Why the Beach Boys Matter (Tom Smucker)

Release date, Oct. 2, and breathlessly awaited by some (i.e., me). Table of contents is here, and is fetching (“Harmony and Discord,” “Innocence and the Second-Best Pop Album Ever,” “Summer’s Gone, the Endless Summer”). The Beach Boys matter to me enormously–more than the Beatles, more than the Velvets, more than Prince, Chuck Berry, Elvis Costello, and many others (well, at least if “mattering” is best … Continue reading Why the Beach Boys Matter (Tom Smucker)

The Best Beatles Books

Stephen Thomas Erlewine at Pitchfork chooses the ten best books about the Beatles, from Philip Norman’s Shout! to Rob Sheffield’s wonderful Dreaming the Beatles. M.I.A. (fully cognizant of the fact that there are probably 25-30 “best” books on the Beatles): Mark Shipper’s Paperback Writer (cf. the back and forth email chat between Richard Riegel and myself on this) Tim Riley’s Tell Me Why (listen to … Continue reading The Best Beatles Books

Louie’s back in town

Two good listens re: “Louie Louie” 1 – “Louie Louie”: The Strange Journey of the Dirtiest Song Never Written (KCRW podcast/documentary) 2 – July 2002 interview w/Dave Marsh on Speaking Freely, primarily about “LL” Incidentally, I’ve finally pulled Marsh’s “Louie Louie” book off the shelf. I hope it lives up to its provocative subtitle (The History and Mythology of the World’s Most Famous Rock ‘n … Continue reading Louie’s back in town

Art critics, art books

Who are the best art critics and what are the best books of art criticism? Here are some of the books I own: Robert Hughes, Nothing if Not Critical – The sort of critical anthology I’m currently most interested in (it contains reprints of Hughes’s reviews across several years at Time magazine). Hughes is devastating when he goes in for the kill (Julian Schnabel—ouch!), and … Continue reading Art critics, art books