Thanks to his column on New Music Box, I’ve been alerted by my friend and fellow blogger Greg Sandow that Tom Johnson’s 1992 book of Village Voice reviews, The Voice of New Music, is being offered as a free download on the internet. This is a dream come true. I already had the book in print, of course, but I have frequently needed to look through it for references to certain composers, or even phrases I remember Tom saying. Now, with it on my computer (I chose it as a Word file rather than a PDF), I can search even a word or two I remember. Tom’s innovative writing, which set a new standard for the nonjudgmental consideration of crazily experimental music, remains the only major historical document for the Downtown Manhattan scene of the 1970s.
By the way, to forestall a frequent question, a book of my own Village Voice reviews is supposed to appear sometime in coming months. It’s titled Music Downtown, and is coming from the University of California Press. It will NOT be offered as a free download. Not yet, anyway.