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

Or Irv Greenbaum’s In One Ear, and in the Other.

A Little Bit Meme, a Little Bit URL (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 2 January 2022 13:59 (four months ago) link

Anyone read this Lesley Chow book? Don't know her at all, but the book looks pretty interesting.

clemenza, Sunday, 2 January 2022 22:19 (four months ago) link

I looked up who's included and she her definition of "strange" is tailored to include mainly people who will ostensibly sell copies, like Rihanna and Taylor Swift.

Chris L, Sunday, 2 January 2022 22:57 (four months ago) link

Yeah, if your definition of "strange" only stretches as far as Kate Bush you're not really writing a book for me, but whatever.

but also fuck you (unperson), Sunday, 2 January 2022 22:58 (four months ago) link

She definitely needs a less sensationalistic subtitle--Azealia Banks is the only one who credibly fits. And going back to the famous-for-15-seconds Shakespears Sister makes for a pretty blurry timeline. The book interests me anyway.

clemenza, Sunday, 2 January 2022 23:09 (four months ago) link

is there a book about the Jazz avant-garde that focuses on the musicians lives ? Along with the ones recently mentioned, also try A.B. Spellman's Four Lives In The BeBop Business: Cecil Taylor and Ornette Coleman, from the scuffling years to critical acceptance or at least coverage, but way before the "Genius Grants" and so on; Herbie Nichols, who remained a Musician's Musician, and a reclusive-ish image (but is awesome; his Mosaic Records box is the only one of those I ever shelled out the big bucks for, totally worth it), and Jackie McLean's adventures as a journeyman.
Music biz-wise, Star-Making Machinery: Inside the Business of Rock and Roll, by Geoffrey Stokes---sometimes listed with another subtitle, The Odyssey of an Album, also appropriate in that reading this saga about trying to make an album that would make stars of Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen sometimes reminds me of Werner Herzog's Fitzcarraldo--as Wiki sez: It portrays would-be rubber baron Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald, an Irishman known in Peru as Fitzcarraldo, who is determined to transport a steamship over a steep hill to access a rich rubber territory in the Amazon Basin. The film is derived from the historic events of Peruvian rubber baron Carlos Fitzcarrald and his real-life feat of transporting a disassembled steamboat over the Isthmus of Fitzcarrald.

The film had a troubled production, and the documentary Burden of Dreams chronicled the film's hardships. Yeah, it reminds me even more of the doc. as Herzog becomes Fitzcaraldo...Not so much in terms of physical damage, but still the wages of early 70s grandiosity and backstabbing, incl a label guy who explains that it's nature's way for you to fuck with the weak (even or especially if they're clients), but if they get a big scary lawyer you better fuck with them more, launching pre-emptive scorched earth strikes (even if it's the same earth you're standing on, in fiduciary terms).
Also! Alll the money spent on grooming the press, incl. big fat junkets: "And If you'd like to stay out there a little while longer, I know your sister lives in the area, that would be cool too." Sweet! A great book about a lost world, and sometimes excruciatingly funny.

dow, Monday, 3 January 2022 00:32 (four months ago) link

one month passes...

Is there a book that altered the way you listen to, hear, or appreciate music? Looking for something that will challenge my approach to music. Could be biographical or academic, but hopefully neither. Picked up Ben Ratliff's Every Song Ever thinking it might do the trick but I don't find it all that readable.

Indexed, Tuesday, 15 February 2022 21:21 (three months ago) link

Have you tried John Corbett's A Listener's Guide to Free Improvisation?

but also fuck you (unperson), Tuesday, 15 February 2022 21:40 (three months ago) link

No but the reviews are promising. Thank you!

I also found Brian Eno's review of Alan Lomax's Folk Song Style and Culture via the Guardian link upthread and may give that a go.

Indexed, Tuesday, 15 February 2022 21:44 (three months ago) link

Huh, was about to suggest Every Song Ever since that was the one that got me to really explore black metal as well as the modern jazz quartet, but apparently YMMV.

enochroot, Tuesday, 15 February 2022 22:23 (three months ago) link

seconding the free improvisation book

global tetrahedron, Tuesday, 15 February 2022 22:42 (three months ago) link

The "History of Rock and Roll Volume 1" by Ed Ward got me to listen to a lot of '40s and '50s rock, country, doo-wop, and R&B sides that I hadn't heard before. Definitely gave me a new appreciation for that era of popular music.

o. nate, Tuesday, 15 February 2022 22:53 (three months ago) link

Robert Palmer’s writing is probably the best at doing that. His box set liner notes (Bo Diddley’s Chess recordings, Ornette Coleman’s Atlantic recordings, etc.) are some of the best ever, but with regards to books, “Deep Blues” is the first to come to mind.

birdistheword, Tuesday, 15 February 2022 23:03 (three months ago) link

I really enjoyed Debbie Harry's autobiography, Face It.

immodesty blaise (jimbeaux), Tuesday, 15 February 2022 23:45 (three months ago) link

