Nearly the Best?

best music writing 2009Da Capo Books’ Best Music Writing 2009, edited by Greil Marcus, just came out and OffBeat found itself mentioned if not featured in the book. In the list of “Other Notable Music Writing of 2009″ are Contributing Editor John Swenson for his look inside Pat O’Brien’s, ”The Songs Remain the Same,” Gianluca Tramontana for his history of J&M Studio, “House of Rock.” Others that have contributed to OffBeat that are mentioned include Geoffrey Himes is mentioned for “T Bone Burnett & the Skyliner Band,” published in Texas Music, Kandia Crazy Horse for “Singing the cyber blues” in San Francisco Bay Guardian, Michaelangelo Matos for “It’s a Hit” in The Stranger, Ned Sublette for “The American Legacy of Mongo Santamaria” in American Legacy, and me for “Hurricane Bobby,” his profile of Bobby Charles for Blurt. Thanks to all of these talented writers for their contributions to OffBeat.

Also, a quick shout-out to Alison Fensterstock, who’s in the list with the rest of us for her excellent introduction to the world of sissy hip-hop, “Sissy Strut,” in Gambit. Congratulations to David Ramsey for getting a story in the anthology – “I Will Forever Remain Faithful,” his story from Oxford American on Lil’ Wayne and teaching in New Orleans after Katrina.

BTW – I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that aside from omitting us, Best Music Writing 2009 generally lives up to its name. Tom Ewing’s reflections on John Peel’s Festive Fifty is personal and informative, and Yuval Taylor’s tracing of the intellectual and cultural roots behind Funkadelic’s Maggot Brain is mandatory reading. It helps explain why no George Clinton project was quite this disturbing before or after.