Synopses & Reviews
Now in its landmark fifth year, Da Capo Best Music Writing has become one of the most eagerly awaited annuals of them all. Celebrating the year in music writing by gathering a rich array of essays, missives, and musings on every style of music from rock to hip-hop to R&B to jazz and more, it is essential reading for anyone who loves great music and accomplished writing. Scribes of every imaginable sort-novelists, poets, journalists, musicians-are gathered to create a multi-voiced snapshot of the year in music writing.Past contributors have included: Lynn Hirschberg * Chuck Klosterman * Elizabeth Gilbert * Jay McInerney * Elvis Costello * Susan Orlean * Jonathan Lethem * Lorraine Ali * Greil Marcus * Richard Meltzer * Robert Gordon * Sarah Vowell * Nick Tosches * Anthony DeCurtis * William Gay * Whitney Balliett * Lester Bangs * Rosanne Cash * Eddie Dean * Selwyn Seyfu Hinds * Alec Wilkinson * David Hadju * Lenny Kaye * The Onion * Gary Giddins * Luc Sante * Monica Kendrick * Kalefa Sanneh
"Da Capo's fifth anthology of the year's best music writing features former Grateful Dead drummer Hart as its guest editor, and as one might expect, the selections, a hodge-podge of hits and misses, ramble on like one of the Dead's famous free-form sets. While the volume glides across many musical genres, a number of the pieces seem to reflect more on the music industry than on the music or the musicians. Notable pieces include Geoff Bouchers's story on the decline of session drumming from the Los Angeles Times, and the clever, candid assessment of the hip-hop world in Ta-Nehisi Coates's Village Voice piece, 'Keepin' it Unreal,' which takes on the 'gangsta' myth used to sell records. 'Gangsta rap today is about as reflective of reality as, well, a reality show,' Coates argues. Word up. Stalwart jazz writer Gene Santoro's piece for the Nation on Willie Nelson at 70 also resonates. Meanwhile, Alex Ross's New Yorker piece, 'Rock 101,' leads the list of overblown snoozers. All in all, the book is an enjoyable compendium of music musings drawn from major publications and some well-known alt-weeklies. One hopes future editions will include more pieces from online zines, which is arguably where the most vibrant music writing now resides." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Acclaimed musician, best-selling author, and groundbreaking world-music scholar Mickey Hart takes the helm for the fifth volume of the acclaimed series
Acclaimed musician Mickey Hart takes the helm for the fifth volume of the acclaimed series--the year's finest writing on rock, hip-hop, jazz, pop, country, and more.
About the Author
Mickey Hart is known for three decades of drumming with the Grateful Dead, and as the acclaimed author of Songcatchers, Planet Drum, and Drumming at the Edge of Magic. Hart sits on the board of trustees of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. He lives in the Bay area. Paul Bresnick is a literary agent and editor who has edited many award-winning music books. He lives in New York City and East Hampton.