33 1/3 Series of books

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Z: I did read it and it is good. A Poe short story, too: you can down it in one sitting.

I should really put together a proposal for "Return to the 36 Chambers".

Forksclovetofu (Forksclovetofu), Sunday, 10 April 2005 16:49 (10 years ago) Permalink

Did anyone hear anything about the Loveless book?

Orange, Sunday, 10 April 2005 16:56 (10 years ago) Permalink

3 months pass...
Don't know about the Loveless book, but all of these, if you were hoping, ain't happening:

Songs in the Key of Life, by Dave Hesmondhalgh
Parallel Lines, by Elisabeth Vincentelli
Three Feet High and Rising, by Brian Coleman
Tusk, by Stephin Merritt
Computer Love, by Michael Bracewell
Marquee Moon, by David Keenan
Master of Puppets, by Tom Bissell
The Basement Tapes, by Damon Krukowski

The editor/creator of the series, David Barker runs a blog about the series. Email him directly if you like:


I finally read one of these. I think I picked a great place to start, Douglas Wolk's Live at the Apollo. It was really really good.

Matt Sab (Matt Sab), Wednesday, 27 July 2005 15:19 (10 years ago) Permalink

Greatly enjoyed Meat Is Murder, the Joy Division one was more of a factual view but still very interesting, the Dusty one didn't work for me.

zaxxon25 (zaxxon25), Wednesday, 27 July 2005 15:29 (10 years ago) Permalink

God, I cannot wait for the In the Aeroplane over the Sea book. The excerpt and things I've read by the author seem like she really gets it spot on.

PB, Wednesday, 27 July 2005 15:32 (10 years ago) Permalink

why aren't those ones happening?

s1ocki (slutsky), Wednesday, 27 July 2005 15:34 (10 years ago) Permalink

i just bought the James Brown too. not started it yet.

also got the ABBA one, which i devoured in a day. twas OK, wish Ms Vincentelli had spent fewer sentences justifying (or having to justify) the book's very existence. also i'm not sure she cracked the problem of how to order the narrative, though I accept it's a toughie.

zebedee (zebedee), Wednesday, 27 July 2005 15:35 (10 years ago) Permalink

according to the blog:

These are a few of the projects that - for various and sometimes complicated reasons - never made it to fruition. Some came very close to happening, others less so; but they all would have been fun.

Matt Sab (Matt Sab), Wednesday, 27 July 2005 16:03 (10 years ago) Permalink

Don't know about the Loveless book, but all of these, if you were hoping, ain't happening:

Songs in the Key of Life, by Dave Hesmondhalgh

Why not?

Eric H. (Eric H.), Wednesday, 27 July 2005 16:48 (10 years ago) Permalink

For those ...

Matos' Sign O'The Times book's prince has been slashed (on Amazon at least) to $4.


Matt Sab (Matt Sab), Monday, 1 August 2005 19:47 (10 years ago) Permalink

5 months pass...
I'm sorry to tell you that we've chosen not to sign up your proposal for the 33 1/3 series.

This has been a difficult process: we received dozens of very strong proposals from dozens of very good writers and it's a shame to have to turn down so many of you.

If you're interested, the 33 1/3 books we eventually decided to sign up are:

"If You're Feeling Sinister" by Scott Plagenhoef

"Aja" by Don Breithaupt

"Shoot Out the Lights" by Hayden Childs

"Pretty Hate Machine" by Daphne Carr

"Use Your Illusion" by Eric Weisbard

"Horses" by Phil Shaw

"Double Nickels on the Dime" by Mike Fournier

"Pink Moon" by Amanda Petrusich

"People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm" by Shawn Taylor

"Achtung Baby" by Stephen Catanzarite

"20 Jazz Funk Greats" by Drew Daniel

"The Dreaming" by Ann Powers

"Rid of Me" by Kate Schatz

"Another Green World" by Geeta Dayal

"Songs in the Key of Life" by Zeth Lundy

"Trout Mask Replica" by Kevin Courrier

"Let's Talk About Love" by Carl Wilson

"Lucinda Williams" by Anders Smith Lindall

"69 Love Songs" by LD Beghtol

“Marquee Moon” by Peter Blauner

“Swordfishtrombones” by David Smay

that's so taylrr (ken taylrr), Thursday, 26 January 2006 18:36 (9 years ago) Permalink

Congrats to Drew and Geeta! (Are there other ILMers on this list I don't know?)

