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Published: 2015/05/05
by Larson Sutton

Viv Albertine
Clothes, Clothes, Clothes, Music, Music, Music, Boys, Boys, Boys

Clothes, Clothes, Clothes, Music, Music, Music, Boys, Boys, Boys is the roar of a lioness. It is Viv Albertine’s memoir, told in clutching candor by the pioneering punk, and like her stint with the all-female band The Slits, a victory for her artistry and her gender. As much creator of as witness to the cultural and musical movement of the 1970s that rocked London and the world, it would be unfair if not mostly inaccurate to refer to her chronicle, despite its often intense immediacy, as frontline reporting. It is frontline living. The conservative will no doubt call it shocking, but Albertine’s story is an elevated and elevating one not only from her poetic eloquence and stiff upper British lip, but from the wisdom of her self-awareness and willingness to share. Shade is for the delicate, as Albertine leaves nearly everything to shine or wither in blazing sunlight, detailing her utmost personal, intimate experiences and hardships with the same equanimity as the triumphs. She does offer relief to her former husband and her daughter, in a sense, leaving them respectfully anonymous despite revealing the struggles of conception and the dissolution of her marriage, but for everyone and everything else, the roar.

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