Books About Music

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What's your favorite book about music?

57 7th (calstars), Monday, 17 May 2004 23:00 (fifteen years ago) link

I dunno... most rock books, anyway, are pretty awful. Best I've read so far are Richard Meltzer's Aesthetics of Rock and... god, how embarrassing, I can't remember the authors' names, but I'm still working on "Last Night a DJ Saved My Life" -- it's about DJ-based and electronic music. Hm... just put another thing on "shit you have to make time to read, Ann, you ignoramus" list: biographies of the classical weirdoes. Mozart being the obvious choice I guess...

Ann Sterzinger (Ann Sterzinger), Tuesday, 18 May 2004 01:27 (fifteen years ago) link

Hm... anyone know if Sibelius was a ladies' man?

Ann Sterzinger (Ann Sterzinger), Tuesday, 18 May 2004 01:29 (fifteen years ago) link

Not sure if I'd call it a favorite, but it was undoubtedly a page-turner...Motley Crue's (I'm not even going to try to figure out how to type umlauts) "The Dirt"....I can't believe the things these guys got away with, just because they were famous rock stars. My "favorite" part was actually pre-fame...they would pool their spare change at the end of a debauched evening and buy a burrito at an all-night taco stand and take turns (how to put this delicately) placing their manhoods inside it, to cover up vaginal odor and hide the night's infidelities from their girlfriends. How does such an idea even germinate in one's mind? Soon to be a major motion picture starring Ashton Kutcher as Tommy Lee, and I'm afraid I'm not kidding.
Something tells me that scene won't make the final cut.

Natalie (Penny Dreadful), Tuesday, 18 May 2004 04:03 (fifteen years ago) link

I'm not so sure. I think American Pie kind of broke the 'putting guys' dicks into foodstuffs' taboo in mainstream cinema.

I can't believe I almost wrote 'American Poe' there instead.

accentmonkey (accentmonkey), Tuesday, 18 May 2004 06:16 (fifteen years ago) link

Music Journalism (as defined by Frank Zappa) - People who can't write interviewing people who can't talk for people who can't read.

Hmm, that's from memory, but I think it's right.

Mikey G (Mikey G), Tuesday, 18 May 2004 07:52 (fifteen years ago) link

simon reynols 'blissed out'
lester bangs 'psychotic reactions...'
frank kofsky 'john coltrane and the 1960s jazz revolution'
leroi jones 'blues people'
meltzer 'a whore like the rest' (anyone read 'autumn rhythm' yet?)
kodwo eshun 'more brilliant than the sun'
greil marcus' book on elvis
john cage 'silence...'
max harrison (can't remember title right now), great collection of essays on jazz, from 20s- avant garde.
paul morley 'words and music'
val wilmer's book on free jazz, can't remember title.
david toop 'ocean of sound'
eddie prevost book on free improvisation
adorno's book on wagner, which I will get round to re-reading at some point.

check several threads on ilm, use the search engine cause this has been done to death.

check radio free narnia for essays by mark s and frank kogan, archives of zines perfect sound forever, opprobium and NYLPM on the web.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Tuesday, 18 May 2004 13:46 (fifteen years ago) link

Oh Adorno = rub! I've got to say as well, I tried to like Lester Bangs but the only thing I read on him is so fanboyish and well, meh, that I'm not really inspired to read much more. Then again, what do I know, I'd seriously nominate Mark Radcliffe's bio and Head On by Julian Cope. (And I've got the Rick Wakeman bio if anyone wants to borrow it, marvellous. He talks about eating curry a lot and makes King Arthur on ice sound plausible. Puxx0r!!)

Sarah (starry), Tuesday, 18 May 2004 13:50 (fifteen years ago) link

The Basement Tapes - Greil Marcus, Revolution in the Head - Ian McDonald, the Jon Savage book about punk and situationalism.

I used to read tonnes of these, but not of late.

Mikey G (Mikey G), Tuesday, 18 May 2004 13:53 (fifteen years ago) link

Yeah not all of lester's writing is great: his early (stooges) and later (van morrison) writing can be 'meh'.

If you wanna read something where he is slagging ppl off go to the sham 69 review, some other ones there which I'll dig this up tonight. His piece on metal machine music is really funny.

I hate to say this but I do like adorno's sentences, even if i cannot undertand them, or dialectics bah.

ian penman 'vital signs', not all music essays tho'.
as for biogs john cale's one is pretty good

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Tuesday, 18 May 2004 14:08 (fifteen years ago) link

Also of course, the Boy Looked at Johnny. And Englands Dreaming. TH described ED as being how punk WAS, but BLAT (excellent acronymm there) as being how punk felt, which sounded pretty c0ck on to me.

Sarah (starry), Tuesday, 18 May 2004 14:09 (fifteen years ago) link

anyone read mark perry zine? I think that was collected as a book.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Tuesday, 18 May 2004 14:10 (fifteen years ago) link

Taking sides, biogs vs blogs. I'd love to read a John Cale blog. I've read a few Mark Perry things but no collections.

Sarah (starry), Tuesday, 18 May 2004 14:14 (fifteen years ago) link

some stuff from ilm:

What books about music ARE worth the paper they're printed on?
Worthless books on Music

x-post: cool, so there's some mark perry stuff around.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Tuesday, 18 May 2004 14:17 (fifteen years ago) link

'Our Band Could Be Your Life' by Michael Azerrad was pretty interesting. I loved (and still do) most of the bands in that book.

Megan (bookdwarf), Tuesday, 18 May 2004 14:29 (fifteen years ago) link

my favorites so far are ranters and crowd pleasers (greil marcus), psychotic reactions and carburetor dung (lester bangs), nashville babylon (i forget who wrote it), our band could be your life (michael azerrad), burn collector (al burian), england's dreaming (jon savage), please kill me (legs mcneil & gillian cain), we got the neutron bomb (again, forget the author), and peter guralnick's two-volume elvis biography.

lauren (laurenp), Tuesday, 18 May 2004 14:55 (fifteen years ago) link

as for meltzer's aesthetics of rock, i think it's pretty much unreadable. i go back to it every now and then, with the same poor results. i used to have an inferiority complex about this, but then i realized that only a few people i know have finished it.

lauren (laurenp), Tuesday, 18 May 2004 15:01 (fifteen years ago) link

"Long Steel Rail: The Railroad in American Folksong" by Norm Cohen, David Cohen.
"The Piano Shop on the Left Bank: Discovering a Forgotten Passion in a Paris Atelier" by Thad Carhart
"The Possessor and the Possessed: Handel, Mozart, Beethoven, and the Idea of Musical Genius" by Peter Kivy
"Unsung: A History of Women in American Music " by Christine Ammer

Rabin the Cat (Rabin the Cat), Tuesday, 18 May 2004 15:51 (fifteen years ago) link

anyone read mark perry zine? I think that was collected as a book.

I have the collection. It's interesting enough, but very ziney. Maybe one day my zine writings "about" music will be compiled into a book, although I somehow doubt it.

I like the "England's Dreaming" book as well, and agree with the blurb about it being the best book about mass culture ever.

Simon Reynolds' "Energy Flash" is good too.

DV (dirtyvicar), Tuesday, 18 May 2004 18:46 (fifteen years ago) link

Peter Guralnik's Sweet Soul Music is excellent, if you like the music. Ian Hunter's Diary Of A Rock 'n' Roll Star is terrific, though very of its time. As is Mick Farren's The Tale Of Willy's Rats. I am sure there is another really good rock novel, but I can't think of it right now. Very much avoid Salman Rushdie's attempt.

Martin Skidmore (Martin Skidmore), Wednesday, 19 May 2004 12:57 (fifteen years ago) link

pamela des barres' i'm with the band is a very fun read, until she stops hanging out with jimmy page and starts hanging out with don johnson.

lauren (laurenp), Wednesday, 19 May 2004 13:53 (fifteen years ago) link

david lee roth's "crazy from the heat" is supposed to be good fun, and features photographs of himself with dwarves.

mookieproof (mookieproof), Wednesday, 19 May 2004 13:57 (fifteen years ago) link

The Vicar hates Morley's New Order sleeve notes.

That much I do know.

the bluefox, Wednesday, 19 May 2004 14:09 (fifteen years ago) link

val wilmer's book on free jazz, can't remember title.

In the grand ILX tradition of mis-reading, I first read this as Val Kilmer's book on free jazz and I got kinda excited for some reason.

scott seward (scott seward), Wednesday, 19 May 2004 14:33 (fifteen years ago) link

scott- 'as serious as your life'.

I sort of got carried away too (wow music talk on ILB!!!), but I would not be able to choose between most of those books on my list.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Wednesday, 19 May 2004 20:08 (fifteen years ago) link

Hey, I've been reading this thread, but I forgot to mention two of my faves: Stairway To Hell and The Accidental Evolution Of Rock And Roll by Chuck Eddy.

scott seward (scott seward), Wednesday, 19 May 2004 21:07 (fifteen years ago) link

Chuck Eddy? b-b-b-but I thought Chuck Eddy only liked things that everyone else didn't...?

mookieproof (mookieproof), Thursday, 20 May 2004 00:01 (fifteen years ago) link

and this guy Robert Christgau has also written books about music which are pretty good, but you'll have to go by the grade marks, because You are Not Quite Cool Enough to Decipher the Lingo: Blondie wishes the Pope's dick were bigger? But of course!

mookieproof (mookieproof), Thursday, 20 May 2004 00:08 (fifteen years ago) link

one year passes...
anyone have suggestions for good biographies of beethoven or wagner?

W i l l (common_person), Friday, 2 December 2005 00:02 (fourteen years ago) link

I really like Mark Levine's jazz theory books.

My college's library has a pretty nifty book with excerpts from tons of jazz books: one section devoted from excerpts from autobiographies, one for short articles by various writers etc. I don't care enough to read full books about particular musicians, so this was a good 'un for me. There was even an article by Sartre!

Øystein (Øystein), Friday, 2 December 2005 06:32 (fourteen years ago) link

"The Trouble with Music" -Mat Callahan
I wish people would read this.

"Our Band Could be Your Life"
My favorite punk book yet.

"Space is the Place" -John Szwed
SUN RA!! -best jazz bio I've read.

For philosophical improv/avantists Eddie Prevost's two books, No Sound is Innocent and Minute Particulars, are great.

"New Musical Resources" Henry Cowell
"Genesis of a Music" Harry Partch
"Conversations with Messiaen" -Claude Samuel

"Fela: The Life and Times of an African Musical Icon" -Michael E Veal

"Blues People" "Black Music" -Leroi Jones/Baraka


steve ketchup, Monday, 5 December 2005 16:48 (fourteen years ago) link

i like adorno but have never managed to read more than one consecutive page so my opinions may be safely disregarded

i need to get back to the szwed/ra book: i enjoyed it a whole lot when i was dipping into it

looking forward to f kogan's forthcoming 'real punks (don't wear black)' which there's some discussion of on ilm right now actually

i was flipping thru and enjoying the unreadableness of 'the aesthetics of rock' the other day; will still rep for 'a whore like all the rest' tho it's an odd one, hm -

tom west (thomp), Monday, 5 December 2005 17:55 (fourteen years ago) link

thing is - i don't think meltzer has ever made me like any music, ever. or not even like - listen to. whereas at fourteen reading bangs everything hadda be chased up. but i think meltzer has made me consider the implications of the ways in which i do listen to music - not in a musicological level, on a "what the hell am i doing amassing all this stuff" level -

tom west (thomp), Monday, 5 December 2005 17:57 (fourteen years ago) link

the exceptions to meltzer would be meltzer on jazz, where his jadedness gets away from him somewhat. (also i think 'the aesthetics of rock' made me listen to some random shangri-las song the other day but that's just a freak occurence.)

tom west (thomp), Monday, 5 December 2005 17:58 (fourteen years ago) link

Giles Smith's 'Lost in Music' is quite entertaining.

Bob Six (bobbysix), Tuesday, 6 December 2005 17:14 (fourteen years ago) link

Mark Levine's Jazz Theory is indeed excellent although probably of limited interest to non-musicians. I've never read his piano book. Paul F Berliner's Thinking In Jazz is very good if you are interested in how/why jazz musicians became jazz musicians.

Personally I loathed Szwed's Sun Ra book. Szwed is a decent and conscientious biographer - his Miles bio is perfectly solid if a bit uninspiring. The problem he comes up against with Sun Ra is that Ra regarded himself a serious thinker. Szwed mistakenly takes that at face value: he elucidate Ra's philosophical thought in mind bogglingly tedious detail, offering an apologia for its nuttier aspects along the way. If you agree with Ra/Szwed that Ra was a penetrating thinker, you may enjoy this; I thought it made the book nearly unreadable.

frankiemachine, Tuesday, 6 December 2005 21:59 (fourteen years ago) link

I wonder what Sun Ra thought of Arthur Schopenhauer, and vice versa. A pair of weirdos, they were brothers at heart: both convinced they should have been (or actually had been) born somewhere else (like Saturn, or India). I'm sure Arthur would have jumped at the chance to join Sun Ra on stage with his flute, with just a little encouragement from Sun Ra's dancers. Anyway I love what Schopenhaur wrote about music in his treatise The World as Will and Representation, putting an oriental spin on the subject (Schopenhauer was the George Harrison of German philosophy): "Aesthetic experience quits the will within us. Music is direct manifestation of the noumenal. It is the voice of the metaphysical will." etc.

and nobody mentioned the True Adventures of the Rolling Stones by Stanley Booth

donald, Wednesday, 7 December 2005 04:08 (fourteen years ago) link

What I liked about Szwed's Sun Ra, was that he let him exist as he did to himself, in all his glory. I like some of the music (60's ESPs, Magic City, Other Planes of There) a lot and it was cool to me to have some depth about what Sun Ra was on about instead of the usual dismissals and "he's weird" bypasses. I still think Sonny was a nut, but I like knowing how he thought he wasn't one and how his ideas hung together with themselves. Szwed couldn't have been all that interested, but he let it speak for itself.

steve ketchup, Wednesday, 7 December 2005 05:53 (fourteen years ago) link

To be fair, if you are a real Sun Ra fan you might find his philosophy interesting even if you conclude it's nutty. I like his music in some moods, but my interest in him is pretty casual. If, say, Thelonius Monk had had similar philosophical beliefs I'd probably be interested enough to want to understand them.

frankiemachine, Wednesday, 7 December 2005 11:19 (fourteen years ago) link

Adorno's 'quasi una fantasia' collection of essays is quite readable. I'll also add Paul Griffiths bk on 20th century classical - a quick overview with some excellent pics.

'Whore like the rest' is v v good and yes, its odd but Meltzer is a v odd character - I think he wd've gotten me to listen to John Cage if I hadn't already been listening to him. Only one ilm poster has ever posted that he finished 'aesthetics of rock'. Only got to about 40 pages myself before having to give up but reading bks in bits is totally fine as far as I'm concerned. I did get round to his 'Autumn Rhythm' which has some music bits and those - on the 'white album' and older acoustic blues - are satisfying.

this ws mentioned yesterday on ilm and sounds gd.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Wednesday, 7 December 2005 13:40 (fourteen years ago) link

More bks about movie music wd be good, too - apart from Philip Brophy I can't think of anything else...

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Wednesday, 7 December 2005 13:58 (fourteen years ago) link

i've never read a boko centred on music. maybe i'll pick a few from this thread.

Fred (Fred), Wednesday, 7 December 2005 16:47 (fourteen years ago) link

that cage piece is dead good, yes. i have spent more time reading things about cage that i have listening to cage, though.

tom west (thomp), Wednesday, 7 December 2005 18:01 (fourteen years ago) link

One of my favorite professors in college had a book about movie music. I never actually read it, but it looked good.

Casuistry (Chris P), Wednesday, 7 December 2005 20:46 (fourteen years ago) link

('roaratorio' (on wergo) is one hell of a trip Tom.)

That bk looks excellent.

(so many bks...)

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Thursday, 8 December 2005 14:09 (fourteen years ago) link

I don't think Szwed was taking Ra completely at face value, though. He didn't do a ton of arguing with Ra's philosophies, true, but I don't see that as the same thing as condoning them. I do think in biography some sympathy w/the subject is implied; Szwed wanted to present his subject as fully as possible, and I think he did a remarkably good job of that. I haven't read the Miles one--seemed a bit stuffy dipping into it, but maybe I was wrong. I'll try to have another look at it when I unearth it (it's around somewhere, buried in a box).

One of the most fascinating (and, in many places, quite boring!) books about music I know is called My Music; it's a compendium of interviews with ordinary citizens about what, where, and why they listen to what they do. It's more or less straight sociology, and it can get a bit tedious, but it's not a well-known enough book to my thinking, and I'm sort of amazed that no one else has tried doing something like it. The closest analogue I can think of is Studs Terkel's Working, though this isn't as juicy. It's published by Wesleyan.

Matos-Webster Dictionary (M Matos), Friday, 9 December 2005 09:23 (fourteen years ago) link

(There was a documentary made about Ra that ws broadcast on the BBC recently, and in it, Szwed does say that Ra was very good at being convincing about this stuff, whatever that stuff was!)

I've not re-read that Biog but it struck me that Szwed didn't really know what to argue with when talking about his philosophies. And he has to take the philosophies quite (if not entirely) seriously bcz it informs the music - that is, above all, what Ra will be remembered and why he got to writing the bk in the first place - so the main thing about Szwed's biog is that he is prob one of the few people that has listened to everything Ra had released during his lifetime and he does a very good job of mapping the musical development of the arkestra from LP to LP, as well as placing in context with the music made at the time of the release of key LPs (jazz, imrpovisation, classical, rock, disco, etc.)

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Friday, 9 December 2005 13:42 (fourteen years ago) link

i should read that book when i go home for christmas! i think i will read that book when i go home for christmas. hey did sun ra ever do any christmas songs?

tom west (thomp), Friday, 9 December 2005 20:23 (fourteen years ago) link

discog here -

Can't see anything from my brief look but I'd imagine he wasn't too keen on Santa.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Saturday, 10 December 2005 11:41 (fourteen years ago) link

one year passes...
Give me some other good books about punk to read besides The Boy Looked at Johnny, Please Kill Me and England's Dreaming. I just finished a decent Clash bio by Marcus Gray (his writing annoys me sometimes, but it was damned comprehensive.)

wordy rappinghood (roxymuzak), Friday, 12 January 2007 20:34 (twelve years ago) link

there was a DISCO sun ra LP?

tom west (thomp), Friday, 12 January 2007 20:36 (twelve years ago) link

has anyone read the new cardew biography? is it out yet? is it good?

Sterling Clover (s_clover), Wednesday, 17 January 2007 06:18 (twelve years ago) link

"Blues Legacies and Black Feminism" by Angela Davis

This book has some really interesting historical info... but the reason you should read it is that Davis compiled all of Bessie Smith's and Ma Rainey's lyrics. Great stuff!

Also, "The Land Where the Blues Began" is very good.

silence dogood (catcher), Thursday, 18 January 2007 03:19 (twelve years ago) link

I've been enjoying Bruno Nettl's The Study of Ethnomusicology: Thirty-one Issues and Concepts. (There are exactly thirty-one issue and concepts we must consider!) I really need to buy that newish book of Palestinian music, even if the music theory parts will be inaccessible to me.

Since it hasn't been mentioned yet on this thread, I will recommend Ned Sublette's book on Cuba, which I don't think you have to be a huge Cuban music fan to enjoy (though the later part of the book is maybe less interesting for a general reader than the earlier portions which cover a broader sweep of history and theme).

R_S (RSLaRue), Thursday, 18 January 2007 14:26 (twelve years ago) link

I really love the Beethoven stuff in Howards End. That’s my favourite passage about music.

franny (frannyglass), Thursday, 18 January 2007 15:23 (twelve years ago) link

It's the only worthwhile thing about that book!

Casuistry (Chris P), Thursday, 18 January 2007 18:11 (twelve years ago) link

I liked that book.

franny (frannyglass), Thursday, 18 January 2007 19:05 (twelve years ago) link

I threw it against the wall when I finished it.

Casuistry (Chris P), Thursday, 18 January 2007 20:58 (twelve years ago) link

War for the Oaks by Emma Bull.

Laurel (Laurel), Thursday, 18 January 2007 21:22 (twelve years ago) link

Favorite passage about music...

the performance scene in "Sonny's Blues" by James Baldwin. It just feels like jazz.

silence dogood (catcher), Thursday, 18 January 2007 22:05 (twelve years ago) link

I threw A Confederacy of Dunces. Before I finished it.

Howards End was certainly not perfect. I liked how deeply earnest Forster is about everything. It all matters so much.

franny (frannyglass), Friday, 19 January 2007 03:09 (twelve years ago) link

Probably my favorite passage about music:

“A terrible thing is that sonata, especially the presto! And a terrible thing is music in general. What is it ? Why does it do what it does? They say that music stirs the soul. Stupidity! A lie! It acts, it acts frightfully (I speak for myself), but not in an ennobling way. It acts neither in an ennobling nor a debasing way, but in an irritating way. How shall I say it? Music makes me forget my real situation. It transports me into a state which is not my own. Under the influence of music I really seem to feel what I do not feel, to understand what I do not understand, to have powers which I cannot have. Music seems to me to act like yawning or laughter; I have no desire to sleep, but I yawn when I see others yawn; with no reason to laugh, I laugh when I hear others laugh. And music transports me immediately into the condition of soul in which he who wrote the music found himself at that time. I become confounded with his soul, and with him I pass from one condition to another. But why that? I know nothing about it? But he who wrote Beethoven’s ‘Kreutzer Sonata’ knew well why he found himself in a certain condition. That condition led him to certain actions, and for that reason to him had a meaning, but to me none, none whatever. And that is why music provokes an excitement which it does not bring to a conclusion. For instance, a military march is played; the soldier passes to the sound of this march, and the music is finished. A dance is played; I have finished dancing, and the music is finished. A mass is sung; I receive the sacrament, and again the music is finished. But any other music provokes an excitement, and this excitement is not accompanied by the thing that needs properly to be done, and that is why music is so dangerous, and sometimes acts so frightfully.

“In China music is under the control of the State, and that is the way it ought to be. Is it admissible that the first comer should hypnotize one or more persons, and then do with them as he likes? And especially that the hypnotizer should be the first immoral individual who happens to come along? It is a frightful power in the hands of any one, no matter whom. For instance, should they be allowed to play this ‘Kreutzer Sonata,’ the first presto,—and there are many like it,—in parlors, among ladies wearing low necked dresses, or in concerts, then finish the piece, receive the applause, and then begin another piece? These things should be played under certain circumstances, only in cases where it is necessary to incite certain actions corresponding to the music. But to incite an energy of feeling which corresponds to neither the time nor the place, and is expended in nothing, cannot fail to act dangerously. On me in particular this piece acted in a frightful manner. One would have said that new sentiments, new virtualities, of which I was formerly ignorant, had developed in me. ‘Ah, yes, that’s it! Not at all as I lived and thought before! This is the right way to live!’

