A blog about Bloomsbury Academic's 33 1/3 series, our other books about music, and the world of sound in general.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Quiz update

Back in November, we ran a small quiz, with this as a fantastic prize for the winner. The question was: where in the 33 1/3 Sales Chart will the books about Neutral Milk Hotel and The Band be, by the end of March? Several of you actually entered the quiz. And a couple of you might still win.

With a month to go, the Neutral Milk Hotel book is flying high at number 12 in the chart, and The Band book is languishing in the basement at number 29. But a month is a very long time in the cut-throat world of publishing...

Monday, February 27, 2006

Slipping Into Darkness

Peter Blauner, who will be writing the 33 1/3 book about Marquee Moon, has a new novel out, which you can buy here.

It was reviewed in last week's issue of the New Yorker, and this is what they had to say:

Slipping Into Darkness, by Peter Blauner (Little, Brown; $24.95).

Francis X. Loughlin is an aging police detective haunted by a twenty-year-old homicide involving a young female doctor. A man named Julian Vega was put away for that crime, possibly without sufficient evidence, when he was seventeen. As Blauner’s novel opens, Vega has just been released from prison, on a technicality, when Loughlin is called to investigate a crime that bears an uncomfortable resemblance to the earlier murder. Though the book sometimes takes the easy way out (the climactic twist feels both generic and arbitrary), it is elevated by Blauner’s surefooted characterization of Julian. Newly free, struggling to find his way, dependent on the (somewhat tenuous) kindness of strangers, he is both sympathetic and tough; his portrait has a complexity that few authors could achieve.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

College Art

Just back from a few days in Boston, at the annual College Art Association Conference.

We sold quite a few books on our booth - and took lots of pre-orders for Brandon LaBelle's forthcoming Background Noise.

And we received lots of positive comments about the 33 1/3 series, as well as several versions of my favourite question, "When the **** is that My Bloody Valentine book coming out?" Anyway, people who teach and study the visual arts diplayed the following preferences. Make of this what you will:

R.E.M. - 7 copies
Beach Boys, Neutral Milk Hotel - 6 copies
David Bowie, Rolling Stones, Velvet Underground - 5 copies
Elvis Costello, Prince, The Band - 4 copies
Beatles, Bruce Springsteen, DJ Shadow, Jeff Buckley, Love, The MC5, Ramones, The Smiths, Sly and the Family Stone - 3 copies
Dusty Springfield, James Brown, Jimi Hendrix, Neil Young, Pink Floyd, Radiohead, Replacements, Stone Roses - 2 copies
Abba, Joy Division, Led Zeppelin - 1 copy
Jethro Tull, The Kinks* - 0 copies

*Slightly unfair, as we didn't have any copies of the Kinks book to sell.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Barking Man

Yep Roc are shortly to release the Billy Bragg "Volume 1" box set, which looks like it's going to be wonderful - all of the early albums plus a huge noseful of extra stuff. You can read more about it, and pre-order it, here.

It's surely worth getting for "St Swithin's Day" alone. I remember watching Dubstar play that live, with Billy watching on in the crowd. Hope he liked their version as much as I did.

St Swithin's Day

Thinking back now,
I suppose you were just stating your views
What was it all for
For the weather or the Battle of Agincourt
And the times that we all hoped would last
Like a train they have gone by so fast
And though we stood together
At the edge of the platform
We were not moved by them

With my own hands
When I make love to your memory
It's not the same
I miss the thunder
I miss the rain
And the fact that you don't understand
Casts a shadow over this land
But the sun still shines from behind it.

Thanks all the same
But I just can't bring myself to answer your letters
It's not your fault
But your honesty touches me like a fire
The Polaroids that hold us together
Will surely fade away
Like the love that we spoke of forever
On St Swithin's Day

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

A myspace riot goin' on

Taking the anthropomorphisation of books to the next level, Miles Marshall Lewis has created a myspage page for his Sly Stone book.

You can go there from here.

A new MP3 blog to check out

Derek Weiler writes from Toronto - he's recently started up an MP3 blog called Bury Me Not, and it already has some fascinating songs.

Any blog that has a song by the Weather Prophets or the (recently reformed!!) Loft does the trick for me. "Up the Hill and Down the Slope" is about as good as pop music gets. Bill Prince from the Loft, of course, went on to form the Wishing Stones, featuring our very own John Niven, author of Music from Big Pink.

Friday, February 17, 2006

The Encyclopedia Project

Book fetishists among you may be excited to learn about The Encyclopedia Project, the first volume of which (A-E) is being published in April. (Not by Continuum, just to make that clear!)

One of the editorial team is Kate Schatz, who'll be writing a 33 1/3 book about PJ Harvey's Rid of Me album in the coming months - each chapter will be a cover version of the corresponding song on the record, in short story form.

We thought some of you might be interested in The Encyclopedia Project - and if you are, you can read much more about it (and pre-order a copy, if you're feeling paypal-flush) here. In a nutshell, Kate describes it thus:

My two coeditors and i are publishing a five-volume set of "encyclopedias about fiction" that will span A-Z. It's really a lit journal meets a reference book meets an art book. the first volume, Encyclopedia: Vol. 1 A-E is a hardbound 336 page book that looks like an encyclopedia — but its content is short stories, experimental prose, critical and lyric essays, plays, photos, paintings, woodcuts and more more more, by 114 writers and artists of all stripes, scenes and intentions. There is a 32 page color art portfolio, and the whole thing is cross-referenced and quite pretty.

It all sounds highly desirable.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Warren Zanes Experience

I've added a link to Warren's website, in the links section.

Warren's new album - the follow-up to the commercial smash that was "Memory Girls" - comes out on March 14th, and you can hear a few clips from the new one here.

Of particular interest to us on this blog is the following excerpt from the bio on Warren's site:

"In a recent book of interviews, none other than Tom Petty describes how Zanes’s book Dusty in Memphis inspired him to write one of the key tracks on his upcoming CD, Highway Companion."

How cool is that?

