33 1/3 Series of books

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I got the VU one at a used book place when I was in cali.
This probably the whole of it:

"Musically, the Velvets are the
daddies of us all--and by "us," I mean anyone who has played in a rock
band since 1977 or thereabouts, the year that Punk crested the hill and
changed the music industry forever. Their albums were like alchemical
tracts that held secret formulas, passed from one musician to the next,
until "Punk Happened," as the button says, completing the job the
Velvet Underground started."

So Velvet Underground & Nico is your Big Mac and any semirevered afterworks like Unknown Pleasure or Loveless are just kid's meals. the new ones with milk and carrots.

But I'm wondering if that's what all the books give you, a THIS IS IT AND ALL THERE IS LEFT of anything credible.
i.e. I'll read Loveless and it'll convince me of the untimeliness of so-called 60s rock purveyors.
or something.

I think I just want to get another one because I like the size. It's nice and tiny for metro rides.
I might like to read ABBA one, if that's any good. I have no interest in NMH, though I'm wondering if I'm mistaken. I think Borders has Live at the Apollo so maybe that one.

mox twelve (Mox twleve), Friday, 15 September 2006 08:50 (8 years ago) Permalink

and I realize that quote says nothing, note, the book is not much informative. metro rides.

mox twelve (Mox twleve), Friday, 15 September 2006 08:52 (8 years ago) Permalink

i can never find these books in shops.

wogan lenin (dog latin), Friday, 15 September 2006 09:02 (8 years ago) Permalink

"Apollo" is quite an electrifying read; "Sign o' the Times" is my (other) favorite.

Rickey Wright (Rrrickey), Friday, 15 September 2006 09:07 (8 years ago) Permalink

The Entroducing... one was a great and very informative read. I found the style a little stilted but that's more to do with the fact that it's based around interviews over a period of time with Shadow. I thought it was very insightful and definitely fun to read how he did it all and where the passion came from. IIRC the author got all the self-referential crap out of the way in the intro and from then on it was about Shadow.

Kv_nol (Kv_nol), Friday, 15 September 2006 10:31 (8 years ago) Permalink

I have no idea what mox is saying but the VU book was horrible. Systematic in the worst way possible, talking about the making of the album in purely social terms without giving me any interesting muiscological stuff, no apparent critical analyses, and lots of biases-stated-as-fact. Of course it was so bad I stopped reading it a third of the way through so maybe it got better but I wasn't willing to trust it that far.

Eppy (Eppy), Friday, 15 September 2006 14:18 (8 years ago) Permalink

man I pitched Vision Creation Newsun, but they said it wasn't popular enough :/

Dominique (dleone), Friday, 15 September 2006 14:55 (8 years ago) Permalink

i'd definitely get more of these if you could find them in shops, though i suspect even if you could the ones i'd be looking for would be on the less likely end to get stocked. any further reccomendations on ones that work well as books instead of extended liner notes/dull bio, making of etc.? loved armed forces though i don't think i'd suggest it to anyone w/ no taste for the album, loved loved zoso would reccomend to anyone.

j blount (papa la bas), Friday, 15 September 2006 18:04 (8 years ago) Permalink

man I pitched Vision Creation Newsun, but they said it wasn't popular enough :/

Hey, I pitched Violator and got the same answer! (Well, presumably the same form letter.)

Ned Raggett (Ned), Friday, 15 September 2006 18:07 (8 years ago) Permalink

wow that's insane, there's a HUGE market for a book about violator!

j blount (papa la bas), Friday, 15 September 2006 18:09 (8 years ago) Permalink

I don't really get why you would buy more if they were in shops. I mean, maybe you hate Amazon or something, but most indie rekkid stores will order anything you want AND HAVE THEM DELIVERED TO YOUR DOOR SO YOU DON'T CHOKE ON THE PERVASIVE BAND-SMELL of said store.

Or are you referring to those evil, corporate new-fangled bookstores where you can sit there all day and just read anything they have without buying it blount?

don weiner (don weiner), Friday, 15 September 2006 19:59 (8 years ago) Permalink

Impulse purchases. Any actual purchasable object right there at your fingertips is far more tempting than a mere image on your computer screen.

M. Agony Von Bontee (M. Agony Von Bontee), Friday, 15 September 2006 20:13 (8 years ago) Permalink

MVB OTM

Run Ruud Run (Ken L), Friday, 15 September 2006 20:15 (8 years ago) Permalink

Yeah, when I bought the NMH at this indie bookshop near my place, I was on my way to the counter to check out and was like "Oh, I didn't know they stocked 33 1/3 books here, hmmmm, let's see ... oh they have In the Aeroplane ... huh, it's Megan's birthday this week ... ah, what the hell."

jaymc (jaymc), Friday, 15 September 2006 20:18 (8 years ago) Permalink

don i don't frequent indie rock record stores and on amazon i tend to go for more worthwhile fare than 'the true story behind the making of chairs missing!' (eg. will shortz presents giant collosal sudoku vol 2). pure impulse buy (i don't order porn online either)(i have ordered pizza online before).

j blount (papa la bas), Friday, 15 September 2006 21:05 (8 years ago) Permalink

What I meant to comment on with that quote was the book's praise without substance babble on. Just, on and on. mindwashing you into the brillance and innovation of the band and their only masterpiece and how the VU & N sound is now permanantly infused into every single rock song by every single band from a little after that until today.
And Eppy I agree, your critique was pretty on, the book didn't really get much more indepth in its latter parts.
It also feels like something you wouldn't want to give to an indiegod high schooler because he'd use it as his new pretentious cred piece. 'Man, the strokes, nothing. The Velvets are the daddies all those guys.' hah, or something.