Xgau on new Lenny Kaye book, some vids in here too (this isn't paywalled)

dow, Wednesday, 23 February 2022 21:08 (two months ago) link

FWIW, Lenny Kaye posted this on Instagram late last month and the offer is still good:

"In response to many queries, if you would like a personally inscribed Lightning Striking: Ten Transformative Moments In Rock And Roll, I have arranged with my favorite independent bookshop to be the go-to destination. Order your copy from Carroll and Carroll, 740 Main St., Stroudsburg, PA 18360, phone (570) 420-1516, email d2qv5k AT verizon DOT net. I will then go there to sign to you or your loved one and they will mail the book wherever you like. Easy!! Thank you George and Lisa."

birdistheword, Wednesday, 23 February 2022 23:12 (two months ago) link

I'm two pages from the end of You're History, the Lesley Chow book mentioned above.
Here's her explanation of how she chose the book's subjects:

...they are all anomalies: pioneers in the making, whose output has been too strange for the culture to fully digest... In particular, I want to advocate for urgency , so my focus is on performers whose effect on the body is hot, explosive and immediate, rather than those who adhere to typical standards of refinement and class, such as Grimes and Joanna Newsom...

The tone is sort of a hybrid of poptimism and MFA thesis (sans footnotes). Her insights are epigrammatic and detailed, but not especially fascinating to me, though I can imagine some readers here really liking this.
ILM historians should note that she nods to "the fine critic Marcello Carlin" as "one of the few writers willing to get to the bottom of an 'ooh, aah'", but doesn't consider Nitsuh Abebe's evaluation of Rihanna otm.

Halfway there but for you, Saturday, 5 March 2022 16:19 (two months ago) link

Grimes “adheres to typical standards of refinement and class”?

Not Dork Yet (alternate toke) (morrisp), Saturday, 5 March 2022 16:21 (two months ago) link

By comparison, I guess

Mark G, Saturday, 5 March 2022 16:58 (two months ago) link

With… Sade and Shakespears Sister? (Maybe it’s a good book, but that’s a head scratcher)

Not Dork Yet (alternate toke) (morrisp), Saturday, 5 March 2022 17:04 (two months ago) link

Chip Py took some great photos of DC go-go shows in the 2000s. His writing is just ok (I like his first person story of being on a tour bus with Chuck Brown better than some of his objective wiki like bios of go-go musicians and history of the genre). Photos unfortunately don't have dates listed in captions so you have to guess the year

curmudgeon, Monday, 7 March 2022 16:38 (two months ago) link

This book is incredible. The amount of info and connections @ericdharvey makes in it is just mind-blowing. If you have any interest in 90s political rap, it’s a 100% must-read.

— Marc Masters 🌵 (@Marcissist) March 7, 2022

Anybody read this?

Indexed, Monday, 7 March 2022 21:16 (two months ago) link

Yeah, it’s great. Highest possible recommendation.

but also fuck you (unperson), Monday, 7 March 2022 21:23 (two months ago) link

one month passes...

Perhaps of limited interest outside the UK, but the AZ Record Shop Bags is a lovely thing. Surely big scope for an international edition as a followup.

Position Position, Friday, 6 May 2022 19:06 (two weeks ago) link

(I am still amused, BTW, that the original poster on this thread is one and the same as this well known figure when it comes to reporting on Q. I checked a few months back and asked, and it's him!)

Ned Raggett, Friday, 6 May 2022 19:31 (two weeks ago) link

Felt sure the revive was going to be about the Bob Stanley book and the accompanying CD if bought from the St Etienne website.

djh, Friday, 6 May 2022 21:41 (two weeks ago) link

Withput doxing myself, I also write about Q and right wing extremism by day. The Ilxor pipeline is real.

Xii, Saturday, 7 May 2022 00:22 (two weeks ago) link


Ned Raggett, Saturday, 7 May 2022 00:23 (two weeks ago) link

Maresn3st, Saturday, 7 May 2022 15:03 (two weeks ago) link

Oh yeah, that’s an interesting book!

Johnny Thunderwords (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 7 May 2022 15:14 (two weeks ago) link

The Light Pours Out of Me: The Authorised Biography of John McGeoch
Rory Sullivan-Burke

John McGeoch was the unsung hero of the post-punk era. Blazing a trail with some of Britain’s biggest bands and most revered artists – Magazine, Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Armoury Show and Public Image Ltd. – John left an undeniable and indelible mark on music.

The Light Pours Out of Me examines John’s life and legacy, drawing on original interviews with the likes of Siouxsie Sioux, Howard Devoto, Johnny Marr, Billy Idol, John Frusciante, Keith Levene, Jonny Greenwood, Nick Launay, Ed O’Brien, Peter ‘Hooky’ Hook and many others.

I think this is available in the UK now, but not in the US till June 23. McGeoch died in his late 40s

curmudgeon, Thursday, 12 May 2022 17:36 (one week ago) link

How was that guy's name pronounced? It's probably "McGee" but I keep thinking "McGuck" because that idea makes me laugh.

but also fuck you (unperson), Thursday, 12 May 2022 18:11 (one week ago) link

Only ever heard it pronounced Mah-Gee-Ock.

