Home Read News Next Week in Music | April 13-19 • New Books

Next Week in Music | April 13-19 • New Books

Here are a dozen noteworthy tomes to put on your reading list.


From the publishing house to your house: Here are a dozen new music-related titles to fill your self-isolation hours. You want some sure shots of an iconic rap trio? Check. Critical thoughts on some well-respected men about town? Check. In-depth biographies, moving memoirs and collected wit and wisdom of famous faces? Check, check and check. If I didn’t know better, I’d suspect the powers that be finally realized we all have plenty of reading time on our hands these days.

Beastie Boys
By Spike Jonze, Mike Diamond & Adam Horovitz

THE PRESS RELEASE: “The first book of photography to be published by the Academy Award-winning film director and photographer Spike Jonze. Will appeal to every fan of Beastie Boys and golden-era hip hop, as well as photography and Jonze’s own focused audiences. Spike Jonze and Beastie Boys met for the first time in Los Angeles in 1991, when Jonze went out to photograph the band for the cover of Dirt magazine. A connection formed between the three MCs and the young photographer, which has lasted throughout their careers. Almost 30 years later, this book collects for the first time more than 200 of Jonze’s personal photographs of his time spent with the group. Edited and with an afterword by Jonze, and including new writing by Mike Diamond and Adam Horovitz themselves, this book shows an intimate look at the greatest act of the hip-hop generation in their truest colors as only a close friend could see them–from performing live onstage to writing together at Mike’s apartment; getting into character for a video to dressing up as old men to hit the basketball court; recording music in the studio to goofing around on the streets of New York. From the music video for Sabotage to the cover of the Sounds of Science album, Jonze is responsible for some of the most iconic images of the band ever made. But here, the emphasis is on the candid, the unexpected, and the real — just pictures of friends who like making stuff together.”

The Kinks: Songs of the Semi-Detached
By Mark Doyle

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Of all the great British rock bands to emerge from the 1960s, none had a stronger sense of place than The Kinks. Often described as the archetypal English band, they were above all a quintessentially working-class band with a deep attachment to London, particularly the patch of suburban North London where most of the members grew up. In this illuminating study, Mark Doyle examines the relationship between the Kinks and their city, from their early songs of teenage rebellion to their later album-length works of social criticism, providing a unique perspective on the way in which the band responded to the shifting nature of working-class life. Along the way, he finds fascinating and sometimes surprising connections with figures as diverse as Edmund Burke, John Clare, Charles Dickens, and the Covent Garden Community Association. More than just a book about The Kinks, this is a book about a city, a nation, and a social class undergoing a series of profound, sometimes troubling changes — and about a group of young men who found a way to describe, lament, and occasionally even celebrate those changes through song.”

Ornette Coleman: The Territory and the Adventure
By Maria Golia

THE PRESS RELEASE:Ornette Coleman’s career encompassed the glory years of jazz and the American avant-garde. Born in segregated Fort Worth, Texas, during the Great Depression, the African-American composer and musician was zeitgeist incarnate. Steeped in the Texas blues tradition, he and jazz grew up together, as the brassy blare of big band swing gave way to bebop — a faster music for a faster, postwar world. At the luminous dawn of the Space Age and New York’s 1960s counterculture, Coleman gave voice to the moment. Lauded by some, maligned by many, he forged a breakaway art sometimes called “the new thing” or “free jazz.” Featuring previously unpublished photographs of Coleman and his contemporaries, this book tells the compelling story of one of America’s most adventurous musicians and the sound of a changing world.”

One Good Reason: A Memoir of Addiction and Recovery, Music and Love
By Séan McCann & Andrea Aragon

THE PRESS RELEASE: “This deeply personal memoir, co-written by singer-songwriter, renowned mental health advocate, and recent Order of Canada recipient Séan McCann and wife Andrea Aragon leaves no stone unturned. Detailing in powerful and lyrical prose a Newfoundland childhood indoctrinated in strict Catholic faith, the creation of the wildly successful Great Big Sea, and the battle with alcoholism that nearly cost them everything, McCann and Aragon offer readers a story of reaching international fame and finding rock bottom. Most of all, this book is an honest, raw, and inspiring tribute to embracing the belief that we are all worth saving. At the heart of this insightful coming-of-recovery is McCann’s exploration of the root cause of his alcoholism; a secret he kept until 2014 when he came out as a survivor of sexual abuse. Aragon’s parallel narrative offers a rare and intimate spousal perspective, making the memoir a nuanced and complex portrait of the effects of addiction on family. Featuring lyrics from McCann’s celebrated solo career, personal colour photographs, and original drawings from visual artist Bee Stanton, One Good Reason is a rallying cry for holding on to the ones you love, helping yourself, and turning music into medicine.”

