Over on Pomo Jukebox, James Brubaker has written a review of Bryan Charles’ book about Pavement for the series.
The whole review is worth reading (and you can do so here) but I particularly like this part:
“Bryan Charles’ Wowee Zowee is a perfect example of why the 33 1/3 series is so successful and has had such long legs–with every volume there is the chance at greatness. Not every volume is great, and a few are downright boring, but Charles’ sharp writing, self-referential framework, and measured earnestness make his book one of the series’ biggest successes, and a great piece of rock journalism.”
That “chance at greatness” is something I’ve always wanted the series to have – of course, it doesn’t always work out like that, but giving the authors as much freedom as possible, trying dozens of different approaches to writing about music…these still feel like valid things to be doing, 7 years after the series started.
This would also seem an opportune moment to mention Bryan’s about-to-publish memoir, There’s a Road to Everywhere Except Where You Came From. About which, people are already saying very nice things:
“A sneakily disturbing, disarmingly profound, casually devastating memoir, taut and adept, that cracked me up even at its saddest moments, and broke my heart almost without my quite noticing.”
“This is the book I can’t forget…Full of insightful, transcendent regular-guy moments and bad decisions, it didn’t make me like the author, but it knocked me on my ass.”
—Library Journal (starred review)
“With ease and humor, Bryan Charles does what all writers aspire to do: he shows us the familiar in a whole new way. His beautiful, often painful, honesty makes the inside of his head a fascinating place to be.”
—Rachel Sherman, author of The First Hurt and Living Room