Best Music Writing 2011
Publication Date: September 2011
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Twelfth in the acclaimed series of annual collections celebrating the best writing on every style of music, from rock to hip-hop, R&B to jazz, pop to blues, and more
Alex Ross is a music critic for the New Yorker and the author of the acclaimed bestseller The Rest Is Noise. He lives in New York City.
Daphne Carr is a music scholar and the author of Pretty Hate Machine. She lives in New York City.
Kirkus Reviews, 10/15/11
“Maintaining the series’ high standard…A great incentive to fire up Spotify, or even the old stereo.”
“These collected pieces offer a soulful anthem to the vibrancy of music writing today.” Booklist, starred review, 11/1/11
“This terrific collection…includes an eclectic bunch of long-form articles and very short pieces…The types of music covered are impressive: classical (Beethoven, Wagner, European avant-garde); jazz (Duke Ellington; and pop (Lady Gaga) as well as country, metal and hip-hop. The selections even transcend borders: a piece on the underground music scene in Tehran is especially insightful…A bracing collection.”
Kingman Daily Miner, 10/21/11
“Well done, and highly recommended is this 5 Star book.”
Curled Up With a Good Book
“This is music journalism at its finest.”
Library Journal, 11/15/11
“Aficionados of music and illuminating critical writing will find much to savor in this collection, which exemplifies Ross’s assertion that music can ‘reach across the human universe with astonishing ease.’ Recommended."
“As Ross states in his introduction, he and series editor Daphne Carr looked for ‘pieces that led the reader into an unfamiliar realm or marked new paths on well-trod ground—pieces that assumed no prior knowledge, only a spark of curiosity.’ They definitely succeeded with this anthology…Ross' choices for Best Music Writing 2011 make us think more about what we're putting into our ears.”
Tucson Citizen, 12/12/11
“An anthology that is must reading for anyone who truly loves music. This collection of essays, profiles, interviews, news articles, and blogs from important observers in the industry is, simply put, sheer joy.”
Buffalo News, 1/1/12
“[Alex Ross is] the first indentured classical critic to edit one of these annual beauties and he's responsible for this one being the most brilliant and far-ranging and revelatory that the series is ever likely to have…Which is why if you read only one music book in 2012, you ought to make it this one.”
“An outstanding collection very highly recommended for any general or music library.”
San Francisco Book Review, 3/6/12
“This is some fearless writing by America’s best writers…During and after reading, you’ll listen anew.”
“Best Music Writing 2011’s landscape is vast… Ross writes that ‘We didn’t look for articles by and of insiders; we wanted writerly seductions.’ Count me among the seduced.”
“Essential reading for anyone who loves great music and accomplished writing. Scribes of every imaginable sort—novelists, poets, journalists, musicians—are gathered to create a multi-voiced snapshot of the year in music writing that, like the music it illuminates, is every bit as thrilling as it is riveting.” Smooth Jazz News, May 2012 “The annual collection of the past year’s best music writing is always a journalistic treat…The contributors to this book are passionate music lovers and talented writers.”
More than 150 writers from 40 events will gather in New York City for PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature, April 28 – May 4, 2014.
For its 10th anniversary, the festival celebrates those who have dared to stand ‘on the edge,’ risking their careers, and sometimes their lives, to speak out for their art and beliefs. Join us for a wide range of events, including debates, one-on-one conversations, participatory workshops and performances in venues throughout the city. Use the code PEN14 (use PEN2014 for events at The Public Theater) and receive a 20 percent discount on most events. www.worldvoicesfestival.org