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Hook – Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division

18 Apr

Unknown Pleasures Inside Joy Division

Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division by Peter Hook (2013)

This is a book that I was so excited about that I pre-ordered it twice (a drunken oversight as the book’s publication was backed out a few months).  Not only was there a new back-story to one of my all-time favorite bands, it was told by the band’s bassist.   Continue reading

Menconi – Ryan Adams: Losering, A Story of Whiskeytown

24 Nov

Ryan Adams: Losering, A Story of Whiskeytown by David Menconi (2012)

Originally published on Pop ‘stache

At first glance, the cover of Losering implies that it’s a Whiskeytown memoir written by none other than Ryan Adams. Upon closer inspection though, David Menconi’s name is detectable in the form of a beer label.  This might disappoint some expecting Adams’ histrionic musings in print, but Continue reading

Licht – Will Oldham on Bonnie “Prince” Billy

1 Nov

Will Oldham on Bonnie “Prince” Billy Edited by Alan Licht (2012)

Originally published on Pop ‘stache

Alan Licht, interviewer/editor of Will Oldham on Bonnie “Prince” Billy, does the once-thought impossible and Continue reading

Reid – Year Zero

21 Sep

Year Zero by Rob Reid (2012)

Originally published on Pop’stache

The premise behind Rob Reid’s first novel, Year Zero, is a music-centric universe that has been bankrupted by Earth’s copyright laws due to boundless piracy.  Earth is subsequently targeted by certain biased alien races who believe that encouraging our self-annihilation might be the only way of saving Continue reading

Baumgarten – Love Rock Revolution: K Records and the Rise of Independent Music

16 Aug

Love Rock Revolution: K Records and the Rise of Independent Music by Mark Baumgarten (2012)

Some Velvet Sidewalk’s Al Larsen coined the term “love rock” in his music manifesto: “When Sonic Youth do ‘Kool Thing’ they are love rock.  Or when Beat Happening trade roles, singer to guitarist to drummer.  When Nation of Ulysses makes an absolute sincere mess or when the Melvins Continue reading

Jovanovic – Seeing the Light: Inside the Velvet Underground

17 Jul

Seeing the Light: Inside the Velvet Underground by Rob Jovanovic (2010)

Republished on Pop ‘stache after some tidying up…

Lou Reed: “We put a ship in the water, it turned out to be a turbo-powered sub and it took a while for it to land wherever it landed.  Time was the real judge.  The proof was in the work, and the work is on the record.”

SHH: “Rob Jovanovic put out a book on The Velvets, it turned out to be a slow-chugging sub and although it infrequently put its periscope up for an interesting anecdote, it never lands.  The proof is in the shlock, and the shlock is in the book.”

*     *     *

Rob Jovanovic has penned very competent and comprehensive books on artists including R.E.M., Pavement and Big Star.  His latest book on music is Seeing the Light Continue reading

Reynolds – Totally Wired: Post-Punk Interviews and Overviews

18 Jun

Totally Wired: Post-Punk Interviews and Overviews by Simon Reynolds (2010)

Simon Reynolds is one of the most critically acclaimed music journalists of the past decade and has found himself the authority on both 90’s electronic dance music and the post-punk movement of the late 70’s and early 80’s.  If his 2006 release Rip It Up and Start Again: Post-Punk 1978-1984 is Continue reading

Azerrad – Our Band Could Be Your Life

17 May

Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground 1981-1991 by Michael Azerrad

Our Band Could Be Your Life is probably the most compelling book on music that I’ve read since Simon Reynolds’ Rip it Up and Start Again.  Published in 2001, Michael Azerrad was the first to sing the praises of an era of music largely overlooked: the American independent scene from 1981-1991.  Our Band Could Be Your Life documents thirteen bands in particular: Black Flag, The Minutemen, Mission of Burma, Minor Threat, Hüsker Dü, The Replacements, Sonic Youth, Continue reading

Clarke – Exley

19 Apr

Exley by Brock Clarke (2010)

“Sometimes you have to tell the truth about some of the stuff that you’ve done so that people will believe you when you tell them the truth about other stuff you haven’t done.”

I read Frederick Exley’s A Fan’s Notes my freshman semester of college at the recommendation of a friendly book dealer.  I loved it.  After reading Clarke’s “Note From the Author” at the end of Exley, there’s really no wonder.  Similar to Clarke (to a lesser, younger extent) who was similar to Exley (to a lesser, younger extent), I was living at home Continue reading

Wallace – Consider the Lobster And Other Essays

7 Apr

Consider the Lobster And Other Essays by David Foster Wallace (2005)

David Foster Wallace, most famous for his gargantuan novel Infinite Jest (as the cover of this book of essays will tell you), is an author that has been recommended to me countless times.  Infinite Jest, widely regarded as one of the best pieces of fiction in the past two decades, is over 1,000 pages in length (reportedly 200 of which are footnotes).  Because of its sheer size, Jest also joins my list, like Joyce’s Ulysses and Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, of “things that I really should get around to reading the next time that I have a three-week vacation.”  For this reason and Continue reading