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Summer reading


Along with my colleagues Douglas Wolk, Marcello Carlin, Chuck Eddy, Michaelangelo Matos, and Peter Shapiro, among others, I've got an essay in the new collection Time Out 1000 Songs to Change Your Life, a book I'd eagerly suggest as an addition to any music-related summer-reading list.

Despite the title, this isn't really a book of lists or blurbs (although there are plenty of worthwhile annotated lists, like "Heartbreak in 20 Songs" or "Top 10 Awkward Time Signatures"). Arranged thematically into chapters like "Being There," "Fear of Music," and "Countdown to Ecstasy," the collection highlights the kind of longform (well, mid-form, at least) criticism that you don't see much of in magazines nowadays. Matos explores songs about food; Shapiro gets at the heart of disco's curious erotic failure; Mike Shallcross does drugs; Eddy locates a Mexican imaginary in American country music; Wolk breaks down the bum-out. And my essay, opening the chapter on place, explores the curious connections between electronic music and the urban environment, beginning with the rumble of the Tube as it trundles beneath Fabric, passing through Düsseldorf and Detroit and Berlin, and stopping off to get lost with Christina Kübisch and, um, Gary Winogrand along the way.


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