Monday, January 12, 2009

33 1/3

The 33 1/3 long list of submissions for the 2009-10 season is out. I have a submission in there among the 596 others, and there have been some good comments about the one I picked, so here's hoping the folks at Continuum find my proposal thought-provoking and salable.

I am a big fan of these tiny books, each around 100 pages of an idea about/around an album. I had the one for Forever Changes sitting on my desk at work , and coworker who had been a librarian in her former life remarked "I like the size of that book." I agree. I wish every idea had a short, excited tiny written book about it, one so you could hold that idea in your hand, stick it in your pocket, or at least your backpack.

They remind me of those great tiny art books they sell in gift shops of museums, slight, thin white books, numbered on the spine right above the artist's last name. They each included a short but insightful essay and then twenty or so saturated color plates mapping of the artists work. A friend once had a whole shelf of these things he picked up at a yard sale. He confided that was going to use them for for collage material and it made me mad. You don't cut up my preciousssssssess for your goddamn collages!

Anyway, the list itself is a great thing, in that it is yet another impassioned corralling of stuff I need to listen to, be it for the first time or again, like:

Fairport Convention - Liege & Lief (lala) - Nope, still can't really get into it. "Come All Ye" is a corker, but it loses me shortly there after.
The Wrens - The Meadowlands (lala) What the Wallflowers would've sounded like it is was fronted by Paul Simon's estranged son instead of Bob Dylan's, if Graceland hadn't been as big a hit as it had been, and if you got dumped and a week later found she left this CD in your apartment and you played it while you cleaned up the place and got on with your life (but not really) and wound up with a clean bedroom and a largely false but better understanding of who you really are now.
Arab Strap - Philophobia (lala) - Not on the list, but maybe should have been. Or not. I'm not sure you can say more about Arab Strap than Arab Strap do themselves. And like their albums, it wouldn't sell for shit but it would be a sad, lovely thing with a small devoted audience. You could work up a good coming-of-age story around it as I understand the authors did with Meat is Murder, Masters of Reality, and Rid of Me. Has no one done one on/around Pearl yet? But again, what do you say about Janis Joplin that she doesn't say herself better?
The Velvet Underground - (Third album) (lala link to The Quine Tapes) The third VU record is on the list and would make a great one. Such a good record. I used to harbor a harebrained theory that it was one of the unspoken lynch pins for the country rock 70's, and had some tenuous evidence mapped out, but I've let that go in favor of just really loving this record.


  1. Are you the Daniel Johnston or the Drive By Truckers? (okay, I only made through the D's)

  2. Neither, though I considered both of them at one point.

    I'm not sure if I'm supposed to say yet, at least on the internet. I think there is supposed to be some secrecy in it at this point of the game.