Da Capo Best Music Writing

Overview

Da Capo Best Music Writing has become one of the most eagerly awaited annuals of them all. Celebrating the year in music writing by gathering a rich array of essays, missives, and musings on every style of music from rock to hip-hop to R&B to jazz to pop to blues and more, it is essential reading for anyone who loves great music and accomplished writing. Scribes of every imaginable sort-novelists, poets, journalists, musicians-are gathered to create a multi-voiced snapshot of the year in music writing that, ...

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Da Capo Best Music Writing 2005: The Year's Finest Writing on Rock, Hip-Hop, Jazz, Pop, Country, & More

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Overview

Da Capo Best Music Writing has become one of the most eagerly awaited annuals of them all. Celebrating the year in music writing by gathering a rich array of essays, missives, and musings on every style of music from rock to hip-hop to R&B to jazz to pop to blues and more, it is essential reading for anyone who loves great music and accomplished writing. Scribes of every imaginable sort-novelists, poets, journalists, musicians-are gathered to create a multi-voiced snapshot of the year in music writing that, like the music it illuminates, is every bit as thrilling as it is riveting.Past writers have included:Elizabeth MEndez Berry
• Ta-Nehisi Coates
• Michael Corcoran
• Robbie Fulks
• Michaelangelo Matos
• Alex Ross
• Roni Sarig
• Joel Selvin
• Tour8E
• Lynn Hirschberg
• Chuck Klosterman
• Elizabeth Gilbert
• Jay McInerney
• Elvis Costello
• Susan Orlean
• Jonathan Lethem
• David Rakoff
• Mike Doughty
• Lorraine Ali
• Greil Marcus
• Richard Meltzer
• Robert Gordon
• Sarah Vowell
• Nick Tosches
• Anthony DeCurtis
• William Gay
• Whitney Balliett
• Lester Bangs
• Rosanne Cash
• Eddie Dean
• Selwyn Seyfu Hinds
• Kate Sullivan
• Alec Wilkinson
• David Hadju
• Lenny Kaye
• The Onion
• Mark Jacobson
• Gary Giddins
• John Leland
• Luc Sante
• Monica Kendrick
• Kalefa Sanneh

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Editorial Reviews

Read Magazine
"The pieces in this collection are...written well."
KLIATT
I suspected that my own sensibilities and those of this year's guest editor, JT LeRoy, were not a perfect match when the first two sentences of his introduction included three pop music references that were totally obscure to me. My suspicion was confirmed when the editor went on to suggest that the death of Kurt Cobain represented the loss of hope to his entire generation. Clearly, Mr. LeRoy and I are of different generations. Yet, despite this yawning disparity in worldviews, I'm pleased to report that this edition of DaCapo's annual anthology is, as usual, a delight to read. I've reviewed several editions of this superb series over the years, and I continue to be amazed by the consistent quality of the highly diverse writings selected by each year's guest editor. Needless to say, not every essay will appeal to every reader, but I think it's safe to say that anyone with even a passing interest in popular music will find something to enjoy in these pages. Drawn from such varied publications as Interview, Spin, The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, The New York Times, and even the Onion, the style and content of these selections range from whimsical to scholarly to frothy to profound. If the editorial slant tilts a bit too much toward punk and hip-hop sensibilities for my personal taste, the book nonetheless offers a revealing interview with Ray Charles, insightful essays on the songwriting of Bob Dylan and Buddy Holly, and Robert Christgau's lengthy analysis of funk's evolution from the seminal New Orleans jazz of Buddy Bolden, among many other pleasures. With such distinguished and idiosyncratic writers as Greil Marcus and Dave Eggers aboard, the literary quality of these diversewritings could not help but be outstanding. If I were the editor, the collection would include much more on jazz, blues, and classical music, but I'm not, it doesn't, and I highly recommend it just the same. Hey, there's always next year. KLIATT Codes: JSA--Recommended for junior and senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2005, Da Capo, 202p., Ages 12 to adult.
—Jeffrey Cooper
Library Journal
For this fifth entry in the "Da Capo Best Music Writing" series, guest editor Le-Roy-an acclaimed novelist (Sarah) who also happens to be in a band-chose 19 articles from last year's crop of thousands. He generally stays with the mainstream press, favoring pieces that appeared in such publications as SPIN, The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, the New York Times, and the Washington Post. Included are an interview with social critic Camille Paglia, a bibliographic essay about the racial implications of minstrelsy, an argument for the importance of Buddy Holly, and a tribute to the recently deceased seminal British DJ, John Peel. Though two articles about the self-conscious nature of song and the perils of rock snobbery seem overblown and self-absorbed, Robert Hilburn's revealing interview with Bob Dylan and David Ritz's ode to the last days of Ray Charles add substance to the book. David Segal's piece about the fixation of a Londoner on shortwave radio stations, which recite numbers as part of espionage operations, certainly stands as the most original of the selections. Overall, editor LeRoy has assembled a varied and interesting set of articles, which will appeal to both general readers and music fans.-Dave Szatmary, Univ. of Washington, Seattle Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780306814464
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press
  • Publication date: 9/6/2005
  • Series: Da Capo Best Music Writing Series
  • Edition description: REV
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 0.51 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 8.50 (d)

Meet the Author

JT LeRoy is the acclaimed author of the international bestseller Sarah and The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things (film version directed by and starring Asia Argento). He is the lyricist for the band Thistle LLC and lives in San Francisco.

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Table of Contents

Introduction : better than anything I could say
From the editor's desk : a conversation between Ingrid Sischy and Camille Paglia 1
1979 calling 9
In search of Jim Crow : why postmodern minstrelsy studies matter 17
And now, a less informed opinion 41
1979 : the year punk died, and was reborn 47
Rock's enigmatic poet opens a long-private door 51
Punk is dead! : long live punk! 65
Revolution blues 73
The lost boy 81
The ghost of Saint Kurt 93
Heartbreaking country ballad paralyzes trucking industry 105
Edelweiss 109
The last days of brother Ray 113
The rap against rockism 129
I thought I heard Buddy Bolden say 135
The shortwave and the calling 147
Police secretly watching hip-hop artists 159
Heavy meta 165
There is a light that never goes out 181
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