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

Monday, March 31, 2008

Big in Romania

There's a great review of the series in Time Out Bucharest - I'd post a chunk of it here, but I'm not sure that Blogger could cope with all the accents. This is the link to the article, anyhow!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

New Fleshtones Documentary

David is on vacation this week, but the office has been haunted by the sound of his voice, which kicks off this trailer for the upcoming Fleshtones feature length documentary, Pardon Us For Living but the Graveyard Is Full. The trailer also features Handsome Dick Manitoba, Peter Buck of REM, and our very own Joe Bonomo, who wrote the book on the Fleshtones.

Speaking of.... There is a great review of the book in this month's Skyscraper Magazine:
"[Bonomo] makes plain how The Fleshtones became, and remain, one of the great live experiences, even when playing to an empty house, at no time pandering to expectations, while defending pure rock’n’roll, mining and mixing rhythm and blues, sixties rock, soul and disco, and what now passes for roots rock. While Sweat amply illustrates The Fleshtones dedication to truth, tradition, and fun (blue whales are not just seafaring mammals), Bonomo’s narrative is more than just recollections and good times. Bonomo has also penned an examination of broken lives, shattered promises (including management woes and label issues), brain-numbing hangovers, drug addiction, alcoholism, and elusive opportunities."
And I liked this review from Tone & Groove:
"Besides being a thorough bio of the band and its members, and a great NYC timepiece, Sweat takes a good hard look at the music industry, of bands who don't quite make it, who are as good or better than bands who do make it, and what their lives are like. It's a story of fighting against the odds with persistence and conviction, but this book certainly isn't just about struggle; it's filled with humor, fun, weirdness, bizarre coincidences, and heady descriptions of their most glorious shows and triumphs."
There was also a nice little mention on Pop Music As Pornography.

This is a little far in the future, but Joe will be signing at his hometown Borders in DeKalb, IL, April 5, at 2 pm.

Picture time!

Thanks to everyone who made it out to Housing Works last night! And a big thank you to Chaya for arranging everything, and to Keith Bearden for lending his expert moderation skills.

Andrew reading from Forever Changes.

Amanda reads from Pink Moon

Kim reads from In the Aeroplane Over the Sea

Keith expertly moderates the panel of authors.

Standing room only!

Friday, March 14, 2008

33 1/3 authors at Housing Works NYC - TONIGHT!

This just in from the NY Times "Urban Eye":

Liner Notes

Attention, rock geeks: Get yourself over to the Housing Works bookstore for a reading from the 33 1/3 series of chapbooks about seminal records. (Previous highlight: “Doolittle,” a slender volume on the Pixies album courtesy of The New York Times’s own Ben Sisario.) The authors Kim Cooper, Amanda Petrusich and Andrew Hultkrans will explain their affection for the albums “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea” (Neutral Milk Hotel), “Pink Moon” (Nick Drake) and “Forever Changes” (Love) — and why those albums should mean something to you, too. Hey, maybe you’ll even be moved to buy them.

* * * * *

I hope some of you in the New York area will be able to join us TONIGHT! Tuesday, March 25th at 7pm at Housing Works. We will have 2 authors in town from California, and 2 from NYC. Please check your guns at the door, we will have no east coast/west coast shenanigans on Tuesday.
A reading and conversation with 33 1/3 authors Kim Cooper (Neutral Milk Hotel's In the Aeroplane Over the Sea), Andrew Hultkrans (Love's Forever Changes), Amanda Petrusich (Nick Drake's Pink Moon), and Kate Schatz (PJ Harvey's Rid of Me). With Q& A, signing and reception.

UPDATE: Looks like Kate Schatz will not be able to make the trip to NYC after all, but Kim Cooper will hold it down for the west coast just fine.

Master of Redesign

The blogging team over at Decibel magazine have set up a contest, in conjunction with John Darnielle, where you can win a copy of John's currently-at-the-printers book about Master of Reality.

All you need to do is send them your own version of the album's classic cover art, and Mr. Darnielle will pick the winners.

The full story is here.

