If that subject is too narrow for you, try the fourth volume in the Da Capo Best Music Writing (Da Capo) series, edited by Paul Bresnick, which pulls together some of the finest music writing published in 2003. It is rife with typos, but all of the articles are compulsively readable and they cover “rock, pop, jazz, country and more,” as the subtitle informs us. Selected by the guest editor Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons and former rock critic, it includes a fascinating career overview of the gangsta rap pioneers N.W.A., Susan Orlean’s profile of a tiny but influential Parisian record store that specializes in African music and a year-by-year listing of the greatest jazz songs recorded since World War II, compiled with enthusiastic subjectivity by one of the greatest living jazz nerds, Gary Giddins (whose name is spelled two different ways in the book); and Paul Tough’s “City Still Breathing” (originally published in Geist No. 45), an article on the soul of Winnipeg and how it manifests itself in the songs of the Weakerthans.
July 24, 2007
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