I can't find a release date yet for Petty's album, but it should definitely be in the spring.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Sync or Swarm

If you're at all interested in improvised music, and you're not daunted by a little science, then you should take a look at David Borgo's excellent new book Sync or Swarm: Improvising Music in a Complex Age.

It's hard enough to write well about music, and I would imagine it isn't easy to write well about chaos theory. (Trust me, I've never tried.) So to bring the two together so fluently is quite an achievement. Oh, and the book comes with a free full-length CD featuring performances by Evan Parker, the Sam Rivers Trio, George Lewis, and Borgo's own collective, Surrealestate.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Black Swan Green

I'm not sure where David Mitchell dredged these up from, but some of the words and phrases in his upcoming novel Black Swan Green are so wonderfully specific to the England of 1981 and 1982 that I've been having flashbacks all weekend long. These all used to get hurled around at school on a daily basis, but I'd completely forgotten them up until now:


and my favourite:


I'm going to start using that one again, every day.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Boston Globe article

There's an article by James Sullivan in the "Ideas" section of today's Boston Globe, about the trend/phenomenon (I'm not sure it's either of those things, but whatever) of books about albums and books about songs. You can read it here (free registration to the Globe required) where I'm called David Barkley, or you can read it below, where I've corrected my name to avoid any confusion.

I'm now tempted to call one of our kids Barkley Barker.

Reading between the lines
The album isn't dead yet. Just ask your local bookseller.
By James Sullivan | February 12, 2006

THE DIGITAL MUSIC AGE hasn't been easy on the old formats. The compact disc has been pronounced terminally ill, the woebegone cassette tape has gone the way of the wax cylinder, and long-playing vinyl survives only in the dank basements of pack rats and the climate-controlled collections of diehard audiophiles.
The demise of these media spells more than just reduced clutter: Digital downloading has shifted focus from albums to individual tracks. As well as the Grammy-nominated ''The Emancipation of Mimi" no doubt holds together as a cohesive artistic work, it's probably hard even for true Mariah Carey fans to resist downloading just the tracks they hear on the radio. Why spend $11.99 when you can get all the good stuff for $1.98? The days of fetishizing a beloved album seem to be numbered.
Yet even as the idea of the album has come under seige, a movement to preserve it has recently been gaining momentum, and in an unlikely field-book publishing. In the past few years, there have quietly appeared dozens of books treating classic pop, rock, and jazz recordings as objects worthy of continued appreciation.
Cambridge-based Da Capo Press helped kick off the trend with ''Kind of Blue," a book about the making of the Miles Davis landmark by music journalist and producer Ashley Kahn that was published to critical acclaim in 2000. Since then, Da Capo has issued titles on Johnny Cash's ''At Folsom Prison" and Pink Floyd's ''The Dark Side of the Moon," and is at work on a volume on the Rolling Stones's ''Exile on Main Street."
Da Capo doesn't have the genre cornered: Schirmer Trade Books has issued books on albums by Nirvana, the Beatles, David Bowie, and others in its Classic Rock Albums series. And Continuum just announced a forthcoming slate of 21 titles in its robust 33 1/3 series, which would bring the total to 60 volumes by 2008.
David Barker, who edits 33 1/3, says he often hears the argument that these books have found an audience because fans are growing nostalgic for the LP. ''It may well have something to do with the perceived downfall or death of the album," he says.
Each pocket-sized 33 1/3 book is a kind of deluxe liner notes for the obsessed fan, liner notes themselves being part of the collateral damage of digitization. These books give music fanatics an opportunity for deeper appreciation of a cherished work, offering a window on everything from details on transcendent recording sessions to lists of narcotics consumed.
Subjects in the Continuum series range from the obvious-the Beach Boys's ''Pet Sounds" and Bruce Springsteen's ''Born in the USA"-to the decidedly less so. A new entry on ''In the Aeroplane Over the Sea," the second and final album from the short-lived cult band Neutral Milk Hotel, has proved to be one of the best sellers in the set. Many fans consider the idiosyncratic 1998 album a desert-island classic, but even the initiated might admit being confused by all those lyrics about two-headed boys and dissolving dogs. Fans were clearly hungry for some insight into the mindset of bandleader Jeff Mangum and his cohorts. They're finding it here, from tidbits about the group's recording philosophy to accounts of weathered books (''Candide," anything by the absurdist playwright Alfred Jarry) making the rounds among band members.
From the beginning, the Continuum series took some liberties with the accepted Beatles-Stones-Led Zeppelin canon of classic rock. The first 33 1/3 title considered Dusty Springfield's ''Dusty in Memphis" (and was written by Warren Zanes, a former member of the roots-rock band the Del Fuegos). Da Capo is also casting a wide net with its series. Ben Schafer, a senior editor who worked on the Johnny Cash and Pink Floyd titles, says that rap and heavy metal are due some attention: ''I think someone should really do an AC/DC or a Public Enemy record." By which, of course, he means book.
. . .
Barker says he inaugurated the 33 1/3 series in part because he thought the crowded field of pop criticism and biography was in desperate need of a new angle. Barker acknowledges the influence of Schirmer's Classic Rock Albums series, which predates 33 1/3. But a big part of his model, he says, came from other disciplines.
As the former editor of Continuum's Contemporaries series, academically oriented readers' guides to modern novels by authors such as Don DeLillo and Ian McEwan, he had worked within a relatively rigid template. The books in that series each included background information on the author, a synopsis of the text, and a survey of reviews and sales figures.
Barker says he was inspired by the British Film Institute's Film Classics series to break out of templates. Each entry in the BFI series is a book-length study of a particular film, and the authors are given a long leash to explore their subjects however they see fit. In his consideration of ''The Wizard of Oz," for example, Salman Rushdie compares Dorothy's exile to his own.
Following BFI's lead, Barker looked beyond the world of music journalism for his contributors. Like Zanes, several 33 1/3 authors are musicians themselves: Colin Meloy of the band the Decemberists wrote the tribute to the Replacements's ''Let It Be," and Boston-area musicians Joe Pernice and Bill Janovitz have also produced titles, on the Smiths's ''Meat Is Murder" and the Stones's ''Exile on Main Street," respectively. The writers are urged to let their imaginations go to work. The entry on the Band's ''Music from Big Pink" is subtitled ''A Novella." Rather than write a straight backgrounder, British music industry veteran John Niven wrote a fictionalized account of the making of the album, as told by a character described as the group's drug dealer.
Many of the books in this growing subgenre, however, use the space to examine and appreciate every nuance of sound and substance of a beloved work. ''Looking closely at one particular album encourages the writer to do a very close reading of it, as a text," says Barker. Others use the albums as launching points for allusive wandering. In his long look at ''Dusty in Memphis," Zanes concludes that the album embodies the ''sense that love could happen anywhere, with anyone, and, quite possibly, leave without a note or, worse yet, stay a bit too long."
. . .
Yet for all these efforts to hang onto the particular pleasures of losing oneself inside a comprehensive song cycle, the fight to save the album still seems like a losing one. Even on the bookshelf, the individual track is plotting its Oedipal revenge.
Recently, a spate of books extolling the virtues, and plumbing the depths, of individual songs have appeared alongside books about albums. The critic Greil Marcus has dissected Bob Dylan's ''Like a Rolling Stone" at book length. Dave Marsh wrote about ''Louie Louie"; David Margolick, ''Strange Fruit." There are books on ''White Christmas" and ''Amazing Grace."
There are, though, substantive differences between books on album and books on songs. The latter tend to follow a song standard as it travels through the culture, crossing regions and generations and reinterpretations by different artists. Journalist Ted Anthony's forthcoming ''Chasing the Rising Sun: The Journey of an American Song" traces the long journey of the traditional lament ''House of the Rising Sun" from its origins in 19th-century folk through the British Invasion of the 1960s (when it became a No. 1 smash hit by the Animals) and into the present day, where he finds it in karaoke bars in Bangkok and Beijing.
More so than books about albums, which, whatever their cultural implications, remain bound by the specific time and place of the recording, books about songs tend to offer a kind of microhistory-an offshoot, as it were, of another of the publishing world's recent infatuations.
The success of Mark Kurlansky's books ''Salt" and ''Cod,"-biographies, essentially, of important commodities-inspired a slew of works in a similar vein-the titles ''Spice," ''Tobacco," ''Zipper," and ''Zero" among them. As with these projects, books about single artworks can provide revelations about the world beyond the thing itself.
Books about traditional songs, such as ''Chasing the Rising Sun" or Cecil Brown's ''Stagolee Shot Billy," are especially good at teasing out deeper meanings, says Marcus. ''You have a song that comes to general notice through a pop hit, and then you find it opens into this cave where there are thousands of burials, people still living in the corners, some people conducting mining operations deep inside. There's infinite complexity."
Anthony canvassed hundreds of versions of ''House of the Rising Sun" in his research, but he doesn't consider himself a musicologist. ''I'm coming more from an American studies perspective," he says. In his introduction, he writes that he might have found his window into American culture in any number of things-a recipe, an advertising icon. ''I like looking at larger issues through the prism of something very small," he says. And songs, as any iPod user knows, take up a lot less space than albums.
James Sullivan is the author of the forthcoming book ''Jeans: A Cultural History of an American Icon" (Gotham).
© Copyright 2006 Globe Newspaper Company.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Lavender Diamond