Monday, March 10, 2008

The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia in Paperback

I'm very pleased to announce that we'll be publishing the revised and updated paperback edition of Michael Gray's Bob Dylan Encyclopedia in April, almost two years after the original hardcover was published to great acclaim. (See selected reviews at the end of this post.)

New additional entries in the paperback include:

Blues [2006]
Bob Dylan: The Collection [2006]
Bob Dylan: The Drawn Blank Series [2007
Carthy, Martin
Dennis-Dylan, Desiree [1986 - ]
Dylan [2007
Dylan, last solo concert by [1965]
Haynes, Todd [1961 - ]
I’m Not There [film, 2007]
Lerner, Murray [192? - ]
Man Without Papers, The [TV drama, 1965]
Modern Times [2006]
Other Side Of The Mirror, The [film, 2007]
Paradise Cove [film, 1999]
Ronson, Mark
65 Revisited [film, 2006]
21st Century Dylan songs written for films
White, Jack

And entries that have been updated from the hardcover edition include:

Alk, Howard
Alvin, Dave
‘Am I Your Stepchild?’
American Civil War in World Gone Wrong, the
Animals, the
Aufray, Hugues
Ball, Gordon
Barker, Derek & Tracy
Berry, Chuck
Betts, Dickey
Blowin’ In the Wind
blues, external signals of Dylan’s interest in
Bob Dylan Greatest Hits
Bob Dylan Greatest Hits Vol. II
Bootleg Series Vol.5
Bridge, The
Bringing It All Back Home

Brown, Richard Rabbit
‘Brownsville Girl’
Bruce, Jack
Bruton, Stephen
Campbell, Larry
Campbell, Mike
Carmichael, Hoagy
Charles, Larry
Chronicles Volume OneClancy Brothers & Tommy Makem
Clapton, Eric
Cohen, John
co-option of real music by advertising, the
Cross, Billy
Dennis, Carolyn
Diaz, Cesar
Domino, Fats
Don’t Look Back
Drawn Blank [1994]
Dunn, Tim
Dylan [1973]
earliest extant recordings, Dylan’s
Elliott, Ramblin’ Jack
Epstein, Howie
Estes, Sleepy John
folk music, American, black
Freeman, Denny
Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, The: withdrawn early version
Fremerman, Elana
Fuller, Blind Boy
Garnier, Tony
Gleason, Ralph J.
Goldberg, Barry
Goldstein, Harvey
Grateful Dead, the
‘The Groom’s Still Waiting at the Altar’
guitars, Bob Dylan’s acoustic
Guthrie, Woody
Haggard, Merle
Hammond, John
Hammond, John Jr.
Harrison, George
Helm, Levon
Hendrix, Jimi
Herdman, John
Herron, Donnie
Hibbing rock’n’rollers
Highway 61 Revisited
Hinton, Nigel
Horowitz, David
Howlin’ Wolf
Humphries, Patrick
Hunter, Robert
Ian & Sylvia
‘In Search of Little Sadie’/‘Little Sadie’
Jackson, John
James, Elana
Jean, Wyclef
Johnnie & Jack
Jones, Mickey
Jones, Norah
Kalb, Danny
Kegan, Larry
Kershaw, Doug
Kimball, Stuary
King, Clydie
Kooper, Al
Kramer, Daniel
Kweskin, Jim
LaFarge, Pete
Lesh, Phil
Levy, Dan
Lightfoot, Gordon
Lightnin’ Hopkins
Like A Rolling Stone
Lomax, Alan
‘Love Henry’
McTell, Blind Willie
Madhouse On Castle Street, theMarcus, Greil
Marsalis, Wynton
MasterpiecesMayall, John
Maymudes, Victor [1935 - 2001]
Memphis Minnie
Meyers, Augie
Mitchell, Joni
Muddy Waters
Muir, Andrew
Muldaur, Maria
Murphy, Elliott
musical accompanists to Dylan, other
Nelson, Paul
Neville, Aaron
nursery rhyme on Under the Red Sky
Pagel, Bill
Pennebaker, D.A.
‘People Get Ready’
Petty, Tom
Presley, Elvis
Poe, Edgar Allan
Quintana, Charlie
Raney, Wayne
Ray, Dave
Receli, George
Richards, Keith
Ricks, Christopher
Rimbaud, Arthur
Rinzler, Ralph
Rivera, Scarlet
Rosen, Jeff
Rotolo, Suze
Sahm, Doug
Savakus, Russ
Scaduto, Anthony
Schatzberg, Jerry
Scheff, Jerry
Sedgwick, Edie
Self Portrait
Sexton, Charlie
Sinatra, Frank
Smith, Warren
Spoelstra, Mark
Springs, Helena
Stanley Brothers, the
Stanley, Ralph
Stewart, Dave
‘Tangled Up In Blue’
Taylor, Mick
Tedeschi, David
Tench, Benmont
Time Out Of Mind
Thompson, Toby

