33 1/3 B-sides Week, Day 1: Welcome to the B-sides!

This week is publication week for The 33 1/3 B-sides! We’ve been anxiously awaiting this book for a while now, and we cannot wait for everyone to read it. Throughout this week, we will be sharing some blog posts from the contributors of the book (all past 33 1/3 authors) discussing the albums that they still dream about today. Below, D. Gilson and Will Stockton introduce us to The 33 1/3 B-Sides… This is the week we welcome into the world The 33 1/3 B-sides: New Essays by 33 1/3…

33 1/3’s are for students, too!

A few years ago, we posted some excerpts of undergraduate essays that discuss 33 1/3s. We love seeing our 33 1/3s in classrooms, so we decided to post some more! Below you will find the beginnings of three undergraduate student papers. Samantha Bennett is a senior lecturer in the School of Music at the Australian National University, and author of her very own 33 1/3, Siouxsie and the Banshee’s Peepshow! These excerpts come from Professor Bennett’s “Popular Music: In Culture and in Context” class, and make for very interesting reads. Do…

Woman Crush Wednesday: Janelle Monáe

Janelle Monáe is our pick for this week’s Woman Crush Wednesday. 33 1/3 will publish a book on Monáe’s The ArchAndroid in 2021. It has been a time of triumph for Janelle Monáe. Last year, Billboard named her trailblazer of the year for their Women in Music awards. This year, Monáe will star in a biographical film about Harriet Tubman that is already generating Oscar buzz. Her album Dirty Computer was one of the most critically acclaimed albums of 2018. It quickly became a queer anthem, one that fits into…

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…

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…

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…

The Shangri-Las Week: Day 2 – The Strange Afterlives of Child Musicians

This week, Ada Wolin, author of the new 33 1/3 The Shangri-Las’ Golden Hits of the Shangri-Las will be taking over our blog! Today, Ada talks about the consequences of being a child celebrity, and how she found kinship with The Shangri-Las through their parallel experiences as young artists. The notion of child celebrity was a tricky one to tackle in my book on the Shangri-Las. Technically all members were teenagers, making them, in the eyes of the music biz at least, basically adults. That’s an idea that we’re rapidly…