Holding Pattern

You’ll have to bear with us a little while longer, I’m afraid. There are some economy related goings-on here at Continuum, and I can’t progress the 33 1/3 proposals any further until those are properly taken care of. Thank you for your continued patience, and your understanding. We’ll have a further update on here next week, I hope.

In the meantime, you might want to take a look at Bruce Eaton’s nascent blog in support of our upcoming Big Star 33 1/3 book.


  1. Thanks. I should have clarified. The research was conducted while I was teaching classes, and the research assistant received credit. So it wasn’t four months of straight research. But the writing was during a summer break when I did little else–I’ve tried writing books while also working a job, and I’m not sure how those who do it can.

  2. As someone who straddles both the blogger and the published writer/journalist side of things, I can’t help but be a bit depressed when the blogging community is defended by someone who can’t spell and thinks living a life is more important than the words on the page when what we’re talking about is the words on the page. It dosn’t matter how incredible your life is (or how incredible you think your life is), when it comes to the writing of books things like spelling, punctuation and the ability to write a sentence are extremely important. This feels like one of the absolute basics to me. But I’m sure there are people who disagree (cue the ‘Spelling and punctuation are for squarez, Grandad’ comments…)

  3. I’m with Pete Wild. I’m neither a blogger/Dj nor an eggheaded academic, just a lifelong music nut who who is also a book lover. No matter what a book is about, whether it’s done by a Ph.D. or a high school dropout, the writer has to have some kind of basic command of the craft for the book to be worth reading. Literary outlaws and experimentalists who take artistic license in how they write can only pull this off if there’s some kind of creative vision behind what they’re doing, and only if they have a general mastery of the written word behind their pen. Writing is hard work – you have to have the basic knack for it, and even when you have that knack you have to be disciplined and have a vision of some kind. Not everybody was meant to write for publication.

  4. Just as long as no one mentions Bill Fox again. I’d never heard of the guy before this call for proposals, and now I never want to hear of him ever again. Kudos to whoever’s pushing their book on him, it’s really blown up in your face.

  5. Okay. Here goes:The 10 I’d like to see:Young Marble Giants – Colossal YouthThe Zombies – Odessey and OracleThe Fall – Hex Enduction HourThe Chills – Submarine BellsLiz Phair – Exile in GuyvilleNeil Young – Tonight’s the NightNew Order – Power, Corruption and LiesSlint – SpiderlandTalking Heads – Remain in LightTelevision – Marquee MoonAnd 10 I think we’ll seeAC/DC – Back in BlackBruce Springsteen – Darkness on the Edge of TownThe Cramps – Songs the Lord Taught UsGarth Brooks – (in…) The Life of Chris GainesThe Jam – All Mod ConsKraftwerk – Trans-Europe ExpressMassive Attack – Blue LinesRadiohead – Kid AThe White Stripes – White Blood CellsWilco – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

  6. Don McLeese – I was just reading your book last weekend, and finding it very enjoyable, too. I was driven back to listen to my vinyl copy of Kick Out the Jams. I dunno, call me weird, but I find I prefer the original censored version to the CD version with the censored content restored. Same thing with ‘Break On Through’ by the Doors – prefer it in the original censored version …

  7. Okay, Slint’s ‘Spiderland’ is a pretty good album on a basic sonic level – they’ve got guitars and they make ’em sound interesting, but I can’t see why people keep thinking it will be picked – what’s to write about, really. It’s a bunch of angular guitar shapes with nary a lyric in sight. And it’s pretty short, too. What great poetic, historic or musicological insights could it possibly give rise to …The Jam … All Mod Cons. Good album, but it won’t sell in the US.Springsteen – wrong album. Nebraska or Born to Run. Can’t believe that someone published a Born in the USA one before those two.Wilco – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. I love the record, but is there much to be said about it after the film ‘I Am Trying to Break Your Heart’?AC/DC, ‘Back in Black’ I can see. Lead singer dies, two months later record biggest-selling album of career and one of the biggest-selling albums of all time with a new singer …

  8. I think what’s to write about Spiderland is that it’s possibly the greatest most obscure record ever. It’s high fashion – dosn’t translate well to the mass market but massively influential on scores of IMPORTANT bands. As a touchstone, as an obscure jewel – that’s where the interest lies…

