If not, you need to. Here's the deal with this thing...each year, the Oxford American (the Southern Magazine of Good Writing) puts out an issue devoted entirely to Southern music, or music related, in some bizarre way, to that wild corner of the country we call the American South. Each year, without fail, it contains my favorite words about music. A few of the writers are "music critics", but mostly the bylines are good writers who also happen to enjoy music. Essentially, this is a magazine that collects great stories about certain artists, or stories about how certain artists have deeply affected people's lives.
Carol Ann Fitzgerald takes a standard profile of folkie Karen Dalton and chops it up into paragraphs, almost vignettes, that seem at once disconnected, yet flowing. Her piece is slightly experimental and this jangled style serves as a parallel for Dalton's trouble life.
William Bowers, the clever-as-shit Florida writer and teacher, acknowledges that people won't like Mayo Thompson upon first hearing him. So, Bowers provides a step-by-step guide to appreciating his art. Any of you who have tried to turn people onto Lou Reed's solo material will identify...
Sean Wilentz, a Princeton history professor, exhaustively researches and pieces together nearly every move Bob Dylan made while making Blonde on Blonde in Nashville. This is essentially thousands of words on Dylan's sleepless mission to acheive that "thin, wild mercury sound."
So, if you haven't picked up a copy. Do so. Shit man, it comes with a free compilation CD that is a surefire party jam...whether it be a wine n' cheese throwdown, or a 6-pack-and-taterchip dirtbagger!