If you haven't heard Lavender Diamond yet, they have a couple of free songs to download on their site. "You Broke My Heart" actually makes me forget to breathe. Go here to get the songs.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Colin Meloy soaked in Bacardi

I like this review of Colin Meloy's Let It Be book, from The Peak - Simon Fraser University's Independent Student Newspaper. We'd much rather get reviews in there than the NYTBR, any day.

Book Review: Let It Be read
Chelsea Mushaluk, The Peak

About a week ago, my roommate spilled her rum and Coke all over my copy of Colin Meloy’s Let It Be. So why does this matter, besides the devastating loss of cocktail? Well, I like my books. And I like to keep them in fairly good condition. But there I was, holding a rum-soaked copy of a book written by the lead singer of the Decemberists. After some loving care and clean up, the book has been restored (almost) to its former glory.

Looking at the ever-so-slightly discoloured pages left me thinking: this situation was very much like many of the experiences described in Let It Be, though none that I can recall involved rum-infused beverages of any kind. Meloy describes his experiences with childhood camping trips, growing up in Montana, and, as the title suggests, his connection to the Replacements’ 1984 classic, Let It Be.

Meloy’s musings on Let It Be were published by Continuum Books as book number 16 in the 33 1/3 series. This series of cute little books is written by musicians, music-industry types, and obscure rock critics about their favourite rock albums. Other titles in the series include OK Computer, London Calling, and In the Aeroplane over the Sea, with more to be released this year. It’s a great concept, especially for anyone who has an all-time favourite album. Besides, reading a book written by the lead singer of the Decemberists about one of the most famous records to be played on college radio is just so darned cool.

All of this leads me back to Let It Be. A quick note about the book: it’s really good. Meloy’s prose is engaging and funny, from starting a band but having no instruments to seeing MTV for the first time in his grandfather’s living room. There’s also a sense of nostalgia and sadness that the reader gets throughout the book. This shows Meloy’s versatility and talent as a writer: The ability to make you laugh and make you cry in the same paragraph. Considering it is a memoir, and memoirs can go either way, this one is fantastic.

I won’t give away details, but the ending is amazing. And for those of you worried about whether Meloy’s penchant for theatricality that we see in his songwriting is also part of his prose writing, it’s not. It’s simple and poignant, and the wordiness only works to the story’s advantage.

Let It Be is a book about how the Replacements influenced Colin Meloy growing up and also as a musician, and it’s well worth reading. As for the rum and Coke incident, it’s stories like that you can look forward to in Let It Be; stories that seem small but are part of a greater concept. While I’ll save that one for my own memoirs, go and find a copy of Let It Be. If you’ve ever been influenced by an album or love music, also check out the rest of the 33 1/3 series. Rock on.

Beatles reading on Long Island

Steve Matteo, author of our Beatles' Let It Be book, will be reading and signing books at Borders in Syosset, NY on this coming Saturday at 2pm. Full details can be found here.

Syosset, apparently, is the hometown of Natalie Portman.


