Little, Brown and Company Catalog

Fall 2013/Winter 2014

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On Celestial Music And Other Adventures in Listening
Rick Moody
978-0-316-10521-7, $15.99

Rick Moody has been writing about music as long as he has been writing, and this book provides an ample selection from that output. His anatomy of the word cool reminds us that, in the postwar ’40s, it was infused with the feeling of jazz music but is now merely a synonym for neat. On Celestial Music, which was included in Best American Essays 2008, begins with a lament for the loss in recent music of the vulnerability expressed by Otis Redding’s masterpiece, Try a Little Tenderness; moves on to Moody’s infatuation with the ecstatic music of The Velvet Underground; and ends with an appreciation of Arvo Pärt and Purcell, close as they are to nature, “the music of the spheres.”

Contemporary groups covered include Magnetic Fields (their love songs), Wilco (the band’s and Jeff Tweedy’s evolution), Danielson Famile (an evangelical rock band), The Pogues (Shane MacGowan’s problems with addiction), The Lounge Lizards (John Lurie’s brilliance), and Meredith Monk, who once recorded a song inspired by Rick Moody’s story Boys. Always incisive and personable, these pieces inspire us to dive as deeply into the music that enhances our lives as Moody has done—and introduces us to wonderful sounds we may not know.

About the Author: Rick Moody frequently writes about music for the popular online literary magazine The Rumpus and released his first solo album in 2010.

Publicity Contact: Liz Garriga,

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