“Thus I spoke to my soul as I listened to that music. What was this new thing that I thus learned? That I did not realize, but the consciousness of this indefinite state filled me with joy. In that state there was no room for jealousy. The same faces, and among them HE and my wife, I saw in a different light. This music transported me into an unknown world, where there was no room for jealousy. Jealousy and the feelings that provoke it seemed to me trivialities, nor worth thinking of.

“After the presto followed the andante, not very new, with commonplace variations, and the feeble finale. Then they played more, at the request of the guests,—first an elegy by Ernst, and then various other pieces. They were all very well, but did not produce upon me a tenth part of the impression that the opening piece did. I felt light and gay throughout the evening. As for my wife, never had I seen her as she was that night. Those brilliant eyes, that severity and majestic expression while she was playing, and then that utter languor, that weak, pitiable, and happy smile after she had finished,—I saw them all and attached no importance to them, believing that she felt as I did, that to her, as to me, new sentiments had been revealed, as through a fog. During almost the whole evening I was not jealous."

A-ron Hubbard (Hurting), Friday, 19 January 2007 05:11 (twelve years ago) link

I have a copy of Howard's End bcz my friend A. was going to destroy it out of the sheer extent of her hatred for it, and I thought that seemed a shame.

tom west (thomp), Friday, 19 January 2007 10:18 (twelve years ago) link

wait, no; that's a room with a view. howard's end i had due to having a course on it, which i hated.

tom west (thomp), Friday, 19 January 2007 10:18 (twelve years ago) link

i mean, i hated the novel. the course was okay. too many british films for my liking.

tom west (thomp), Friday, 19 January 2007 10:18 (twelve years ago) link

been awhile since I read it but Kingsley Amis'Girl, 20 features hilarious send-up of pretentious modern classical composer. and I like a bit of p.m.c. music myself, yet this is still funny.

m coleman (lovebug starski), Friday, 19 January 2007 11:39 (twelve years ago) link

Also, the Shosktakovich stuff in Vollmann's Europe Central is superb.

franny (frannyglass), Friday, 19 January 2007 14:49 (twelve years ago) link

two months pass...
I'm reading <i>People Funny Boy</i> (Scratch bio) and <i>Young, Gifted and Black</i> (about Trojan records). Both good so far.

roxymuzak, Wednesday, 28 March 2007 21:51 (twelve years ago) link


roxymuzak, Wednesday, 28 March 2007 21:52 (twelve years ago) link

A few others that are worth a look:

Joe Carducci -Rock And The Pop Narcotic
Lloyd Bradley - Bass Culture
Ciaran Carson - Last Night's Fun
Mark Andersen & Mark Jenkins - Dance Of Days

on punk/hard rock, reggae, irish trad and DC hardcore respectively. The Ciaran Carson is probably the best of them in terms of the actual writing - he's also written a couple of novels broadly in the vein of At Swim-Two-Birds, poetry and a new transdation of [i]the Inferno

I don't read nearly as many books about music as I used to but I'll still pick up anything by Simon Reynolds or Jon Savage. There's a new Reynolds collection coming out in May, entitled [i]Bring The Noise.

Eoghan, Thursday, 29 March 2007 09:33 (twelve years ago) link

eleven years pass...

This seems as good a place as any for ... Ira Kaplan of Yo La Tengo on his literary diet, past and future (not just books about music).!

His experience with poetry and short stories is similar to mine.

the ignatius rock of ignorance (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 5 June 2018 21:13 (one year ago) link

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