ON DECK FOR NEW MUSIC BOOKS IN APRIL:Michelle Cruz Gonzales details the '90s moshpit in The Spitboy Rule: Tales of a Xicana in a Female Punk Band. (Read an interview with the author here.) James McBride follows his bestselling memoir The Color of Water with Kill 'Em and Leave: Searching for James Brown and the American Soul. (Read Rick Moody's NYT review here.) NPR's Bob Boilen interviews the likes of Regina Carter, Jimmy Page, Hozier, Smokey Robinson, Carrie Brownstein and St. Vincent on their musical inspirations in Your Song Changed My Life. (Read an interview with the author here.) In 1750, poet Thomas Gray stood in a cemetery on the English countryside and wrote a famous elegy for all of the unknown and unfulfilled talent buried there ("Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest"). 266 years later, Ray Robertson does something about it in Lives of the Poets (with Guitars): Thirteen Outsiders Who Changed Rock & Roll. (Read an interview with the author here.) There's a reason classical musicians call it "the Pit"; now, in Sticking It Out, percussionist Patti Niemi reveals the cutthroat world of big-city symphonies. Adding to a recent spate of "music as nostalgia" memoirs, Erik Spitznagel resolutely declared Old Records Never Die! (Check out the "book trailer" featuring Wilco's Jeff Tweedy here.) He used to be named John Ravenscroft and his radio show on SoCal's own KMEN influenced the Anglophilia of the '60s Sunset Strip rock scene. Later he moved to England and became John Peel. In Good Night and Good Riddance: How Thirty-Five Years of John Peel Helped to Shape Modern Life, David Cavanaugh pays tribute to the bearded, laconic tastemaker. (Read The Guardian's review here.)
England's Dreaming author Jon Savage commemorates the 50th anniversary of the cultural-shift year of 1966: The Year the Decade Exploded. (Check out the book's accompanying playlist here and
another cool list of the year's top rock albums here.) Bloomsbury's 33 1/3 series continues with Buzz Poole's The Grateful Dead's Workingman's Dead. (Read a Q&A with the author here.) They just finished what may have been their last tour, now the proggy Canucks called Rush have their own volume of fan fiction with 2113: Stories Inspired by the Music of Rush. We've been waiting for his reminisces between film roles, X bassist John Doe has finally obliged with Under the Big Black Sun: A Personal History of L.A. Punk. (Read an interview with Doe here.) Albert Einstein = Albert Ayler? Stephon Alexander thinks there might be something there in The Jazz of Physics: The Secret Link Between Music and the Structure of the Universe. In Dr. Herb Wong's essay collection Jazz on My Mind honors late KJAZ DJ's lifelong devotion to America's classical music. (Listen to an interview with the book's editor here.) Greg Vandy and Daniel Person document particularly fertile creative month for an American folk icon in 26 Songs in 30 Days: Woody Guthrie's Columbia River Songs and the Planned Promised Land in the Pacific Northwest.
Now that we know the new Twin Peaks reboot will be more music-related than we could have ever imagined, editors J.C. Gabel and Jessica Hundley provide contest in Beyond the Beyond: Music from the Films of David Lynch. Having just announced an upcoming biography of The Stooges, Third Man Books also has published photographer David James Swenson's Pictures From Unknown States as part of its Vault Package #28. The book documents Jack White's recent acoustic mini-tour.