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Best Music Writing 2008

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The ninth entry in the acclaimed series celebrating the best writing on every style of music, from rock to hip-hop, R&B to jazz, pop to blues, and more. Best music writing is the definitive guide to the year in music writing, an annual feast of essays, missives, and musings on every musical style by critics, novelists, and musicians themselves. Culled from publications ran The ninth entry in the acclaimed series celebrating the best writing on every style of music, from rock to hip-hop, R&B to jazz, pop to blues, and more. Best music writing is the definitive guide to the year in music writing, an annual feast of essays, missives, and musings on every musical style by critics, novelists, and musicians themselves. Culled from publications ranging from blogs to the New Yorker, the 2008 edition captures a year in music writing as diverse and riveting as the music it illuminates. Writers who have appeared in Best Music Writing include: Greil Marcus, Sarah Vowell, Nick Tosches, Jonathan Lethem, Dave Eggers, David Rakoff, David Hadju, Lenny Kaye, The Onion, Gary Giddins, Jessica Hopper, Luc Sante, Kelefa Sanneh, David Byrne, Daphne A. Brooks, Jody Rosen, Anne Midgette, Sasha Frere-Jones, Elizabeth Méndez Berry, Alex Ross, Touré, Lynn Hirschberg, Chuck Klosterman, Elizabeth Gilbert, Jay McInerney, Elvis Costello, Susan Orlean, Mike Doughty, Lorraine Ali, and many more.


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The ninth entry in the acclaimed series celebrating the best writing on every style of music, from rock to hip-hop, R&B to jazz, pop to blues, and more. Best music writing is the definitive guide to the year in music writing, an annual feast of essays, missives, and musings on every musical style by critics, novelists, and musicians themselves. Culled from publications ran The ninth entry in the acclaimed series celebrating the best writing on every style of music, from rock to hip-hop, R&B to jazz, pop to blues, and more. Best music writing is the definitive guide to the year in music writing, an annual feast of essays, missives, and musings on every musical style by critics, novelists, and musicians themselves. Culled from publications ranging from blogs to the New Yorker, the 2008 edition captures a year in music writing as diverse and riveting as the music it illuminates. Writers who have appeared in Best Music Writing include: Greil Marcus, Sarah Vowell, Nick Tosches, Jonathan Lethem, Dave Eggers, David Rakoff, David Hadju, Lenny Kaye, The Onion, Gary Giddins, Jessica Hopper, Luc Sante, Kelefa Sanneh, David Byrne, Daphne A. Brooks, Jody Rosen, Anne Midgette, Sasha Frere-Jones, Elizabeth Méndez Berry, Alex Ross, Touré, Lynn Hirschberg, Chuck Klosterman, Elizabeth Gilbert, Jay McInerney, Elvis Costello, Susan Orlean, Mike Doughty, Lorraine Ali, and many more.

30 review for Best Music Writing 2008

  1. 4 out of 5

    Adam

    I love these collection. You don’t need to just write album reviews. The best music critics have think purview with serious passion poured on top. Very inspiring! Big ups Jess Weiss and his piece on Soulja Boy who changed rap marketing forever on the 2000s.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lucia

    I told my brother this week, "I'm pretty sure I have no use for, and no interest in, music reviews and/or criticism." As a musician, writer, and voracious reader he recommended this series. So I gave it a try, with high hopes. Yuck! I have no use for it. I'm so not the target audience that I won't give it a star rating. I think I'd be interested to read about musicians I already love; interviews, biography and such... but that's it. And I could potentially enjoy it via film, with audio clips and suc I told my brother this week, "I'm pretty sure I have no use for, and no interest in, music reviews and/or criticism." As a musician, writer, and voracious reader he recommended this series. So I gave it a try, with high hopes. Yuck! I have no use for it. I'm so not the target audience that I won't give it a star rating. I think I'd be interested to read about musicians I already love; interviews, biography and such... but that's it. And I could potentially enjoy it via film, with audio clips and such? It feels similar to how learning too much music theory in my college conservatory of music started to ruin my love affair and "spiritual" / religious relationship with music. I went about unlearning my ear training so I could again listen to (and play) music without thinking "that's a perfect fifth, that's a minor seventh, that's a deceptive cadence, blah blah blah." I wanted the music, but not the "math." I didn't need the intensive math to be a good player, and the rigorous training had actively hampered my listening enjoyment. (I didn't dislike music theory until I got way too much of it. An invisible line was crossed.) Music will continue to be my religion, but apparently I will continue to not enjoy the analysis of it.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Dane Despres

