"Seminal music genre...featured Menswear and Thurman...Ooh, don't get me started...Changed your life, didn't it? Cast at the Dublin Castle, tracksuit tops, Paul Weller back on top. Best days of my f**king life...All of which fails to explain why you mongs forgot to vote for me in the readers' poll. Can't-f**king-read-ers poll, more like. Wankers." And with that, an extract from an ad placed in the March 1997 issue of Select (right next to the month's Bangin' or Bollox feature), Luke Haines' rocky relationship with Brit-pop -- a movement into which he was agonizingly shoehorned -- is tidily summarized. Let's be real: "Taking out the garbage at the Columbia Hotel/Nobody got a ticket out of cripple town" isn't nearly as memorable as "Slowly walking down the hall/Faster than a cannonball," and a song is more likely to have broad appeal when it's about rioting in the partying sense -- as opposed to an actual riot or a homicidal act or the start of a political party bent on hating the working class. While a typical Haines song is full of hooks and loud guitars, it also comes with a voice that has been compared to Rod Stewart and Micky Dolenz. (It's certain that neither Haines' mom nor Steve Albini have ever heard Giorgio Moroder's version of "Knights in White Satin.") More importantly, not many people are born with the disposition of a 60-year-old crank, and those who do come out that way tend not to be big music fans. In Luke Haines Is Dead, Haines' relatively harmonious relationship with his back catalog is weightily summarized as a chronologically sequenced three-disc box. It roughly amounts to an album's worth of B-sides, an album's worth of radio sessions and live material, and an album's worth of outtakes and alternate versions. Spanning 1992 through 2004, it covers Haines' Hut years with the Auteurs, the Baader Meinhof one-off, and the solo albums. Though it's clearly the devout following who will benefit most, there are some scattered album highlights as well, which help gauge the quality of the B-sides -- they range from good to spectacular. "Glad to Be Gone," from 1992, churns and seethes, pointing toward the irascible matter that would dominate 1996's After Murder Park; 1999's "Get Wrecked at Home," as sparse as anything off the first Black Box Recorder album, is both touching and amusing (he phrases "Is he as mean as me?" the way a heartbroken balladeer would witheringly ask, "Is he as good in bed as me?"). The tracks recorded for the BBC are either remarkably different from or superior to the album versions: "After Murder Park"'s snaps and tugs are more effective without the electric guitar of the original, while "The Upper Classes" makes the Now I'm a Cowboy version sound more like a demo. The outtakes aren't bad, either. Haines provides historical liner notes and has Paul Morley contribute some additional text. Both men are in top form.