Home Read News Next Week in Music | Sept. 2-8 • New Books

Next Week in Music | Sept. 2-8 • New Books

September's barely begun, but your fall reading options are already plentiful.

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Hope you’ve got plenty of reading time factored into your schedule this month: There will be no shortage of music-related books to fill it. Here are this week’s big arrivals:


Hurricanes: A Memoir
By Rick Ross & Neil Martinez-Belkin

THE PRESS RELEASE:Rick Ross is an indomitable presence in the music industry, but few people know his full story. Now, for the first time, Ross offers a vivid, dramatic and unexpectedly candid account of his early childhood, his tumultuous adolescence and his dramatic ascendancy in the world of hip-hop. Born William Leonard Roberts II, Ross grew up “across the bridge,” in a Miami at odds with the glitzy beaches, nightclubs and yachts of South Beach. In the aftermath of the 1980 race riots and the Mariel boatlift, Ross came of age at the height of the city’s crack epidemic, when home invasions and execution-style killings were commonplace. Still, in the midst of the chaos and danger that surrounded him, Ross flourished, first as a standout high school football player and then as a dope boy in Carol City’s notorious Matchbox housing projects. All the while he honed his musical talent, overcoming setback after setback until a song called Hustlin’ changed his life forever. From the making of Hustlin’ to his first major label deal with Def Jam, to the controversy surrounding his past as a correctional officer and the numerous health scares, arrests and feuds he had to transcend along the way, Hurricanes is a revealing portrait of one of the biggest stars in the rap game, and an intimate look at the birth of an artist.”


Blue: The Color of Noise
By Steve Aoki & Daniel Paisner

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Blue is the remarkable story ― in pictures and words ― of Steve Aoki, the superstar DJ/producer who started his career as a vegan straightedge hardcore music kid hellbent on defying his millionaire father, whose unquenchable thirst to entertain  ―inherited from his dad, Rocky Aoki, founder of Benihana ― led him to global success and two Grammy nominations. In Blue, Aoki recounts the epic highs of music festivals, clubs and pool parties around the world, as well as the lows of friendships lost to drugs and alcohol, and his relationship with his flamboyant father. Illustrated with candid photos gathered throughout his life, the book reveals how Aoki became a force of nature as an early social media adopter, helping to turn dance music into the phenomenon it is today. All this, while remaining true to his DIY punk rock principles, which value spontaneity, fun and friendship above all else ― demonstrable by the countless cakes he has flung across cities worldwide.”


Summertime: George Gershwin’s Life in Music
By Richard Crawford

THE PRESS RELEASE: “New York City native and gifted pianist George Gershwin blossomed as an accompanist before his talent as a songwriter opened the way to Broadway, where he fashioned his own brand of American music. He composed a long run of musical comedies, many with his brother Ira as lyricist, but his aspirations reached beyond commercial success. A lifetime learner, Gershwin was able to appeal to listeners on both sides of the purported popular-classical divide. In 1924 — when he was just 25 — he bridged that gap with his first instrumental composition, Rhapsody in Blue, an instant classic premiered by Paul Whiteman’s jazz orchestra, as the anchor of a concert entitled An Experiment in Modern Music. Drawing extensively from letters and contemporaneous accounts, acclaimed music historian Richard Crawford traces the arc of Gershwin’s remarkable life, seamlessly blending colorful anecdotes with a discussion of Gershwin’s unforgettable oeuvre. His days on earth were limited to the summertime of life. But the spirit and inventive vitality of the music he left behind lives on.”


Abba: The Stories Behind Every Song
By Robert Scott

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Everybody loves Abba, as proven by the blockbuster success of Mamma Mia! the movie. Abba: The Stories Behind Every Song traces the story of the Swedish supergroup which has sold an estimated 350,000,000 records, tapes, and CDs through their songs. Starting with their world-conquering 1970s disco hits, it travels through to the more reflective 1980s, with The Winner Takes It All marking a watershed in their output. Every tune from the musical and movie is covered, and glorious photographs form a sublime gallery of Abba’s most dazzling costumes. This is a unique, in-depth study of the places, events, and characters that inspired an enduring catalog of classic songs.”


Bowie by O’Neill: The Definitive Collection With Unseen Images
By Terry O’Neill

THE PRESS RELEASE: “This book is the breathtaking result of iconic photographer Terry O’Neill’s creative partnership with David Bowie that spanned over many years. Containing rare and never-before-seen photographs, their work together includes images from the last Ziggy Stardust performance, recording sessions for Young Americans and the renowned studio portraits for Diamond Dogs — plus live shows, film shoots, backstage moments and more. With more than 200 photographs, this is the ultimate portrait of an inspiring, challenging and ever-changing artist.”


Bowie: An Illustrated Life
By María Hesse, Fran Ruiz

THE PRESS RELEASE:David Bowie was a master of artifice and reinvention. In that same spirit, illustrator María Hesse and writer Fran Ruiz have created a vivid retelling of the life of David Robert Jones, from his working-class childhood to glam rock success to superstardom, concluding with the final recording sessions after his cancer diagnosis. Narrated from the rock star’s point of view, Bowie colorfully renders both the personal and the professional turning points in a life marked by evolution and innovation. We see Bowie facing the sorrow of his brother’s mental illness, kicking a cocaine habit while other musicians succumbed to deadly overdoses, contending with a tumultuous love life, and radiating joy as a father. Along the way, he describes how he shattered the boundaries of song and society with a counterculture cast that included Iggy Pop, Brian Eno, and Freddie Mercury — as well as his own creations, Ziggy Stardust and the Thin White Duke. Evocatively illustrated from start to finish, Bowie is a stellar tribute to an inimitable star.”


