A traveling DJ

The diversity and endless amount of music available online makes the choice hard when it comes to downloading. A new book by former Spin magazine Ultragrrrl Sarah Lewitinn, entitled The

Pocket DJ, is aimed at assisting in downloading dilemmas.

The book is basically a compilation of song lists. However, it manages to be original by categorizing songs into a bevy of interests. Lewitinn explains the book in the introduction as, “It’s not for the snobby or elitist. It’s not for people who aren’t willing to give things they don’t know — or are prejudiced against — a shot.” The Pocket DJ is for those who sit in front of iTunes wishing they could remember the name of that song on the radio or the person open to diversifying their music collection.

The first chapter of the book is labeled “Essential Genres” and features lists including songs from metal to hip-hop to show tunes. Lewitinn manages to cover a broad range of genres and provides an easy-to-read list of approximately 20 of her favorite songs from each era.

Next the book offers an overview of “Essential Artists.” Like the earlier section, Lewitinn tackles artists from a variety of genres and gives a list of the best songs. She mixes the radio jams with obscure favorites by the artist. The alphabetical list covers big bands such as The Beatles and The Grateful Dead, as well as indie players like Pavement and Elliot Smith.

The highlight of the book is the next section, titled “Celebrity Playlist.” Lewitinn uses her Spin connections to get insider’s knowledge on what some popular artists put on their iPods. She has The Killers’ top 20 artists of the moment as well as the picks of bands such as Duran Duran and Interpol.

Finally, in a section called “Other Playlists,” she describes music for nearly every occasion. Be it changing clothes or using the restroom, Lewitinn tries to give every situation the proper musical accompaniment. Perhaps a bit too in-depth, the list offers some outside-the-box suggestions.

The Pocket DJ may not be the best book of song lists ever compiled, but it is a handy tool when dealing with daily dilemmas of music selection.

Grade: B-