“Michael Gray’s book [is] probably the most comprehensive work on the subject, and also one of the most entertaining. The scale of research is colossal.” The Guardian

“This massive effort…is an amazingly well-researched and surprisingly readable work.” Library Journal

“This is no mere catalog of facts, but a work of oceanic immersion. It has wit, opinion, style and asks to be read, not just consulted.” Village Voice

“Michael Gray… outdistances them all with this voluminous collection.” Publisher’s Weekly

“Michael Gray… is arguably the pre-eminent Dylan scholar - enviably knowledgeable, scabrously tart … [his] irreverence is one of the joys of The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia.” Sunday Herald

“an authoritative reference tome...Gray’s critical powers remain top rank… and it will be well nigh impossible for you to ever just dip in and read only one entry.” Guitar and Bass Magazine

“The book thrives on unexpected connections and little-known facts… Gray’s passionate subjectivity mirrors his subject’s wholly idiosyncratic journey through life, as well as the complexities and contradictions that make Dylan who he is… Gray’s approach is characterized by a mixture of undiluted opinion and genuine fairness…There is an endearingly spontaneous feel about the book, unusual for something so rich and weighty.” Times Literary Supplement

“There is always room for a volume as utterly brilliant as Michael Gray’s Bob Dylan Encyclopedia… for everyone from the most hardened Bobcat to the general music lover. Strikingly intelligent, poetic, subtly humorous and buzzing with an awareness of the richness of life, he’s the perfect match for his subject.” What’s On in London

“Thoroughly researched and highly idiosyncratic, The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia is a fascinating reference - with essential information and cool arcana.” Rolling Stone

“It stands comparison with David Thomson’s Biographical Dictionary of Cinema as a sustained piece of entertaining opinionated heartfelt and argumentative writing masquerading as an objective gazetteer… the book is thronged with life.” London Evening Standard

If you're in a position to review this paperback edition, and would be interested in receiving a review copy of it upon publication, drop me an email - david at continuum-books dot com.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

The Great Anime Music Video Face-Off

I know very little about anime, but I've noticed an increasing number of Anime Music Videos on YouTube, and some of them are rather good.

Here's one for the song "Grace Cathedral Hill", written by Colin Meloy, author of the 33 1/3 volume on the Replacements' Let It Be.

And here's another, for "There Goes the Sun", written by Joe Pernice, author of the 33 1/3 volume on the Smiths' Meat Is Murder. (Joe's currently working on his first full-length novel, which I'm looking forward to greatly.)

Anybody know anything about this trend?

Thursday, March 06, 2008

From smells back to taste again

As John Lanchester notes in that New Yorker piece from yesterday, most of the time when we say we taste something, we're actually smelling it. I did sample Celine Dion's perfume once, in a blind testing against Kylie's fragrance, in a small Scottish border town that my wife and I had to leave in great haste, after being hounded by an overzealous Man of God. It was easy enough to tell the two perfumes apart: Celine's was somewhat overpowering, while Kylie's was diminutive, with a hint of eucalyptus.

All of which is a hopelessly irrelevant way of saying that we have some more coverage for Carl Wilson's book about Celine.

