20th anniversary editions of indie-pop albums stuffed with previously unheard tracks. Reunions of bands who swore they’d never again play together. Japanese retro-punk. Mass-produced faux-vintage t-shirts. Hollywood remakes. Nostalgia for a previous golden age of nostalgia.
These are only the tip of the cultural icebergs author Simon Reynolds investigates in his eminently readable Retromania: Pop Culture’s Addiction to Its Own Past. It’s easy to overlook how much of today’s pop culture is based on ideas and interpretations about the (mostly recent) past. Reynolds argues that the 2000s have