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Thursday, 26 January 2006 20:38 (9 years ago) Permalink

ann powers is actually esteban buttez

cancer prone fat guy (dubplatestyle), Thursday, 26 January 2006 20:41 (9 years ago) Permalink

Scott P. has been around since the Greenspun days.

Mark (MarkR), Thursday, 26 January 2006 20:47 (9 years ago) Permalink

i wish you could get these easily in book stores (AND NOT JUST IN THE AEROPLANE MURMUR THE SEA LIKE ROUND HERE).

j blount (papa la bas), Thursday, 26 January 2006 21:41 (9 years ago) Permalink

hey everybody read the frank bruno one and then try to make yrs like him cuz it is AWESOME

j blount (papa la bas), Thursday, 26 January 2006 21:42 (9 years ago) Permalink

i have only read 2

cancer prone fat guy (dubplatestyle), Thursday, 26 January 2006 21:42 (9 years ago) Permalink

the franklin bruno one is not only awesome, it is superhuman. one of my fave pieces of rock criticism ever.

fact checking cuz (fcc), Thursday, 26 January 2006 22:24 (9 years ago) Permalink

yeah same here

j blount (papa la bas), Thursday, 26 January 2006 22:26 (9 years ago) Permalink

I loved that review he wrote of that indie-boy novel, so I guess I gotta get this book.

Redd Harvest (Ken L), Thursday, 26 January 2006 22:30 (9 years ago) Permalink


cancer prone fat guy (dubplatestyle), Thursday, 26 January 2006 22:31 (9 years ago) Permalink

4 months pass...
DeRo disses Matos for doing (very well IMHO) what he himself does in like every review ever (poorly IEHO): http://www.suntimes.com/output/derogatis/sho-sunday-dero04.html

Haikunym (Haikunym), Friday, 9 June 2006 17:57 (9 years ago) Permalink

jaymc (jaymc), Friday, 9 June 2006 18:06 (9 years ago) Permalink

Jim Milonakis?

Huk-L (Huk-L), Friday, 9 June 2006 18:48 (9 years ago) Permalink

I found that one entertaining and was actually less satisfied with Michaelangelo Matos' self-indulgent look at Prince's "Sign o' the Times," which spent entirely too much time dwelling on how the author discovered the disc as a teenager in the Minneapolis suburbs.

So then I guess he didn't read the 100-odd pages in which Matos discussed Prince.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Friday, 9 June 2006 20:48 (9 years ago) Permalink

Shh, you're giving it away!

Ned Raggett (Ned), Friday, 9 June 2006 20:53 (9 years ago) Permalink

"...he not only gives us the perfect adjective for Sly's dense epic ("swampy," indeed) but the nugget that this was a pioneering use of the beat box. (Who knew? I didn't.)"


Shakey Mo Collier (Shakey Mo Collier), Friday, 9 June 2006 20:55 (9 years ago) Permalink

I just finished the one on PAUL'S BOUTIQUE. It's only the third I've read thus far, but it's the one I've enjoyed the most.

Terrible Cold (Terrible Cold), Friday, 9 June 2006 20:55 (9 years ago) Permalink

The one supposedly on the Replacements was AWFUL!

Jeff LeVine (Jeff LeVine), Friday, 9 June 2006 21:09 (9 years ago) Permalink

I just finished the one on PAUL'S BOUTIQUE. It's only the third I've read thus far, but it's the one I've enjoyed the most.

Yeah, it's all info, no prose. A lot of the 33 1/3 books seem to forget how much people like that.

Whiney G. Weingarten (whineyg), Friday, 9 June 2006 22:05 (9 years ago) Permalink

personally speaking, i'd read a book that wasn't taking on yet another album from the canon. c'mon, guys! dig deeper!

gear (gear), Friday, 9 June 2006 22:32 (9 years ago) Permalink

Christ, that quotation. Shakey OTM.

David Bachyrycz (David Bachyrycz), Friday, 9 June 2006 22:37 (9 years ago) Permalink

c'mon, guys! dig deeper!

Someone should do Tom T. Hall's greatest hits.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Friday, 9 June 2006 22:56 (9 years ago) Permalink

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Friday, 9 June 2006 22:58 (9 years ago) Permalink

(That was a "dig deeper" joke in case it wasn't clear. LOL @ self.)