And, what, that's dumb, VCN would be awesome to read about. It's dumb because it would probably sell just as well if not better than the rest of them. Like, all these books, their market have probably already read a ton of stuff on whoever they want to read about anyway. Who IS reading them? The people on this thread? So, not popular enough would be a plus. Books are not even in stores.
anyway. Whatever. In theory they're cool little companion pieces the music collection.

mox twelve (Mox twleve), Friday, 15 September 2006 21:23 (8 years ago) Permalink

Yeah my biggest problem with this series is that the albums I would be interested in reading books about are ones which would not sell at all. Actually I am not even sure what albums would make good 70-80 page books. I love Forever Changes and Piper At The Gates of Dawn, for example, but I've read so much about those albums and Love and Syd Barrett-era Floyd in general that I can't imagine those books have much new to say to me. And a lot of great records have already seem exhaustively written about so it seems a real challenge to find an album widely known enough to warrant this treatment, yet not so extensively studied that the piece is just a retread of other pieces.

All that said Vision Creation Newsun is an album I would definitely be interested in reading more about.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Friday, 15 September 2006 21:47 (8 years ago) Permalink

Actually is there a good book on Agharta/Pangaea or on Miles electric period in general? I would devour that.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Friday, 15 September 2006 21:52 (8 years ago) Permalink

i much prefer the idea of compelling writers talking about their relationship to an album, than compelling writers talking about the creation/origin/details of an album. but i'm peculiar.

in a lot of ways, it wouldn't matter if i liked the record or not.

sean gramophone (Sean M), Friday, 15 September 2006 21:54 (8 years ago) Permalink

Woo hoo. I will look for that.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Friday, 15 September 2006 22:03 (8 years ago) Permalink

someone needs to get on that shaggs one

Amateur(ist) (Amateur(ist)), Friday, 15 September 2006 23:03 (8 years ago) Permalink

(Personally awaiting the Joni volume)

Myke. (Myke Weiskopf), Saturday, 16 September 2006 02:49 (8 years ago) Permalink

wow that's insane, there's a HUGE market for a book about violator!

You're telling me!

Ned Raggett (Ned), Saturday, 16 September 2006 03:00 (8 years ago) Permalink

man I pitched Vision Creation Newsun, but they said it wasn't popular enough :/
-- Dominique (d_leon...), September 15th, 2006 3:55 PM. (later)


I'd like to figure out how much Dominique would've expected to get paid for a project such as this, so that I may just save up or get on a payment plan or something and he can just write it for me.

Period period period (Period period period), Saturday, 16 September 2006 04:34 (8 years ago) Permalink

xpost

Yes, the rationale behind the rejection of "Violator" (not popular enough) makes no sense ... it's sold more copies than probably 90% of the other albums featured in the series. I guess "not popular enough" is code for "the way we see it, faggy synth pop fans don't read rock-crit".

NoTimeBeforeTime (Barry Bruner), Saturday, 16 September 2006 16:15 (8 years ago) Permalink

Well, I don't want to get too much into it or anything -- obv. I was disappointed but I've moved on to thinking about other projects and things. The fact that they chose to do Pretty Hate Machine but not Depeche was a bit surprising to me seeing as early Trent *is* Depeche crossed with Wax Trax, but keep in mind that quite easily the proposal for that was just a really great one in comparison to a lot of others, including mine!

Ned Raggett (Ned), Saturday, 16 September 2006 16:20 (8 years ago) Permalink

(Which is in part why I'm assuming the 'same form letter' response -- Continuum sent out a batch one to everyone whose proposals were turned down, and I didn't ask any further about it, where maybe Dominique did and got something more specific.)

Ned Raggett (Ned), Saturday, 16 September 2006 16:22 (8 years ago) Permalink

In re: Abba/Can thing above:

I felt sure there was one about Tago Mago. No?

RoxyMuzak© (roxymuzak), Saturday, 16 September 2006 16:30 (8 years ago) Permalink

xpost

Not to say that Continuum decided to pick either NIN *or* DM, but I can certainly see the rationale for choosing PHM over Violator. There's a lot of mileage to be had from arguing that NIN came out of nowhere and sold a couple million records and "took the mainstream by surprise" or whatever, all of it happening before grunge got credit for doing the exact same thing (and with 100000X more press and airplay). I'm not sure you can argue that with DM, since they were a well-established band at that point. Plus, the same people who would buy a DM book are also likely to be interested in an NIN book.

