By Nelson George, Daphne Carr
Best track writing is the definitive advisor to the 12 months in song writing, an annual banquet of essays, missives, and musings on each musical kind by means of critics, novelists, and musicians themselves. Culled from courses starting from blogs to the New Yorker, the 2008 version captures a 12 months in track writing as varied and riveting because the tune it illuminates.
Writers who've seemed in Best track Writing comprise: 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 MГ©ndez Berry, Alex Ross, TourГ©, Lynn Hirschberg, Chuck Klosterman, Elizabeth Gilbert, Jay McInerney, Elvis Costello, Susan Orlean, Mike Doughty, Lorraine Ali, and plenty of more.
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Extra info for Best Music Writing 2008
Qxd 6/30/08 11:26 AM Page 25 CLIVE THOMPSON 25 favorite singer—and they actually expect a personal reply. This is not merely an illusion of intimacy. Performing artists these days, particularly new or struggling musicians, are increasingly eager, even desperate, to master the new social rules of Internet fame. They know many young fans aren’t hearing about bands from MTV or magazines anymore; fame can come instead through viral word-of-mouth, when a friend forwards a Web-site address, swaps an MP3, emails a link to a fan blog or posts a cell phone concert video on YouTube.
In many ways, the Internet’s biggest impact on artists is emotional. When you have thousands of fans interacting with you electronically, it can feel as if you’re on stage 24 hours a day. “I vacillate so much on this,” Tad Kubler told me one evening in March. “I’m like, I want to keep some privacy, some sense of mystery. But I also want to have this intimacy with our fans. qxd 28 6/30/08 11:26 AM Page 28 SEX, DRUGS AND UPDATING YOUR BLOG band the Hold Steady, and I met up with him at a Japanese bar in Pittsburgh, where the band was performing on its latest national tour.
I had begun to forget them, too. We falter like the others, enjoying the stories put in front of us today and forgetting the rest. How can we resist the new story, the one that everyone else is listening to, linking to, cueing up at parties? “Young Folks” was exactly that track, and as Peter Bjorn and John started, I couldn’t help but get a thrill, despite myself, and the rest of the crowd clearly did, too. Some teenagers, who earlier on had improbably bounded out from the wings to sit Indian-style before the stage, now rose to their feet and began to dance, as unself-consciously as teenagers are able to, and in that heartbreakingly loose-limbed style they seem to prefer.
Best Music Writing 2008 by Nelson George, Daphne Carr