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

Monday, August 31, 2009

Vol. 66: One Step Beyond, by Terry Edwards

We're chuffed to announce the publication of Terry Edwards' book about Madness, in the 33 1/3 series. Here's the back cover copy:

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Surprisingly few books have been published about Madness, considering the vast number of records they have sold worldwide over the years. This book is written as a kind of lateral-thinking Rock Family Tree, with One Step Beyond as the taproot. Since recording that album in 1979, Madness have experienced just about everything - an unrivalled run in the UK charts, critical acclaim, commercial success with both singles and albums, sundry band members going AWOL, the obligatory covers album and extraordinary attendances at their reunion shows.

Having grown up with One Step Beyond, from its release when he was working in a record shop, through recording on Two Tone with his band the Higsons, to working with Bedders, then finally touring with Madness and playing many of the songs from the album, Terry Edwards has written this affectionate and entertaining book as insider and outsider, fan, contemporary and fellow musician. The result puts everything in perspective, and is a unique social history of the national institution that is Madness.

Terry Edwards plays sax, trumpet, guitar and keyboards with his own band, the Scapegoats, and in session for innumerable artists including Gallon Drunk, Robyn Hitchcock, Tindersticks and Lydia Lunch/Big Sexy Noise. His catalogue, both new and old, is released on his own imprint, Sartorial Records. He lives in London. This is his first book.

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There's more!! The excellent Madness Central site has an interview with Terry, which you can read right here.

And here's Terry, cunningly disguised, playing with the band on British TV:

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Dog days


We apologize for the lack of regular posting lately. I guess late August is just like that. BUT we have some very exciting things coming down the pike, so I'll just have to ask for your patience for now. And I'm going to have to ask you to look at this picture of my dog.

One thing that's coming in early October that I'm sure we'll hear a little more about is the first academic conference on the world's biggest band (U2), that will be held in Durham, NC. Our very own Steve Catanzarite, who wrote the 33 1/3 on Achtung Baby, will be contributing as well. You can read more about it on the BBC and Irish Times websites.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Quick Morrissey follow-up

Quick on the heels of John Mark's post yesterday, Simon Reynolds posted this about Gavin Hopps' book on Blissblog:

"The best book-length explication of Morrissey's peculiar genius I've come across. Acute when it does address the music, it focuses mostly on M's lyrical and vocal strategies (coyness, flirtation, caesuras and suggestive trailings away, irruptions of non-sense such as animalistic/Tourettic/comedic growls, ascent into nonverbal raptures of yodeling falsetto), then explores how these particular ways with words announce and embody a particular way of walking through the world; a life stance and ethic. Hopps managed to convince me that there's hidden depths and often-missed mischief secreted within the later work's deceptive slightness and can't-be-arsed-ness. A majorly illuminating work."

Friday, August 07, 2009

Quick weekend roundup: Punk, Moz, & Nas

Here are a few of our music books, 33 1/3 and otherwise, that have been pulling in great reviews lately. I thought you might be interested. If so, read on... Click on the quote attribution to read the full text of the review.

USA Today’s Pop Candy blog has a review of A Cultural Dictionary of Punk:

“I take a little notebook wherever I go -- I'm sure some of you do this, too -- so that anytime I hear about a cool film or something I should check out, I can jot it down immediately. A Cultural Dictionary of Punk is like a compilation of everything I've scribbled in little notebooks over the last 15 years. ...Much has been written on the subject, but this well-researched and respectful title is one book that should be appreciated, not rejected, by today's punk scene.”
-Whitney Matheson, USA Today's PopCandy

...and one for Gavin Hopps' Morrissey: The Pageant of His Bleeding Heart:

"Hopps manages to tell Moz's life story in a way that educates even the most hardcore fans (like me). By comparing the artist to Romantic poets and incorporating references to film and other art forms, Hopps examines the former Smiths frontman with a critical eye and treats him as one of the most talented singer/songwriters of the last century. (And he is, isn't he?) Dive in, grab a highlighter and savor the plentiful footnotes."
-Whitney Matheson, USA Today's PopCandy

Seattle’s KEXP radio station is now also broadcasting in NYC on the FM dial (91.1), increasing their listenership significantly, to say the least. They are a most welcome addition to the somewhat dismal radio landscape... Much better than listening to the Mets lose game after game, that's for sure.

Here is a review of the Morrissey book (it really is stylish and seductive. Props to the production team on this one):

"Hopps gives [Morrissey] plenty of passionate, well-informed attention in The Pageant of His Bleeding Heart, a stylish and seductive hardcover from Continuum that reflects the love and devotion of its author to the subject’s worldview and musical expression. This is not a rote biography or analysis of the shebeens and spielers with collaborators, but an ideal inquiry into the aesthetic and forces which shape Morrissey’s lyrics, persona, and own influence on worldwide music culture."
-KEXP, Seattle, WA (scroll down)

And again with A Cultural Dictionary of Punk:

"Rombes makes A Cultural Dictionary important by clearly writing about the weird marginal forces that swirled into CREEM-reading, all night donut shop youth haunted Ohio at the end of the Vietnam war era, and editing out a ton of stuff called “punk” in the years since 1982."
-KEXP, Seattle

And a glowing review of the Nas Illmatic 33 1/3 by Matthew Gastaier:

"The album in question, Illmatic, is an inarguable choice...from the cover art (the portrait of the artist as a very young man), to the future-forward evolution of the music form it led, to the timeless high quality multi-syllabic rhyming, weaving complicated rhythms around those still-borrowed-from beats — author Matthew Gasteier hit it square."
-KEXP, Seattle