Wednesday, April 27, 2016


ON DECK FOR NEW MUSIC BOOKS IN MAY: Bruno Ceriotti's exhaustive e-book My Little Red Book: Love Day-By-Day 1945-1971 charts the L.A. cult band's tumultuous rise and fall. Premier punk press PM publishes the second edition of George Hurchalla's Going Underground: American Punk 1979–1989. He's not dead, so you can still read Philip Norman's Paul McCartney: The Life without crying to a Spotify playlist. Rolling Stone editor Mark Binelli reanimates a gonzo R&B singer in his 'What If?' novel Screamin' Jay Hawkins' All-Time Greatest Hits. Caroline Gnagy follows in the footsteps of John and Alan Lomax in Texas Jailhouse Music, a fascinating history of prison bands. David Toop has written some of the most sublime books on the holistic effects of sound and music; now he just may top himself in Into the Maelstrom: Music, Improvisation and the Dream of Freedom Before 1970. In Beethoven for a Later Age, classical violinist Edward Dusinberre interweaves the history and challenges of Beethoven's 16 string quartet compositions (written between 1798 and 1826) with the history of his own Colorado-based Takács Quartet.

Honestly, we're getting kind of tired on books about the "World's Greatest Rock & Roll Band," but Rich Cohen's The Sun & The Moon & The Rolling Stones examines the group through the contradictory lens of journalistic fandom. (Be forewarned: Cohen, along with Mick Jagger, is one of the co-creators of HBO's execrable Vinyl, so bring along a couple grains of salt.) John Troutman excavates an underrated and misunderstood instrument in Kīkā Kila: How the Hawaiian Steel Guitar Changed Modern Music. Ex-Grantland scribe Steven Hyden brings a kind of Monday Night Football blow-by-blow commentary to classic musician rivalries (Biggie vs. Tupac, Stones vs. Beatles) in Your Favorite Band Is Killing Me: What Pop Music Rivalries Reveal About the Meaning of Life. (Read an interview with Hyden here.) Since the turn of the millennium he's been a tireless booster for the West Coast, but in his memoir PorcelainNYC, 1989-1999 technopop auteur Richard "Moby" Hall looks back on his early DJ career in Urinetown. Yale University Press's twin volumes Conversations In Jazz and Music in the Air aim for reappraisal of the pioneering jazz writer Ralph J. Gleason. (Read The New Yorker's take on Gleason here.) Happily, the prolific Ted Gioia, who wrote the introduction to Conversations in Jazz, also has a new book, the accessible primer How to Listen to Jazz. (The Washington Post reviews it here.) Minnesota University Press collects the rare and unpublished essays of jazz and blues critic Albert Murray in Murray Talks Music. (The LA Review of Books reviews it here.) And rounding out the month for you Geminis are two very different titles from Bloomsbury's 33 1/3 series: Jovana Babovic's Sleater-Kinney's Dig Me Out and Rolf Potts' The Geto Boys. Trevor Barre plumbs the early days of the London free-jazz movement in Beyond Jazz: Plink,Plonk and Scratch. Originally published in 1994, Edward Berlin's King of Ragtime: Scott Joplin and His Era gets a reprint from Oxford University Press. In his novel Imagine Me Gone, Adam Haslett novel seamlessly mixes mental illness and music-as-therapy for a memorable coming-of-age tale. (Read an interview with Haslett here.)

No comments:

Post a Comment