Good books about music

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I'm going to Delaware for spring break to look at colleges, and it's going to be pretty boring. I'm making a run to Best Buy and Barnes and Noble's tomorrow to get stuff, and I was wondering if anyone knew of good books about music. We're going for fun to read here, since I need something that doesn't take too long to get into. I've already read Never Mind the Pollacks (which was great), and my closest Barnes and Noble's has Our Band Could be Your Life and that uncensored oral history of punk book that was on the OC three weeks ago.

WillSommer, Thursday, 17 March 2005 04:18 (seventeen years ago) link

Perfect Sound Forever
The Music's All That Matters
What Rock Is All About
Lipstick Traces
Just Kill Me
Psychotic Reactions & Carburetor Dung
The Aesthetics of Rock

little ivan, Thursday, 17 March 2005 04:23 (seventeen years ago) link

Get the Lester Bangs books.

The Brainwasher (Twilight), Thursday, 17 March 2005 04:23 (seventeen years ago) link

and Please Kill Me: The Oral History of Punk by Legs McNeil

The Brainwasher (Twilight), Thursday, 17 March 2005 04:24 (seventeen years ago) link

Please Kill Me was on the OC?

Please kill me.

Oh well. Read it anyway. It's amazing. And Our Band Could Be Your Life. If you're interested in criticism, check out Psychotic Reactions and Carbeurator Dung or anything by Lester Bangs or one or two Greil Marcus books (The Basement Tapes). I'd stay away from Camden Joy, contrary to popular opinion.

I need something that doesn't take too long to get into

But you're going to college, man! Just buy Adorno's Essays on Music and accept that the next 4+ years of your life are going to be like that mwahahaha...

poortheatre (poortheatre), Thursday, 17 March 2005 04:26 (seventeen years ago) link

Dave Marsh, The Heart of Rock & Soul (his 1,001 most important singles of the rock era, in bite-size nuggets)

Joseph McCombs (Joseph McCombs), Thursday, 17 March 2005 04:43 (seventeen years ago) link

Love Saves the Day and Can't Stop Won't Stop by Tim Lawrence and Jeff Chang, respectively.

I also enjoyed Last Night a DJ Saved My Life and there's the ever-classic Generation Ecstasy.

deej., Thursday, 17 March 2005 04:49 (seventeen years ago) link

conflict of interest, but whatever:
Christoph Cox and Daniel Warner, Audio Culture: Readings in Modern Music
featuring Eno, Cage, Stockhausen, Merzbow, Reynolds, lots of other luminaries, and some jerk named Sherburne

philip sherburne (philip sherburne), Thursday, 17 March 2005 04:51 (seventeen years ago) link

Unsung Heroes of Rock and Roll- Tosches
Faithfull: An Autobiography- Marianne Faithfull
Chronicles v.1- Dylan
Black Monk Time- Eddie Shaw
I, Tina- Tina Turner
Uptight: the VU story,
Transformer- Bockris
Planet Joe- Joe Cole

Elisa (Elisa), Thursday, 17 March 2005 05:09 (seventeen years ago) link

John Cage's Silence is a great book about music and other things.

Mark (MarkR), Thursday, 17 March 2005 05:15 (seventeen years ago) link

All of the above, and Sidney Bechet's autobio (blanking on the title, but he only wrote one); Miles by Miles Davis; Rip It Up: The Black Experience in Rock 'N' Roll (Kandia Crazy Horse, ed.)

don, Thursday, 17 March 2005 05:17 (seventeen years ago) link

Also, Robert Palmer (not the singer)'s Deep Blues, Christgau's 70s Consumer Guide (yeah you can look up all the Consumer Guide entries at, 'cept maybe the *most* recent, which are at, but unless you just love typing in Subjects and hitting Enter and know exactly what to look for, the book is a lot more fun). Also most anything by Peter Guralnick (although I woouldn't start with the Elvis stuff)(if you want to get strung out ona good sick Elvis book, try Evis Aron Presley, by Alanna Nash with the Memphis Mafia) Most anything by Frith, Toop; Charles Keil' Uran Blues; Tom T. Hall's The Storyteller's Nashville (one of the funniest books I've read re musos, and good serious stuff too); Nelson Goerge's Seduced: The Life And Times Of A One Hit Wonder; Pamela Des Barres' I'm With The Band; Ruth Brown's Miss Rhythm (an epic!)

don, Thursday, 17 March 2005 05:41 (seventeen years ago) link

Ahh yeah Rap Attack by Toop. Does Greg Tate have any books out there worth picking up?

deej., Thursday, 17 March 2005 05:45 (seventeen years ago) link

Does Greg Tate have any books out there worth picking up?

