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Because music is life. Here's a sample.

Music Matters Series

Scientists tell us about mass extinction events, and I think we’re in the middle of one right now: the late Triassic period of rock star die-off. The recent deaths of Sharon Jones, Leonard Cohen, Lou Reed, B. B. King, Prince, David Bowie, Greg Allman, Tom Petty and others have all led to public outpourings of appreciation, sorrow, remembrance, and cultural self-examination. It seems to me that as this generation of artist ages and leaves the scene there will be a market for books beyond the whiskey-soaked rockstar bio to remember them by.

And so I’m pleased to be launching “Music Matters,” a new series of short works offering smart, incisive examinations of the musical, cultural, experiential, and personal meaning and legacy of artists living and dead, and making strong arguments for their importance—all filtered through the consciousness of writers of distinction working in music criticism, journalism, academia, and literature.

“Music Matters” will engage with major and much written-about figures, as do the first two volumes in the series—Why the Ramones Matter, by Donna Gaines, and Why the Beach Boys Matter, by Tom Smucker. And future volumes will make the same multidimensional argument for the centrality of underserved artists, including Karen Capenter, Lhasa de Sela, and Solange. Each volume in the Music Matters series is part biography, part musicology, part cultural history, part personal statement, written with verve, style, wit, and passionate engagement.

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