the ’80s.;Jason Cherkis