I had never heard of Tate until I saw him speak not long ago. He is a BAD. ASS. Does he still write for The Voice? I feel like I never see him in there. Does he have a blog?

poortheatre (poortheatre), Thursday, 17 March 2005 05:56 (seventeen years ago) link

He definitely still writes for the voice, unbelievable writer too, sort of a marxist approach to hip-hop these days (as SFJ pointed out) which seems to distance him from discussing how the music moves him but which does raise significant points regarding hip-hop and the way it is being used both positively and negatively; I got sort of nuts at him during the "great tate debate" when he criticized people for celebrating the 30th anniversary of hip-hop and while I don't share his lack of enthusiasm/engagement with the current music, I do think he's absolutely right about what hip-hop's significance is (paraphrasing, renders African-Americans "all but invisible" in a cultural sense) and that unfortunately the advancement of African-American cultural capital has not resulted in economic justice or any kind of justice, really.

I'm mostly interested in reading a book of his since his prose is fairly magnificent.

deej., Thursday, 17 March 2005 06:23 (seventeen years ago) link

r. crumb draws the blues - r. crumb
country - nick tosches (his other books too of course, but this is my favorite)
rythm oil and the true adventures of the rolling stones by stanley booth
awopbopaloobop by nik cohn

J.D. (Justyn Dillingham), Thursday, 17 March 2005 07:05 (seventeen years ago) link

Touching From A Distance
Bass Culture
Songs They Don't Play On The Radio
Revolution In The Head
Rotten: No Dogs, No Blacks , No Irish

wtin, Thursday, 17 March 2005 10:56 (seventeen years ago) link

"Wonderland Avenue" - Danny Sugerman - I can't stand The Doors but I loved this book. Also, "The Dirt", the Motley Crue book. Again, hate the band, but a cracking read.

bg, Thursday, 17 March 2005 11:25 (seventeen years ago) link

Tate's 1991 collection Flyboy in the Buttermilk is tremendous. His review/demolition of Bad ("I'm White! What's Wrong with Michael Jackson") is worth the price by itself, especially when he sez that the album's title "accurately describes its contents in standard English."

If you want a cracking funny read on hip-hop, though, pick up The Rough Guide to Hip-Hop by Peter Shapiro, which has just been updated and enlarged (it was a pocket-size the first time, now it's 8 x 10). Best line goes to the Bad Boy Records writeup, when he notes that Puff Daddy, having been responsible for 40% of all 1997's number ones, moved to the Hamptons "so he could live by the sea, just like his magic dragon namesake."

Matos-Webster Dictionary (M Matos), Thursday, 17 March 2005 11:41 (seventeen years ago) link

actually, strike that "though," Toop can be funny and obviously so can Tate.

Matos-Webster Dictionary (M Matos), Thursday, 17 March 2005 11:42 (seventeen years ago) link

Neil McCormick's "Killing Bono" was a quick, fun read.

John Fredland (jfredland), Thursday, 17 March 2005 11:44 (seventeen years ago) link

"Wonderland Avenue" - Danny Sugerman - I can't stand The Doors but I loved this book. Also, "The Dirt", the Motley Crue book. Again, hate the band, but a cracking read.

Same here! (Of course there's also the Led Zep bio.)

nathalie barefoot in the head (stevie nixed), Thursday, 17 March 2005 11:46 (seventeen years ago) link

ooh, haven't read that led zep one. I just remembered a book called "Lost in Music" by Giles Smith, which was a hoot.

bg, Thursday, 17 March 2005 11:54 (seventeen years ago) link

chuck berry's autobiog

mark s (mark s), Thursday, 17 March 2005 12:26 (seventeen years ago) link

George Jones, I Lived To Tell It All
Miles Davis, Miles: The Autobiography

Next week on "The O.C.": Seth and Ryan get into a fatal disagreement over "James Taylor: Marked For Death," while Summer meets a new hottie who shares her disgust of Nick Hornby.

