Ian Curtis

Searching for Clues — and Closure — in Ian Curtis’ and Kurt Cobain’s Handwritten Archives

Ian Curtis wrote in all caps, often with a Sharpie. When he wanted to change a word in his lyrics or notes, he’d scratch out his former word choice utterly completely — as if he wanted to erase it from existence. In a lot of ways, the Joy Division leader’s handwriting seems to reflect his personality: “Ian was a very definite person,” says Jon Savage, the co-editor of So This Is Permanence, a collection of Curtis’ notebooks released last month by Chronicle Books. “If he didn’t like something, he would eventually make his displeasure shown. He was a Cancer.” … Read More

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The Best Joy Division Covers

It was 34 years ago this weekend that Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis tragically took his own life. The legacy the post-punk pioneer left behind is unmistakable, despite having only two full-length albums to his credit. His influence is evident in the sound of countless bands who continue to be inspired by his somber lyricism. The number of Unknown Pleasures wannabes is exhausting, but we’ve chosen ten of the best Joy Division covers by artists who uniquely transformed Curtis’… Read More

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Ian Curtis’ Kitchen Table Is on eBay

If you’re a wealthy music fan hoping to make your home a little more goth, you’re in luck! … Read More

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Joy Division-Inspired Street Art Around the World

Thirty-three years ago today we lost one of England’s finest, Ian Curtis. Despite Joy Division’s short career and the singer’s tragically fleeting life, the influence of the post-punk pioneers is unmistakable. Curtis may have immortalized himself in the most devastating way possible, but fans across the world have done so through various tributes — like the street art we’ve gathered for your perusal. Fragments of the band’s album art and Curtis’ own somber image add a ghostly, poetic resonance to the urban milieux — and while we’re rather exhausted with the bazillion Unknown Pleasures copycats, we’ll gladly make an exception for these black-and-white sound waves on this day. … Read More

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20 Hilarious (And Often Adorable) Photos of Debauched Rock Stars With Cute Kids

Many awesome Stooges-related things have come out of the last week or so, not least the band’s new album (which is actually quite good) and their killer performance at New York’s Le Poisson Rouge. But perhaps most awesome of all is the photo that’s been making the rounds of Iggy clutching two kids in junior versions of his trademark sequined jeans. They look terrified, he looks delighted, and the whole thing is many kinds of awesome. So, in a similar spirit, here’s a selection of other debauched rock stars with cute kids. You’re… Read More

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Mind-Blowing Text Portraits of Famous Musicians and Artists

Thanks to My Modern Met, here’s a late addition to the roundup readable art that we posted over the weekend: the lovely text portraits of German photographer Ralph Ueltzhoeffer. Using biographical information about his subjects that’s readily available thanks to the Internet and sites like Wikipedia, he layers white typeface on a black background to recreate their likenesses — a visual nod at the old school DOS input mode. Click through to check out a selection of his surprisingly-detailed (and readable!) portraits of cultural icons like Patti Smith, Ai Weiwei, and David Bowie. … Read More

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Hear New Order’s Newly Released 18-Minute Ian Curtis Tribute, “Elegia”

Most casual New Order fans know “Elegia” as a five-minute instrumental interlude from the 1985 album Low-Life. In fact, that song is an excerpt from a longer, 18-minute tribute to Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis, which has only appeared on the band’s 2002 box set, Retro — until now. The indie label Slow to Speak has just released the Elegia EP, containing the full version of the title track, along with a Peel Sessions cut of “5-8-6″ and another recording dedicated to Curtis, “The Him” from New Order’s Movement. The unabridged “Elegia” is a gauzy, unusually sedate composition, recalling the band’s goth contemporaries more than anything from their own catalog. You can hear it after the jump, and visit Dope Jams to buy the EP. … Read More

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The Morning’s Top 5 Pop Culture Stories

1. Conservative web publisher and talking head Andrew Breitbart passed away last night at UCLA Medical Center from natural causes. He was 43 years old. “We have lost a husband, a father, a son, a brother, a dear friend, a patriot and a happy warrior,” reads a post on his website. “Andrew lived boldly, so… Read More

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Photo Gallery: Kevin Cummins Captures Joy Division in Manchester

Although they only released two albums during their short run, Joy Division remains one of the most important and beloved bands of the late-’70s post-punk movement, influencing generations of cold, black-clad imitators. In the three decades since Ian Curtis’s death, he has become one of music’s darkest and most solemnly worshiped cult figures. He has been immortalized in countless books and films, printed on all kinds of T-shirts, and his song “Love Will Tear Us Apart” probably holds some kind of record for teenage mixtape overuse.

But even if you think you’ve seen enough of Joy Division to last you a lifetime, you’ll want to make space for Kevin Cummins’s Joy Division (Rizzoli New York, 2010), a book that combines the author’s striking black-and-white images of the band with photos of their instruments, set lists, and flyers, and Curtis’s lyrics and notebooks. … Read More

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Punk Rock Graveyard: A Halloween Tour of Famous Memorials

It was Slits legend Ari Up’s death last week, at only 48 years old, that really drove it home: punk may have been born less than 35 years ago, but its icons have already begun to die out. (In fact, a good number didn’t make it as far as the mid-’80s.) So, because Halloween is almost here, and since Tony Wilson’s headstone was just recently unveiled, we present a spooky, freaky, 10-site tour of memorials to punk and post-punk icons, from Darby Crash to John Peel to Kurt Cobain. Since many of these figures tended to embrace the morbid and macabre, we’d like to think they’d come along for the ride. … Read More

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