Ideally such music should be played by a collection of musical innocents...


— Cornelius Cardew


Charivari Press









These essays are often very personal and the contributors provide contexts (mostly cultural and occassionally personal and political) for their developments and discoveries. There's very little journalistic detachment here and that's a good thing. ... Each writer in his own way conveys the elation, that zing, of discovering and relishing new sounds. Any eclectic music geek will identify with these stories. ... When music heads bemoan the amount of crappy music out there that clogs our plane of existence, they fail to remember just how much good stuff is out there waiting to be discovered. Music IS Rapid Transportation is more thna just a reminder; it may prove to be indispensable to tommorrow's musical Magellans starting out on their own Paths of Discovery.


— Mark Keresman, Signal to Noise


The book’s genius – and what makes it, to my knowledge, unique and much needed – is that it doesn’t put down one type of music at the expense of the other. Pop or jazz “police” – and resulting hierarchies – are not welcome here.  The writers, of different age groups and backgrounds, describe the most influential music in their lives, from Dylan to Steve Reich, the Velvet Underground to Archie Shepp (the eclecticism is remarkable, leading to a terrific reading experience). The writing is both charmingly personal and widely informed, lending friendly hands to explore their musical journeys and epiphanies. The book demystifies music that’s too commonly thought of as inaccessible or the purview of an elite few (a narrow self-serving myth sometimes pushed by those elites to separate themselves from what H.L. Mencken satirically called the “booboisie”).


—Juan Rodriguez, Montreal Gazette


In a phrase, one could sum up Music is Rapid Transportation as a meditation on the profound and often unexpected sonic evolution and development of music listeners. Indeed, that tenet is the most interesting undercurrent that permeates this collection and proves to be its longest-lasting lesson. Great pains are taken to show that this book is not making any type of overt aesthetic value judgment or reverting to typical binary arguments; instead it shines further light on perhaps the most important element of the musical life: if you approach every day with open ears, there is no telling the sonic potential you will discover.


—Steve Sladkowski,

Spontaneous Combustion


L'ouvrage est ainsi un beau pied de nez aux pathétiques publications du type "1001 albums qu'il faut avoir écoutés avant de mourir". Music IS Rapid Transportation part en effet non pas des albums mais des auditeurs, de personnes passionnées dotées d'une capacité de discernement s'affinant avec le temps.


—Review en francais: Neospheres


"The most enjoyable section of the book is 'Musical Epiphanies,' in each of which the writers describe, over a page or so, an album or performance which was then, and is still now, especially important to them. It is in these pages, and in the biographical essays, that the life-long passions for music which produced Music Is Rapid Transportation become vivid and the book becomes as much fun to read as it must have been fun to write."


— Chris May,

Read Full Review


"I very much enjoyed the reviews of famous and lesser-known but equally deserving artists and how all artists were connected to other artists to guide and encourage musical explorations. The photographs that are, to the best of my knowledge, unavailable elsewhere, are largely comprised of stunning mood shots from live shows. The many listening autobiographies all provide fascinating personal accounts changing listening habits through time, including those that are fleeting, and those that persist. I learned about so many musical acts that I will be seeking out the CDs recommended by this book for a long time! Highly recommended."


— Stellula Calliope,



Music IS Rapid Transportation

...from the Beatles to Xenakis


Editor: Daniel Kernohan


by Lawrence Joseph, Dan Lander, Donal McGraith, Bill Smith, Alan Stanbridge, Scott Thomson

& Vern Weber


photos by Gordon Bowbrick, Herb Greenslade

& Bill Smith


A truly alternative look at music lists, not one that merely includes the obvious but shows the connections of popular music to the avant garde, the obscure, the experimental, the quirky, and the adventurous. Herein you will find a list of 500 artists from the familiar to the unknown. A list and a guide to musical pleasure sometimes close at hand and sometimes far afield. The book includes biographical essays of the eight contributors describing their musical journeys of discovery and the joy they derived from that exploration. They discuss the merits and dilemmas of collecting, recording versus live performance, the change of media and the future of music. In addition 100 plus artists receive short but detailed personal evaluation.



 Music Is Rapid Transportation

…from the Beatles to Xenakis




Buy Now


ePub Available


Buy Here


by Lawrence Joseph, Dan Lander, Donal McGraith Bill Smith, Alan Stanbridge, Scott Thomson & Vern Weber.

Photos by Gordon Bowbrick, Herb Greenslade & Bill Smith.

Daniel Kernohan (Editor)


The contributors to Music Is Rapid Transportation come from a variety of backgrounds and their ages span several generations.


Gordon Bowbrick is a Ontario based photographer whose photographs of musicians in performance have appeared on magazine covers, in jazz reviews and articles as well as being currently in use, both online and in print, by various musicians.


Herb Greenslade is photographer for the impressive Suoni per ilPopolo festival. His photos have been published in Europe, US and Canada, and have a presence on the web.


Lawrence Joseph, in addition to being a professor at the McGill Faculty of Medicine, is a musician, radio host and music reviewer. His group, Terminal Sunglasses released the successful album Wrap Around Cool.


Daniel Kernohan co-founded Marginal Distribution and later began Verge Music Distribution, a distributor of over 200 small fine boutique labels. In 1999 he co-founded the record label Spool with partner Vern Weber. Daniel has been nominated for Producer of the Year and Spool for Label of the Year by the National Jazz Awards.


Dan Lander has been a radio host and the editor of 2 books on sound and art: Sound By Artists and Radio Rethink: Art, Sound and Transmission. Among his many musical creations are works for radio and loudspeaker that have been featured in several recordings.


Donal McGraith has produced a number of articles on music and art for the magazines Musicworks and Sub Rosa. Several of his articles on music will be included in the upcoming The Wild & The Free: Shane, Rousseau, Hippies (2013, Charivari Press).


Bill Smith is a BC based musician, writer, editor, graphic designer, photographer, and record and film producer. Among his impressive list of credits are the co-creation and running of Coda Magazine, Sackville Recordings and its subsidiary label Onari Records. His biographic novel, Rant & Dawdle, has been published by Charivari Press in 2011.


Alan Stanbridge is an Associate Professor in Visual and Performing Arts at the University of Toronto, cross-appointed in graduate programs in Music and Museum Studies. He has published numerous articles on music and is currently working on a book entitled Rhythm Changes: Jazz, Culture, Discourse (Routledge).


Scott Thomson is a Toronto based trombonist and composer. He has studied with Roswell Rudd, Eddie Prevost, and John Oswald. He leads the quintet, The Rent. Scott has numerous recordings to his credit. As well, he was a founding board member of the Association of Improvising Musicians Toronto and was Artistic Director of performance space, Somewhere There.


Vern Weber is based in British Columbia where he teaches and works with newcomers to Canada. He was co-creator and manager of the acclaimed music label Spool. Spool’s releases have received wide critical acclaim and as well as promoting promising young Canadian talent.



Other Notices:


"I had a lot of fun “comparing notes” with these great collectors (Lawrence Joseph, Dan Lander, Donald McGraith, Bill Smith, Alan Stanbridge, Scott Thomson, Vern Weber), and their autobiographies spoke to me at a deep level. Seven opportunities to tell myself that I’m not crazy nor alone! Recommended reading to music maniacs with experimental tendencies."


— Francois Couture, monsieur delire



"... just finished this book and it was awesome. A very interesting take on a music book - more a biography and how folks found new music and got from one thing to another. Highly recommended."


— Bruce Stevens, Psycopompos




Music Is Rapid Transportation is available at:


Blue Streak Records (Peterborough),


Soundscapes, Sonic Boom (Toronto),


Cheap Thrills, McGill Bookstore, L'Oblique (Montreal),


Zulu Records (Vancouver).


United States: