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Posted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 8:21 pm
by miss carol
Lep wrote:umm, Miss C, maybe we should explain to Wendy what the joke is. No offense, Wendy, thanks for chiming in.


I thought that for a minute when I looked at the catalogue (and thought what the hell), but because of work, I recalled the local writer.

Posted: Fri Jan 26, 2007 6:50 pm
by hebrew hammer
If I my shill for a website that I like very much, Turntable Lab has a few of the 33 1/3 books, in addtion to an excellent selction of equipment and music.

Posted: Fri Jan 26, 2007 10:17 pm
by MF
Given Carl's posts on the other 50 blog it's a damn fine thing that he's limited to about 100 to 150 pages on Celine. His blog makes pitchfork look plebian.

As for the 33 1/3 series, I've only read Colin Meloy's book on Let it Be. It was a decent read, but not enough to make me want to delve further into the series. Perhaps I'll give the series it another go, Miss Carol any strong picks?

Posted: Fri Jan 26, 2007 11:57 pm
by miss carol
MF wrote:Given Carl's posts on the other 50 blog it's a damn fine thing that he's limited to about 100 to 150 pages on Celine. His blog makes pitchfork look plebian.

As for the 33 1/3 series, I've only read Colin Meloy's book on Let it Be. It was a decent read, but not enough to make me want to delve further into the series. Perhaps I'll give the series it another go, Miss Carol any strong picks?


Only on my third book: Chris Ott on Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures

Posted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 9:51 am
by jonas
Ah, the giddy days when the publicist for 33 1/3 actually dropped into the secret world of the Glono message board to talk about Celine Dion. It had a certain kind of magic.

So did anyone read further into the series and find anything they like? I'm in the mood to read a short book about an album.



I guess mojo didn't stick around for long. Maybe he really was hawking penis pills.

Posted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 11:38 am
by Jake
jonas wrote:So did anyone read further into the series and find anything they like? I'm in the mood to read a short book about an album.

Nice bump! Here are the ones I have, ranked from best to worst:

1. Radio City - This was totally awesome. Even Chilton paticipated in the interviews. Talks to everybody. Very cool, very personal, and very informative. This is the standard bearer as far as I'm concerned.

2. Paul's Boutique - This one was awesome. Lots of details from the Dust Brothers and even the elusive Matt Dike. Totally fun to read.

3. In the Aeroplane over the Sea - Very well researched with interviews of all the major players minus Mangum. Doesn't delve into Mangum's personal life at all, but lots of great info about the scene, the recording, etc.

4. Swordfishtrombones - This was really good. Tries to put this mindblowing album into context...of its time as well as Waits' life.

5. Master of Reality - Fiction by John Darnielle from the point of view of a kid in a loony bin keeping a journal. The premise is that music is very, very important to kids. Not condescending like you might expect.

6. If You're Feeling Sinister - An interesting look into the idea of fandom in the pre-internet era written by one of the main Pitchfork guys. Worth reading.

7. XO - This guy explores Elliott Smith's craftsmanship by comparing how the songs evolved based on early live versions and demos. Tries very hard (and fails) to imply that the songs are not autobiographical. Interesting though.

8. Exile on Main Street - Not worth reading. No interviews, not a lot of info, just one dude's not particularly insightful opinions on how awesome it is. Boring and, frankly, pointless.

--

Meat Is Murder - Fiction by Joe Pernice. Haven't read this one yet.

Posted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 2:39 pm
by jonas
Thanks for writing those up Jake! I'm going to order swordfishtrombones immediately...always did love that album.

Posted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 1:43 am
by Guest
I read the <i>OK Computer</i> version. Wasn't impressed. Didn't buy any others. It seemed kind of short on actual content and long on bullshit.

Posted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 2:44 am
by LionIndex
I made a blitz through a whole bunch of the 33 1/3 books earlier this year. Reviews in no particular order of quality:

11: Velvet Underground & Nico: Doesn't stand out in my memory, so it's neither really good or bad. Given the "production quality" of the album, the book did open my eyes to a lot of lyrical content that had flown right over my head while listening.

12: Let it Be (Beatles): Seemingly written for autistic savants, is more of a catalog of who played on what equipment on what song in what studio and how the mixing/engineering happened than anything about the band or the music. Boring as fuck.

16: Let it Be (Replacements): Colin Meloy (mastermind behind the Decemberists, for those who don't know) gazes incredibly deeply into his navel for 100 pages.

17: Led Zeppelin Runes/Zoso/IV/Untitled/etc.: One of the biggest 33 1/3 books I've see, and petty much well researchd, although its scope ends up taking in much more than just the one album, delving into the whole "satanism" of the band and everything. A little fanboyish.

18: Exile on Main Street: Unlike Jake, I kind of enjoyed this one, although I generally agree with Jake's comments. Maybe it depends on how much you know about the recording of the album already.

22: Murmur: Another one I don't really have an opinion about. Generally fits the mold of describing the music scene at the time of recording, some biographical info, and then an album review/analysis.

29: In the Aeroplane Over the Sea: The first one I read, which kind of set the bar for all others that followed. I really enjoyed it. I didn't really expect there to be interviews with Mangum himself, and he's a mystery I'd like to remain unsolved anyway, so that didn't bother me.

33: The Stone Roses: Standard format. I'm not the biggest fan of this album, so I wasn't really involved in the book either.

41: Use Your Illusion: Interesting take in that unlike the other books in the series (mostly), it's not a logn-form review of the album. Instead it's an analysis of what the hell went wrong with Guns & Roses, and why is Axl so F'ed up? Pretty interesting if you enjoy getting your schadenfreude on. I only bought it because Eric Weisbard wrote it.

69: 69 Love Songs: This one is awesome. First there's a dictionary of most of the words and subject matter mentioned throughout the album, explaining the significance of certain things like Reno Dakota or whatever, then the whole track review section is more like a dvd commentary with the whole band.

I own but have yet to read: Loveless, Daydream Nation, Rid of Me, If You're feeling Sinister, and Pink Flag. There's a couple others I've seen that have come out that I want to get as well.

Posted: Sat Sep 18, 2010 12:35 am
by jonas
Thanks both you guys for writing those up. I liked Aeroplane as you both did, and like Lion was bored with Meloy, so these recommendations probably work well for me.

Jake wrote:4. Swordfishtrombones - This was really good. Tries to put this mindblowing album into context...of its time as well as Waits' life.


I just finished this and really enjoyed how much it clarified the album for me (at least more clear than it was), and it got me thinking through the rest of Waits' catalog as well. It has sharp, intelligent writing, and there were only a few unnecessary digressions.