The author of the book is a former writer/editor for SPIN magazine and it seems like much of the book is spent trying to “prove” her credentials based on the obscurity or semi-obscurity of the tunes chosen. Examples: a playlist where all the songs connected have in common is that they are from 70s movie soundtracks, meaning you get Cat Stevens alongside Sid Vicious and the Muppets. A house music playlist that includes a song with the note “Bootleg, never officially released”.
The “celebrity” playlists included are very ‘indie’: most mainstream readers won’t know the Caesars (I know who the band ARE..our local alternative station plays them..but I’d be hardpressed to name more than a song or two by them), several techno DJ types, and emo/pop punksters like Midtown and Taking Back Sunday who get the nod here.
Best bits of the book are the “essential genre” playlists which are pretty definitive short lists of songs every fan of (fill in music style here) should know and the essential artist playlists. Which artists are ‘essential’ is often questionable. (Yeah, I realize there’s a ton of “buzz” around Bright Eyes..and I even like Conor’s stuff..but he’s a few albums shy of having been around long enough to call him “essential”.) Plenty of hipsterism again there too with Fela Kuti and Guided by Voices on the list.
Borrow it if you’re curious, but do NOT buy it.