Tonight in Seattle:  

33 1/3 book series asking for book proposals

Do you know about the 33 1/3 book series, published by Continuum? Each book highlights one particular rock 'n' roll album. The Decemberists' Colin Meloy wrote about the Let It Be album by The Replacements. Chris Ott wrote a book on Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures album. Other albums that have been written about include ones by ABBA, Led Zeppelin, Radiohead, DJ Shadow, The Smiths, Dusty Springfield, and many more. In fact, around the time of the 2008 EMP Pop Conference, we here at imaginary headquarters posed the question in an interview series and there were some great responses.

They're asking you, dear music fan, for your own proposal. I have to think on this, but I have a couple of ideas that might make for interesting book reading.

The last time they had this, I proposed a book based on the John Denver and the Muppets Christmas album. Is there a better holiday album thus far produced? I think not, dear friends, I think not...

I still stick to my dream of writing Bright Eyes' Fevers and Mirrors or Blur's Modern Life is Rubbish. If we could collaborate, Dana and I could to a killer Three Imaginary Boys.

David says in the comments at the bottom that two authors is totally acceptable so long as there's a rationale in the proposal. So...go for it.

I would love to see those, Liz, most especially by you (and Dana).

GRINDING HALT!!! (My favorite Cure song, actually.)

I would love to hear Mr. Riippi's, not sure if he's going to tell us here.

Ones you'll probably never see: "Get The Knack," that Chumbawamba album with The Song on it, and the Shaun Cassidy new wave album where he has a spider on his cheek. I imagine anything by Smashmouth, Black Oak Arkansas, Information Society, and maybe even Grand Funk Railroad will be ignored as well.

I bet we'll never see a 33 1/3 on Celine Dion, either, because we all know she totes sucks.

I think I've decided what album I'm going to pitch (out of 3 options). Now I just gotta find a way to write a winning pitch - got till the end of the year!

DO IT! Let's have drinks soon and talk about it, Chris.

Meanwhile, funny you should bring up that Celine Dion 33 1/3 by Carl Wilson. I would have to say it's arguably my very favorite in the series (though there are other ones I love as well, for different reasons: Matos's, Wolk's, Petruisch's, etc.). Which reminds me -- time to write up another review at the KEXP Blog!

i was thinking about pitching jay-z's reasonable doubt, but then i got discouraged at the fact that i have like a hundred writer friends that could write it so much better than me.

In fact, they DID do a book on Celine Dion (it's actually one of the more critically acclaimed of the bunch). It was on her album "Let's Talk About Love."

In fact, they DID do a book on Celine Dion (it's actually one of the more critically acclaimed of the bunch). It was on her album "Let's Talk About Love."

I've had three proposals marinating on my desktop for awhile, each decidedly different in approach--just trying to find the one that's most sell-able. So: thoughts appreciated...


(this would be very basic Seattle Sound music journalism. An accounting of Hall of Justice and so on, peppered with anecdotes of having seen them maybe 25 times and interviewed them like clockwork each fall for my college paper)

Elliott Smith EITHER/OR

Hyper-academic artistic evaluation of the album and Elliott's death in context of the Kierkegaard work from which Elliott took the title of the record. Discussion surrounds the narrative of a single trip to a psychologist. (one problem of this is Matt LeMay of Pitchfork's writing up XO for release next year)

Sigur Ros ( )

A personal history of psychiatric disorder told through the day I bought ( ) and walked three miles home to my apartment in the rain listening to it on a discman (remember those?) Happened to be the same day I started being medicated. That was a weird and good day.

I'm leaning towards Elliott, because it might be the most fun. But I think Sigur Ros might be more sellable. Death Cab just seems a little obvious and might be a bit boring in the execution. But that it's more or less what they've been doing, that might be a good thing.

Thoughts? Estey,do you approve?

Bacon, I have to totally agree with the Muppets Christmas being the best holiday album ever. And I do mean EVER! I bought a copy on vinyl from Bop Street last year, just like I had as a kid.
An album to propose to write about? I could go on and on and on about Pixies' Surfer Rosa. In fact, when I was in college I wrote a novella titled Surfer Rosa with each song title as a chapter.

Cal, you should submit that puppy to Dave at 33 1/3! Damn straight I would want to read that (I could write an encyclopedia on Doolittle, but they pretty much already printed that in the series!)

Joe: Let me put it this way, I would read ANY 33 1/3 you did, but I would buy those three by you in a heartbeat. All typically wise choices on your part, sir.

@Joe -- if it helps at all, I like the Sigur Ros record the least of the three you named, but I was most drawn in by the description of that particular book.

I'd say that one or Either/Or.

Out of curiosity - has anyone else sent their pitches in yet? I *just* sent mine in this morning.

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