NoTimeBeforeTime (Barry Bruner), Saturday, 16 September 2006 16:41 (8 years ago) Permalink

violator doesn't have that obvious rockcrit cachet (bar ilm of course)

Amateur(ist) (Amateur(ist)), Saturday, 16 September 2006 16:46 (8 years ago) Permalink

btw the armed forces one was pretty good, matos' was ok, and all the other ones i looked at were awful

Amateur(ist) (Amateur(ist)), Saturday, 16 September 2006 16:47 (8 years ago) Permalink

violator doesn't have that obvious rockcrit cachet (bar ilm of course)

It's never had an obvious one but it's had a sometimes-grudging one. But even Rolling Stone did a positive main (but not cover) story on the band when that came out, a couple of years after they reviewed 101 in a way that could be described as 'cavemen meet aliens and try to tell fellow cavemen about the sparkly lights in the sky.'

Ned Raggett (Ned), Saturday, 16 September 2006 17:04 (8 years ago) Permalink

OBVIOUS ROCKCRIT CACHE

LIKE ABBA GOLD

the dow nut industrial average dead joe mama besser (donut), Saturday, 16 September 2006 17:30 (8 years ago) Permalink

HI DERE IN WAHT WORLD IS ABBA NOT MADE ROCKCRIT CACHE?

Daniel_Rf (Daniel_Rf), Saturday, 16 September 2006 18:00 (8 years ago) Permalink

Clear cache now?

Ned Raggett (Ned), Saturday, 16 September 2006 18:01 (8 years ago) Permalink

Did you guys query them with possibilities before you sent in your proposal? I was told someone else already had Rid of Me and the other one I proposed was too recent, so I went with one with almost no rock-crit cred whatsoever.

Eppy (Eppy), Saturday, 16 September 2006 18:23 (8 years ago) Permalink

Danielrf, it's not OBVIOUSROCKCRITCACHE

Big Difference.

the dow nut industrial average dead joe mama besser (donut), Saturday, 16 September 2006 18:27 (8 years ago) Permalink

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Saturday, 16 September 2006 18:28 (8 years ago) Permalink

snap

RoxyMuzak© (roxymuzak), Saturday, 16 September 2006 18:30 (8 years ago) Permalink

ooh sexy.

Anyway, this may be crazy talk, but maybe many books got turned down because of reasons other than the albums' popularities and seminal statuses.

Maybe they were't impressed the writers' work?

Maybe they felt too uncomfortable because they didn't know someone who knew someone who knew that writer?

Maybe someone in the committee had "this bands is the sucks" veto power?

These decisions were not made by science. I'm not claiming they're just arbitrary, reactionary, or dumb opinions either. But they boil down to opinions.

Unless 33 1/3rd has a patent on album review books (which I don't think they do, although surely they have it on the name), if there's such a demand for more album review books, and the series is selling well, is there not a possibility of an alternative publishing source?

the dow nut industrial average dead joe mama besser (donut), Saturday, 16 September 2006 18:33 (8 years ago) Permalink

are they really "album review boks" tho?

RoxyMuzak© (roxymuzak), Saturday, 16 September 2006 18:34 (8 years ago) Permalink

books obv

RoxyMuzak© (roxymuzak), Saturday, 16 September 2006 18:35 (8 years ago) Permalink

Of course not, but they're pitched and packaged like that, which is the crux of the basis in which they're selected. Someone may have the greatest things to say about Aerosmith, but if the writer chose Rock In A Hard Place, then that's going to lessen the chances had the writer not chose Toys In The Attic or Rocks, for example.

the dow nut industrial average dead joe mama besser (donut), Saturday, 16 September 2006 18:53 (8 years ago) Permalink

(I mean "of course not" in the "they often talk about peripheral things besides the album itself or things related to it", not "they never talk about the album".)

the dow nut industrial average dead joe mama besser (donut), Saturday, 16 September 2006 18:54 (8 years ago) Permalink

some of my favorite books in the series barely talk about their albums!

Matos-Webster Dictionary (M Matos), Saturday, 16 September 2006 19:06 (8 years ago) Permalink

I don't get that. Not that you would like something "creative" Michaelangelo that's cool but why the author would tie it to an album in the first place? Why not write a freestanding novella or memoir or whatever? What about readers who want something linear?

m coleman (lovebug starski), Saturday, 16 September 2006 19:13 (8 years ago) Permalink

at some point, the editor(s) taste is reflected in album selection, determining writers, etc. so it's all pretty subjective in terms of why x instead of y or I suppose why one album is dealt w/factually and starightforwardly while another isn't.

m coleman (lovebug starski), Saturday, 16 September 2006 19:25 (8 years ago) Permalink

I haven't read these but it does seem like there's a bit of a slacker aesthetic to the series in general - you know, that it's not about sort of writing *real books* but instead just these little things. Curious how much the slacker context infects the content.

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Saturday, 16 September 2006 19:44 (8 years ago) Permalink

Re. slacker context: rock criticism stuck in the nineties.

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Saturday, 16 September 2006 19:49 (8 years ago) Permalink


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