  9. k, this is a messege for Peter “Born To Be” Wild (tee-hee) and also the anonymous coward who agreed with him. There is a diff between blog-writing on the internet and like regular writing on paper. On the internet, there’s no rules, K? U don’t need to spell proper, ur just more goin off. Do u think I would write in my casual style here in a book? Trust me, when I wrote my proposal, I used a spellchecker! So, that’s stupid. Trust me, I have ” general mastery of the written word behind their pen” prolly even more than u.And as for the comment that it doesnt Matter that my life is awesome, um, personal life expereince is what shapes the interestingness of the writing in your work. Any bozo could tell u that , and you don’t need a PhD from Cornell to know it!Andrew out

  10. (adjusts spats, shoots cuffs, checks pocket watch and places monocle in left eye)There’s certainly some spirited debate up in here the last few days.Let’s try to keep it civil, though, shall we?

  11. hey andrewI don’t think it’s cowardly to be anonymous – it’s a choice that democracy allows us. People are free to be anonymous or named just as you are free to turn on and off your mastery of the written word. For me, I wouldn’t claim a mastery of the written word – so ‘prolly’ you are right to claim a superiority over me. I also don’t agree that ‘personal life expereince is what shapes the interestingness of the writing in your work’. For me it’s craft that shapes work. And craft requires more than spellchecker. You have to have a little intelligence too. But that’s just me. So we disagree. Isn’t life wonderful? Have to go now. Britney is due any minute and I’ve got to warm up the canapes…

  12. Here’s hoping:NWA – Straight Outta ComptonThe Zombies – Odyssey and OracleThe Monkees – HeadYoung Marble Giants – Colossal YouthTelevision – Marquee MoonMothers of Invention – Freak Out!Slint – SpiderlandAC/DC – Back in BlackDevo – Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are DevoThe Fall – Hex Enduction Hour

  13. It’s going to be a nervous 24 hrs. Whatever we all think of what ends up making it, there’s no doubt that this is a unique publishing venture that gives opportunitites to unpublished writers.I remain anonymous, so I am not currying favour with those who will choose, when I say that David Barker – for coming up with this idea – should receive some sort of gold plated award for services to the most important and possibly overlooked culture of the last 50 years – the rock/pop (call it what you will) album.

  14. Fellow nervous shortlisters,1st off, congratulations on making it this far. You’re all worthy writers and if we don’t make it this time, there’s always the next seemingly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Secondly, for now there is nothing we can do but wait. I suggest we spend the next 12 hours away from this blog and our inboxes and put our minds else where. Watch a movie. Roll a J. Call a friend and talk about anything but this. It’ll do your blood pressure good and tomorrow afternoon will be here before you know it.good luck. relax.

  15. aphrodite’s child went down in flames. wrote a great proposal and made it to the short list but i suppose the album was too obscure to find a quick, paying audience.

  16. I think the final list is going to play it really safe: established, well-respected bands with a decent following. I bet lots of books that would have made great reads were cut, but these are tough times and money is playing in a lot more, I assumeThat being said, I think we’ll see less books chosen in the end, and I’m sure they’ll include:Talking Heads – Remain in LightDinosaur Jr. – You’re Living All Over MeRadiohead – Kid AZombies – Odessey and OracleNew Order – Power, Corruption and LiesI don’t expect any female artists to be chosen, either.

  17. This process–particularly the chirpy, faux-sympathetic mass rejection–has really left a bad taste in my mouth. You know, those of us whose proposals were rejected represent a block of over 500 people who can collectively ignore 33 1/3 from here on out and tell friends to do the same. Might not totally counter the Colbert bump, but it’s something. Get the small handful of books in the series that aren’t overwrought and embarrassing at the library or read them in the store. The few that I owned–LATA, Bee Thousand, Let It Be–are literally sitting in the trash right now.*cue “coward for posting anon” comments*

  18. J

    Personally, I’ve found this process hugely enjoyable, and the transparency refreshing. The tenor of the responses also has helped explain to me why most editors dealing with unpublished writers (such as myself) are generally aloof and inaccessible. There’s no excuse for the childish behavior in these comments. On the plus side, it’s probably nice in some small way for the editors to know that their work has such a passionate following.

  19. Thought: Would the fellow tossing away his collection mind picking them out of the dustbin and mailing them to someone who would actually read them? I can send you an address.

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