Monday, February 14, 2011

Song Logic - buy this book

A little while ago I mentioned that my internet associate and fellow music nerd Rino Breebaart had released his first book named Song Logic (which you can buy here). I got my copy in the mail today and have read three quarters of it already (I had an electronic version but decided to wait for my print edition to really devour it). I'm not going to review the book here but I have no hesitation in recommending you buy Song Logic and here's why:

1. I think Rino and I have many similar ideas about music. Where I go off into expletive riddled rants about music, he articulates his thoughts with clarity and composure. Further, there's a depth here which is like a savvier Greil Marcus before he disappeared up his own arse. This is seriously good writing about music and if you're a music fan with a sense of history, there are many thought provoking pieces here.

2. Reading these essays makes me immediately want to listen to the music being talked about. Rino is a classicist in many ways but not in that snobby kind of way - the writing is aware of the inherent contradictions of liking U2 (damn you Bono!).

3. Rino is a self-published so essentially he's an indie rock band in the publishing world - support local music/writing.

4. He has a chapter dedicated to the merits of ABBA. This is the second such essay I've read this year (the other being in Chuck Klosterman's Eat the Dinosaur). Rino's is the better of the two.

5. Reading this book has reminded me of a whole bunch of things I had forgotten or not thought about for a long time. Some of these things are:

a) I will argue to the death that Achtung Baby is U2's best album.

b) That being said, the Edge was so boring in that film about guitars. However, I really love Adam Clayton's bass line in Helter Skelter.

c) I will argue to the death that Kid A is Radiohead's best album.

d) That being said, In Rainbows is better than you think it is.

e) I once met Owsley at Glebe Markets. He berated me about the sound quality of some Grateful Dead live albums (long story).

f) Jimi Hendrix is undeniably awesome but I prefer the Radio One compilation to any of his studio albums.

g) The Ramones ruined my hearing in 1994.

h) Really, are Abba that good?

Any writing that makes me think this deeply about music is worth reading. Seriously, you should buy a copy.



  1. Thanks for the words!

    on a) totally agree.

    on e) wow - you met Owsley! Bet he could relate some *very* interesting Dead anecdotes. He had a singularly massive influence on 60s America. And wonder what it feels like to be the subject of a Steely Dan song. Also, I read on the wiki that he lives somewhere in Queensland these days. That's just up the road from me, as Jackie Macdonald used to say.

  2. My friend runs a cd/vinyl store at Glebe Markets and I used to watch the store from time to time. It was quite a while ago but I just remember thinking he wasn't what I thought he would be. I imagined he'd be really laid back, stoner kind of dude but in fact he was this incredibly intense, terse little man with a very thick American accent. He started going through the store and picking out cds and quizzing me on them. When he got to the Grateful Dead section, he pulled out a bunch of cds and was complaining that they didn't sound right on CD. He then showed me the liner notes and said "that's me" pointing to the reference to the Bear. Once he was satisfied that I was suitably impressed and had heard of him, he became a bit friendlier and I asked him a few things. For some reason I thought he was living in Northern NSW (probably Byron). I asked him if he’d heard Hendrix song where he screams “Oh Owsley, if you could hear me now” and he said was “like duh, of course I’ve heard it.” Then his wife turned up and he bought the Dead cds he was complaining about. He parted with the words “check out my website.” I did. It was pretty shit.