More Tales of a Rock Star’s Daughter
By Nettie Baker

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Fire up the crimpers and get backcombing! Hairspray and heartbreak abound as the painted youth of the 1980s go on the rampage in a North West London suburb. More Tales of a Rock Star’s Daughter by Nettie, eldest offspring of Cream/Blind Faith drummer Ginger Baker, follows on from her hilarious and critically acclaimed first volume. Here she negotiates eviction and poverty and goes off the rails with a new cast of maniacs. From a 1970 meeting with Jimi Hendrix, through to Live Aid, Greenham Common, a cancer op and a brief glimpse of Cream’s 2005 reunion. This is essentially a punk rock, pub-based soap-opera like no other; set against venues long-gone and values out-dated, in the smashed-up ruins of a changing world.”


She Can Really Lay It Down: 50 Rebels, Rockers, and Musical Revolutionaries
By Rachel Frankel

THE PRESS RELEASE: “The artists in this book defied genre and social convention to shape the music industry as we know it. But many of these incredible musicians have been overlooked or cast in supporting roles in their own stories simply because they are women. Until now. Author and illustrator Rachel Frankel shines a spotlight on 50 groundbreaking musicians through vivid portraits and heartfelt biographies that bring each icon to life on the page. Featuring an exposed spine designed to look like the neck of a guitar, this book pays homage to the rock goddesses who shredded, sang, and stormed the stage with ferocity and passion, inspiring a whole new generation of fearless, talented performers.”


The 33 1/3 B-sides: New Essays by 33 1/3 Authors on Beloved and Underrated Albums
By Will Stockton, D. Gilson

THE PRESS RELEASE: “If given another chance to write for the series, which albums would 33 1/3 authors focus on the second time around? This anthology features compact essays from past 33 1/3 authors on albums that consume them, but about which they did not write. It explores often overlooked and underrated albums that may not have inspired their 33 1/3 books, but have played a large part in their own musical cultivation. Questions central to the essays include: How has this album influenced your worldview? How does this album intersect with your other creative and critical pursuits? How does this album index a particular moment in cultural history? In your own personal history? Why is the album perhaps under-the-radar, or a buried treasure? Why can’t you stop listening to it? Bringing together 33 1/3’s rich array of writers, critics, and scholars, this collection probes our taste in albums, our longing for certain tunes, and our desire to hit repeat — all while creating an expansive “must-listen” list for readers in search of unexplored musical territories.”


New York Times Essential Library: Rock Music
By Jon Pareles

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Rock and roll has engendered a whole myriad of subgenres – from metal to reggae, folk rock to funk, country rock to hip-hop, punk to grunge, rockabilly to soul. In assertive and original essays, Jon Pareles, the rock music critic for The New York Times, addresses what he calls the “panopticon” of genres that grew out of the early traditions. He includes several of these seminal artists who laid the groundwork for later experimentation – Elvis, Chuck Berry, and Buddy Holly, for example. But he also ranges widely over some more unusual favorites: Marvin Gaye, Joni Mitchell, James Brown, Public Enemy, Parliament-Funkadelic, Nirvana, U2, and Talking Heads. Pareles bases his selection of the hundred best albums on their innovativeness, historical significance, and pure listening pleasure. He tells us not just what the album sounds like but why it is so influential, and in many cases, why it’s still a thrill to hear after all of these years. This latest volume in the Essential Library series captures perfectly the way that rock has shaped and shaken both our culture and our minds.”


A New History of American and Canadian Folk Music
By Dick Weissman

THE PRESS RELEASE:A New History of American and Canadian Folk Music presents a provocative discussion of the history, evolution, and current status of folk music in the United States and Canada. North American folk music achieved a high level of popular acceptance in the late 1950s. When it was replaced by various forms of rock music, it became a more specialized musical niche, fragmenting into a proliferation of musical styles. In the pop-folk revival of the 1960s, artists were celebrated or rejected for popularizing the music to a mass audience. In particular the music seemed to embrace a quest for authenticity, which has led to endless explorations of what is or is not faithful to the original concept of traditional music. This book examines the history of folk music into the 21st century and how it evolved from an agrarian style as it became increasingly urbanized. Scholar-performer Dick Weissman, himself a veteran of the popularization wars, is uniquely qualified to examine the many controversies and musical evolutions of the music, including a detailed discussion of the quest for authenticity, and how various musicians, critics, and fans have defined that pursuit.”


Vanishing Wave
By Devendra Banhart

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Following his travels to Japan shortly after the Tohoku earthquake, artist/musician Devendra Banhart produced a series of evocative drawings responding to the natural disaster and its effects on the people of Japan. Exhibitions of these drawings were shown in Tokyo and Kyoto with the purpose to raise funds to support, the Mother’s Radiation Lab Fukushima, the Tohoku Youth Orchestra, and the Foster Care for Children in Fukushima. Vanishing Wave is the collection of these ink drawings accompanied by personal texts by Devendra Banhart, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Ryu Takahashi and Yusuke Nagai. A testament to the tide-like characteristics of memory, grief, and pain.”