Keith C (kcraw916), Thursday, 17 March 2005 14:06 (seventeen years ago) link

Nelson George's previously mentioned Seduced is said to roman-a-clef of sorts (Russell Simmons, on back cover of early edition, earnestly denies that one of the characters is based on him--that's his whole blurb). Some wicked bits about the early days of hip-hop, and the music biz overall. The sequel, Urban Romance, spotlights a minor Seduced charactor, who writes for Billboard and the Voice. Haven't read it yet, but it's next. Tate's Everything But The Burden, about whites biting black music, is another I've heard good stuff about.

don, Thursday, 17 March 2005 22:09 (seventeen years ago) link

For a good time, read:

Dino by Nick Tosches (about Dean Martin; as deep as Catch a Fire by Timothy White, as entertaining as that Motley Crue book)

Backbeat: Earl Palmer's Story, by Tony Scherman (oral history/autobiography of the New Orleans drummer; had me at "Louis Armstrong was a pimp"...)

We Got the Neutron Bomb: The Untold Story of L.A. Punk by Marc Spitz and Brendan Mullen (better than Please Kill Me, kind of like L.A. punk itself)

Pete Scholtes, Thursday, 17 March 2005 22:30 (seventeen years ago) link

Here's TSOL frontman Jack Grisham in We Got the Neutron Bomb, before he announced his run for governor against Gray Davis and Arnold Schwarzenegger (and Gary Coleman, etc.):

I was torturing this guy in the garage of my mom's house in this nice suburban neighborhood with my whole family inside eating Easter dinner... and I'd got this guy tied up in the rafter with a rope around his legs and I'm beating him with a two-by-four. I said, "Hang on a minute," and put the two-by-four down and walked into the house and kissed my aunt and said like, "Oh hi, how you doing?" I grabbed a deviled egg, told them I'd be back in a minute, and I went back out, grabbed the two-by-four, and kept workin' on the guy. I finally had to get out of Vicious Circle 'cause of the violence. There were constant stabbings and beatings and people cruising by my house at night, shooting up the neighborhood....

I did something pretty bad to somebody and they retaliated with guns. It was a big deal, I had to split to Alaska for a while, they cut the lines on my car, blew up my car... fuck...I don't wanna say who they were, but they weren't punks... boy, they were pissed off.

Pete Scholtes, Thursday, 17 March 2005 22:34 (seventeen years ago) link

'Long Time Gone' the David Crosby (auto)biog is definitely the best music book i have ever read. the way he led his life and some of the decisions he made are genuinely stupefying. equal parts genius and retard. extraordinary when set against the soundtrack of the music he was making.

i went on holiday with the Deborah Curtis book and the Nick Drake biography once. happy times, let me tell you.

Lee F# (fsharp), Thursday, 17 March 2005 22:53 (seventeen years ago) link

dino is so good that i've lent and lost TWO copies to (so-called) friends

if you ever find dave rimmer's "once upon a time in the east", abt berlin east and west b4 the fall of the wall, i utterly UTTERLY recommend it: tho it's only somewhat abt music - unlike his earlier (and also good) "like punk never happened"

mark s (mark s), Thursday, 17 March 2005 22:53 (seventeen years ago) link

I've just got "Lost in the Grooves" by the editors of Scram (the same peeps who did "Bubblegum Music is the Naked Truth"), a collection of reviews of culty, forgotten or neglected albums. Some very ILM choices in there: Jandek, Poster Children, Bridgette Fontaine etc. If only slsk was working properly...

Richard C (avoid80), Thursday, 17 March 2005 23:00 (seventeen years ago) link

I wrote a few entries for Lost In The Grooves (Boogie Down Productions, Schoolly D, Sonny Sharrock).

Joe Carducci's Rock and the Pop Narcotic is being reissued sometime this year.

pdf (Phil Freeman), Thursday, 17 March 2005 23:02 (seventeen years ago) link

and how could i forget, the funniest rock-related book ever: the life and times of little richard by charles white.

J.D. (Justyn Dillingham), Thursday, 17 March 2005 23:19 (seventeen years ago) link

xpost the David Crosby book has sections with different versions side by side, like the Synoptic Gospels: the Word according to St. David, his friends and ex-friends. But certainly not Gospel in the I-swung-naked-on-the-chandelier-but-now-I've-found-the-LORDuh (so send your dollars to my new friends today). He's got his regrets, but still the somae ornery critter ("Don't do crack, and also watch out for the CIA/Colobian Cartels, man," is more the POV)

don, Friday, 18 March 2005 00:01 (seventeen years ago) link

Bass Culture
Sadly retitled in America as The History of Jamaica's music or something like that, but it's excellent. The only disappointing aspect about it is that Lloyd Bradley doesn't cover any On-U-Sound releases in the book or even take them into account.

