this is part 7 of the super-awesome book list.
the super-awesome book list is a series of posts that started about a year-and-half ago on this blog. it started because of a love of music. and a love of books. and a genuine interest in the thoughts inside other people's heads.
also, the concept was to make fun of the rest of the world who thinks every list they come up with is interesting. not as interesting as the SUPER-AWESOME book list, mothertruckers!!
so anyway, a few genius people came up with some very cool music-related book lists and shared their unique perspectives ... the list sort of took a teensy break, but it will truly never die.previously:
the super-awesome book listpart 1: my u2 reading listpart 2: best rock bios (says jukebox graduate)part 3: music-related books that heather likespart 4: dr. bob k's list focuses on the beatlespart 5: extrawack! book pickspart 6: ekko's favorite music books
a few weeks ago, a friend of mine who is in a brooklyn-based band called heroes of popular wars [myspace]
, came up with a super-awesome list, too. his name is the blue eyed devil. this is his list:
When Cara asked me to discuss my favorite music books, I immediately thought "I love reading and I love rock, this will be easy." It wasn't. But I squeezed my mind grapes and thought of four books I loved. They may not be great books, but they left indelible marks on me, so here it goes:The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions by Mark Lewisohn
This is a diary form, complete day-to-day listing of every day the Beatles were in the studio, what they did and what equipment they used. I was so obsessed with the Beatles that in 3rd grade I was sent to a therapist because I wouldn't talk about anything but the Beatles and this book is for the clinically obsessed. At age 8, I felt that knowing every combination of mics, techniques and chemistry would allow me to emulate the making of one of the later Beatles masterpieces. That feeling was incorrect. However, the order of thoroughness of the entries in that book certainly pleases a weird side of myself. Plus, who wouldn't be interested in knowing which tunes John told Ringo to just stay at home while Paul filled in or which songs contain a Mellotron and which have a Chamberlain?Ornette Coleman: A Harmolodic Life by John Litweiler
At the time I read this I had no interest in jazz - free or not - and barely knew the name Ornette Coleman, but for some reason I grabbed it from a "free rack" at a bookstore and made it my commute book for 2 weeks. Imagine how floored I was when, after reading this book, I decided to completely change my whole process as a player. I had no idea about what an interesting guy and what a groundbreaking player and thinker OC was/is. His approach to his instrument still informs everything I play. Plus hearing about how he took beatings from blacks and whites alike for straightening his very long hair (in the 50s). I have completely co-opted the exact process he used to decide what he played, though my own knowledge and skill is far below OC's.An Equal Music: A Novel by Vikram Seth
This is actually a novel by a writer who had written two fairly famous novels that were in verse. I had been impressed by the technique so I had picked this book up without any knowledge of its content. Michael Holme is 2nd violinist in a touring string quartet. Though Seth's book is about classical musicians, I think this is a great insight to how musicians have to work with one another both technically, spiritually and socially and the compromises that all collaborative musicians must go through. Things in bands that go often unsaid like who is supposed to support, who leads, when and how those decisions get made or not made, are a part of collaborating that I am very interested in. My band is made up of three sets of friendships of over 15 years and our friendship is more important than the band, so how we deal with these things is really important. Also Seth is an excellent writer and makes Holme a sympathetic and flawed character but ultimately one I really cared about.
Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung: The Work of a Legendary Critic: Rock'N'Roll as Literature and Literature as Rock 'N' Roll by Lester Bangs
Of course this is the rock crit that all current rock crit is based on. Bangs was the essential crusader for a rock that may never have existed but that all modern musicians should strive towards. His writing, like the music he loved was loud, sexy and full of shit but his constant striving for finding the essence of rock in so many different types of music (obvs Lou Reed but Eno, the Archies, etc.) is an inspiration to keep the danger in my process whether or not the listener can hear it and his insistence on believing that his way was as right or righter than anyone else's. Plus he loved Robert Quine.
check out more of the blue eyed devil's influences on his band's [myspace][mp3] goodbye - heroes of popular wars