Book of the Week: Sure beats liner notes

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Now that I’ve gone all techno and traded in my CDs for iTunes, I have to admit it: I miss those liner notes. Without them, I’m at serious risk of publicly flubbing lyrics to some great song, developing crushes on musicians I’ve never even seen, and committing such heinous music-geek crimes as insisting the Sex Pistols’ first gig in Manchester was in 1977 … not that I would do such a thing! And then there’s the cover art: The Talking Heads deserve some credit for my appreciation of book artist extraordinaire Ed Ruscha , and R.E.M. for introducing me to folk visionary Howard Finster. That tiny iPod screen just doesn’t do justice to such creative giants.

album Book of the Week: Sure beats liner notes

The Apparitions must have read my mind, because their book As This Is Futuristic: An Album in Pictures is the ultimate cure for liner note nostalgia. Together this band has created a book that features not only all the lyrics to their music –”I never thought the trees could be capable of teasing” is a new favorite in the clever lyric category – but also some highly original art by band member Robbie Roberts perhaps best described as Finster-meets-Fillmore-poster.

Robbie and fellow Apparitions, thanks for this Book of the Week: it’s a sight for iPod-deprived eyes. Now that I’m a fan, all I have to do is buy your album. Which brings me to this tidbit just in from South by Southwest, as related by Blurb CEO Eileen Gittins:

One musician is here with his 7×7 Blurb book into the back of which he has affixed a CD sleeve with the band’s CD. It’s his new “jewel case.” He, and a bunch of other musicians/graphic artists lament the fact that the download no longer affords the visual opportunity that liner notes used to afford. They like the Blurb book as it affords them an even richer experience than the liner notes….

Blurb books with CDs in them? Fantastic – who didn’t adore Nick Hornby’s Songbook? Maybe I’ll be won back over to CDs yet… how about you?

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