Quit glaring at Ian Riese-Moraine! He's mentally fraught! (Eastern Mantra), Friday, 18 March 2005 00:23 (seventeen years ago) link

I'm just finishing this, I like it, but it could have used a little bit more demographic and geographic background info on Jamaica and Kingston in particular.

JoB (JoB), Friday, 18 March 2005 01:32 (seventeen years ago) link

Nick Kent's "The Dark Stuff"
"Alt-Rock-o-Rama" (great on car trips!)
Brian Eno's "More Dark than Shark"
Motley Crue's "The Dirt" (well, not about music, per se)

Josh in Chicago (Josh in Chicago), Friday, 18 March 2005 01:54 (seventeen years ago) link

Blissed Out is still my favorite Simon Reynolds book. Jon Savage's England's Dreaming (see recent thread on him); Chuck Eddy's Stairway To Hell and Accidental Evolution; a couple of good anthologies: ROck She Wrote and Trouble Girls.

don, Friday, 18 March 2005 06:37 (seventeen years ago) link

that book "Hip: A History" isn't strictly about music but it's also very good. I think the author's name is John Leland.

Ashandeej, Friday, 18 March 2005 06:41 (seventeen years ago) link

Audio Culture (edited cox / warner) seconded, and limiting myself to the books next to my desk (library's in the hallway)

Electronic and Experimental Music by Thom Holmes
also; Wireless Imagination (d kahn / g whitehead)
Paul Griffiths - A Concise History of Avant-Garde Music
Paul Griffiths - Modern Music And Beyond
Curtis Roads
William Duckworth : Talking Music
Cage: Silence / A Year From Monday
Cage / Feldman: Conversations
James Tenney : Meta / Hodos
Karlheinz Stockhausen - Stockhausen on Music (Compiled by R Maconie)
Sound By Artists (ed. Dan Lander)
Chris Cutler - File Under Popular
Attali - Noise
Russolo - The Art of Noises (get a hold of a copy any way you can)
Trevor Wishart - On Sonic Art
Douglas Kahn - Noise Water Meat

milton parker (Jon L), Friday, 18 March 2005 07:13 (seventeen years ago) link

milton, has "modern music and beyond" been updated at all?: when i first read it (= in like 1977), i remember thinking "waddya mean beyond"!! it stops in 1968 with a sad thud!!

i think the attali book is lousy at book length—it's a good short polemic idea bulked out to a contradictory nonsense schema—and wireless imagination is patchy (which is a pity, cz it's a great idea for an essay collection)

mark s (mark s), Friday, 18 March 2005 09:11 (seventeen years ago) link

really good things I've read over the last few months were adorno's bk on mahler and morton feldman's 'give my regards to 8th street' essay comp.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Friday, 18 March 2005 09:55 (seventeen years ago) link

weird, I stopped reading Neutron Bomb halfway through--bored me for some reason, though the stories weren't in themselves boring. hmmm. (though it may be because I've never been all that into L.A. punk and like NYC punk way more.)

Matos-Webster Dictionary (M Matos), Friday, 18 March 2005 10:27 (seventeen years ago) link

"Bass Culture" seconded - terminally readable, even if you don't much care about the stuff (which I do); as much of a cultural history as anything else. There's a certain integrity to his (not total, by any means, but pronounced) dismissal of Dancehall (and I do sometimes hear, say, Bounty Killer a bit differently now that I've read about the jamaican warlords and can't just pretend it's all fun "hey let's pretend we're Al Pacino" wackyness), but I do sorta wish he had just stopped when "his" age was over.

The Elvis Guralnick books - again, you don't have to care about the subject matter to enjoy them (personally, I was so-so on Elvis before readin' 'em, am now an unabashed fan), and the second one is one hell of a car wreck: the descent starts like twenty pages into it, and by the end of the book you can't even feel sorry for the guy anymore, you just wonder why he hasn't kicked the bucket already.

"Where Did Our Love Go?" by Nelson George has some nice anecdotes, and is probably the best book on Motown around, tho to be frank I didn't learn all that much from it.