The kind folks at Beastiemania.com have teamed up with author Dan LeRoy to offer up a series of outtakes from Dan's forthcoming book about Paul's Boutique - material that we simply didn't have room for.

There should be new stuff appearing every week until the book is out next month, but to read the first outtakes, go here.

Buying the Books

An increasing number of stores are carrying the series, but I know these books can still be hard to find at times. So I've added, to the top of the links section, the pages for the series at Powells.com and Amazon.com. Neither of their lists are completely up to date, but we're working on that!

There are also some wonderfully supportive regular stores that carry the series, including these. If you know of any others (not just in the US), please do leave a comment - thanks.

Harvard Bookstore, Cambridge MA
Music Millennium, Portland OR
Millennium Music, Charleston SC
Duttons Bookstore, Los Angeles CA
Powells Bookstore, Portland OR
Shakespeare and Co, New York NY
Tattered Cover Bookstore, Denver CO
Shaman Drum, Ann Arbor MI
Sonic Boom Records, Seattle WA
Waterloo Records, Austin TX (a big shout out to Edmund)
St. Marks Bookshop, New York NY
Skylight Books, Los Angeles CA
Coliseum Books, New York NY
Codys Books, Berkeley CA
Carmichaels Bookstore, Louisville KY
Penn Book Center, Philadelphia PA
AC Vroman, Pasadena CA
Spaceboy Music, Philadelphia PA
Nicola's Books Little Professor, Ann Arbor MI
Easy Street Records, Seattle WA
Quimby's, Chicago IL
Bailey Coy Books, Seattle WA
Hot Poop, Walla Walla WA
Desolation Row, Pittsburgh PA
Daddy Kool Records, St Petersburg FL
Cake Shop, New York NY
Atomic Records, Milwaukee WI
Vinyl Fever, Clearwater FL
CD Central, Lexington KY
Gem City Records, Dayton OH
Culture Clash, Toledo OH
Wexner Center Bookshop, Columbus OH
Criminal Records, Atlanta GA

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Winner Takes It All

We have a winner!

The review below concerned the very first book in the series, Warren Zanes's Dusty in Memphis. To this day, one of my absolute favourites.

Thanks to all those who entered.

Quiz - with a prize!

This is from a review of a book in the series:

Someone over at Continuum needs to get out the red pen and cull all of the redundant storytelling and get him to re-focus on the subject.

But which book is the reviewer angered by? Only one rule: you aren't allowed to google this.

The first person to email me (david at continuum-books.com) with the correct answer will receive free copies of the four upcoming books in the series - about the Pixies, Beastie Boys, Stone Roses, and Sly Stone.

The Kids Are Alright! (in Chicago)

If you're in the Chicago area, I'd just like to draw your attention to the "Kids Are Alright" auction evening that'll be happening on Friday March 3rd. You can find more info about it here.

Included in the auction will be original artwork by people like Archer Prewitt, Leia Bell (see pic) and Peter Max - as well as a complete set of all the books published in the 33 1/3 series so far.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Kim Cooper reading in Los Angeles

Kim will be reading from her Neutral Milk Hotel book at Book Soup on Wednesday evening at 7pm - I hope a few of you can make it along.

And there's a good interview with Kim in this week's Los Angeles Alternative, which you can read here.

Sunday, February 05, 2006


We've finally nailed down the complete list of entries for Michael Gray's Bob Dylan Encyclopedia, which will be publishing in June. If you're so inclined, you can pre-order the book here. I hope I'll be able to post the occasional entry from this astonishing book on here over the coming months.

Here's the list:

Aaronson, Kenny
Abrams, Harvey
Ace, Johnny
Acuff, Roy
Aikens, Bill
Alarm, The
Alexander, Arthur
Alk, Howard
‘All Along the Watchtower’
Allen, Colin
Allen, Woody
Allison, Mose
Alvin, Dave
‘Am I Your Stepchild?’
American Civil War in World Gone Wrong, the
American Folk Music
Andersen, Karl Erik
Animals, the
Annie Hall, dismissal of Dylan in
Another Side of Bob Dylan
Anthology of American Folk Music
Armstrong, Gillian
Arnold, Jerome
Aronowitz, Al
Artes, Mary Alice
‘Arthur McBride’
artists v. critics
Asch, Moses
Ashley, Clarence
Auden, W.H.
audience members performing with Dylan
Aufray, Hugues
Augustine, St.
Austrian Bob Dylan Convention, the

‘Baby Let Me Follow You Down’
Baez, Joan
Baker, Arthur
Baldwin, John
Ball, Gordon
Band, The
Bangs, Lester, Black Panthers & Bob
Barker, Derek & Tracy
Basement Tapes, The
Baudelaire, Charles
Bauldie, John
Baxter, Bucky
Bayer Sager, Carole
Beatles, The
Beats, The
Beckett, Barry
Beecher, Bonnie
Before the Flood
being unable to die
Belafonte, Harry
‘Belle Isle’
Berry, Chuck
Best of Bob Dylan, The [version 1]
Best of Bob Dylan, The [version 2]
Best of Bob Dylan Vol. 2, The
Betts, Dickie
biblical text, Dylan’s capacity for modernising
Bikel, Theodore
Bjorner, Olof
Blackwell, Chuck
Blade, Brian
Blake, Norman
Blake, William
Blake, William, beat/hippie revival of
Blakley, Ronee
Blind Blake
‘Blind Willie McTell’
Blonde on Blonde
Blood on the Tracks

Bloomfield, Mike
Blow, Kurtis
‘Blowin’ in the Wind’
Blue, David
blues, external signals of Dylan’s interest in
blues lines smuggled into Dylan lyrics
blues, the, inequality of reward in
Blues Project, The
Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan at Budokan
Bob Dylan Scrapbook, The
Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits
Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits Vol. II
Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits Vol. 3

book endorsements, unfortunate
Booker T.
Bootleg Series Vols. 1-3, The
Bootleg Series Vol. 4, The
Bootleg Series Vol. 5, The
Bootleg Series Vol. 6, The
Bootleg Series Vol. 7, The

