Record Collecting for Girls: Unleashing Your Inner Music Nerd, One Album at a Time

Courtney E. Smith. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/ Mariner, $13.95 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-0-547-50223-6
There are few ways to get to know someone quicker than scrolling through that person's iPod. But whatever you do, former MTV programmer Smith cautions in this insightful and hilarious take on the modern state of music, never date a guy who likes the Smiths too much. Smith easily blends her own musical coming-of-age narrative with rock history—especially women's place in it—interspersed with playlists and brief "interlude" chapters, such as "Music Blogs Are Just Dadaist Conversation" and "Give It to Me for Free." Working at MTV for the first decade of the new millennium, Smith heavily influenced what music ended up on a generation's iPod, from Death Cab for Cutie to the Shins, and she explores her own roots with lists ranging from top five artists right now (with strict rules for admittance) to guilty pleasures ("in my world it's not okay to like the Black Eyed Peas") and best breakup songs cued to the five stages of grief (is it time for angry Fiona Apple or the melancholy Cure?). As the music industry changes with the digital age, so does the concept of "record" collecting, argues Smith, who grapples with whether to keep her nostalgia-laden physical CDs or transfer everything to hard drives. This is a book for anyone whose day has a soundtrack and for whom music reigns supreme. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 06/20/2011
Release date: 09/01/2011
Genre: Nonfiction
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