"The Heart Of Rock & Soul" seconded, and throw in the "New Book Of Rock Lists" too, if only for the sheer joy of reading the sentence "Tragedy The Intelligent Hoodlum Lists..." over and over again (not that book of rock jokes, tho, that was awful.) And also "Fortunate Son: The Best Of Dave Marsh", great stuff on Elvis, Muddy Waters, latino rock, etc.

I remember reading Maryiln Manson's "The Long Hard Road Out Of Hell" in my early teens and being surprised by how good it was (I'd always loathed the guy's music.) Dunno if it holds up.

"Sweet Soul Music", hell yeah.

I've read the entirety of Christgau's consumer guide online, and there's some great, great stuff there. So the books are recommended, too.

Daniel_Rf (Daniel_Rf), Friday, 18 March 2005 11:12 (seventeen years ago) link

Brother Ray by Ray Charles with David Ritz is fantastic and amazingly blunt and candid.

shookout (shookout), Friday, 18 March 2005 11:14 (seventeen years ago) link

'Joe Carducci's Rock and the Pop Narcotic is being reissued sometime this year.'

yay I've been wanting to read that one for a while!

adding to my prev post here leroi jones 'blues people' which I just finished this morning: most gd bks on music accept that they aren't just abt notes and chords.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Friday, 18 March 2005 12:53 (seventeen years ago) link

i think the attali book is lousy at book length"

You mean it's not long enough? I loved the book. Should re-read it...

I also loved the Lexicon Devil (bio on Darby Crash) though it's certainly not essential...

nathalie barefoot in the head (stevie nixed), Friday, 18 March 2005 12:54 (seventeen years ago) link

All my obvious suggestions are covered here, so let me just say: even if you're a die-hard, passionate, blacked-out-yr-own-teeth Joe Strummer/Clash fan, AVOID AT ALL COSTS the pile of dung known as "Let Fury Have the Hour: the Punk Rock Politics of Joe Strummer." The superficial "analysis," the copious mistakes (London Calling wasn't recorded in New York, dumbshit!), the TYPOS (?!?)'s a massacree!

Jason Toon, Friday, 18 March 2005 16:41 (seventeen years ago) link

African Rhythm and African Sensibility by John Miller Chernoff

the ONLY thing wrong with JMC's line is that he somewhat slightly seems to accept the assumption that the social dimension—the "dance"—isn’t also always part of all music in the West (though he does this in the context of getting ppl to see/hear/look for the fuller sense of the meaning of music): taking his insights abt Africa (Ghana, to be more accurate) and applying them everywhere else is revelatory

Most of it is a charming telling of him learning African drumming in Ghana

mark s (mark s), Friday, 18 March 2005 18:23 (seventeen years ago) link

The only two lengthy reads on Led Zep - Stephen Davis' Hammer of the Gods and roadie Richard Cole's 'Stairway to Heaven,' are both pulpy and full of dirt and invented mythology. Not to say I don't recommend them though.

And I hope someone someday undertakes a lengthy Sabbath bio.

57 7th (calstars), Friday, 18 March 2005 19:01 (seventeen years ago) link

No, I think it has been officially published. Hasn’t it? I ordered it through the usual channels

Josefa, Thursday, 11 August 2022 00:09 (five months ago) link

Oh wait, I see, it's the ebook that isn't out yet.

My Little Red Buchla (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 11 August 2022 00:11 (five months ago) link

It's been out in the UK for a couple of months and is as good as Josefa says.

Dan Worsley, Thursday, 11 August 2022 06:39 (five months ago) link

I just came across a listing for Innovations in British jazz by John Wickes with a blurb from the people selling it which sounds interesting. Anybody come across it or even read it?
Seems to tie things in with various strands of prog and other improvisatory rock among other things. So sounds like something I want to read but thought I would see if anybody here is familiar with it.

Stevolende, Thursday, 11 August 2022 10:31 (five months ago) link

Yes, it's a good and very thorough study of the British progressive jazz scene of the 60s and 70s. I've tended to dip in depending on my interest/current research rather than read cover to cover - although it has an overall chronological/thematic approach it's not really a narrative history. It's also a bit unwieldy with small print, so it's not the kind of thing I'd take to read on the bus as it were. As you say, it does a good job of tying progressive jazz with the prog and rock scenes. Maybe less strong on scenes outside London, but then that's a history that's still to be fully researched/written. Duncan Heining's Trad Dads, Dirty Boppers and Free Fusioneers covers some of the same territory, although is more rooted in the modern scene around Ronnie Scott et al. Both writers take a broadly Marxist approach, which is fine with me. They could both do with more feminist input though - Maggie Nicols' forthcoming memoir should help redress that balance.