    Completely underwhelmed by this. I had high hopes, to be fair, that this would be a collection of probing, playful musical and musical-cultural criticism. Mostly, though, it's artist profiles and popcultural trainspotting. Don't get me wrong, most of the articles are engaging and thorough, but there's little here that struck me as particularly artful or intellectual. Minor note: the number of typos in the text is distracting. Faves: "Dead Man Talking: 'Kurt Cobain: About a Son': A New Experimental Completely underwhelmed by this. I had high hopes, to be fair, that this would be a collection of probing, playful musical and musical-cultural criticism. Mostly, though, it's artist profiles and popcultural trainspotting. Don't get me wrong, most of the articles are engaging and thorough, but there's little here that struck me as particularly artful or intellectual. Minor note: the number of typos in the text is distracting. Faves: "Dead Man Talking: 'Kurt Cobain: About a Son': A New Experimental..." by Sean Nelson (The Stranger) "The Trouble with Indie Rock" by Carl Wilson (Slate) "The History Book on the Shelf" by Tom Ewing (Pitchfork) "Wu-Tang: Widdling Down Infinity" by Brandon Perkins "Apparition in the Woods: Rescuing Sibelius from Silence" by Alex Ross (The New Yorker)

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jesse

    The usual stellar mix of good music writing. There are a few bummers (an unnecessarily long oral history of the band Mandrill), but mostly an eclectic mix of top flight essays, memoirs, profiles, zeitgeist-pondering think pieces, etc.. Loved Eric Pape's piece on music in the Republic of Congo, Jeff Sharlet's Lee Hays bio, Marke B's hilariously bitchy story about trends in gay music, and a bunch of others. Nelson George is particularly good at ordering the entries, which thread together solidly. The usual stellar mix of good music writing. There are a few bummers (an unnecessarily long oral history of the band Mandrill), but mostly an eclectic mix of top flight essays, memoirs, profiles, zeitgeist-pondering think pieces, etc.. Loved Eric Pape's piece on music in the Republic of Congo, Jeff Sharlet's Lee Hays bio, Marke B's hilariously bitchy story about trends in gay music, and a bunch of others. Nelson George is particularly good at ordering the entries, which thread together solidly.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ben Bush

    I mostly have thought of these "Best of" anthologies as pretty painfully square but this one was both a pleasure to read and chock full of insight. Also, I don't usually gripe about lack of copy editing but this seemed like it was rushed to the printers without a lot of oversight. Typos and spell check-type mistakes so frequent as to merit comment. Overall, kudos to Nelson George on making the rather dry "Best of" series feel lively, engaging and important. I mostly have thought of these "Best of" anthologies as pretty painfully square but this one was both a pleasure to read and chock full of insight. Also, I don't usually gripe about lack of copy editing but this seemed like it was rushed to the printers without a lot of oversight. Typos and spell check-type mistakes so frequent as to merit comment. Overall, kudos to Nelson George on making the rather dry "Best of" series feel lively, engaging and important.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    Shit, man! Sasha Frere-Jones of The New Yorker got "pimp slapped" (I don't think I even approve of using that phrase, but there it is), and HARD, and if you want to know about it, you have to read this book. Or at the very least, the first essay in it. Shit, man! Sasha Frere-Jones of The New Yorker got "pimp slapped" (I don't think I even approve of using that phrase, but there it is), and HARD, and if you want to know about it, you have to read this book. Or at the very least, the first essay in it.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Curt

    Like all Best Essays collections, a mixed bag. Bits on Sly Stone's repeated not-quite comebacks and the Pitchfork indie-band-of-week were great; others...well, it's easy to skip ahead. An ideal book for the subway commute. Like all Best Essays collections, a mixed bag. Bits on Sly Stone's repeated not-quite comebacks and the Pitchfork indie-band-of-week were great; others...well, it's easy to skip ahead. An ideal book for the subway commute.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    didn't quite read every essay, but there are some great ones on wu-tang, sly and the family stone, and daptone records didn't quite read every essay, but there are some great ones on wu-tang, sly and the family stone, and daptone records

  9. 4 out of 5

    Eleanor Schmidt

    Not the best articles, in my opinion. Otherwise it would be a 4.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Chris Estey

    This one turned out to be totally essential. I'm upgrading to Five Stars! This one turned out to be totally essential. I'm upgrading to Five Stars!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sara

  13. 4 out of 5

    shaun bockert

  14. 5 out of 5

    John

  15. 5 out of 5

    Matt Lieberman

  16. 4 out of 5

    Steve

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jamil

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

  19. 5 out of 5

    Nadoal

  20. 4 out of 5

    Chriskolak

  21. 4 out of 5

    Travis Heller

  22. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca McKillip

  23. 5 out of 5

    C.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jake Mohan

  25. 4 out of 5

    Hours

  26. 4 out of 5

    Gavin Wright

  27. 5 out of 5

    Christopher

  28. 5 out of 5

    Dylan Flesch

  29. 5 out of 5

    Michael-Patrick Harrington

  30. 4 out of 5

    Eilandje

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