Sunday, July 10, 2005

BIG NEWS

My next project has materialized.

I'm going to be compiling and editing Marooned for Da Capo. Here's the story: back in 1979, Greil Marcus, the philosopher-king of American rock critics, put together an anthology called Stranded: Rock Goes To A Desert Island. Big-name critics of the time like Tom Carson, Lester Bangs and eighteen others wrote essays about the one album they'd take with them if they were stuck on a desert island. It was a really, really good book, and kinda set the standard for rockcrit think-pieces. But it was written in 1979, when punk was basically viewed as kinda over, just like disco/electronic dance music, and hip-hop hadn't even begun to take over the world. So, um, a lot's changed in the last quarter century, not only in music but in the world of music criticism, too. File-sharing and blogging (and online writing in general), the consolidation/attrition of the magazine market, the ever-shrinking feature word count, the increasing hubris of control-freak publicists and paranoid stars, among other things, have all contributed to making today's rockcrit world a very, very different place than the one into which Stranded was born. So I felt like a new version needed to be assembled, one that dealt with this new reality in the most direct possible way: by inviting younger writers to perform the same task their forebears had done.

Every writer in Marooned is under 40. (That's young, in the writing world.) I've met a bunch of them, and corresponded with others by e-mail. Many are specialists in genres that either were totally ignored or snubbed by the first wave of rock critics, or didn't exist at all back then. Many of them have blogs of their own, on which they explore their ideas in greater depth than they'll ever get to do in print. And all of them have interesting and unexpected things to say about music, and their place in culture and the world.

The roster:

Matt Ashare
Aaron Burgess
Jon Caramanica
Ian Christe
Kandia Crazy Horse
John Darnielle
Laina Dawes
Geeta Dayal
Sasha Frere-Jones
Jess Harvell
Chuck Klosterman
Michaelangelo Matos
Amy Phillips
Dave Queen
Ned Raggett
Simon Reynolds
Chris Ryan
Scott Seward
Derek Taylor
Douglas Wolk

Plus me, of course.
Oh, and Greil Marcus will be writing an introduction to it, because Da Capo is issuing it in tandem with a reprinted Stranded. So yeah, excitement.

Look for this thing in late 2006/early 2007.

2 comments:

Carmine said...

In the interest of authenticity ... will Klosterman actaully be put on a desert island?

Gary Mairs said...

I'd vote for that, especially if he has to share it with Frere-Jones.

Excellent news, Phil - I can't wait to see this.