Composition 40b (Stew), Thursday, 11 August 2022 10:50 (five months ago) link

Brix Smith’s book is interesting. I had forgotten how much of a West L.A. rich girl she was; there is overlap with stuff from the memoir from Cary Grant/Dyan Cannon’s daughter, as they both went to Crossroads in Santa Monica, and Rob Lowe was a mutual friend of theirs

beamish13, Thursday, 11 August 2022 19:35 (five months ago) link

two months pass...

For #NonfictionNovember a stack of my favorite 2022 music books. I’m partial to that one on top but you should read and buy all the great volumes here by @anniezaleski @carynrose @FrancescaRoyst1 @MarissaRMoss @johnlingan Greil Marcus and Bill C + Bobbie Malone 1/2 #musicbooks

— The Running Kind: Listening to Merle Haggard (@dlcantwell) November 2, 2022

Indexed, Wednesday, 2 November 2022 13:55 (three months ago) link

Recently read — or listened to, more accurately — “Major Labels” by Kelefa Sanneh. Enjoyed it a great deal more than I thought I would. He was nicely inclusive and open-minded, but not so much that the wind blows through. I gather he’s not rated ‘round these parts.

an incomprehensible borefest full of elves (hardcore dilettante), Wednesday, 2 November 2022 23:05 (three months ago) link

KId Congo's memoir was really good. Read it in 3 days, Some New Kind Of kick. Hope he writes some more even if not memoir. THink he was writing reviews and things for fanzines so wouldn't sneeze at him looking into his own aesthetics and music and stuff. Just reallly hope this isn't his sole published written work.

Stevolende, Thursday, 3 November 2022 18:42 (three months ago) link

one month passes...

I need to read the Kid Congo book

curmudgeon, Thursday, 22 December 2022 20:02 (one month ago) link

hopefully getting Holy Ghost the Albert Ayler biography tomorrow for Xmas.
Looked good when I saw it in local bookshop last week.
Don't think I had been aware of it but saw title in psychedelic font and thought it must be interesting.
Writer was apparently a friend of Albert's brother Donald

Stevolende, Thursday, 22 December 2022 20:31 (one month ago) link

It's very good; I wrote it up for The Wire not long ago (paired up with the massive Sonny Rollins bio).

but also fuck you (unperson), Thursday, 22 December 2022 20:45 (one month ago) link

I also have my eye on the recent Eric Weisbard book.

If this is Songbooks, I have read (most of) it. It's a history of American music writing, organized by topic under the heading of the book that originated this particular strain of discourse. For instance, books about metal are discussed in the chapter "Pimply, prole, and putrid, but with a surprisingly diverse genre literature: Chuck Eddy, Stairway to Hell: The 500 Best Heavy Metal Albums in the Universe, 1991".
He suggests in his introduction that it's not necessarily meant to be read cover-to-cover, so I read about two-thirds of the chapters. There are a gigantic number of books that are discussed or at least mentioned, from criticism to histories to fiction, and so it's great to whet your curiosity for all the other music books you could be reading, but I found that Weisbard's commentary on the individual titles is so compressed it's almost as cryptic as Christgau at his most. It would have been a relief to have a few more definitive declarative sentences instead of a lot of equivocating about how "more investigation is needed" into this or that topic.

Halfway there but for you, Thursday, 22 December 2022 21:40 (one month ago) link

I really want to get the Kranky Records book

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 22 December 2022 21:51 (one month ago) link

Does Weisbard acknowledge that he was replaced as Voice Music Editor by Eddy? To whom I hereby acknowledge my personal and professional connections, also that I'm mentioned among the acknowledgements in that book, before saying that the author sticks his pimply prole neck out into some writing that pushes itself into more vividly descriptive indications of just why we should bother with this stuff, much of which was hard to find and/or expensive, in whatever condition, with whatever reputation it already had, if any.
The kind of thing that got Eddy into the Weisbard-edited Spin Guide To Alternative Music (before The Great Replacement). That's still worth looking for, at least in libraries, and there's at least one ILM thread about it.

dow, Friday, 23 December 2022 03:32 (one month ago) link

Also worth looking for at the library: Dylan's mostly good new music book (pix are always good), which I posted about and from on Is Bob Dylan overrated?

dow, Friday, 23 December 2022 03:37 (one month ago) link

Xpost. The Kid Congo book is great. A very solid memoir about bands that were not very well documented from the inside. I was so happy when I stumbled across it in the library.

everything, Friday, 23 December 2022 07:50 (one month ago) link

Amazing it being recognised enough for library to pick up copies. It was something I had hoped for for years. Kid had said he kept a diary when I met him in Gun Club days so I hoped he might have kept them and be able to write something from them as aide memoire and this is so much more.
Great book as was Barry Adamson's which I had read a couple of weeks earlier.