‘Born Again’ period, the, a slow train coming to
‘Born Again’ period, the
Bowden, Betsy
Brady, Paul
Brecht, Bertoldt
Bremser, Ray
Bridge, The
Bringing It All Back Home

Bromberg, David
Broonzy, Big Bill
Brown, Richard Rabbit
Browning, Robert
‘Brownsville Girl’
Bruce, Jack
Bruce, Lenny
Brumley, Albert E.
Bruton, Steve
‘Buckets of Rain’
Bucklen, John
Bunyan, John
Burke, Gary
Burnett, T-Bone
Burnette, Billy
Burton, James
Butler, Keith
Butterfield, Paul
Buttrey, Kenny
Byatt, A.S.
‘Bye and Bye’
Byrds, the

Cage, Buddy
‘Call Letter Blues’
Campbell, Larry
Campbell, Mike
‘Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window?'
Cannon, Gus
Carl XVI Gustav of Sweden
Carmichael, Hoagy
Carradine, William
Carroll, Lewis
Carter Family, the
Carter, Rubin Hurricane
Cartwright, Bert
Cash, Johnny
Castner, Flo & Lynn
Chabad telethons
Chandler, Len
Chapman, Tracy
Charles, Bobby
Charles, Larry
Charles, Ray
Charters, Samuel B.
Child, F.J.
Chronicles [album]
Chronicles [book]
Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem
Clapton, Eric
Clark, Alan
Clark, Charles Badger
Clayton, Paul
Clinch Mountain Boys, the
Cohen, John
Cohen, Leonard
Collins, Judy
‘Columbus Stockade Blues’
Conley, Walt
Cooke, Sam
Coolidge, Rita
Cooper, Ray
Coopers & Lybrand
co-option of real music by advertising, the
‘Copper Kettle’
Corcoran, Neil
Cordwell, John
‘Corrina Corrina’
Corso, Gregory
Costello, Elvis
Cott, Jonathan
Cotten, Elizabeth
country music, Dylan’s early interest in
‘Covenant Woman’ & ‘Pretty Boy Floyd'
Crackers, the
Crooks, Richard
Crosby, David
Cross, Billy
‘’Cross the Green Mountain’
Crow, Sheryl
Crowe, Cameron
Crudup, Arthur ‘Big Boy’
Cruzados, the
cummings, e.e.

Daniels, Charlie
Danko, Rick
Darby & Tarlton
Darby, Tom
Davis, Blind Gary
Davis, Jesse Ed
Davis, Rev. Gary, the
Day, Aidan
Deevoy, Adrian
Dennis, Carolyn
Desolation Row Information Service, the
Dharma and Greg
Diamond, Neil
Diaz, Cesar
Diddley, Bo
Digby, Sir Everard
Dignity [fanzine]
Domino, Fats
‘Do Right to Me Baby’
Donne, John
‘Don’t Fall Apart on Me Tonight’
Don’t Look Back
Dorsey, Thomas A.
Douglas, Steve
Down in the Groove
Drake, Pete
Drawn Blank
Drummond, Tim
Duluth, MN
Dunbar, Sly
Dundas, Glen
Dunn, Tim
Dylan [album]
Dylan & The Dead
Dylan, Anna
Dylan being ‘bored’ by his acoustic material 1965-66, the myth of
Dylan, Bob, family background of
Dylan in books of quotations
Dylan interpreters
Dylan, Jakob
Dylan, Jesse
Dylan Liberation Front
Dylan, Maria
Dylan, Samuel
Dylan, Sara

earliest blues & gospel recordings, Dylan’s
earliest extant recordings, Dylan’s
‘Early Morning Rain’
Eat the Document
Ecclesiastes, Dylan’s use of
Eliot, T.S.
Elliott, Ramblin’ Jack
‘Emotionally Yours’
Empire Burlesque
Engel, Dave
Epstein, Howie
Essential Bob Dylan, The
Estes, Sleepy John
Everly Brothers, the
Evers, Medgar
‘Every Grain of Sand’, non-Blake elements
Ezekiel, Dylan’s use of

Far from the Madding Crowd
‘Farewell Angelina’
Fariña, Richard
Fariña, Mimi
Ferlinghetti, Lawrence
film dialogue in Dylan lyrics
first extant recordings, Dylan’s
Flatt & Scruggs
folk and sophisticated culture, links between
folk music, American, four main types
folk music, American, black
folk music, American, Cowboy
folk music, American, Southern Poor White
folk music, American, Yankee
Folkways Records
Forryan, Robert
Foster, Stephen
‘4th Time Around’
Fraser, Alan
Freedom Singers, the
Freeman, Denny
Freeman, Eddie
Freewheelin’ [album]
Freewheelin’ [album withdrawn]
Freewheelin’ [fanzine]
Fremerman, Elana
French symbolist poets, the
Fried, Hans
Friedman, Kinky
Frizzell, Lefty
‘Froggie Went a-Courtin’’
frying an egg on stage, the prospect of
Fuller, Blind Boy
Fuller, Jesse

‘gal shaped just like a frog’
Gant, Sandy
Garcia, Jerry
Garnier, Tony
Geldof, Bob
Genet, Jean
‘George Jackson’
Georgia Tom
Gershwin, George & Ira
Gibson, Don
Ginsberg, Allen
Gleason, Ralph J.
Glover, Tony
Gods and Generals
Goffin, Gerry
Goldberg, Barry
Goldberg, Steven
Goldstein, Harvey
‘Gonna Change My Way of Thinking’ [2003 version]
Good as I Been to You
Gooding, Cynthia
Goodman, Steve
Gorgoni, Al
‘Gotta Serve Somebody’
Gover, Robert
grandma & Walpole’s cat
Grateful Dead, the
Graves, Robert
Gray, Michael
Green, Al
Green, Keith
Greenbriar Boys, the
Greenwood MS, Dylan’s visit to
Gregg, Bobby
Griffin, Paul
Griffith, Nanci
Grisman, David
‘Groom’s Still Waiting At the Altar, The’
Grossman, Albert
guitars, Bob Dylan’s, acoustic
guitars, Bob Dylan’s, electric
Guthrie, Arlo
Guthrie, Woody

