Writing on Billy Childish and Punk at Hilobrow

As part of Carbona Your Enthusiasm

I announced this back in mid-August, but I appear to have neglected to note when it was published. I contributed a short essay about Billy Childish for hilobrow.com. As I write at the start of it, I was obsessed with the music of Billy Childish in the 1990s. My obsession had a partner in how prolific he was (and remains). Most households contain fewer records than he’s released. And then there’s the EPs, and the singles. Being obsessed with Childish meant my love was always unrequited, which meant it was always fresh. Billy Bragg? Nick Lowe? I could accumulate those Brits’ discographies pretty quickly. With Childish, there was always another release to stumble upon. By no means was I a completest. I was an opportunist. If I had some credit left over at Amoeba after trading stuff in and hoarding import ambient records, I’d snag some Childish. A single here, an LP there. It added up. Jeepers, did it add up.

Thanks to Hilobrow for the opportunity to reflect on an old favorite. The essay is part of a series the website ran about late early (or early late) punk, called Carbona Your Enthusiasm. There are 25 essays in the Carbona series, and among the contributors are Luc Sante, Mimi Lipson, and series editor Josh Glenn. The final entry is by Mike Watt (on the Dils’ “You’re Not Blank (So Baby We’re Through).” I wrote the introduction to a comics anthology tribute to his legendary band the Minutemen back in 2014.

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