Now just read Ribby Krieger's Set The Night On Fire which is also pretty great. His life told in short paragraphs not fully chronologically but I think pretty truthfully. Including looking into his bandmate's memoirs and attempting to correct various myths including those created by the film by Oliver Stone.
Quite a good read.

Also just coming to the end of Tricky's Hell Is Round The Corner which is also a pretty honest look back at his life/career I think. Shows his weaknesses etc
Worth a read if you enjoy his music. Quite good anyway I think.

Stevolende, Friday, 23 December 2022 08:31 (one month ago) link

I really want to get the Kranky Records book

― Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, December 22, 2022 9:51 PM (two days ago) bookmarkflaglink

after seeing this post i read the amazon sample. seems really well-written and illuminating. love how it really goes heavy into the business side of things. i kind of forgot how much i was an indie trainspotter around 2000, especially around that chicago milieu, fun to read about the ins and outs. how did i never know that smashing punpkins were a chicago band? haha weird.

ꙮ (map), Saturday, 24 December 2022 16:37 (one month ago) link

i always assumed they were l.a. from the get go, but i was never a big fan anyway

ꙮ (map), Saturday, 24 December 2022 16:39 (one month ago) link

I remember some grumbling at the time about a Chicago band trying to sound like they’re from Seattle.

The Beatles were the first to popularize wokeism (President Keyes), Sunday, 25 December 2022 17:46 (one month ago) link

Just learned that Karl Bartos put out a 600+ page memoir recently. Anyone read it?

Evans on Hammond (evol j), Monday, 26 December 2022 04:14 (one month ago) link

i just finished the kranky book. i found it pretty dry. lots of facts, not many anecdotes. also in one paragraph of this book about chicago indie rock, he calls the wilco album “yankee foxtrot motel” three times

na (NA), Monday, 26 December 2022 04:18 (one month ago) link

haha burn

ꙮ (map), Monday, 26 December 2022 13:33 (one month ago) link

if it was an intentional burn, it was very out of character with the rest of the book.

na (NA), Monday, 26 December 2022 15:35 (one month ago) link

Oh wait sorry, you said indie:

A Kestrel for a Neve (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 26 December 2022 15:53 (one month ago) link

Holy Ghost is pretty good. Nice to have a coherent narrative behind Ayler's music.
Hadn't realised the trip he recorded his first couple of lps on was one he'd headed over to under his own steam thought he was still in the army stationed in Europe.

Need to find what Ayler I have. Thought I had the studio ESP stuff now not sure. At least on cd. Think I did on vinyl but long gone.

Stevolende, Monday, 26 December 2022 20:17 (one month ago) link

After a tough year of losing my dad, my mom carried on a fine tradition of getting me music & music book Xmas pressie - her choice was great- really enjoying Quest love’s ‘Music Is History’ book. His 1990 Living Colour ‘Time’s Up’ chapter was particularly affecting. I saw em at Town & Country club while studying abroad that year, & the feelings of climate change/globalization/racial issues felt more underlined with his take. Such a great record.

BlackIronPrison, Tuesday, 27 December 2022 01:31 (one month ago) link

i'm sorry to hear about your dad, and the year in general. that's really cool of your mom to keep that tradition up

Karl Malone, Tuesday, 27 December 2022 15:38 (one month ago) link

Has anybody read " Loft Jazz Improvising New York in the 1970s" by Michael C. Heller
or know anything else on the New York Loft Jazz scene worth reading?