Haggard, Merle
Hajdu, David
Hall, Bobbye
Hammond, John
Hammond, John Jr.
‘Handy Dandy’
‘Hard Times’
Harding, John Wesley
Hard Rain [album]
Hard Rain [TV Special]
Hare, David
Harris, Emmylou
Harrison, George
Harvey, Todd
Havis, Regina
Hawkins, Ronnie
Hawks, The
Hayward, Richie
Helm, Levon
Helstrom, Echo
Hendrix, Jimi
Herald, John
Herdman, John
heroes, special cowboy fondness for, and ‘John Wesley Harding’
Herron, Don
Hester, Carolyn
Heylin, Clinton
Hibbing, MN
Hibbing rock’n’rollers
Highway 61
Highway 61 Revisited
Himmelman, Maria
Himmelman, Peter
Hinchey, John
Hinton, Nigel
Holly, Buddy
Homer, the slut
‘Honey Just Allow Me One More Chance’
Hooker, John Lee
Hornby, Nick
Horowitz, David
‘Horseman & the Twist-Up Gang’
House, Son
Houston, Cisco
‘how be it?’
Howlin’ Wolf
Hudson, Garth
Humphries, Patrick
Hunter, Robert
Hurt, Mississippi John

Jackson, George
Jackson, Jim
Jackson, John
Jagger, Mick
‘James Alley Blues’
James, Skip
Jean, Wyclef
Jefferson, Blind Lemon
Jesus v. Springsteen
‘Jim Jones’
John, Elton
John Wesley Harding
‘John Wesley Harding’
Johnnie & Jack
Johnson, Blind Willie
Johnson, Lonnie
Johnson, Robert
Johnston, Bob
‘Jokerman’ [video]
‘Jokerman’ [song]
Jones, Curtis
Jones, Evan
Jones, Mickey
Jones, Norah
Judas! [fanzine]
‘Judas!’ [shout]
‘Jumpin’ Judy’

Kafka, Franz
Kalb, Danny
Kangas, Ric
Karlin, Danny
Keats v. Dylan
Keenan, Larry
Kegan, Larry
Kelly, Roy
Kelly, Terry
Keltner, Jim
Kemp, Louis
Kemper, David
Kerouac, Jack
Kershaw, Doug
Kibbutz Ein Dor, Dylan visit to
Kimball, Stuart
King, Carole
King, Clydie
Kirkland, Sally
kisses and silver
Knocked Out Loaded
Knopfler, Mark
Koella, Freddy
Koerner, Spider John
Köhler, Robert
Konikoff, Sandy
Kooper, Al
Kramer, Daniel
Kristofferson, Kris
Krogsgaard, Michael
Kunkel, Russ
Kweskin, Jim

LaFarge, Pete
Landau, Jon
Langhorne, Bruce
Lanois, Daniel
‘Lay Down Your Weary Tune’
Lay, Sam
Ledbetter, Huddie
Lee, C.P.
Lee, William E.
‘Legionnaire’s Disease’
Lennon, John
‘Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat’
Lesh, Phil
‘Let’s Keep It Between Us’
Levy, Dan
Levy, Jacques
Lewis, Furry
Lewis, Jerry Lee
Lightfoot, Gordon
Lightnin’ Hopkins
‘Like A Rolling Stone’
Lindley, John
‘lion lies down with the lamb, the’
Lipscomb, Mance
Little Richard
‘Little Sadie’
Live Aid
Live At The Gaslight 1962
Lofgren, Nils
Lomax, Alan
Lone Justice
Lonely Crowd, The
‘loon, crazy as a’
Lord Buckley
“Love and Theft”
‘Love Henry’
‘Love Sick’
Lovelle, Herb
lowlands, the
Lynch, Stan
Lynne, Jeff

MacColl, Ewan
MacLeish, Archibald
McCartney, Paul
McCoy, Charlie
McCrary Brown, Regina
McGhee, Brownie
McGrath, Scott
McGregor, Craig
McGuinn, Roger
McLagan, Ian
McLuhan, Marshall
McTell, Blind Willie
Madhouse On Castle Street, The
Mansfield, David
Manuel, Richard
Marcus, Greil
Marquand, Richard
Marqusee, Mike
Marsalis, Wynton
Masked & Anonymous

Mayall, John
Mellers, Wilfred
‘Memphis Blues Again’
Memphis Minnie
Memphis Slim
Meyers, Augie
Midler, Bette
‘Midnight Special’
Mississippi Sheiks, the
Mitchell, Joni
‘money doesn’t talk’
More Bob Dylan Greatest Hits
Morrison, Van
Morton, Dave
Moss, Wayne
Motion, Andrew
MTV Unplugged [album]
MTV Unplugged [video]
Muddy Waters
Muhammad Ali
Muir, Andrew
Muldaur, Geoff
Muldaur, Maria
Murphy, Elliott
musical accompanists to Dylan, other
musicians’ enthusiasm for latest Dylan album, perennial

‘Naomi Wise’
Nashville c.1960, influence of, the
Nashville Skyline
Nelson, Paul
Nelson, Ricky
Nelson, Willie
Neuwirth, Bob
Neville, Aaron
New Lost City Ramblers, the
New Morning
New World Singers, the
Newport Folk Festivals
Nicholson, Jack
1964 car ride through America, the
1965 electric concerts, the
1965-66, life, Dylan, pop & the UK charts
Nobel Prize for Literature, Dylan and the
No Direction Home [film]
North Country [film]
‘Not Dark Yet’
nursery rhyme, Dylan’s use of, an introduction
nursery rhyme, Dylan’s use of before 1990
nursery rhyme, Dylan’s use of on Under the Red Sky

O’Brien, Brendan
Ochs, Phil
‘Off The Top Of My Head’
Oh Mercy
Oldham, Spooner
‘Omie Wise’
‘On The Street Where You Live’
‘Open The Door, Homer’
Orbison, Roy
Østrem, Eyolf
Owens, Frank

