Video Vault: Björk, “Big Time Sensuality”

Introducing our new “throwback Thursday” segment, Video Vault! On select Thursdays, we’re going to post our favorite music videos through the ages.  Our first video vault is Björk’s “Big Time Sensuality,” the fourth single from her 1993 album Debut.  “Big Time Sensuality” features a fresh faced Björk, dressed all in white, dancing on top of a truck driving through New York City. It’s not a swan costume, but it’s still pretty funky. Watching the video, one gets the sense that Björk spent way too much time meandering through Icelandic wilderness…

Woman Crush Wednesday: Celine Dion

Introducing our blog’s new segment: Woman Crush Wednesdays! On select Wednesdays, we will highlight trailblazing women musicians featured in our 33 1/3 series. What better way to kick off than to write about Hollywood’s most glamorous meme queen: Celine Dion. Suffice it to say, Celine Dion is a contentious figure. Naysayers decry Dion as phony and kitsch, arguing that her music is overflowing with sugar-sweet sentimentality. Fans claim that Dion’s emotional candor elevates her to the status of a musical deity, one with mass popular appeal. In Celine Dion’s Let’s…

It’s Global Beatles Day!

Steve Matteo, author of The Beatles’ Let It Be, is taking over the blog today to talk about the everlasting influence and wisdom of the band, this album, and the people that he met through writing his 33 1/3… The musical, cultural and historical phenomenon of the Beatles seems to know no bounds. When I began working on my 33 1/3 book on the Let It Be album back in 2002, I didn’t imagine the book would still be so relevant today. The Let It Be album was the last…

Happy Pride Month from 33 1/3 to you!

Pride Month is here, and we want to highlight some LGBTQIA musicians and authors featured in 33 1/3! dc Talk’s Jesus Freak – Late into Reagen’s presidency, three men formed a band, dc Talk, a group with evangelical roots and a unique appeal to secular audiences. Their fourth album, Jesus Freak, became a landmark of the 1990s alternative rock scene and secured them as the face of contemporary Christian music. Written by two queer scholars from evangelical backgrounds, dc Talk’s Jesus Freak explores the multifaceted ideas about race, sexuality, and…

The 33 1/3 B-sides Sneak Peek!

Have you ever wondered, if given another chance to write for 33 1/3, which albums past authors would focus on the second time around? This anthology is the answer. Featuring 55 (yes, 55!) compact essays by past 33 1/3 authors, each chapter is about an album they just can’t seem get out of their heads.  The 33 1/3 B-sides is publishing on September 5th, and we’re so excited! Take a sneak peek at the table of contents below, and let us know what you think. Preface Introduction: Superfluous, Redundant, Enduring…

Aretha Franklin’s Amazing Grace on the silver screen

After decades of waiting, the film of Aretha Franklin’s Amazing Grace has finally reached the silver screen. Filmed over two days at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles, Amazing Grace is the best-selling gospel album of all time. The new documentary about the live album uncovers the glamour and glory of those two days. Lucky for us, Aaron Cohen’s 33 1/3 can also take us behind the scenes. The Amazing Grace documentary, which was released on April 5, has been produced from what was once unusable footage…

Tom Petty Week: Day 4 – Petty’s death and what happened next

In his final blog post of the week, Michael talks about the plans he had to interview Tom Petty, and how his book changed after Petty’s sudden death. I signed the contract to write Southern Accents in November of 2016. In early 2017 I reached out to Petty’s camp to see if he would be willing to meet with me. I waited those couple of months because I wanted to be sure of what I thought about the record. I didn’t want Petty to have an outsize influence on my…

Tom Petty Week: Day 3 – My perfect version of Southern Accents

Today, in honor of Tom Petty’s Southern Accents‘s publication date, Michael drafts up what he thinks Southern Accents should have looked like… It’s a bit of a parlor game amongst hardcore Heartbreakers fans to talk about the Southern Accents that could have been. Although I think that there would still be some significant problems with the record even if the most potent and powerful sequence of songs had been included, it’s fun to speculate, to try to make one’s own Southern Accents. Which is what I’m going to do here,…

Tom Petty Week: Day 2 – “The Image of Me” and what could have been

Day 2 of Michael Washburn’s blog takeover! Today, he talks about how the Southern Accents recording sessions “were a bit of a quagmire,” and unravels the riddle of why “The Image of Me” was never included in this album. I mentioned yesterday that Southern Accents is broken backed—it’s almost a couple of different records slammed together. This so puzzling if you look at some of the songs that were cut for the album but then sat aside. For my money many of those songs are better written—and sound better—than many…

Tom Petty Week: Day 1 – Why Southern Accents?

From today until Friday, Michael Washburn will be taking over our blog. Michael’s new 33 1/3 on Tom Petty’s Southern Accents, will be out on Thursday, April 4th, mark your calendars! In his first blog post of the week, Michael dives into why he chose Southern Accents to write about, and how this bizarre, contentious album came to be such a pivotal turning point in Tom Petty’s musical history. Southern Accents? Really? Not Damn the Torpedoes? Not Wildflowers? That was the typical response when I’d tell people which record I…