Books: Heavy Rotation: Twenty Writers on the Albums That Changed Their LivesWhy I am recommending this book:
Why I am recommending this book:
Because, in the midst of my sadness on the day after Michael Jackson's death, I stumbled into a bookstore and the first book that demanded my attention happened to be a book that included an essay from a woman who wrote about what Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5 meant to her as kid; about how those boys changed her live. I felt as if I had written the piece myself – that's how powerfully it resonated and how precisely I identified.
The writer is Martha Southgate. The book is Heavy Rotation...
A particular subset of people, including editor Terzian, play the same pop records over and over, listening so closely that they internalize the lyrics until it seems the songs were written specifically about and for them. As a suburban adolescent hearing Joni Mitchell’s Hejira (about a woman in her thirties), Terzian felt he “was learning about what it meant to be an adult, about the many different ways of living a life.” Among the contemporary writers he asked to comment on songs or albums that similarly moved or inspired them, Benjamin Kunkel writes about the Smiths’ The Queen Is Dead, Alice Elliott Dark chooses Meet the Beatles!, and John Haskell offers his take on Talking Heads’ Remain in Light. Augmented by Joshua Ferris on Pearl Jam’s Ten, Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket) on the Eurythmics’ Savage, Lisa Dierbeck on Pretenders, Colm Tóíbín on Joni Mitchell’s Blue, James Wood on the Who’s Quadrophenia, and Claire Dederer on the original cast recording of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, they create a must for literary-minded pop fans.