Dan Worsley, Thursday, 12 May 2022 18:15 (one week ago) link

I just asked stirmonster, maybe he'll know.

dan selzer, Thursday, 12 May 2022 18:40 (one week ago) link

Mah-Gee-Ock is ok but Muh-Gee-Och is closer, with the Och bit being the same as if you are saying Loch, as in Loch Ness. in Scotland the "och" bit would be said with such emphasis and ferocity that it would possibly result in many Englishmen running for the border.

stirmonster, Thursday, 12 May 2022 18:49 (one week ago) link

so, actually Muh-Gee-OcCCCHHHH.

stirmonster, Thursday, 12 May 2022 18:54 (one week ago) link

I heard Mcgeoch pronounced by I think Budgie last week and need to relisten. Cos it wasn't what I had it as. I think it had 3 syllables when I had just thought it was Magock or something similar.
I've been listening to Curious Creatures the Budgie/Lol Tolhurst podcast. Think I may have come across it while looking for appearances by Will Sergeant tied in to his memoir,.
That's a book that is worth reading too. I hadn't realised that all of the Bunnymen, with teh exception of Pete De Freitas had pretty much learnt from scratch in the band or in the pre-band rehearsal formative bit. Les Patterson had never played before it was said that Sergeant and Macul needed a bassist for an upcoming debut gig supporting Teardrop Explodes. & Macul turned up to Will Sergeant's place with an acoustic he'd almost never played before. They seem to have spent some months rehearsing together but that was basically from scratch.
Otherwise mainly covers Sergeant growing up in the area outside of Liverpool. Quite good asa childhood/coming of age memoir and then into Punk.

I need to get into the Sue Steward book on Salsa that I got out after reading David toop's book Flutter Echo which was also pretty good.
& this Miles, Ornette, Cecil : how Miles Davis, Ornette Coleman, and Cecil Taylor revolutionized the world of jazz
by Howard Mandel looks good but I've only read the introduction so far.

Also just finished transcribing the bibliography and discography of Mande Music by Eric Charry which cover the music from Nort West Africa in great depth but is by an ethnomusicologist so isn't exactly light. Very interesting though.

Stevolende, Thursday, 12 May 2022 18:54 (one week ago) link

Anyone read this new Elephant 6 book? I got a wave of 90s nostalgia listening to the author talk about it on a recent Sound Opinions; strange because I was never all that much into most of that stuff beyond In the Aeroplane Over the Sea.

Les hommes de bonbons (cryptosicko), Thursday, 12 May 2022 18:57 (one week ago) link

started the bruce dickinson autobiog a few days ago.
i have no iron maiden in the archive, and it's not my thing, but damn, he can tell a tale.

mark e, Thursday, 12 May 2022 19:08 (one week ago) link

got my eye on the recent SST Records book, anyone care to dissuade me?

covidsbundlertanze op. 6 (Jon not Jon), Thursday, 12 May 2022 19:48 (one week ago) link

Have mainly heard good about it. Don't think Ginn comes out looking great by the end. It's definitely one I want to read

Stevolende, Friday, 13 May 2022 01:56 (one week ago) link

I am a casual SST knower, but I have never heard a single version where Ginn comes out looking good in the end

Bruce Stingbean (Karl Malone), Friday, 13 May 2022 02:41 (one week ago) link

JUst heard Budgie pronounce McGeoch again and yeah it's MakGee-ok.

I've been getting further into that book on Salsa and it is really good. Also been transcribing the discography to RYM for future reference.
& looking up artists on Spotify so getting to hear bits of that stuff. But there is a lot listed so it will be a longterm project to familiarise myself with this and the Mande stuff but definitely enjoying what I've heard so far.
Finding it odd that things cited in the 2 books have had low scores on RYM with some frequency. So wondering what the disparity is if there was less choice fro the same artists when the books were written around the turn of the millenium and now there is more available so comparison makes those recordings look bad. I am seeing higher gradings for other sets by the same band/artist on the website. & I'm just coming across the artist so have no grounding for comparison.

Stevolende, Saturday, 14 May 2022 08:40 (one week ago) link

Budgie is wrong. :)

stirmonster, Saturday, 14 May 2022 14:43 (one week ago) link

so, actually Muh-Gee-OcCCCHHHH.

^^^^ this

Doodles Diamond (Tom D.), Saturday, 14 May 2022 15:22 (one week ago) link

You can hear the correct pronuciation in this video (don't worry you don't have to listen to all 54 minutes)

Doodles Diamond (Tom D.), Saturday, 14 May 2022 15:37 (one week ago) link

... worth watching for that goal at the start though!

Doodles Diamond (Tom D.), Saturday, 14 May 2022 15:40 (one week ago) link

That looks like a worthy read!

immodesty blaise (jimbeaux), Wednesday, 18 May 2022 19:03 (four days ago) link

that url has at least 3 domain names in it.

Marissa Moss, Her Country

koogs, Friday, 20 May 2022 01:19 (two days ago) link

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