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Next Week in Music | Nov. 4-10 • New Books

Read up on Flea, Eminem, Charlie, Freddie, Elton & more. Then get out the crayons!

It’s another big week for the music-loving readers out there. You’ve got Flea’s long-awaited memoir, new bios of Eminem and Irving Berlin, photo books devoted to The Rolling Stones and Elton John, and plenty more — but for my money, the real winners are the Frank Zappa colouring book and a Where’s Waldo-style book featuring Lemmy from Motörhead. Well, there’s two more additions to my Christmas wish list.

Acid for the Children: A Memoir
By Flea

THE PRESS RELEASE: “In Acid for the Children, Flea takes readers on a deeply personal and revealing tour of his formative years, spanning from Australia to the New York City suburbs to, finally, Los Angeles. Through hilarious anecdotes, poetical meditations, and occasional flights of fantasy, Flea deftly chronicles the experiences that forged him as an artist, a musician, and a young man. His dreamy, jazz-inflected prose makes the Los Angeles of the 1970s and 80s come to gritty, glorious life, including the potential for fun, danger, mayhem, or inspiration that lurked around every corner. It is here that young Flea, looking to escape a turbulent home, found family in a community of musicians, artists, and junkies who also lived on the fringe. He spent most of his time partying and committing petty crimes. But it was in music where he found a higher meaning, a place to channel his frustration, loneliness, and love. This left him open to the life-changing moment when he and his best friends, soul brothers, and partners-in-mischief came up with the idea to start their own band, which became the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Acid for the Children is the debut of a stunning new literary voice, whose prose is as witty, entertaining, and wildly unpredictable as the author himself. It’s a tenderly evocative coming-of-age story and a raucous love letter to the power of music and creativity from one of the most renowned musicians of our time.”

Not Afraid: The Evolution of Eminem
By Anthony Bozza

THE PRESS RELEASE: “In 1999, a former dishwasher from Detroit named Marshall Bruce Mathers III became the most controversial and polarizing musical artist in the world. He was an outlier, a white artist creating viable art in a black medium, telling stories with such verbal dexterity, nimble wit, and shocking honesty that his music and persona resonated universally. In short, Eminem changed the landscape of pop culture as we knew it. In 2006, at the height of his fame and one of the biggest-selling artists in music history, Eminem all but disappeared. Beset by nonstop controversy, bewildering international fame, a debilitating drug problem, and personal tragedy, he became reclusive, withdrawing to his Detroit-area compound. He struggled with weight gain and an addiction to prescription pills that nearly took his life. Over the next five years, Eminem got sober, relapsed, then finally got and stayed clean with the help of his unlikely friend and supporter, Elton John. He then triumphantly returned to a very different landscape, yet continued his streak of number one albums and multiplatinum singles. Not Afraid picks up where rock journalist Anthony Bozza’s bestselling Whatever You Say I Am left off. Capturing Eminem’s toughest years in his own words, as well the insights of his closest friends and creative collaborators, this book chronicles the musical, personal, and spiritual growth of one of hip hop’s most enduring and enigmatic figures.”

Irving Berlin:
New York Genius

By James Kaplan

THE PRESS RELEASE:Irving Berlin (1888–1989) has been called — by George Gershwin, among others — the greatest songwriter of the golden age of the American popular song. “Berlin has no place in American music,” legendary composer Jerome Kern wrote; “he is American music.” In a career that spanned an astonishing nine decades, Berlin wrote some fifteen hundred tunes, including Alexander’s Ragtime Band, God Bless America, and White Christmas. From ragtime to the rock era, Berlin’s work has endured in the very fiber of American national identity. Exploring the interplay of Berlin’s life with the life of New York City, noted biographer James Kaplan offers a visceral narrative of Berlin as self‑made man and witty, wily, tough Jewish immigrant. This fast‑paced, musically opinionated biography uncovers Berlin’s unique brilliance as a composer of music and lyrics. Masterfully written and psychologically penetrating, Kaplan’s book underscores Berlin’s continued relevance in American popular culture.”

Trains, Jesus, and Murder: The Gospel According to
Johnny Cash

By Richard Beck

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Saints and sinners, all jumbled up together.” That’s the genius of Johnny Cash, and that’s what the gospel is ultimately all about. Cash sang about and for people on the margins. He famously played concerts in prisons, where he sang both murder ballads and gospel tunes in the same set. It’s this juxtaposition between light and dark, writes Richard Beck, that makes Cash one of the most authentic theologians in memory. In Trains, Jesus, and Murder, Beck explores the theology of Cash by investigating a dozen of his songs. In reflecting on Cash’s lyrics, and the passion with which he sang them, we gain a deeper understanding of the enduring faith of the Man in Black.”

Soulside: Washington, DC, 1986–1989
By Alexis Fleisig

THE PRESS RELEASE:Soulside, a band from the mid-1980s Dischord Records punk rock scene in Washington, DC, grew into maturity in a few short years, going from occasional club shows to nationwide tours and a full European tour in 1989 immediately preceding the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union. With songs influenced by the political and social leanings of the DC punk world of the ’80s, Soulside worked with a worldwide underground network to tour throughout North America and Europe. The four-year span of the band would end with a recording session of their last album, Hot Bodi-Gram, in Eindhoven, Holland, at the conclusion of their final tour. As a perennial photographer, graphic designer, and archivist, the band’s drummer, Alexis Fleisig, has kept a collection of photos and flyers from these tours and has compiled as much as he could into this volume. The book is an ode to the people who made that journey possible, and a chronicle of the great eye-opening experiences those moments brought to the band and others.”

Elton John by Terry O’Neill: The Definitive Portrait With Unseen Images
By Terry O’Neill

THE PRESS RELEASE:Elton John and iconic photographer Terry O’Neill worked together for many years, taking in excess of 5,000 photographs. From intimate backstage shots to huge stadium concerts, the photographs in this book represent the very best of this archive, with most of the images being shown here for the first time. O’Neill has drawn on his personal relationship with Elton John to write the book’s introduction and captions.”

Freddie Mercury
A to Z: The Life of an Icon from Mary Austin to Zanzibar

By Steve Wide & Paul Borchers

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Celebrate Freddie Mercury in the next iteration of Steve Wide’s Icons A to Z series. Follow Freddie, born Farrokh Bulsara, as he harnesses hyperdontia to develop an unparalleled vocal range. See Smile, Freddie’s first complete band, graduate to become the global phenomenon Queen. Dissect lyrical oddities like “radio gaga” and “Scaramouch,” and revel in the glorious chevron mustache Freddie grew in 1980… Ripples of Freddie’s legacy are still felt in music recorded today. He was a juggernaut of technical and conceptual innovation and left the world far before his time. This illustrated book pays homage to the impact Freddie left on pop culture and in all our hearts.”

Sympathy for the Drummer: Why Charlie Watts Matters
By Mike Edison

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Across five decades, Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts has had the best seat in the house. Watts, the anti-rock star ― an urbane jazz fan with a dry wit and little taste for the limelight  ―was witness to the most savage years in rock history, and emerged a hero, a warrior poet. With his easy swing and often loping, uneven fills, he found nuance in a music that often had little room for it, and along with his greatest ally, Keith Richards, he gave the Stones their swaggering beat. While others battled their drums, Charlie played his modest kit with finesse and humility, and yet his relentless grooves on the nastiest hard-rock numbers of the era (Gimme Shelter, Street Fighting Man, Brown Sugar, Jumpin’ Jack Flash, etc.) delivered a dangerous authenticity to a band that on their best nights should have been put in jail. Author Mike Edison, himself a notorious raconteur and accomplished drummer, tells a tale of respect and satisfaction that goes far beyond drums, drumming, and The Rolling Stones, ripping apart the history of rock ‘n’ roll, and celebrating 60 years of cultural upheaval. He tears the sheets off of the myths of music making, shredding the phonies and the frauds, and unifies the frayed edges of disco, punk, blues, country, soul, jazz, and R&B ― the soundtrack of our lives. Highly opinionated, fearless, and often hilarious, Sympathy is as an unexpected treat for music fans and pop culture mavens, as edgy and ribald as The Rolling Stones at their finest, never losing sight of the sex and magic that puts the roll in the rock ― the beat, that crazy beat! ― and the man who drove the band, their true engine, the utterly irreplaceable Charlie Watts.”

Stoned: Photographs & Treasures From
Life With The Rolling Stones

By Jo Wood

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Married to The Rolling Stones’ legendary guitarist Ronnie Wood, Jo Wood was at the heart of all-night parties, hours in the recording studio, months on tour, time spent in prison, meeting famous friends and, above all, having a good time. But her unique personal collection shows more than just the world’s biggest rock band at work. Photographs, notes and diary entries reveal a previously unseen, intimate side to a group of people who weren’t rock stars to Jo — they were her closest friends. Her book takes us from the chaotic days of the late 1970s — when the Stones could walk the streets of London after a night partying without being bothered by anyone — to the early days of the 2000s, when the band’s tours had become corporate-sponsored events. Jo’s photographs and memories show what it was like to be on the inside of music history.”

