September 27, 2007 by admin
Here are ten music books sitting on my shelf–some have been there for years–that I’m currently contemplating reading (or skimming really hard) so I can write them up and add them to the rockcritics bookshelf. There’s no way I’ll get through most of these anytime soon, so I clearly need to prioritize. Anyone have any thoughts about any of these? Which (if any) of these are worth spending time with? Which (if any) intrigue you most?
- Twenty Minute Fandangos and Forever Changes: A Rock Bazaar – 1971 collection edited by Jonathan Eisen (who also edited the two Age of Rock collections), feat. R. Meltzer, Sandy Pearlman, Bud Scoppa, Danny Fields, and a bunch of people I’ve never heard of. True to its era, I honestly can’t tell if at least half this book is a joke.
- H.L. Mencken on Music – Anthology, mostly about classical though with a few things, it appears, on jazz as well. I know about and am interested in Mencken, but I’m not familiar with his writing. Maybe a collection of his music criticism isn’t really the place to start?
- The Encyclopaedia of Classic 80s Pop, Daniel Blythe – Bought a remaindered copy at Indigo recently. The “classic 80s” (the MTV ’80s) right now don’t interest me a whole lot, but I flipped through some of this and the writing seemed, at first glance, cheeky. Which I assume would work in this book’s favour, but maybe not.
- This is Uncool: The 500 Greatest Singles Since Punk and Disco, Gary Mulholland – Purchased in the same cheapie bin as the Blythe book. British response to Marsh’s singles collection by a guy who’s 20 years younger and who really likes Madness and the Jam.
- Starlust: The Secret Fantasies of Fans, Fred and Judy Vermorel – This collection of fan talk has a reputation among more sociologically-minded critics. Everytime I’ve flipped through it, I can’t imagine the thought of reading the entire thing–it strikes me as an interesting article stretched into a book. Perhaps I’m missing some particular subtlety.
- The 20th Century’s Greatest Hits, Paul Williams – Another list book, this one from the founder of Crawdaddy! (Exclamation is part of that mag’s title and does not necessarily reflect my interest in this!)
- Will Pop Eat Itself, Jeremy J. Beadle – Actually, I read this years ago, liked it enough to write the author a letter, and now can barely remember a single detail. I think I’ll need to be in the mood for some KLF and Colourbox before I delve in.
- Vital Signs, Ian Penman – Highly regarded UK music critic, but I don’t think music dominates this collection. Introduction by Julie Burchill.
- Getting It On: The Clothing of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Mablen Jones – I’ve always just assumed this is either a pile of dog-doo or a secret hidden treasure; it’s certainly an open field of study. A little hard to see past the opening notes on the inner cover: “You can love rock ‘n’ roll. You can hate rock ‘n’ roll. But you cannot escape rock ‘n’ roll.”
- England’s Mine, Michael Bracewell – It looks really pretentious, which I suspect is maybe what’s good about it.