ON DECK FOR NEW MUSIC BOOKS THIS SUMMER:
Following recent "pivotal year" books on 1965 and 1966, David Hepworth declares 1971 "the year that rock exploded" in Never a Dull Moment. (Read a review here.) The great tenor saxophonist Benny Golson recalls his tutelage under John Coltrane (and many other memories) in Whisper Not. (Read a review here.) George Plasketes plumbs the life and career of L.A.'s answer to Elvis Costello in Warren Zevon: Desperado of Los Angeles. (Read about Zevon's wild life here.) Brendan Mullen, Jello Biafra, Mike Watt, Lorna Doom, Ian Mackaye and Malcolm McLaren all contribute to The Fucked Up Reader. Martin Power offers No Quarter in his new biography on the life -- well, three, actually -- of Led Zeppelin guitarist James Patrick Page. Newly reminted Hold Steady keyboardist Franz Nicholay tours the global punk underground in The Humorless Ladies of Border Control. (Read an excerpt here.) It's been delayed for at least a couple months, but let's hope Hat & Beard's 500-page Slash: A History of the Legendary LA Punk Magazine: 1977-1980 lives up to all the hype. If not, Circle Jerks head honcho Keith Morris' My Damage: The Story of a Punk Rock Survivor should prove to be a lively companion. One of the founding members of NYC's Black Rock Coalition, Greg Tate, releases his second essay collection Flyboy 2: The Greg Tate Reader, while Ed Piskor adds a fourth volume to his gorgeous graphic novel series The Hip Hop Family Tree. The Library of America celebrates the life and career of an influential American composer with the collection Virgil Thomson: The State of Music & Other Writings. For better or worse, dance music is finally getting the rigorous academic treatment with Grafton Tanner Babbling Corpses and the essay collection RAVE. Not exactly beach reads, these.
Ricardo Cavolo's hallucinatory folk art is the highlight of Scott McClanahan's graphic novel The Incantations of Daniel Johnston. (Read an interview with McClanahan here.) The concert festival that allegedly killed the 1960s finally gets its own book in Joel Selvin's Altamont: The Rolling Stones, the Hells Angels, and the Inside Story of Rock's Darkest Day. Yacht rock's gruesome twosome of Walter Becker and Donald Fagen get their laundry aired in a new expanded reissue of Brian Sweet's Steely Dan: Reelin' in the Years. When the Brooklyn alt-rock venue Death by Audio shut its doors in 2014, they held an epic 75-day goodbye party that was documented by photog Ebru Yildiz in We've Come So Far. (Look at some of her amazing images here.) If you enjoyed the recent documentary about John Lennon and Yoko Ono's epic citizenship battle, Leon Wildes, the lawyer who took their case, tells the inside story of John Lennon vs. The U.S.A. Meanwhile, back in the UK: Punk London. 1977: The Roxy, The Vortex, King's Road and Beyond as photographed by Derek Ridgers. Indie-rock godheads like he Sea and Cake, Interpol, Low, Vandermark Five, The Arcade Fire and The Flaming Lips all played Chicago's Empty Bottle bar; now the plucky lil' dive gets an extravagant art-book treatment in John Dugan's The Empty Bottle Chicago: 21+ Years of Music / Friendly / Dancing.
John Powell endeavors to explain Why You Love Music while Olivia Grbac attempts the same for Shit People at Gigs. Paul Morley looks back on The Age of Bowie. Almost by accident, Jace Clayton becomes a DJ and winds up traveling the world; he tells what he found in Uproot: Travels in21st Century Music and Digital Culture. Andrew Matheson's memoir Sick on You: The Disastrous Story of The Hollywood Brats satisfies our taste for glorious unsung failures, while our fascination with "playlist lit" (a.k.a., "listicle lit") continues with Michael Rubens' YA novel The Bad Decisions Playlist and ex-MTV VJ Dave Holmes' Party of One: A Memoir in 21 Songs. And, barely six months after the death of David Bowie, Your Band Is Killing Me author Rob Sheffield offers perhaps the first significant piece of posthumous appreciation in On Bowie. (Check out Sheffield's Spotify playlist here.)