Monday, April 12, 2010

Reading Music

I am a child of the '80s. More particularly, my musical heyday was the '80s. So I was delighted to see that our library system had acquired Please: Music Inspired by the Smiths, the Smiths being one of my favorite bands. Stories are named after Smiths songs like "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now", & the website PopMatters says "many of the best pieces capture a bit of The Smiths' spirit in way that will send you back to listen all over again."

This isn't the first time that fiction has dealt with rock music. Just this year, Nick Hornby gave us Juliet, Naked, about the fictional Tucker Crowe, a has-been American musician, destined to fade into obscurity save for a handful of devoted listeners like the musically obsessed Duncan Thomson.

We only have Music from Big Pink (which I haven't read) in the catalog, but the 33 1/3 book series has some very interesting titles available.

A subject search under "musical fiction" brings up a bevy of titles, including those that might be of interest to jazz aficionados (1929 by Frederick Turner, a story involving Bix Beiderbecke), polka lovers (The Clarinet Polka by Keith Maillard), & opera fans (Anne Rice's Cry to Heaven is fascinating). The Kreutzer Sonata by Margriet de Moor "traces narrative arabesques around the terrible romantic jealousy suffered by a blind music critic" according to Publisher's Weekly. Divine Music by Suruchi Mohan deals with Hindustani music.

On a non-fiction note, Da Capo Press has given us some writings to consider, such as The Show I'll Never Forget: 50 Writers Relive Their Most Memorable Concertgoing Experience & Da Capo Best Music Writing; & I highly recommend music geek Rob Sheffield's Love is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time & Nick Hornby's Songbook. I can't recommend Patti Smith's new memoir Just Kids highly enough.

Have you read any fiction or non-fiction about music? I'm always looking for recommendations in that direction!

No comments: