New 33 1/3 books out today! An Elton and Judy double feature?

During this time of quarantine and isolation, we’re all trying to figure out how to stay connected and engaged with the world around us. Of course, one of the biggest ways we are doing that is by constantly consuming and sharing content. Where would we be if we didn’t have music, books, and television to provide a steady stream of entertainment and comfort? It sometimes seems like a lot of what we have to look forward to on a day-to-day basis can revolve around these exact things, so to coincide…

How to Be Unapologetically Creative

Liz Phair on “Rebel Rebel” After finishing my 33 1/3 volume on David Bowie’s Diamond Dogs, I’d had enough ruminating about the album on my own. Now I wanted to hear what other people had to say. So I wrote to some of the smartest and most interesting people I know to ask them for their thoughts and feelings about Bowie and Diamond Dogs. The amazing and wonderful Liz Phair—who needs no introduction for readers of this blog—generously took a moment from her current tour to send me this anecdote and appreciation. It was a…

Camp and Excess on Diamond Dogs: A Conversation Between Glenn Hendler and Rick Moody

After finishing my 33 1/3 volume on David Bowie’s Diamond Dogs, I’d had enough ruminating about the album on my own. Now I wanted to hear what other people had to say. So I wrote to some of the smartest and most interesting people I know to ask them for their thoughts and feelings about Bowie and Diamond Dogs. One result was a long and engaging (at least to me) email exchange with the writer, Rick Moody, author of many moving works, from 1994’s The Ice Storm to last year’s…

Why Diamond Dogs?

Glenn Hendler, author of David Bowie’s Diamond Dogs, on why he chose to write about Bowie’s dark, dystopian album The first time I saw David Bowie in concert, he pointed directly at me. He was on his 1976 “Isolar” tour in support of the album Station to Station, and I saw him in my hometown: New Haven, Connecticut. Bowie was in his “Thin White Duke” costume and persona, and the third song he played was “Fame,” his first #1 hit in the United States. Near the end of the song, Bowie rhymes…

The Shangri-Las Week: Day 4 – Does this sound familiar?

On Ada Wolin’s last day of her blog takeover, she takes us through rock ‘n’ roll history, highlighting the artists who have continued the legacy of The Shangri-Las. Read and listen below! The Shangri-Las have been named-checked so many times in rock ‘n’ roll, it’s hard to even know where to start. Their legacy runs the gamut of faithful (or ironic) covers, to pure homage. Below is an incomplete collection of the eclectic legacy of the Shangri-Las over the past five decades. Covers: Out in the Streets – Blondie Train…

The Shangri-Las Week: Day 3 – The Freaky Side of Pop

In Ada Wolin’s third day of her blog takeover, she goes into the dark side of pop music – the frightening aspects of some of the Shangri-Las’ songs, and why spooky music is so much more alluring than bubblegum pop… In my first memory of hearing the Shangri-Las, I am in a dark car, driving through New Jersey with my parents. I have what feels like an exhaustive supply of memories like this—the trancelike state of being a kid in the backseat, very quiet but not quite asleep, bathed in…

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…

The Shangri-Las Week: Day 1 – How my 33 1/3 came to life

This week, Ada Wolin, author of the new 33 1/3 The Shangri-Las’ Golden Hits of the Shangri-Las will be taking over the blog! Her new book, out April 4th, dives into the popular 1960s girl-group, and their unique ability to challenge the status-quo of sticky-sweet girl groups of the time, setting the stage for the coming generation of tough women in music. When I first heard about the Under 22 Open Call, it struck me as an oddly sadistic concept. Before you accuse me of biting the hand that feeds,…