Odetta: A Life in Music and Protest
By Ian Zack

THE PRESS RELEASE: “The first in-depth biography of the legendary singer and ‘Voice of the Civil Rights Movement,’ who combatted racism and prejudice through her music. Odetta channeled her anger and despair into some of the most powerful folk music the world has ever heard. Through her lyrics and iconic persona, Odetta made lasting political, social, and cultural change. A leader of the 1960s folk revival, Odetta is one of the most important singers of the last hundred years. Her music has influenced a huge number of artists over many decades, including Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, The Kinks, Jewel, and, more recently, Rhiannon Giddens and Miley Cyrus. But Odetta’s importance extends far beyond music. Journalist Ian Zack follows Odetta from her beginnings in deeply segregated Birmingham, Alabama, to stardom in San Francisco and New York. Odetta used her fame to bring attention to the civil rights movement, working alongside Joan Baez, Harry Belafonte, and other artists. Her opera-trained voice echoed at the 1963 March on Washington and the Selma to Montgomery march, and she arranged a tour throughout the deeply segregated South. Her Freedom Trilogy songs became rallying cries for protesters everywhere. Through interviews with Joan Baez, Harry Belafonte, Judy Collins, Carly Simon, and many others, Zack brings Odetta back into the spotlight, reminding the world of the folk music that powered the civil rights movement and continues to influence generations of musicians today.”

The Mahalia Jackson Reader
By Mark Burford

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Born in New Orleans before migrating to Chicago, Mahalia Jackson (1911-1972) is undoubtedly the most widely known black gospel singer, having achieved fame among African American communities in the late 1940s then finding a wide audience among non-black U.S. and international audiences after she signed with major label Columbia Records in 1954. For this reader, Mark Burford has gone beyond the standard biographies and has drawn from extensive archival research, including in the volume interview transcripts and the largely-untouched papers of Jackson’s assistant Bill Russell, who kept a journal tracking Jackson’s activities from 1951 to 1955. The new sources — in particular Russell’s notes — uniquely enable an assessment of the reciprocal relationship between the two careers Jackson pursued, essentially simultaneously: as an in-demand church singer in Chicago, and as a media star for a major network and recording label.”

Bob Dylan: I Was There 1958-1969
By Neil Cossar

THE PRESS RELEASE: “There’s a lot in print about Bob Dylan but very little of it is from the fans-eye view of the people who saw and heard Dylan in his reputation-building first decade. From Hibbing to New York and then on to the world. Through the folk and electric years through to Woodstock, John Wesley Harding and The Basement Tapes, this book follows Dylan through those who knew, worked with and saw him. It offers a unique perspective on the man and the times.”

Twentieth-Century Honky-Tonk: The Amazing Unauthorized Story of the Cain’s Ballroom’s First 75 Years
By John Wooley & Brett Bingham

THE PRESS RELEASE: “It was supposed to be a car dealership. Instead, it became one of the most famous American music venues of all time. Only one place in the whole world can claim to be both the Carnegie Hall of western swing and the penultimate stop on The Sex Pistols’ infamous American tour. Now, for the first time ever, all the secrets of the hottest honky-tonk of the 20th century — Cain’s Ballroom — are revealed, in the words of the people who made it happen. Spanning the famed venue’s first 75 years, from 1924 through 1999, Twentieth-Century Honky-Tonk tells it all, from Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys — who became a national sensation with their clear-channel ballroom broadcasts — to U2, The Police and Van Halen — as Cain’s became an essential stop for breakout acts and cosmic cowboys. The book also covers cutting-edge alt-rock acts, metal bands, and off-the-wall attractions like ladies’ mud wrestling (which worked) and Pig Time Racing (which didn’t). Buy Twentieth-Century Honky-Tonk for the fascinating (and unauthorized) story of this fabled hardwood hangout’s first seven-and-a-half decades. It’s a honky-tonk fever dream!”

