Saturday, February 17, 2007

with all due respect

to the recent shaving of Britney Spears' head (I'm not discounting her new tattoos, but the head shave, esp. since it occurred outside of a wrestling ring, does seem more noteworthy), the most relevant news around these parts includes the weather, a friend's recent spinal surgery (yep, that'll make your skin crawl just thinking about it), the fact that I'm officially overwhelmed by the new responsibilities at the day job (you don't want to know) and the record number of proposals made in effort to join Continuum's excellent 33 1/3 series.

449 pitches arrived by editor David Barker's Valentine's Day deadline which beat the previous record (I believe) by 279. in what may qualify for another Continuum record are the (currently) 107 comments left in reaction.

some stray notes:
yes, I did make a proposal.
no, I'm not going to tell you which album (right now at least).
Weezer's Pinkerton received the most pitches (7).
other surprises (not counting the obvious out of nowhere albums proposed) include the fact that three Lou Reed pitches were submitted (does that violate the one album per artist rule since Joe Harvard's already written on Velvet Underground and Nico? probably not) and all three were for Metal Machine Music (nope, no Transformer, Coney Island Baby or even Berlin but instead three (count 'em) pitches for one of the most unlistenable albums in rock history (I'm obviously not the only contrarian among music writers)).
The Pretenders were pitched twice, and both were for Learning To Crawl. not even a mention of Pretenders' Pretenders.
someone pitched Todd Rundgren but not Runt or Something/Anything? (an album that Patterson Hood, I believe, once considered scribbling on) or even Hermit of Mink Hollow (there was a reference made on 30 Rock this week), but Nearly Human.
two folks pitched Queen, and A Night At The Opera I understand, but Flash Gordon?
two folks pitched The Cure, but no mention was made of Disintegration or Head On The Door or even Boys Don't Cry.
and an Afghan Whigs website is steering AW fans over to the 33 1/3 blog in an attempt at peer pressure. interesting tactic and it will, of course, be interesting to see if it has any effect (interesting).
and so on.

my spouse and I went through the list, and marked the ones we would be most interested (interesting) in reading (assuming the pitches and subsequent writing are top notch, of course). I believe that our target was 20 (Continuum chose 21 entries from the last batch) and we both fell short. not because there weren't more than 20 of interest (interesting), but it just became too hard to whittle down after 18 or so.
about half of our selections overlapped and (interestingly enough or not), about half of the ones we chose were only pitched by one person (great minds think alike? and outside the masses?)

absolutely there should be a 33 1/3 book on Big Star's Radio City (though my spouse picked #1 Record). in fact, wouldn't mind writing that one myself.
the same can be said for, alphabetically, the Dream Syndicate's Days of Wine and Roses (could this possibly be out of print?), Drive-By Truckers' Southern Rock Opera, Fleetwood Mac's Tusk, Husker Du's Flip Your Wig or Zen Arcade (though I probably would've gone outside those two) and Randy Newman's Good Old Boys.
so yes, I pitched one of those six albums, and not, obviously, either of the Husker Dus, so that limits the pool to five for those of you playing detective at home.

and while I couldn't or wouldn't want to write any of the following, I would also vote for books (assuming they're in good writing hands) on the following: The Cramps' Songs The Lord Taught Us, Miles Davis' Bitches Brew, Kiss' Destroyer, Lynyrd Skynyrd's Second Helping, Metallica's Master of Puppets, Tom Petty's Damn the Torpedoes, Liz Phair's Exile in Guyville (absolutely without question on this one), Smashing Pumpkins' Siamese Dream, X's Los Angeles, Warren Zevon's Excitable Boy and ZZ Top's Tres Hombres.
what's that, 17 for me?

don't know that I'm absolutely dying to read 'em, but I also think AC/DC's Back in Black, B-52's, Blondie, Def Leppard's Hysteria, Duran Duran's Rio, Funkadelic's Maggot Brain, Grateful Dead's Workingman's Dead, Iggy and the Stooges' Raw Power (or should it be Iggy's solo Lust For Life?), Jefferson Airplane's Surrealistic Pillow, Jesus and Mary Chain's Psychocandy, Carole King's Tapestry, Meatloaf's Bat Out Of Hell, Nas' Illmatic, N.W.A.'s Straight Outta Compton, Pavement, Pearl Jam, The Police, Public Enemy, Sex Pistols' Never Mind The Bollocks, Simon and Garfunkel (either Bridge Over Troubled Water or Bookends), Sleater-Kinney's Dig Me Out, Weezer and Wu-Tang Clan's Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) are all somewhat fresh, ready and deserving.


if CBS had been smart enough to show it in New York City instead of the fricking Army-Navy game, I would've watched: Florida at Vanderbilt
basketball game I'm watching now: Southern Illinois at Butler
which reminds me - college basketball figure I liked as a coach but not as a commentator: Rick Majerus
current Alabama lead over Kentucky: five points (at 4:33 EST)
next basketball game I'm certain to watch: North Carolina at Boston College

last musician interviewed: Walter Salas-Humara of The Silos
the one before that: Ade Blackburn of Clinic

last book read: Robert Stone's Prime Green: Remembering the Sixties


  1. didn't rhino re-issue days of wine and roses a few years back? i thought so. hm.

  2. funny ... my original submission to continuum was for the first modern lovers album, they turned that down, though I had jonathan on board fort what would've been the only authorized Richman/Lovers book ever [anyone know a publisher w/some foresight? JR is still into it]. Then I pitched the Pixies Come On Pilgrim/Purple Tape, since we did it at my old studio, Fort Apache. Also denied, also interesting in light of their subsequent reunion, and the fact that I have been interviewed for no less than three Pixies books since then. The Velvets was my 3rd pitch, and I would've bagged it if it hadn't worked out.

    Keep in mind, at that point, I was lucky in that Joe Pernice, my cousin, was punched to write one of the first 5 and knowing I was working on a Boston rock book [see] he suggested I get in touch. David told me "well, I like the idea, but first we have to see if the first 6 books sell, because if they don't chances are I won't have a job anymore anyway ..."

    I knew that this would become a geometrical progression, once all the talented musicians who can also write caught on, and I'm hugely happy for David "dB stands for decibels" Barker for bringing the idea to fruition. Good luck all you prospective authors ... hope you get it and then have as much fun writing as I did!

    joe harvard book #11
    "Velvet Underground and Nico"