A New Chapter for 33 1/3

Dear Readers, 2016 is going to be one of the best years in 33 1/3 history. I say that with confidence because I’ve read all 210,000 words of the seven volumes that will be released this year. In March, you’ll be able to get your hands on Kembrew McLeod’s stunning re-framing of 1970s New York in Blondie’s Parallel Lines. You’ll get an intimate portrait of one of the 20th century’s most important bands in Buzz Poole’s volume on The Grateful Dead’s Workingman’s Dead. There’s Rolf Potts’s volume on the Geto Boys’ eponymous album…

Listening Party: J Dilla’s Donuts

10 years ago last Sunday, producer’s producer J Dilla – born James Dewitt Yancey – released his swan song, Donuts. If you’re at all plugged into the music blogosphere, you may have heard a thing or two about this anniversary. A triumph of analog and the art of sampling, Donuts has been categorized posthumously as Yancey’s masterpiece (a lofty distinction for an artist whose production credits include songs for A Tribe Called Quest, The Pharcyde and Common). That Yancey recorded the album from a hospital bed and passed away three days after its…

Everything You Need to Know About The Super Mario Bros Book

Got 42 minutes to spare? Listen to the Modern Vinyl podcast with 33 1/3 author Andrew Schartmann. Andrew’s knowledge of video game music is staggering and the interviewer here has done his homework. Their shared knowledge here is a joy to listen to. When I first came across Andrew’s 33 1/3 pitch I was hesitant to include it in the series because the Super Mario Bros soundtrack isn’t really an album and it was never pressed on vinyl (yet now appearing on the Modern Vinyl podcast!). I took a chance…

On Bowie

Yesterday we lost one of the greats. A very special human who dazzled us with his music and inspired millions of weirdos to step into the sun. The music press has responded with an outpouring of eulogies and hundreds of thousands of words recounting the amazing life of a true artist. My earliest memory of Bowie is of a Christmas morning. I was five and the evening before my parents had taken me to a party. While we were out, burglars had smashed one of the windows in our mostly…

An Interview with 33 1/3 Author Michael Stewart Foley on San Francisco, hardcore, and the Dead Kennedys

One of the most recent editions to the the 33 1/3 series, Dead Kennedys’ Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables, is also one of the series’ most investigative works. Author Michael Stewart Foley approaches the album anthropologically, detailing environmental influences on Fresh Fruit as well as the sociopolitical and interpersonal factors that led to its genesis. Last month Foley discussed his book with interviewer David Ensminger for the Houston Press, which led to a further exploration of the Dead Kennedys’ history and influence (He also sat down with 33 1/3 for a similar chat, which you can read here). It’s…

The 33 1/3 Holiday Gift Guide 2015: For the Music Lover

Hi Kids, The Christmas trees have been up since Thanksgiving and the soul-crushing, money-saving sales are over but you’re a grinch so you haven’t done any shopping. Well have no fear, your music-obsessed gift-loving 33 1/3 series editor is here. Nobody loves presents more than me, trust me. I love getting them but I also love giving them. And to me there’s nothing better than the perfect thoughtful present. It’s usually not expensive. Something you find unexpectedly and off season. These are the gifts for the most special people in…

New 33 1/3 Title Coming Spring 2018: Tin Drum

Ladies and germs! May we present Agata Pyzik who will pen the 33 1/3 on Japan’s 1981 album Tin Drum. This book is one of 16 new titles in the 33 1/3 series.  Give it a good long listen… [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVPNUygTmRo?list=PL9BE36C6E59C12149] We caught up with Agata to learn more about her listening and reading habits… 33 1/3: What was your favorite book or record store growing up? AP: first book, which really impressed me and sort of introduced to grown-up reading was One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez which I read when I was 12. What followed immediately…

New 33 1/3 Title Coming Fall 2018: Switched-On Bach

Ladies and germs! May we present Roshanak Kheshti who will pen the 33 1/3 on Wendy Carlos’s 1968 album Switched-On Bach. This book is one of 16 new titles in the 33 1/3 series. We caught up with Roshanak to learn more about her listening and reading habits… 33 1/3: What was your favorite book or record store growing up? RK: Phonolux Records, Nashville, TN 33 1/3: What is your favorite book or record store in the world? RK: City Lights Books in San Francisco 33 1/3: What are you listening to right…NOW? RK: South African house music…

New 33 1/3 Title Coming Spring 2018: Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version

Ladies and germs! May we present Jarett Kobek who will pen the 33 1/3 on Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s 1995 album Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version. This book is one of 16 new titles in the 33 1/3 series. Give it a good long listen… [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHnsDSh8-8w] We caught up with Jarett to learn more about his listening and reading habits… 33 1/3: What was your favorite book or record store growing up? JK: The Strand, New York, NY 33 1/3: What is your favorite book or record store in the world? JK: City Lights, San Francisco, CA…

New 33 1/3 Title Coming Spring 2018: Okie from Muskogee

Ladies and germs! May we present Rachel Rubin who will pen the 33 1/3 on Merle Haggard’s 1969 album Okie from Muskogee. This book is one of 16 new titles in the 33 1/3 series.  Give it a good long listen… [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-iYY2FQHFwE] We caught up with Rachel to learn more about her listening and reading habits… 33 1/3: What was your favorite book or record store growing up? RR: New Era Bookstore, Park Avenue, Baltimore, MD 33 1/3: What is your favorite book or record store in the world? RR: Skippy White’s, Boston, MA 33 1/3: What…