Best Music Writing 2008 by Nelson George, Daphne Carr

By Nelson George, Daphne Carr

The 9th access within the acclaimed sequence celebrating the easiest writing on each type of track, from rock to hip-hop, R&B to jazz, pop to blues, and extra.

Best tune writing is the definitive consultant to the 12 months in tune writing, an annual ceremonial dinner of essays, missives, and musings on each musical sort by means of critics, novelists, and musicians themselves. Culled from courses starting from blogs to the New Yorker, the 2008 version captures a yr in tune writing as varied and riveting because the song it illuminates.

Writers who've seemed in Best tune Writing comprise: Greil Marcus, Sarah Vowell, Nick Tosches, Jonathan Lethem, Dave Eggers, David Rakoff, David Hadju, Lenny Kaye, The Onion, Gary Giddins, Jessica Hopper, Luc Sante, Kelefa Sanneh, David Byrne, Daphne A. Brooks, Jody Rosen, Anne Midgette, Sasha Frere-Jones, Elizabeth MГ©ndez Berry, Alex Ross, TourГ©, Lynn Hirschberg, Chuck Klosterman, Elizabeth Gilbert, Jay McInerney, Elvis Costello, Susan Orlean, Mike Doughty, Lorraine Ali, and plenty of more.

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I honestly cannot believe some of the emails, hate mail and otherwise total [expletive] I’ve been hearing, “ he wrote. “We’re coming to rock. ” Another evening I visited the message board for the New York postpunk band Nada Surf, where a fan posted a diatribe attacking the bass player for refusing to sign an autograph at a recent show, prompting an extended fan discussion of whether the bass player was a jerk or not. A friend of mine pointed me to the remarkable plight of Poppy Z. Brite, a novelist who in 2005 accused fans on a discussion board of being smallminded about children—at which point her fans banned her from the board.

But the second time,” he went on, “well, now it sold out early, and it’s at a bigger club. And I’m not that guy anymore. I’m not the guy discovering them. ” One unlikely outpost of the hipster archipelago can be found in a strip mall in Carrboro, North Carolina. At the rightmost end of a startlingly hideous facade, the top half of which consists of some strange, brown, corrugated metal that harkens back to 1980s slapdash futurism, the Cat’s Cradle sits nonchalantly, as if a rock club somehow naturally belonged there alongside the video store and the Amanta Gourmet Pizza.

Across the country, the CD business is in a spectacular free fall; sales are down 20 percent this year alone. People are increasingly getting their music online (whether or not they’re paying for it), and it seems likely that the artists who forge direct access to their fans have the best chance of figuring out what the new economics of the music business will be. The universe of musicians making their way online includes many bands that function in a traditional way—signing up with a label— while using the Internet primarily as a means of promotion, the way OK Go has done.

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