You can just hear Ryan Schreiber looking himself in the mirror every day and repeating "We’re not the next Rolling Stone, we’re not the next Rolling Stone" about a hundred times until he begins to believe it. In any case, Pitchfork Media has announced, in a completely zeitgeist-reversing decision, that they will be releasing a (gasp!) print book that will guide budding hipsters on the 500 greatest songs from 1977-2006.
Pitchfork’s Amy Phillips reports that the Pitchfork 500 will be "an alternate history of the past three decades of popular music– one that extends beyond the typical Baby Boomer-approved canon of the Clash, Prince, Public Enemy, Nirvana, Radiohead, and Outkast." An alternate history not involving Harry Turtledove or Max Brooks? Feh!
The book promises to span from Brian Eno, Iggy Pop, and David Bowie to the Arcade Fire, The White Stripes, and Kanye West. Funny, aren’t the last 3 part of the Baby Boomer approved canon as well? In any event, it’s certainly an interesting move for the current leading impresarios of the indie press. I’m actually surprised that Pitchfork would recognize that 1977 was the best start date. I was half expecting them to say something like "punk rock really started in 1973" or something argument-baiting like that. Perhaps this new safe approach is better suited for print. The book comes out November 11.
The full announcement is as follows:
Pitchfork is making the leap from pixels to the page: On November 11, Simon & Schuster imprint Fireside Books will publish The Pitchfork 500: Our Guide to the Greatest Songs from Punk to the Present. This handy paperback chronologically explores Pitchfork’s 500 favorite songs from 1977-2006, constructing an alternate history of the past three decades of popular music– one that extends beyond the typical Baby Boomer-approved canon of the Clash, Prince, Public Enemy, Nirvana, Radiohead, and Outkast.
From art-rock and proto-punk godfathers such as Brian Eno, Iggy Pop, and David Bowie to today’s leading lights such as the Arcade Fire, the White Stripes, and Kanye West; from superstars to cult heroes; and from punk, indie, and pop to hip-hop, electronic music, and metal, we’ve created the ultimate playlist. Interspersed throughout are sidebars on the most vital subgenres from electro to grime to riot grrrl, along with pieces like "Career Killers: The Songs That Ended It All" and "Runaway Trainwrecks: The Post-Grunge Nadir."
Edited by Pitchfork Founder/President Ryan Schreiber and Editor-in-Chief Scott Plagenhoef, and written by an all-star team of contributors, The Pitchfork 500 is the perfect book for the train ride to work, a cozy winter’s night by the fireside, or extended stays on the toilet.
For more information on The Pitchfork 500, go to www.thepitchfork500.com; to pre-order now, go to Insound. And remember to look for it at your local bookstore starting November 11! (It sure would make for a nice holiday gift, hint hint.)