Mo’ Meta Blues, The World According to Questlove

I enjoy learning what Questlove’s intellect harvests from the dynamics of the music scene. He has logically ascended to the role of music subject matter authority.  I’d love to hang out with him and go record shopping at his favorite record store haunts.

“You have to bear in mind that [Questlove] is one of the smartest motherfuckers on the planet. His musical knowledge, for all practical purposes, is limitless.” –Robert Christgau

It’s fitting that critic Robert Christgau has reviewed Questlove’s new book, Mo’ Meta Blues, The World According to Questlove,  for his Barnes & Noble Rock & Roll & column,  “Give the Drummer Some“. They are both notable vinyl music addicts who exert major influence on our tastes.

The book cover art is reminiscent of Milton Glaser’s famous Bob Dylan poster.

The summer reading list is smartly enhanced by Questlove’s book, co-written with Ben Greenman. I need to find a copy this weekend at my local Barnes & Noble 😉 So many music books, so little time.

Music Journalism – A-Z – Nick Tosches

Nick Tosches

Writing in a lineage that includes Dante, William S. Burroughs, Charles Bukowski, Hubert Selby, Jr., and Hunter S. Thompson, Nick Tosches may be America’s last real literary outlaw. 

nick tosches

Nick Tosches is an American journalist, novelist, biographer, and poet. Tosches began his writing with poetry and rock-‘n’-roll magazines. He wrote for CREEMFusion, and Rolling Stone. Like many of the music journalists featured in this series he started on very common publication grounds.

Books

Nick Tosches first book was released in 1977 under the title Country: The Biggest Music in America The book is arranged like a fan’s scrapbook, leaping across time and subject

Nick Tosches’s next book, Hellfire a biography about Jerry Lee Lewis considered by many his music book masterpiece.

The number one greatest music book ever ‘Observer’

Quite simply the best rock and roll biography ever written ‘Rolling Stone’

A collection drawn from 30 years of his writings, The Nick Tosches Reader, published in 2000 by Da Capo Press.

Nick Tosches joined Vanity Fair as a contributing editor in 1996.

Nick Tosches

Five 2013 Blogging Projects

I love the time I get to spend between Christmas and New Year reflecting upon and renewing commitments to an ongoing pursuit of the arts. Its treasured down time from a perpetual teaching schedule that runs day and night, all year round.  I try to spend the time productively, teaching myself new software, preparing for certification exams, etc. I also spend time listening to music that escaped my grasp during the year, reading through my significant music magazine and book pile, visiting Barnes & Noble to stay vibrant and aware.

As a result I have accumulated some meaty writing topics for the coming year. They represent more substantive research into genres/artists I want to explore more in-depth, hopefully across multiple blog posts. This is my revised approach to professional blogging in 2013, which I hope my readers will like and seek to learn along with me (or teach me something new they know in these areas).

The five 2013 art blogging projects are:

  • Smashing Pumpkins, Billy Corgan – I just heard Billy Corgan‘s interview with Howard Stern on Sirius XM. Oceania is a recording I did not do justice to in 2012. I have discovered more about the Smashing Pumpkin/Corgan direction as well as the various side projects by past/current members. The Teargarden by Kaleidyscope initiative interests me greatly. Time to do some justice about the art of Smashing Pumpkins in the music of our heart.

Oceania

  • I was leaving through the current newsstand issue of Uncut Magazine last week at Barnes & Noble when I discovered a review of Joni Mitchell‘s box set, Studio Albums 1968-1979. The box set is a UK import via Rhino that is presently stocked out on Amazon. Once I can get my order fulfilled and I have given these 10 CDs a thorough listening I will write a blog series about that experience.

Studio Albums 1968 - 1979

  • I was browsing the music book section when I discovered the On The Road: The Official Movie Companion trade paperback. This stirred my sentiment about The Beats. I realized very quickly I had not really delved effectively into the writings of Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs, and Allen GinsbergPatti Smith has galvanized the poetic pentameter in the music of our heart for this halcyon period of art. I resolve to see the movie On The Road in New York City  before the wider theater release. I also make a commitment to read more of Kerouac, Ginsberg and Burroughs books (and of course Patti Smith’s poetry books until her new book(s) come out!). I also plan to get some of the books by the “authoritative” researchers/biographers of The Beat, most notably Ann Charters. I must follow through on this as my core initiative for the arts in 2013. The movie has become the impetus for renewing my kinship with The Beats.

On the Road: The Official Movie Companion

  • I picked up another of The Ultimate Music Guide’s from the publishers of Uncut Magazine. This one is about The Kinks. The 146 page special collector’s edition covers each album in the Kinks discography, the solo albums from Ray and Dave Davies, rarities and singles. It is just the compendium I had looked for about The Kinks. I plan to summarize this satisfying publication in a later blog post article.

Uncut presents The Kinks: The Ultimate Music Guide

  • I am continually impressed by the quality and substance of the British magazine publications. I need to get that iPad 4 with Retina so I can electronically subscribe to Uncut and NME. The magazine I’ve had in my hands twice now at Barnes & Noble is the The Story of Joy Division and New Order. I readily admit I don’t know enough about this band. Realizing I should correct that problem makes this my fifth blogging project for 2013.

NME - Joy Division - Collectors Magazine

Pete Townshend’s Memoir – Who I Am

My next audio CD read will be Pete Townshend’s memoir Who I Am.  Last week I completed Neil Young‘s Waging Heavy Peace on audio CD. It was a thoroughly engaging book.

Pete Townshend is the narrator which greatly personalize’s the literary experience.

 

John Cage – Where The Heart Beats

I find myself drawn to the existence of John Cage. Every so often I intersect with a mystical force in music that raises my consciousness to an exciting new level. John Cage’s indeterminacy in music is gaining traction in the music of our heart.

I happened upon a book in Barnes & Noble by Kay Larson, Where the Heart Beats about John Cage. I found myself spellbound by the author’s elocution coupled with her tri-balanced design that forms a strong foundation of purpose. John Cage, Zen Buddhism and the Inner Life of Artists called to me with a profound sense of peace and wisdom. I have to acquire this book to gain insight into the artist and person, John Cage. This book materializes as a key marker in the quest of achieving the creative process.

Natalie Merchant – Creative Expression

I close this week ‘s music blog series about female singer/songwriters by examining the latest work of artist Natalie Merchant.

Natalie Merchant

Natalie Merchant’s creative muse is highly attuned at this stage of her career. Her artistry is evidencing adventurous theater techniques coupled with discovery poetry interpretations as performed at TED 2010.  I’m intrigued with Natalie Merchant’s painstaking research for her latest recording which covers 150 poets in a rich literary tapestry

Natalie’s latest recording, Leave Your Sleep is a double CD set of new songs, working with folk, jazz, reggae, and R&B players as well as gorgeously arranged chamber ensembles. She brilliantly adapts the works of such poets as Edward Lear, Ogden Nash, and Robert Graves into a musical kaleidoscope.

Leave Your Sleep cover art

I will be purchasing the digital edition of Leave Your Sleep today. I love the education Natalie’s recording and booklet have to offer me as a listener.

 

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