Writing About Music Class at The Vera Project!

The VERA Project, an all-ages volunteer-fueled music and arts venue in Seattle, will be offering two courses (6 classes each) in the Spring and Fall of 2015 on Writing About Music. The class is lead by Mark Baumgarten (author of the K Records book) and Chris Nelson (longtime music journalist) and our very own series editor Ally-Jane will be a guest lecturer! The Spring course begins February 9th, so if you live in the area, be sure to sign up now. Oh, and pre-order a copy of our new textbook,…

Video Vault Episode 54: The Pixies’ “Hey”

1988 was a crucial year for the Pixies. In March, their debut album Surfer Rosa was released by 4AD. A feedback-choked, noisy collection of songs that lyrically dealt with everything from high school gossip to prison confessionals to surrealist film references, the album was met with high praise from critics, and firmly put the band on the map. They quickly followed the success of Surfer Rosa with their sophomore album, Doolittle, in 1989. Having shed the aesthetic morphia of their debut in favor of shorter, more propulsive songs, Doolittle was…

Recap! Simon Warner Discusses Text, Drugs, and Rock ‘n’ Roll on BBC Radio Merseyside

In case you missed it, Simon Warner appeared on Spencer Leigh’s popular talk show On the Beat on BBC Radio Merseyside last Saturday. The pair discuss Warner’s new book Text, Drugs, and Rock ‘n’ Roll: The Beats and Rock Culture, the Beats, The Beatles, soccer, and much more. If you missed the program when it aired, you can stream it here. For more on Warner, check out his blog post from last summer, and be sure to pick up a copy of Text, Drugs, and Rock ‘n’ Roll!

Series Update/Open Call News/You’ll Want to Read This One

33 1/3 2014

Dear Readers, For the past 11 years we’ve been publishing these tiny little books on the best-loved (sometimes hated), most popular and often most misunderstood albums in pop, rock, soul, hip-hop and electronic music. And we’re still going VERY strong. Thanks to an amazing crop of books over the past two years, the 33 1/3 series re-launch under Bloomsbury Academic  has been a huge success. Special congratulations are due to Jordan Ferguson for his book on J. Dilla, which was our bestselling title in 2014. And of course to Carl…

Watch 33 1/3 author Michael Stewart Foley in a Music Video!

In an unexpected twist of medium, Michael Stewart Foley, author of our upcoming book on the Dead Kennedy’s Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables, has just debuted in his very first music video for Dutch “post-hardcore” band, John Coffey! In this parody of 1980s cable access, he plays a pompous yet clueless version of himself, and it is delightful in every way. Here’s to many more acting gigs for Mike (and, perhaps, other 33 1/3 authors?). [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVVHRfAuO9w]

Video Vault Episode 53: Sparks on Gilmore Girls

Well before Gilmore Girls landed on Netflix this summer and launched a thousand think pieces it was a fond memory lodged in the brains of thousands of people like me ready to declare it the greatest show made. The fast and often made-fun of dialogue between the attractive mother and daughter duo was riddled with cultural references. In fact, you can challenge yourself to see how many books you’ve read that 22 year-old Rory reads throughout the show’s 7 seasons. I’m not sure how Lorelei Gilmore had enough time to raise…

Simon Warner of Text, Drugs, and Rock ‘n’ Roll on BBC Radio Merseyside this Saturday!

This Saturday (January 17th), Simon Warner of Text, Drugs, and Rock ‘n’ Roll: The Beats and Rock Culture will be a guest on Spencer Leigh’s music and talk show On the Beat on BBC Radio Merseyside. A journalist, lecturer, and broadcaster who also teaches Popular Music Studies at the University of Leeds in the UK, Simon will be chatting about his book, the Beatles and the Beats, Allen Ginsberg’s visit to Liverpool, the Mersey Poets, and more. Be sure to catch the show, but if you can’t, it’ll also be available…

33 1/3 All-time Bestsellers!

celine gif

Last year, we posted the top ten bestsellers of 2014 but we thought you might like to know the ALL TIME greatest hits in the 33 1/3 series. Congratulations to Carl and Celine! #1 Celine Dion’s Let’s Talk About Love by Carl Wilson (Volume 52). #2 Neutral Milk Hotel’s In the Aeroplane Over the Sea by Kim Cooper (Volume 29). #3 The Rolling Stones’ Exile on Main Street by Bill Janovitz (Volume 18). #4 Beastie Boys’ Paul’s Boutique by Dan LeRoy (Volume 30). #5 Radiohead’s OK Computer by Dai Griffiths…

Video Vault Episode 52: The Year Punk Broke

Nick Attfield’s 33 1/3 on You’re Living All Over Me opens in 1991—or, more accurately, with Dave Markey’s 1992 documentary 1991: The Year Punk Broke—and so should we. If you haven’t already, give yourself 97 minutes to watch what Variety called the “sloppiest rock-doc to win actual release” (and it is sloppy, in the best possible way) and you’re off into a frazzled Super 8 docu-world where bottles are made to be smashed, Kim Gordon puts mascara on Kurt Cobain, and Thurston Moore bewilders all with his typical bratwurst/bockwurst/currywurst/liverwurst/knockwurst  nonsense-speak.…

This Month, Classic Album Sundays Features NMH

Classic Album Sundays is kicking off the new year by celebrating Neutral Milk Hotel’s In the Aeroplane Over the Sea! The listening parties will be hosted in London, Brooklyn, and Oslo, at Brilliant Corners, Baby’s All Right, and Månen, respectively. Find out more here! And even if you can’t make it out to any of these events, what better way to inaugurate 2015 than to gather a group of friends around your record player and experience one of the greatest albums to come out of Elephant 6 from start to…