I picked up Nic Harcourt‘s Music Lust the other night, and blew through it like an Entertainment Weekly. This collection of music categories is a worthy guide for rock’s uninitiated, but may seem basic to a music junkie. One section details Manchester UK bands by decade, while another suggests bands with cats and dogs in their names. Huge artists like Hendrix, Zappa, and The Rolling Stones get their own lists, as do niches like Irish music, Motown, and Latin Alternative.
It’s an interesting concept, and I dug in hoping to find a handful of musical leads. I didn’t finish the book with a year’s worth of CD purchases planned out, but I did walk away with a few artists to check out. Here are my notes:
Electronic Pioneers :: Tago Mago, by Can. I should check out Can’s 1971 double album Tago Mago, and their 1972 album Ege Bamyasi. They influenced artists like Gary Newman, Sonic Youth, and Stereolab. Can appealed to me because the paragraph referenced ”Krautrock”, and the author described it as sprawling and experimental.
Hey Ho, Lets Go:Punk in the U.S.A. :: Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables, by The Dead Kennedys. Released on IRS, and reissued on Cleopatra in 2002. I listened to the DKs on old, 5th generation Maxell tapes, so the clean recording would be a great way to revisit and old favorite.
Livin’ Large: The Big Band Boom! :: Atomic Mr. Basie, by Count Basie. The author notes that Count Basie’s thirties recordings are rough, so it’s best to start off with the 1958 Blue note release “Atomic Mr. Basie.”
Love is a Many-Spledored Thing :: Forever Changes, by Love; released in 1969 on Elektra Records. Nic says they were the West Coast’s best-known psychedelic rock band at the time, but I’m skeptical. This warrants and investigation.
Organ Grinders :: Blue Mode, by Reuben Wilson. released on Blue Note in 1969. I love Hammond B3 organs, and Wilson seemed like this section’s best offering. Mentioning that A Tribe Called Quest sampled his work really sold me.
Music Lust is worth a read, especially if you have trouble finding new music. But at the same time, it’s one of those books that when finished, you want to start writing a better version yourself. On second thought, you may just want to check out a music recommendation site like Pandora.