Goin’ Off: The Story
of the Juice Crew & Cold Chillin’ Records

By Ben Merlis & Peanut Butter Wolf

THE PRESS RELEASE: “As Hip-Hop first exploded throughout New York City’s boroughs and surrounding towns, a new generation was emerging — the first to be raised on the genre. At the center of it all was a collective known as the Juice Crew, led by the charismatic radio personality Mr. Magic, whose Rap Attack was the first program of its kind on a commercial station. His DJ/engineer Marley Marl pioneered production techniques that defined the golden era of Hip-Hop and formed the basis of Cold Chillin’ Records, which was founded in 1986 by Len Fichtelberg and Tyrone Williams. Goin’ Off chronicles the rise and fall of Cold Chillin’ and its partnership with Warner Bros. Records. It follows the careers of the label’s recording artists through first-hand accounts of industry players, producers, MCs, and DJs: Roxanne Shanté was a 14-year-old battle rapper who spawned the diss record; MC Shan engaged in a legendary cross-borough feud with KRS-One; Kool G Rap was a foundational participant in what the media dubbed ‘gangsta rap’; Big Daddy Kane’s quick-witted lyricism changed the way people rhyme; the collegiate Masta Ace sought to uplift his community during the height of the crack epidemic; The Genius (aka GZA) co-founded the rap dynasty Wu-Tang Clan; and the enigmatic Biz Markie had the world singing along to his hit anthem Just a Friend. Plagued by corporate censorship and a landmark sample-related lawsuit in the 1990s, Cold Chillin’ folded, leaving behind a legacy shrouded in controversy and a catalog that influenced multiple generations of rap artists.”

Sound Art: Sound
as a Medium of Art

By Peter Weibel

THE PRESS RELEASE: “This milestone volume maps 50 years of artists’ engagement with sound. Since the beginning of the new millennium, numerous historical and critical works have established sound art as an artistic genre in its own right, with an accepted genealogy that begins with Futurism, Dada, and Fluxus, as well as disciplinary classifications that effectively restrict artistic practice to particular tools and venues. This book, companion volume to a massive exhibition at ZKM | Karlsruhe, goes beyond these established disciplinary divides to chart the evolution and the full potential of sound as a medium of art. The book begins with an extensive overview by volume editor Peter Weibel that considers the history of sound as media art, examining work by visual artists, composers, musicians, and architects alike. Subsequent essays examine sound experiments in antiquity, sonification of art and science, and internet-based sound art. Contributors then survey the global field of sound art research and practice, in essays that describe the past, present, and future of sound art in Germany, Japan, China, the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, Canada, Turkey, Australia, and Scandinavia. The texts are accompanied by an extensive photographic documentation of the ZKM exhibition.”

10 Commandments: The Rock Star’s
Guide to Life

By Q Magazine

THE PRESS RELEASE: “A surprising, informative, enlightening and at times outrageous must have guide to life from the world’s most famous rock stars. Together with the finest selection from the Qmagazine archives and new unseen material, 10 Commandments presents ten rules for life from 50 musicians.”



Frank Zappa Coloring Book by Fantoons
By David Calcano & Lindsay Lee

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Official Zappa coloring book featuring 72 pages of brand new illustrations celebrating the greatest composer, musician, futurist and innovator… Frank Zappa! Packed with humor, muffins and references, this book will bring hours of fun for any Zappa fan! Illustrated by artists who are Zappa fans themselves, the book features stunning illustrations, from the abstract to the intricate, that are sure to delight and surprise Zappa fans on every page!”

Motörhead: Where is Lemmy?
By David Calcano, Lindsay Lee & Ittai Manero

THE PRESS RELEASE: “This official Motörhead hardcover volume features 14 double-spread pages filled with search-and-find art inspired by Motörhead’s classic albums! Try to find Lemmy living the fast life in the middle of the chaos, sex, drugs and rock n’ roll across these amazing pages jam-packed with rock n’ roll. Celebrate Lemmy and Motörhead with this book. Enjoy it with a couple of drinks… and loud Motörhead tunes.”

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