Pagel, Bill
Paley, Tom
Pankake, Jon
Parker, Christopher
Parker, Little Junior
Parking Meter
Pasqua, Alan
Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid [album]
Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid [film]
Patchen, Kenneth
‘Peace In The Valley’
Peckinpah, Sam
Pelto, Gretel
Pennebaker, D.A.
‘People Get Ready’
Perkins, Carl
Peter, Paul & Mary
Petty, Tom
Pichaske, David
Pickering, Stephen
Planet Waves
Planet Waves, disappearing sleevenotes, the
Plugz, The
‘Pneumonia Ceilings’
Poe, Edgar Allan
poems on Bob Dylan
poets on Bob Dylan
Pomarède, Michel
Pomus, Doc
pop 1960-62: not all hopeless
post-war blues, Dylan’s ways of accessing
Pound, Ezra
‘Precious Angel’
Presley, Elvis
pre-20th Century American poetry
pre-war blues and poststructuralism
pre-war blues, Dylan’s use of, an introduction
pre-war blues, Dylan’s ways of accessing
Prine, John
Price, Alan
pseudonyms used by Dylan

Quebec, Madelyn
Queens of Rhythm
Quintana, Charlie
‘Quit Your Low-Down Ways’

Rabbit Brown
radical political activity in 1960s-70s US, strange disappearance of, the
Raeben, Norman
Railroad Theme, classic, the, in Dylan’s work
Raney, Wayne
Ray, Dave
Reagon, Bernice Johnson
Real Live
Receli, George
recording quality and cynicism
Reed, Jimmy
Reed, Lou
Regan, Ken
re-interpretation and renewal in Dylan’s work
Renaldo & Clara
repertoire, Dylan’s early, unsuited to commercial radio
Ribakove, Sy & Barbara
Richard(s), Keith
Ricks, Christopher
ridin’ the blinds without Robert Johnson
Riley, Billy Lee
Rimbaud, Arthur
Ringwald, Molly
Rinzler, Alan
Rinzler, Ralph
Ripley, Steve
Rivera, Scarlet
Rix, Luther
Robbins, Hargus ‘Pig’
Robertson, Robbie
Robinson, Edward Arlington
Robinson, Smokey
Rodgers, Jimmie
Rogers, Weldon
Rolling Stone, London office of
Rolling Stones, The
‘Romance In Durango’
Romney, Jahanara
Ronson, Mick
Rosato, Arthur
Rosen, Jeff
Rotolo, Suze
‘Royal Canal, the’
rumoured songs by Bob Dylan
Russell, Leon
Rutman, Howard

Sager, Carole Bayer
Sahm, Doug
‘Sally Sue Brown’
Sandburg, Carl
Santana, Carlos
Savakus, Russ
Saville, Philip
Scaduto, Anthony
Schatzberg, Jerry
Scheff, Jerry
Schleser, Burkhard
Scobie, Stephen
Scorsese, Martin
Scott, Jack
Sebastian, John
Sedgwick, Edie
Seeger, Mike
Seeger, Pete
Seger, Bob
Self Portrait
Sellers, Brother John
Sexton, Charlie
Shakespeare in “Love and Theft”
Shakespeare, Robbie
Shelton, Robert
Shepard, Sam
Shot Of Love
Silber, Irwin
Simmons, Gene
Simon, Paul
Sinatra, Frank
Sloman, Larry
Slow Train Coming
Sly & Robbie
Smith, G.E.
Smith, Harry
Smith, Patti
Smith, Warren
Smith, Willie
Snerd, Mortimer J.
Snow, Hank
Soles, Steven
‘Solid Rock’
song in the history of English Literature
‘Song To Woody’
Sopranos, The
Sounes, Howard
South, Joe
‘Spanish Harlem Incident’
Spector, Phil
Spitz, Bob
Spivey, Victoria
Spoelstra, Mark
Springs, Helena
Springsteen, Bruce
St. Andrews University Honorary Degree ceremony
Stace, Wes
Staehely, John
Stanley Brothers, the
Stanley, Ralph
Stanton, Harry Dean
Staple Singers, the
Staples, Mavis
Starr, Ringo
Stewart, Dave
Stewart, Maeretha
Stibal, Brian
Stokes, Frank
Stone/Edelstein family, the
Stoner, Rob
Stookey, Noel
Street Legal
Strzelecki, Henry
‘Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again’
Styble, Bryan
Sutton, Greg
Svensson, Christer
Sweden, king of [Carl Gustav XVI]
symbolist poets, French, the

Tackett, Fred
Talkin’ Bob Zimmerman Blues [fanzine]
‘Tangled Up In Blue’
Tarlton, Jimmie
Taylor, Mick
Tedeschi, David
Telegraph, The
telegraphy and the religious imagination
Tench, Benmont
Terry, Sonny
‘Things Have Changed’
‘This Train’
‘This Wheel’s On Fire’
Thomas, Henry
Thompson, Hunter S.
Thompson, Richard
Thompson, Toby
Time Out Of Mind
Times They Are A-Changin’, The

‘Times They Are A-Changin’, The’
Titanic, the [ship]
Tolkien, J.R.R.
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
‘Tomorrow Is A Long Time’
Trager, Oliver
Traum, Happy
Traveling Wilburys, The
Travers, Mary
‘Trouble In Mind’
Turner, Gil
Twitty, Conway
‘Two Soldiers’

‘Uncle John’s Bongos’
Under The Red Sky
‘Under The Red Sky’
Updike, John

Valens, Ritchie
Van Ronk, Dave
Van Zandt, Steve
Vaughan, Jimmie
Vaughan, Stevie Ray
Vee, Bobby
Verlaine, Paul
Vesely, Rainer
Victoria’s Secret
Villon, Francois
Vincent, Gene
Vineyard Christian Fellowship, the
Vites, Paolo
Von Schmidt, Eric

Wallace, Ian
Wallflowers, The
Warhol, Andy
Warnes, Jennifer
Was, David
Was, Don
Watson, Doc
Watson, Winston
Weberman, A.J.
Weir, Bob
Weissberg, Eric
Wenner, Jan and unloading heads
Wexler, Jerry
‘What Can I Do For You?’
‘Whatcha Gonna Do’
‘wheels of fire’
‘When He Returns’
‘When The Ship Comes In’
‘Which Side Are You On?’
Whitaker, Dave
White, Bukka
Whitman, Walt
Wilentz, Sean
Williams, Big Joe
Williams, William Carlos
Williams, Hank
Williams, Paul
Williamson, Nigel
Willis, Chuck
Wilmer, Val
Wilson, Brian
Wilson, Tom
Wissolik, Richard David
Withers, Pick
Witting, Robin
Wonder, Stevie
Wood, Ron
Woodstock II
Woodward, Ian
words and music, relationship of
World Gone Wrong
Wraith, John & Wyvil, Mike
Wyeth, Howie
Wynton Marsalis Septet, the

XM Satellite Radio

Yarrow, Pete
years Dylan didn’t tour
Yearwood, Trisha
Yellin, Bob
Yoakam, Dwight
Young, Izzy
Young, Neil
Young, Terry

Zappa, Frank
Zevon, Warren
Zimmerman Blues
Zimmerman, David
Zimmerman family, the

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Higson Fever

I'm currently halfway through the second "Young Bond" novel by Charlie Higson, Blood Fever. It features an awesome combination of pirates, surrealists, posh boys, tough girls, and secret Sardinian skullduggery. Check out the Young Bond website here, and sign up for the Danger Society while you're at it.

And for a little background on the laughably talented Mr. Higson, go here.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

John Perry

It was great finally to meet John Perry last night - just did a quick count, and he's the 19th author in the series who I've actually met in person. John played some beautifully understated guitar, accompanying Freddie Stevenson at the Lakeside Lounge. The first song in particular, "What's the Sign for Love?" was magical.

There's Freddie on the left of the shot, and John on the right. Photo credit: the very lovely Ms. Emma Cook.

Article in San Diego CityBeat

Thanks to Seth Combs for this flattering piece about the series - and thanks to Matos for being a far more coherent interviewee than me.

33 1/3 books explore why we love the albums we love
by Seth Combs

With album sales down for the fifth straight year and digital singles being downloaded by the billions, the time seems ripe for doomsayers to bemoan the decline of the album as art and the eventual return to the pre-’60s era of homogenized LPs with less killer, more filler.

But, really, not much has changed in the last 50 years. For every epochal recording, there are consistently thousands more that just plain suck. Bob Dylan’s Saved isn’t good by any measure, and Ryan Adams doesn’t need to release an album every other day. Ultimately, however, they both serve a purpose. They make the Blonde On Blondes and Heartbreakers of the world that much better.

Farmers perfectly captured the sentiment ages ago with the observation that “a pig’s gotta eat, but he’s gotta root through some shit first.”

“As a format, [the album still] works,” says David Barker, editor of the 331/3 book series. “If you put out an album of 10 damn good songs, that’s gonna get you noticed more than, ‘Hey, here’s a new track—you can put it on your blog.’”

Started in 2003 by Barker and Continuum Publishing, the 33 1/3 premise is simple: Take a classic album and write a short book about it (120 pages or so). The books are small, individually unique and cheap.

What started as an initial, small run of six books has now grown to more than 30, with titles ranging from classic mainstays (The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds), cult favorites (Neutral Milk Hotel’s In the Aeroplane Over the Sea) and those of debatable worth (Jethro Tull’s Aqualung). The authors are music critics, college professors and musicians.

“Every book is different from each other in tone, in scope,” explains Michaelangelo Matos, who wrote the book on Prince’s Sign O’ the Times. “I really like the fact that it’s such a variegated series.”

It is these literary nuances that make the books more than just overly ambitious liner notes. Some, like those about Neil Young’s Harvest and Elvis Costello’s Armed Forces (by Sam Inglis and Franklin Bruno, respectively), read like encyclopedic period pieces.

If you’re a casual fan of the album in focus, the approach works sublimely. But it’s when the authors get personal that the books really shine. The slightly autobiographical nuances in Matos’ Sign, Joe Pernice’s Meat is Murder and Daphne Brooks’ Grace, give the feeling of intimate, perhaps even drunken, conversation. Matos uses almost a third of his book to recount Prince’s large influence on his own Minneapolis upbringing.

Reading someone else deeply examine why they love a song or album that you, too, adore goes beyond nostalgia and reverence. When done well, the 331/3 books take a visceral love for a certain piece of music and make it palpable. They provide a context and casual shape to what most people can simply describe with pointed statements like, “Man, I fucking love that record,” such as when Matos explains that Sign O’ the Times served as a gateway record in his life. “It was really the record that opened me up to a lot of the things that I’ve come to like since then,” he says.

If you’re the sort who reads the music section of an alternative weekly, then most likely there are a few albums that do the same for you. And if there isn’t already a 331/3 book on it (and the album isn’t, say, the new Ashlee Simpson joint) then there’s probably someone hard at work on it. It’s a devotional sort of writing that might be best thought of as a literary renewal of vows.

For a full list of titles, visit www.continuumbooks.com.


Voxtrot, Guillemots

There's a new song to download from the Voxtrot website - as well as info on a whole bunch of upcoming US shows and a DJ set by Ramesh in London on Friday, if you're in the mood to boogie with a bunch of bowlies in Brixton. (Sorry, it's contagious.) Note: the download is almost hidden at the bottom of their homepage.

And if you haven't tried the Guillemots yet, please do. You can still download the dazzling "Trains to Brazil" from Said The Gramophone. They're embarking on a brief American tour in mid-March. And let's hope that when the band gets rich and famous, they'll help the cause of one of Britain's friendliest seabirds:

Guillemots can usually compensate for poor food availability by spending more time collecting food and extending their foraging range, but in 2004 their capacity to do so was exceeded, resulting in chicks dying of starvation.

Probing Blitzkrieg's Bop

The Metro Times in Detroit has a good piece about Nick Rombes and his Ramones book this week. Worth reading, especially if you're a fan of alliteration.

Aside from being smart, Nick is also a little foolhardy. He's just signed up to write a massive Punk Rock Encyclopedia for us. If all goes to plan, Santa will be lugging it down chimneys at Christmas in 2008.