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Steve Albini: 1962–2024



Steve Albini: 1962–2024

Tremendous-sad information at this time out of Chicago, the place phrase got here down that musician, recording engineer, author, designer, skilled poker participant, and all-around iconoclast Steve Albini died of a coronary heart assault yesterday. He was simply 61.

I didn’t know Albini properly, however we had some good interactions over time. He was an enormous fan of my Nineteen Nineties zine, Beer Body: The Journal of Inconspicuous Consumption. When the primary six problems with that zine had been compiled right into a e-book, Inconspicuous Consumption: An Obsessive Have a look at the Stuff We Take for Granted, I requested Albini to write down the foreword, and he graciously agreed.

Extra just lately, just a little over a yr in the past, I did a very enjoyable, freewheeling interview with Albini. We talked in regards to the visible aesthetics of bands and data, the uniforms worn by the workers at his recording studio, the virtues of DIY design, and many different uni-adjacent subjects. (That interview, which was revealed on my Substack, is on the market and not using a paywall right here.) I’m proud to say that he owned a Uni Watch seam ripper and even prouder that he referred to it as “an unimaginable merchandise choice. I imply, I can’t truthfully can’t consider a merchandise merchandise extra particularly arcane than that.”

Like numerous indie-rock followers of my era, I used to be an enormous fan of Albini’s first Chicago band, Huge Black. However his writing all the time me greater than his music. His mid-Nineteen Eighties articles in Pressured PublicityMatter, and different zines had been vastly influential on me after I was in faculty, and I used to be all the time curious about studying just about something he needed to write, as a result of he had such a fertile, attention-grabbing thoughts and such a palpable intelligence. Even after I didn’t agree with him, I felt like I all the time discovered issues from him.

Albini was fiercely loyal to folks he appreciated, however he didn’t endure fools gladly, had zero no endurance for bullshit, and will generally be acerbic, confrontational, and offensive, particularly when he was youthful. Extra just lately, he recanted a number of the extra inflammatory and morally questionable positions from his youth whereas sustaining his uncompromising advocacy for the higher, smarter world he needed to see. I’ve nothing however respect for the way he dealt with all of that.

Now that I’m about to go away Uni Watch and am on the brink of transition again to Inconspicuous Consumption, I hoped to interview Albini once more sooner or later within the close to future. My concept was that I’d get along with him throughout my subsequent go to to Chicago and have him take me on a tour of his favourite inconspicuous architectural particulars and design prospers across the metropolis. I do know it could have been nice, and it sucks to know that we’ll by no means get the prospect to try this. R.I.P., buddy — you’ll be missed.


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