Stevolende, Wednesday, 28 December 2022 17:29 (one month ago) link

Yeah, that's a pretty good (though somewhat incomplete) book. You should read it alongside George Lewis's A Power Stronger Than Itself (a history of the AACM) and Benjamin Looker's Point From Which Creation Begins: The Black Artists Group of St. Louis to get a fuller picture of what was going on in the early 70s.

but also fuck you (unperson), Wednesday, 28 December 2022 17:45 (one month ago) link

There's also The Jazz Loft Project: Photographs and Tapes of W. Eugene Smith from 821 Sixth Avenue, 1957–1965, which is pretty fascinating (and shows that there was a "loft scene" prior to the '70s).

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Wednesday, 28 December 2022 17:57 (one month ago) link

right will add to my want list. Don't seem to be on Irish library system unfortunately.

Stevolende, Wednesday, 28 December 2022 18:25 (one month ago) link


Stevolende, Wednesday, 28 December 2022 18:26 (one month ago) link

I seem to recall somebody mentioning a recent book that had a lot about Jazz and The Outfit but can't remember anything else.

A Kestrel for a Neve (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 5 January 2023 13:53 (one month ago) link

Was it in Bob Stanley's book?

A Kestrel for a Neve (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 5 January 2023 13:53 (one month ago) link

I seem to recall somebody mentioning a recent book that had a lot about Jazz and The Outfit but can't remember anything else.

Dangerous Rhythm by T.J. English. I've got it here but haven't cracked it yet.

but also fuck you (unperson), Thursday, 5 January 2023 14:03 (one month ago) link

R.J. Smith's Chuck Berry bio is one of the best written, most insightful I've read in years.

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 5 January 2023 14:08 (one month ago) link

I've heard very good things about his James Brown bio too.
Seems like maybe 10-12 years ago that the NYTimes did a good feature about W. Eugene's own scene--in an isolated-looking building, actually like later pix of the South Bronx if not even later Middle Eastern urban warfare coverage: this cube in a vast plain of rubble. In there, he kept the reel-to-reel going for years, so you get conversations, housecleaning, conversations, bottles and plates. chairs, records, radio, TV (maybe some musicians dropping in as well)---don't recall any indications of outside connections with any other scenes (or whether the building was surrounded by rubble all those years). The pix he took in there were considerably more varied than his official product (a friend who knows the history of photography was amazed that the otherwise constrained W. Eugene could roll like this).

dow, Thursday, 5 January 2023 18:09 (one month ago) link

yeah Smith's James Brown book is fantastic, cant wait to dig into the new one.

there was W. Eugene Smith "Jazz Loft" doc a handful of years ago with tons of his tapes and audio material, rehearsals, jam sessions, stoned bull sessions, amazing stuff

waste of compute (One Eye Open), Thursday, 5 January 2023 18:35 (one month ago) link

for round 8, mccarthy's nominator is going with "support the troops", and "it brings a tear to my eyes, yes it does" *applause*

Karl Malone, Thursday, 5 January 2023 18:44 (one month ago) link

_I seem to recall somebody mentioning a recent book that had a lot about Jazz and The Outfit but can't remember anything else._

_Dangerous Rhythm_ by T.J. English. I've got it here but haven't cracked it yet.

Oh yes, thanks!

A Kestrel for a Neve (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 5 January 2023 19:12 (one month ago) link

two weeks pass...

has anyone here read Needles & Plastic: Flying Nun Records, 1981-1988?

Karl Malone, Thursday, 19 January 2023 21:19 (two weeks ago) link

I've been skipping around it. Of course I love it, it covers my all-time favorite label at the height of their powers! It gives you great insight into each release during that time, using primary sources from the time and no retrospective views.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Thursday, 19 January 2023 22:05 (two weeks ago) link

Roger Shepherd's memoir In Love With These Times: My Life With Flying Nun Records was quite good too.
got it really cheap from FOPP a few years back.

Stevolende, Friday, 20 January 2023 10:51 (two weeks ago) link

Got Needles & Plastic for Christmas; will check it out sometime soon.

Chris L, Friday, 20 January 2023 12:19 (two weeks ago) link

Mentioned this on ILB:

I've started Dilla Time, the recent bio about J Dilla, and it looks like it's going to be more ambitious than I thought. The author is really intent on making the case for Dilla radically altering ideas about time signatures and contextualizing him in music history.

Chris L, Friday, 20 January 2023 23:29 (two weeks ago) link

I'm about halfway in, it's fantastic so far.

MaresNest, Friday, 20 January 2023 23:53 (two weeks ago) link

How about that Kranky Records book?

Evan, Friday, 20 January 2023 23:57 (two weeks ago) link

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