Former operator of Modified writes 33 1/3 book on Slint’s Spiderland


Last year, I posted thoughts from a few locals about Modified as the downtown Phoenix space shifted its focus from music to a mostly arts venue. The first post, from David Jensen, drew a comment from a Scott T., who said the words were “dredging up a lot of memories for me.” Little did I know at the time that was Scott Tennent, a former Stinkweeds employee who also ran Modified for about two years, starting in early 2000 (he saw My Morning Jacket there!).

Scott, who also used to play in Phoenix band Half Visconte, keeps a fine blog – Pretty Goes with Pretty – and he’s now forever minted in music nerdom as the author of a new book in the highly regarded 33 1/3 series. His 160-page narrative on Slint’s Spiderland is hitting shelves this week and available at Amazon.

The book was nearly two years in the making, and it’s quite a distinction. Consider: Nearly 600 proposals were whittled down to 170 (the “shortlist“) and then to 27 before 33 1/3 decided on the “The Chosen Eleven,” including Scott.

I’m planning on a Q&A with Scott in the near future, but we did exchange a few e-mails this week, and his research sounded exhaustive: “For an album I thought I already knew inside and out, I learned a hell of a lot,” he said.

When his proposal was accepted in May 2009, Scott offered a few thoughts on Spiderland at his blog: “This is the album that, fifteen or sixteen years ago, completely impacted the way I listen to music. I’ve gone through my share of musical phases in my life, but Spiderland is one that has remained with me throughout.”

Very cool. I’m excited to talk to him about the process, from submitting the proposal to the research and interviews to the writing and re-writing. In the meantime, 33 1/3 posted an excerpt from the book last month and The Decibel Tolls has an interview with Scott.

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