Open Call 2015: The Shortlist

It has been a busy 8 weeks here at 33 1/3. We have now read all of the proposals submitted to our 2015 Open Call. My eyes are bloodshot and I think I’ve gone down -.75 in my contact lens prescription but it was worth it. There are some astounding pieces of music criticism in this list. So first of all, a huge round of applause for every single one of you who submitted. This was an EXTREMELY competitive round with so many submissions but these 83 proposals stood out.

We were just blown over (and a bit overwhelmed) by the response this year. We ask for a lot without promising anything so thank you once again for taking the time to write these pitches. It’s an incredible thing to experience the outpouring of so many words and we are so grateful for your commitment. This series has had its ups and downs but we continue to hang on thanks to your support. Really, we mean it and couldn’t do it without you. It’s not a perfect system but has resulted in some incredible books from first-time authors over the years. Our latest releases can be found on Bloomsbury.com.

What is this list? This list of 83 albums represents the proposals that are still under consideration from the 605 proposals submitted this summer. There are a few cases where there were 2 (or 3!) excellent proposals for the same album so we’ve listed the initials of the author of the proposal we are still considering.

What comes next? From this shortlist we’ll select between 10 and 20 proposals to become books in the series.

When? We hope to have final decisions by the end of October.

What about next year? If the album you proposed isn’t listed here, we are very sorry but we can’t publish every brilliant proposal we receive. There are MANY reasons why proposals don’t work: approach, album choice, strength of writing, scope, etc. We hope to hold the next open call in 2016, likely around this time. It all depends on how things go over the next year. Please please please post your comments and questions below as it’s impossible for us to respond to every email we receive.

The 2015 33 1/3 Shortlist 

(GI) (JG) -Germs

24 Hour Revenge Therapy-Jawbreaker

Arena-Duran Duran

Bangerz (BA) -Miley Cyrus

Bangerz (CC) -Miley Cyrus

Biophilia (ND) -Björk

Biophilia (AW)-Björk

Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde-Pharcyde

Born to Die (RB)-Lana Del Rey

Boys for Pele (VS) -Tori Amos

Boys for Pele (EM) -Tori Amos

Boys For Pele (AG) -Tori Amos

Carreras Domingo Pavarotti In Concert-The Three Tenors

Christmas Eve and Other Stories-Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Cobra and Phases Group Play Voltage in the Milky Night (HT)-Stereolab

Colossal Youth-Young Marble Giants

Death of a Ladies’ Man-Leonard Cohen

Diary (MM)-Sunny Day Real Estate

Different Class (KR) -Pulp

Dr. Octagonecologyst-Dr. Octagon

Electric Warrior-T. Rex

Flash Gordon-Queen

Fontanelle-Babes in Toyland

For Emma, Forever Ago-Bon Iver

Greatest Hits Volume 2-Wesley Willis

Gris-Gris (WS) -Dr. John

Headless Heroes of the Apocalypse-Eugene McDaniels

Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? – Of Montreal


In on the Kill Taker (JG) -Fugazi

In the Wee Small Hours-Frank Sinatra

It’s a Shame About Ray-The Lemonheads


Kimono My House-Sparks

Kollaps-Einstürzende Neubauten

Licensed to Ill-Beastie Boys

London Calling (MS)-The Clash

Lulu (JM)-Lou Reed and Metallica

Lyric and Coloratura Arias-Maria Callas

Murder Ballads (SH)-Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

Nancy & Lee-Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood

Nina Simone and Piano-Nina Simone

Okie from Muskogee-Merle Haggard

Original Pirate Material-The Streets

Peepshow-Siouxsie & the Banshees

Philosophy of the World (PK)-The Shaggs

Pinkerton (PT)-Weezer

Pinkerton (LB)-Weezer

Random Access Memories-Daft Punk

Reflektor-Arcade Fire

Refried Ectoplasm (Switched On Volume 2)-Stereolab

Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version-Ol’ Dirty Bastard

Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)-David Bowie

Smell the Magic-L7

Solaris OST-Eduard Artemiev

Something Else By the Kinks-The Kinks

Songs From the Big Chair-Tears for Fears

Southern Rock Opera (RF)-Drive-By Truckers

Steady Diet of Nothing-Fugazi

Switched-On Bach (RK)-Wendy Carlos

Ten Ragas To A Disco Beat-Charanjit Singh

The Blueprint (SS)-Jay-Z

The Days Of Wine And Roses (SA)-The Dream Syndicate

The Idiot-Iggy Pop

The Inner Mounting Flame-The Mahavishnu Orchestra

The Meadowlands (JM)-The Wrens

The Mekons Rock ‘n’ Roll-The Mekons

The Modern Dance-Pere Ubu

The Modern Lovers (SM) -The Modern Lovers

The Muppet Show-The Muppets

The Specials-The Specials

The Yellow Shark-Ensemble Modern and Frank Zappa

Tin Drum-Japan

Transformer-Lou Reed

Transgender Dysphoria Blues-Against Me!

Twin Peaks OST (CN)-Angelo Badalamenti

Violator (AH)-Depeche Mode


When the Haar Rolls In-James Yorkston

White Blood Cells (NJ)-The White Stripes

Workbook-Bob Mould

Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots-The Flaming Lips

Uptown Saturday Night-Camp Lo


      • Yes, of course it’s seen as a problem. Lack of women represented is also a problem, and the editor has already said she’s trying to address that — and even then less than 15% of her submissions were either by women or about women.

        The problem with all book series and edited anthologies is that you can only publish what people submit. If there aren’t enough non-white artists represented, get talented people to submit good proposals about these artists, or submit one yourself. In other words — do something about it.

  1. Pingback: Tori Amos's Boys for Pele: a much misunderstood work of dark, wounded magic | letgoonline

  2. RG

    It’s a little odd for me to state this in a public space, but I’m not sure how else to convey this to the publishers: some colleagues at Gatling Pictures (http://www.gatlingpictures.com/our-vinyl-weighs-a-ton) want to produce my feature length documentary on Charanjit Singh and the deeper story of analogue synthesis and dance music in 70s Bombay, with the aim of starting production in January. The timing is basically perfect – I do recall that the proposal questions referred to whether or not there was a film in the works, and I can now say with confidence: yes there is. Gatling was also quite excited about my begin shortlisted I have to say, so fingers crossed; it could present a really well rounded series of engagements across film, readings, and of course the shortlisted book itself.

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