Tuesday, April 18, 2006

I use the N.M.E.

I've posted enough on show's of late to clearly indicate that I really like music. I also really like books, but I read very few books about music. I'm not sure why this is. I love movies and rarely read of them either. I think it is probably habit and lack of background, but it could also be the reliance on the popular musical press. Where do I start? Who are the key authors? My sis is helping in this regard as she just gave me England's Dreaming, a history of British punk in the 1970s. Like most of my friends I went through a punk/Pistols phase ( in my case this preceded my Grateful Dead listening phase.)

I also adore movies, but almost never read about them. It could be that I perceive music and movie writing as overly constructivist and therefore academic and boring. Maybe I am intimidated by my lack of knowledge. I know there are good things out there, I just don't know what they are.


Brack said...

If you have the merest wee bit of interest in opera, even if such interest is limited to Die Walkuere by way of Apocalypse Now, check out The New Grove Book of Operas by Stanley Sadie. It covers 250 operas, and is chock full o' act-by-act plot synopses, descriptions of cast lists/significant productions and expositions of literary/social/historical context (e.g. the masonic themes that permeate Mozart's Die Zauberfloete). Pro: many photos of cool sets. Con: no scratch-n-sniff pages.



Tripp said...

Ah, now music reference books are ones with which I have spent some time. Large portions of the 80s were spent pouring over The Trouser Press Guide to records. So that's a good idea thanks.

Nearly all of my knowledge of opera is contained in What's Opera Doc.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you about film writing - it is either to self-consciously critical or too temporal (I don't understand, for example, the recent republication of James Baldwin's movie reviews by tthe American Library). However - Peter Biskind's history of movie-making from the late sixties through 1980 or so, Easy Riders and Raging Bulls, is a great read, in part because he focuses on the promise of that generation of directors and the way many of them sold out (Spielberg), flamed out (Billy Friedkin, of The Exorcist fame), weirded out (Lucas) or just got too druggy to function (Coppola). The Coppola stories are particularly deranged (and therefore entertaining). Probably more enjoyble due tot he fact that we grew up watching these movies. Definitely not literature but well worth a look. Steve (who lost his password and must therefore post ananymously).

Tripp said...

you've mentioned that one before, I am going to find it!