Ben Watson (music writer)
Watson is well-known as a regular contributor to The Wire, as well as the author of numerous books, often entailing studies of popular culture from the perspective of Marxist aesthetics. Watson was a member of the British Trotskyist Socialist Workers' Party; his writing combines this background together with influences from Theodor Adorno and the Frankfurt School, the Situationists and wider cultural interests including the writings of James Joyce and J.H. Prynne. His first full-length book, Frank Zappa: The Negative Dialectics of Poodle Play was admired by Zappa himself, who saw it shortly before his death. Watson calls his own field of study in this area Zappology. He is also an experimental poet and novelist; his first novel Shit-Kicks and Dough-Balls was published in 2003.
List of writings
- 28 sliverfish macronix out to lunch (1992)
- Frank Zappa: The Negative Dialectics of Poodle Play (1995)
- Art, Class and Cleavage: A Quantulumcunque Concerning Materialist Esthetix (1998)
- The Complete Guide to the Music of Frank Zappa (1998)
- (with Robert Deller, Esther Leslie and Ted Curtis) The Mad Pride: A Celebration of Mad Culture (2000)
- Shit-Kicks and Dough-Balls (2003)
- Derek Bailey and the Story of Free Improvisation (2004)
- Frank Zappa: The Complete Guide to his Music (2005)
- (with Esther Leslie) Academy Zappa: Proceedings of the First International Conference of Esemplastic Zappology (2005)
- Militant Esthetix - Ben Watson and Esther Leslie's site.