1. An interview with Carl in the Onion's AV Club.

2. A piece on book by Dave Stelfox, at the Guardian's music blog.


Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Makes No Scents At All

One of my favourite things in the world is to read a book review that makes you instantly - and I mean within 90 seconds - rush out and buy the book in question. This week's New Yorker has such a review, written by John Lanchester. It's ostensibly an article about smells, but towards the end it focuses on the book Perfumes: The Guide by Turin and Sanchez. I know absolutely bugger all about perfumes* but this book sounds too good to pass up. Here, for example, is their review of Amarige, from Givenchy:

"If you are reading this because it is your darling fragrance, please wear it at home exclusively, and tape the windows shut."

And Lanchester's review also contains the perfect sentence:

"It is as if the history of painting had proceeded via the invention of new colors."

Anyhow, do read the review - it's a fantastic piece of writing. And if you're new to Lanchester, I can highly recommend his novel from 7 or 8 years ago, Mr. Phillips.

* Case in point: when I purchased some shaving cream in a department store in Dallas the other day, the cashier was kind enough to put two samples in the bag - one for a scent by Prada (which I still haven't tried), the other a scent by Hermes which I just assumed was made for men - why else would she have given me the sample? - and which describes itself as "The unexpected caress of leather among flowers." So I tried it and loved it, only to find out that (a) it's for women and (b) in the delicate words of Gabriella in the office here, it "smells like old ladies."

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

A sweaty update

I wanted to take a quick break from the usual 33 1/3 fare and mention some things that have been happening with another of our music-related books called Sweat: The Story of the Fleshtones, America’s Garage Band. (Incidentally, Sweat is quite possibly the only book that I've ever worked on that is batting 1000 when it comes to 5-star Amazon reviews. 15 for 15. Not too shabby.)

Popmatters awarded Sweat an 8 out of 10 with a thoughtful review, and the same reviewer mentions the book in a nice review of the Fleshtones new record on his blog.

Speaking of the new album, the Fleshtones are in the midst of a tour to support Take A Good Look, which released in January. You can listen to some tracks from the new album and get the dates on the band's myspace page (mostly Texas and East Coast, with a little bit of Ohio).

Hans Frank has a podcast interview with author Joe Bonomo here (also here).

Jumpin From 6 To 6 out of France has also published a nice review.

And last but certainly not least, Sweat was namechecked in Ken Tucker's nice review of Take a Good Look on NPR as well. Ken also included Sweat in his "Top 5 Reasons to Live" video podcast for Entertainment Weekly.

Joe keeps an active myspace page that's worth checking out for the latest updates and whatnot:

There's also a review of the book on the way from Skyscraper Magazine and an interview with Trap Door Sun, so keep your eyes out for those... And Joe will be signing his book at his friendly neighborhood Borders store in Dekalb, Illinois on April 5th.

UPDATE: Almost forgot this great interview with Peter Zaremba of the Fleshtones at Well Rounded Radio. Enjoy.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Rum, Sodomy & the Lash

One of the many fun aspects for me of working on this series is not just discovering some albums that I'd never really heard before, but falling in love again with records that were a big part of my life some time ago.

Jeff Roesgen's manuscript for his book on Rum, Sodomy & the Lash, which we'll be publishing in the second half of this year, has me falling ass over tit for this album - so much so that if you held a musket to my head today and asked me to name my favourite record of all time, I'd cheerfully nominate this one.

A third of Jeff's book documents the making of the album, with input from all of the Pogues except Shane and Cait. The other two thirds, woven through the narrative, place the band on board The Medusa as she makes her fateful voyage from France to Senegal. It's a remarkably effective technique. I'd always thought of this record as a product of the post-punk politics of 1980s England and Ireland - but by placing the band in the early 19th Century with a surrounding cast of soldiers, officers, navvies, as well as profoundly incompetent members of the ruling class, Roesgen highlights the extraordinary achievement of the Pogues on this album. It's a glorious celebration of the underdog, of the destitute and the downtrodden.

Below is the great painting by Gericault, that the band adapted for the album cover.

And here's a very short fan clip of "I'm a Man You Don't Meet Every Day" from a 2004 Brixton Academy show, which should send shivers down your spine, if you have one.