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Friday, 9 June 2006 22:59 (9 years ago) Permalink

I just fell asleep.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Friday, 9 June 2006 23:00 (9 years ago) Permalink

i've got an idea, fellas, let's create a book series in which we reinforce the canon some more.

seriously though, i realize the books have to sell, hence the more mainstream angle. i'm sure there are a ton of albums the writers would love to write about that aren't commercially viable for the publisher.

gear (gear), Friday, 9 June 2006 23:11 (9 years ago) Permalink

Ned Raggett (Ned), Friday, 9 June 2006 23:26 (9 years ago) Permalink

ned you should pitch that one!

actually do you think they would let somebody self-33 1/3? if it was some famous musician?

s1ocki (slutsky), Friday, 9 June 2006 23:33 (9 years ago) Permalink

"Morrissey on...Morrissey."

Ned Raggett (Ned), Friday, 9 June 2006 23:38 (9 years ago) Permalink

Morrissey did write a book actually! (didnt he?)

¨ˆ¨ˆ¨ˆ¨ˆ¨ˆ¨ˆ (chaki), Friday, 9 June 2006 23:41 (9 years ago) Permalink

yeah, i think it was about the new york dolls or something

J.D. (Justyn Dillingham), Friday, 9 June 2006 23:55 (9 years ago) Permalink

He founded the series in spirit!

Ned Raggett (Ned), Friday, 9 June 2006 23:56 (9 years ago) Permalink

i thought it was on James Dean, re: Moz's book

that's so taylrr (ken taylrr), Saturday, 10 June 2006 02:04 (9 years ago) Permalink

"Morrissey on...Morrissey."

Morrissey is not attracted to Morrissey.

jinx hijinks (sanskrit), Saturday, 10 June 2006 02:15 (9 years ago) Permalink

i'm sure there are a ton of albums the writers would love to write about that aren't commercially viable for the publisher.

Carl Wilson is writing one about Celine Dion's "Let's Talk About Love".

NoTimeBeforeTime (Barry Bruner), Saturday, 10 June 2006 02:59 (9 years ago) Permalink

You are all OTM regarding the Franklin Bruno Armed Forces book, but has anyone read Daphne A. Brooks' take on Grace? I found it largely disappointing for a number of reasons. For someone who's obviously deeply in love with the material and who has deeper access to the Buckley archives than most, she made some really frustrating, bizarre factual errors. Maybe I'm being overly-pedantic, but simple mistakes like misquoting lyrics kept me from enjoying and engaging in the book as much as I could have-- like I couldn't trust her after a certain point. Clearly, I'm an asshole, but did anyone else have problems with this?

Jeff Reguil0n (Talent Explosion), Saturday, 10 June 2006 03:14 (9 years ago) Permalink

The Aeroplane book was excellent. The Pet Sounds book was not.

Steve Schneeberg (Steve Goldberg), Saturday, 10 June 2006 11:52 (9 years ago) Permalink

Somebody pitched to do Killed by Death Vol. 2 for the last round of books. I would have loved to have read that!

Raw Patrick (Raw Patrick), Saturday, 10 June 2006 15:25 (9 years ago) Permalink

And that Kick Out the Jams book that DeRo praises was the worst I've read in the series--no original info or thinking whatsoever, and blandly told.

Raw Patrick (Raw Patrick), Saturday, 10 June 2006 15:30 (9 years ago) Permalink

cool idea, but some stuff is better off not being interpreted

cod latin (dog latin), Thursday, 2 July 2015 13:10 (2 months ago) Permalink

I have not read the SAWII one yet but the author is an excellent writer and thinker IME

demonic mnevice (Jon Lewis), Thursday, 2 July 2015 14:20 (2 months ago) Permalink

i just got a copy of Look! Listen! Vibrate! Smile! you ever see that thing? that thing is a whole lotta Smile action. put out by Last Gasp in the 90's.

scott seward, Thursday, 2 July 2015 15:46 (2 months ago) Permalink

it's really good. don't really see the point in a 33/3 book about Smile when so much has already been written about it in such vast detail.

cod latin (dog latin), Thursday, 2 July 2015 15:49 (2 months ago) Permalink

The SAWII one is the only one I've felt like tossing out a window.

