One of my personal treats around this time every year is a copy of Best Music Writing of the year, published annually by Da Capo. It’s a particularly well produced and thought out book. It’s not a beauty contest (although it easily could be). And it’s not about the biggest artists or the most envied mastheads or anything like that. Rather it does exactly what it promises: it collects the very best writing about music from the year that was. You end up with a beautifully rendered portrait of that year: the highest highs, the lowest lows and just the heartbeat of that moment; technologically, stylistically and, to a certain extent, even politically. This year the book is comprised of 36 terrific and far-ranging pieces. I loved every second.
Ann Powers is guest editor of this 10th edition of Da Capo’s Best Music Writing. She is the chief pop critic of the Los Angeles Times and the author of Weird Like Us, Rock She Wore and several other books.
“Music itself is a call that invites response,” she tells us in the opening to Best Music Writing 2010. “It organized desire, sorrow, and joy into a form both primal ... and intensely communal; in every know culture, some sort of music has been in a constant in every day life.” It is, once again, celebrated here. ◊
Lincoln Cho is a freelance writer and editor. He lives in the Chicago area, where he works in the high-tech industry. He is currently working on a his first novel, a science-fiction thriller set in the world of telecommunications.