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An assortment of notes, reviews, comments (New: Dec. 10/08)

OXFORD AMERICAN: Magazine & Book (New: Dec. 10/08)

Oxford American is a quarterly magazine, self-described (but accurately so) as "The Southern [U.S.] Magazine of Good Writing". It publishes an annual Music Issue which features numerous profiles of an amazingly wide variety of Southern musicians (all of whom are featured on the accompanying CD -- itself a treasure), as well as other related articles.

It's usually the only issue in the year carried in Toronto stores, and it inevitably sells out within days. The 2008 issue (photo) has just been published. My advice: search it out, and buy it. (Note: Soundscapes on College ordered 100 copies!)

The website currently has four articles from the issue, as well others available only online. Enjoy. Note: this year's issue for the first time includes a double CD.

To get a better sense of what can be contained in an issue -- and its CD, see my article on their 2006 issue here:

The Book:
55 essays -- most from past Music Issues -- have now been collected in an excellent new book, The Oxford American Book of Great Music Writing. See a review here.


OTHER MAGAZINES: Virtual and otherwise (Adapted from the Nov. 22/08 newsletter)

North America's only world music magazine, Global Rhythm, recently announced it was ending print publication. A digital version of the magazine will be produced, and (free) subscriptions are available here.

Partly in reaction to this announcement, Songlines, the U.K. world music magazine has made two announcements:

a) A discounted subscription offer for North American readers: $50(US) for 8 issues, each of which includes a CD featuring tracks from the best reviewed albums of that issue. Click here for info.

b) A future "U.S. (aka, North American, I assume) edition.

To get a sense of the magazine, see their online sampler here.

Global Rhythm isn't the only U.S. magazine to close down its presses this year. No Depression, the alt-country/Americana magazine published its last print issue earlier this year. It now publishes frequent articles and reviews on its website



This section will be updated soon with a selection of interesting music-related books. Meanwhile, check my appreciation/review of the recent biography of songwriter Doc Pomus: Lonely Avenue, The Unlikely Life and Times of Doc Pomus, which is one of the best music books I've read, and an excellently written account of a fascinating, and truly "unlikely" life.