Acid Hose (Capitaine Jay Vee), Thursday, 2 July 2015 16:17 (2 months ago) Permalink

I know I'll know it, but I'm drawing a blank on what SAWII stands for.

clemenza, Thursday, 2 July 2015 16:20 (2 months ago) Permalink

lil urbane (Jordan), Thursday, 2 July 2015 16:23 (2 months ago) Permalink

took me two googles, just add 33 third to the search

Joan Crawford Loves Chachi, Thursday, 2 July 2015 16:25 (2 months ago) Permalink

selected ambient works 2

like a giraffe of nah (forksclovetofu), Thursday, 2 July 2015 16:25 (2 months ago) Permalink

i bought The Gray Album book, read maybe 40 pages. then put it aside. then accidentally ruined it while mopping and thus threw it away. no great loss.

RAP GAME SHANI DAVIS (Raymond Cummings), Thursday, 2 July 2015 22:20 (2 months ago) Permalink

about to finish Matthew LeMay's book on XO by Elliott Smith, I really enjoyed it. John D.'s Master of Reality novella was fantastic.

flappy bird, Saturday, 4 July 2015 20:24 (2 months ago) Permalink

gonna order this surefire classic, will report back


dutch_justice, Saturday, 4 July 2015 20:45 (2 months ago) Permalink

i just finished the Tusk one and it sucks so bad i want to throw it away

― Cory Sklar, Wednesday, July 1, 2015 9:14 PM (2 hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink


― just sayin, Wednesday, July 1, 2015 5:48 PM (3 days ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

OTM X2 except I think that's the only one I started and didn't even finish.

Turn That Pout Inside Out! (Old Lunch), Sunday, 5 July 2015 04:44 (1 month ago) Permalink

3 weeks pass...

I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm going to be pretty pissed off if the Shlomo Carlebach proposal doesn't get green lighted...

dlp9001, Thursday, 30 July 2015 23:32 (1 month ago) Permalink

3 weeks pass...

Out Sept. 24, 2015:
Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew by George Grella
Beat Happening’s Beat Happening by Bryan C. Parker

Out Oct. 22, 2015:
Metallica’s Metallica (The Black Album) by David Masciotra
Phish’s A Live One by Walter Holland

curmudgeon, Friday, 21 August 2015 20:05 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

This book, structured in abecedarian fashion, breaks down the fundamental components that defined Beat Happening’s self- titled album. Organized in a light-hearted yet incisive format, each of the book’s chapters details a particular facet of the record—band members, historic shows, recording sessions, songs, and ideologies—parts reflecting the album as a whole. These alphabetic ingredients constitute a recipe book for feeding your creative spirit

curmudgeon, Friday, 21 August 2015 20:05 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

pretty bummed that it's the black album that got the nod but hopefully the book covers the Cliff years too

tremendous crime wave and killing wave (Joan Crawford Loves Chachi), Saturday, 22 August 2015 00:00 (1 week ago) Permalink

just an update to say that thanks to recommendations here i got franklin bruno's volume on 'armed forces.' it's by far the best one of these i've read and i came away thinking i had learned something and that bruno is very sensitive to the right things: nuances of arrangement and lyric, interaction of elvis costello's public profile and his music, etc. that said, the organization of the book--pretty much an "alphabetical," but really more or less random, assemblage of mini-essays--was a bit of a cop-out. i thought t hat bruno had a few threads in there that would have made really excellent, linear arguments that would have been much better served by a traditional structure that provided some context, walked through the album's production and discussed the songs one by one, then talked about relevant subsequent developments, then some kind of summary. maybe that's a little square of me, but it seemed like bruno had so many great observations but failed to develop a structure that wouldl show them off to best advantage.

― wizzz! (amateurist), Wednesday, July 1, 2015 7:01 PM (1 month ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

mm i mean i think it's meant to be mirroring the object of enquiry? in that (as bruno states repeatedly iirc) costello doesn't really have a 'thesis' or an 'argument' , just a whole bunch of stuff going on. i think that book is p great tbh

♛ LIL UNIT ♛ (thomp), Saturday, 22 August 2015 00:08 (1 week ago) Permalink

this pitchfork article though:

At the time of its release in 2005, this title was the only book-length examination of Neutral Milk Hotel

♛ LIL UNIT ♛ (thomp), Saturday, 22 August 2015 00:10 (1 week ago) Permalink

I've really enjoyed several of these books, but as the catalog gets deeper I'm having a harder time distinguishing this series from a tall pile of MOJO.

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 22 August 2015 13:21 (1 week ago) Permalink

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