Thursday, April 23, 2020

Paperback writers

For some people, lockdown is not about posing in front of your bookshelves - it's also an opportunity to actually tuck into a few unread tomes, or even to invest in more.

There have been several threads recommending good music-themed reads initiated by the likes of the Quietus, 1p Album Club and the Welsh Music Podcast, while all-round good egg Tim Burgess - not content with bringing people together through his Twitter Listening Parties - has invited a clutch of writers including Dave Haslam, Ian Rankin and Pete Paphides to suggest some of their favourites.

Two of them are books that have been read but are awaiting review round these parts: Viv Albertine's Clothes Music Boys and Stuart Cosgrove's Detroit 67: The Year That Changed Soul (I'm also intending to pull together a few thoughts on Mark E Smith's Renegade at some point). In an attempt to provide a public service, below are links to reviews of the music books that I have actually written about:

Carrie Brownstein - Hunger Makes Me A Modern Girl

Deborah Curtis - Touching From A Distance

Bob Dylan - Chronicles: Volume One

Luke Haines - Bad Vibes: Britpop And My Part In Its Downfall

John Harris - The Last Party

Nick Kent - The Dark Stuff

Andrew Mueller - Rock And Hard Places

Simon Reynolds - Rip It Up And Start Again

Jon Savage - England's Dreaming: Sex Pistols And Punk Rock

Four others off the top of my head that I've read and would endorse but haven't actually reviewed include Tony Wilson's 24 Hour Party People, David Browne's Goodbye 20th Century: Sonic Youth And The Rise Of The Alternative Nation, Mark E Everett's Things The Grandchildren Should Know and especially Michael Azerrad's Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes From The American Indie Underground 1981-1991 - now available as an audiobook featuring Jeff Tweedy, Sharon Van Etten, Jonathan Franzen and Slipknot's Corey Taylor as guest readers.

Unfortunately, I'm bogged down attempting to juggle full-time work and childcare/home schooling so won't be making much headway with my to-be-read pile, which contains a number of other music-related titles: Richard King's How Soon Is Now?, A Hidden Landscape Once A Week (edited by Mark Sinker), Alan McGee's Creation Stories, Bob Stanley's Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Story Of Modern Pop, infamous Motley Crue biography The Dirt, Steve Turner's The Man Called Cash, John Lydon's autobiography Anger Is An Energy and Alex Ross' doorstopper The Rest Is Noise. Feel free to suggest where I should start - though I suspect I'd need to muster up some strength to tackle the latter.

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