Wednesday, 21 October 2009

The Wire: Adventures in Modern Music...

One of the big bonuses of popping back to the UK was that it allowed to me to do a bit of book shopping. There are few things in Portugal as frustrating, as the book lover that I am, than the sight of a Portuguese bookshop. Not only are the books in a language I don't read but they're also hideously expensive.

You should not be paying €20 for paperbacks!

So by risking the 10Kg limit on each of our hand luggage allowances S and I filled our suitcases with some lovely new books from Waterstones and Fopp.

One of my favourites was this one above. A collection of published (and unpublished) Wire primers on modern music.

The book is split into four sections: Avant Rock; Funk, Hiphop & Beyond; Jazz & Improvisation, and; Modern Composition. Within each section are chapters which give a comprehensive introduction to a band or a movement, these include, Frank Zappa, Dubstep, Grime, Tropicália, The Fall, Sun Ra, Musique Concrète, No Wave and many more.

The book is especially useful to me because I don't always have the time to be looking into the extended discographies of quite obscure musicians and this gives a pretty detailed recording history of a lot of bands. I hope it's going to be an interesting and useful acquisition.

Here are a few artists from the book:

Frank Zappa - Bobby Brown
(When I was 16 I used to think this was the best thing I'd ever heard)

The Fall - Rebellious Jukebox
(There are still areas in Manchester where everyone in the pub orders their taxis under the name 'Mr Nelson')

Caetano Veloso - Sozinho
(Beautiful artist who also happens to be S's favourite Tropicália artist)

Rob Base & DJ E Z Rock - It Takes Two

Kode 9 - 9 Samurai

Gang Starr - DJ Premier in Deep Concentration
(Mad mad scratchin', the sort I'm not allowed to do anymore)

Sonic Youth - Schizophrenia
(My 6th favourite Sonic Youth track)

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