Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Best Books of the Year, Part 3 (Music)

I have been reading lots of music related books this year. These are the best.

5. Life is a Mix Tape by Rob Sheffield (I made a terrible mistake by not including this on the list of great memoirs. It is touching, funny, mean and sad. This guy knows every song from the past 300 years, no matter how obscure and loves them all. He also went through terrible tragedy and used music to cope.)

4. Rock On by Dan Kennedy (already mentioned)

3. 1,000 Recordings to Hear before you Die by Tom Moon (among the coolest books ever and the most fun)

2. Around the World in Six Songs: How the Musical Brain Invented Human Nature by Daniel Levitin (how can I describe this book? This guy is a rock musician and nueroscientist. He pushes science and music to their limits to understand how we see and feel music, insisting on 6 forms of song that exist in human consciousness. My friend Craig has done similar research- which may be why this guy fascinates me.)

1. The Rest is Just Noise: Listening to the 20th century by Alex Ross (I wish I had written this. It is basically a history of the 20th Century through its music. I always wanted to develop and teach a class on Rock Music History doing the same thing since 1950, but this guy understands classical and all other forms.)

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