Tired of reading the same recommended books from the usual sources? Just think of our bi-weekly What We're Reading column as your non-committal book club with FADER and some of your favorite artists. For this installment, we asked Damon McMahon, the Brooklyn-based experimental songwriter who releases music as Amen Dunes. His most recent full-length, Love, is out now on Sacred Bones; watch the video for hazy standout "Lonely Richard" right here.
My relationship with Bob Dylan is far too complicated and personal to even describe most of the time, but I can simply say he has been ingrained in my cells and body chemistry for the last 20 plus years, and has affected the way I've lived pretty much that whole time. He feels like a part of my breathing or dreaming or something. Weirdly, I've never read a book about him. I got this one and another one a few weeks ago. Pretty boring as far as books go, and strangely not that informative. But I am so obsessed that I like it just for its laying out of a detailed sequence of events in Dylan's life and recording career. I'm a Virgo so I like order and patterns, so I like to know exactly when something happened in Bob Dylan's life and the order of minor and major events in his life. Rock bios are always kind of a lame thing to read, but for certain musicians‚like this guy—I can't control myself.
I started hearing about his books around a year or two ago, and finally bought Book One this summer. It was basically as good as everyone had said it was. Haven't seen this much unanimous enthusiasm for any writer, or artist in general, in a long time. Much deserved, I think. Incredibly lucid and engaging. Book One was darker and had a slightly bitter undertone to it, but Book Two is more funny. His writing, and its translation, is so fluid and effortless I would highly recommended it to anyone—anyone who has thoughts and feelings on life, dying, time passing, other humans, etc.
Probably my favorite magazine out there. Been a loyal subscriber for a couple years now. They always do me right. Best subway read ever. It's like a mental wheat grass shot. Nice and sustaining. Tried the London Review waters for a period of time but was never my thing as much as the New York Review. Is da best.
Photo credit: Damon McMahon