Einstein, Michael Jackson & Me: A Search for Soul in the Power Pits of Rock and Roll
By Howard Bloom

THE PRESS RELEASE:Howard Bloom ― called “the greatest press agent that rock and roll has ever known” by Derek Sutton, the former manager of Styx, Ten Years After, and Jethro Tull ― is a science nerd who knew nothing about popular music. But he founded the biggest PR firm in the music industry and helped build or sustain the careers of our biggest rock-and-roll legends, including Michael Jackson, Prince, Bob Marley, Bette Midler, Billy Joel, Billy Idol, Paul Simon, Peter Gabriel, David Byrne, AC/DC, Aerosmith, Queen, Kiss, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Run DMC, ZZ Top, Joan Jett, Chaka Khan, and one hundred more. What was he after? He was on a hunt for the gods inside of you and me. Einstein, Michael Jackson & Me is Bloom’s story ― the strange tale of a scientific expedition into the dark underbelly of science and fame where new myths and movements are made.”

Steinberger: A Story of Creativity and Design
By Jim Reilly

THE PRESS RELEASE:Steinberger: A Story of Creativity and Design tells the story of musical instrument designer Ned Steinberger. Ned’s instruments have been pushing the boundaries both sonically and aesthetically for over 40 years and been played by the very best of the best musicians around the world. Steinberger: A Story of Creativity and Design explores Ned Steinberger’s revolutionary contributions to the world of musical instrument design. The first instrument he ever created, the Spector NS-1 bass guitar in 1977, is still Spector’s best-selling instrument design. With his next instruments, the Steinberger basses and guitars, Ned literally cut the head off the world of guitar and bass and redefined what the electric bass and guitar could be. Steinberger instruments defined a generation of musicians both sonically and visually and were played by the biggest artists of the day, including Sting, Bill Wyman of The Rolling Stones, and Eddie Van Halen. Never one to slow down, Ned moved from electric guitars and basses to bowed electric instruments. His NS Design instruments once again set the industry standards. Throughout his career Ned has also worked with other builders and manufacturers and created or contributed to countless projects ranging from electronic tuners and pickups to acoustic guitars and drum head tuners. Truly, anytime you see NS in a music store it stands for Ned Steinberger. With all those accomplishments, many say that Ned is an unlikely musical hero. Therein lies the story. He is not a musician. He comes from the world of art and design rather than the world of music, but his influence can be seen to this day and he holds a place of honor alongside other visionaries like Leo Fender, Les Paul and Ted McCarty.”

Queen FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About Britain’s Most Eccentric Band
By Daniel Ross

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Whether you think you know everything about Queen already or if you’re new to the band and want to learn more, Queen FAQ will walk you through every aspect of one of the music industry’s strangest, longest, and most successful bands of all time. Queen is the quintessential stadium-filling live act with an impeccable musical pedigree and a penchant for extreme partying; Queen was, and still is, a complete one-off. Discover the journey from long-haired rockers obsessed with mythology to creators of slick chart-toppers, and their unexpected second life after the death of Freddie Mercury in 1991, taking them right up to date with sell-out world tours and an Oscar-winning movie to their name. The story of Queen has been told so many times, but never quite like this: taking an exhaustive approach to every aspect of every band member, this unique book will answer all the questions you’ve ever wanted to ask about Britain’s biggest band. Did Freddie Mercury really sneak Princess Diana into a gay bar? What is Brian May’s guitar made of? Why did Roger Taylor get so many royalties for Bohemian Rhapsody? And whatever happened to John Deacon? Queen is the band who conquered the US singles charts with Another One Bites the Dust and stole the show at Live Aid, but they’re also the band that turned their songs into a hit musical and have somehow doubled the length of their career after the death of their lead singer. Frankly, there’s no other band like them: this book reveals why.”

Dolly: An Unauthorized Collection of Wise & Witty Words on Grit, Lipstick, Love & Life from Dolly Parton
By Mary Zaia

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Compiled by Mary Zaia, Dolly: An Unauthorized Collection of Wise & Witty Words on Grit, Lipstick, Love & Life from Dolly Parton is a book of quotes from America’s most beloved country singer. We all need a dose of Dolly in our lives. Whether it’s her warmth and generosity, her humble roots and down-home values, her gifts to film and music, or her unforgettable style and humor, Dolly Parton has plenty of life secrets to share. Enjoy this collection of her wisest quotes, funniest cracks, and encouraging words for living life right.”