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Next Week in Music | Sept. 28 – Oct. 4 • New Books

Halford, Harrison, Lennon, Carey and more: Your October reading list stars here.

A metal god, two fab legends, a spoken-word maverick, a pop diva, an indie-rock classic and plenty more — your October reading list starts here:


Confess: The Autobiography
By Rob Halford

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Most priests hear confessions. This one is making his. Rob Halford, frontman of global iconic metal band Judas Priest, is a true Metal God. Raised in Britain’s hard-working, heavy industrial heartland, he and his music were forged in the Black Country. Confess, his full autobiography, is an unforgettable rock ’n’ roll story — a journey from a Walsall council estate to musical fame via alcoholism, addiction, police cells, ill-fated sexual trysts, and bleak personal tragedy, through to rehab, coming out, redemption … and finding love. Now, he is telling his gospel truth. Told with Halford’s trademark self-deprecating, deadpan Black Country humor, Confess is the story of an extraordinary five decades in the music industry. It is also the tale of unlikely encounters with everybody from Superman to Andy Warhol, Madonna, Jack Nicholson, and the Queen. More than anything else, it’s a celebration of the fire and power of heavy metal. Rob Halford has decided to Confess. Because it’s good for the soul.”

George Harrison: Be Here Now
By Barry Feinstein, Chris Murray

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Never-before-seen candids and ephemera of “the quiet Beatle” during his meteoric solo career, as captured by his friend and famed photographer Barry Feinstein. On hand from 1970 to 1972 for Harrison’s blockbuster “Triple Crown” — the release of All Things Must Pass; The Concert for Bangladesh; and Living in the Material World, which helped make Harrison the best-selling post-breakup Beatle, Barry became good friends with George during the three-plus years they worked together. Feinstein captured George Harrison at home, in his garden, onstage, and in the studio. Nearly all the images are previously unpublished. The book contains never-before-seen ephemera related to these seminal releases during George’s most richly creative time post-Beatles, including handwritten letters talking about album ideas, album-cover thoughts, and putting together The Concert for Bangladesh. This collection also features beloved performers that George convened for that concert — where Barry was the only sanctioned photographer onstage — including George’s friends Bob Dylan, Ravi Shankar, Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr, Leon Russell, and Billy Preston. The book coincides with the 50th anniversary of All Things Must Pass. George Harrison: Be Here Now is a deeper visual dive that the significantly large and passionate Beatles/George Harrison fandom will want to add to their collection.”

The Meaning of Mariah Carey
By Mariah Carey

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “It took me a lifetime to have the courage and the clarity to write my memoir. I want to tell the story of the moments — the ups and downs, the triumphs and traumas, the debacles and the dreams, that contributed to the person I am today. Though there have been countless stories about me throughout my career and very public personal life, it’s been impossible to communicate the complexities and depths of my experience in any single magazine article or a ten-minute television interview. And even then, my words were filtered through someone else’s lens, largely satisfying someone else’s assignment to define me. This book is composed of my memories, my mishaps, my struggles, my survival and my songs. Unfiltered. I went deep into my childhood and gave the scared little girl inside of me a big voice. I let the abandoned and ambitious adolescent have her say, and the betrayed and triumphant woman I became tell her side. Writing this memoir was incredibly hard, humbling and healing. My sincere hope is that you are moved to a new understanding, not only about me, but also about the resilience of the human spirit.”

On Connection
By Kae Tempest

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Staggering talent Kae Tempest’s first work of non-fiction: a meditation on the power of creative connection. Beneath the surface we are all connected … This is a meditation on the power of creative connection. Drawing on 20 years’ experience as a writer and performer, Kae Tempest explores how and why creativity — however we choose to practise it — can cultivate greater self-awareness and help us establish a deeper relationship to ourselves and the world. Honest, tender and written with piercing clarity, On Connection is a call to arms that speaks to a universal yet intimate truth.”

This Isn’t Happening: Radiohead’s “Kid A” and the Beginning of the 21st Century
By Steven Hyden

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “In 1999, as the end of an old century loomed, five musicians entered a recording studio in Paris without a deadline. Their band was widely recognized as the best and most forward-thinking in rock, a rarefied status granting them the time, money, and space to make a masterpiece. But Radiohead didn’t want to make another rock record. Instead, they set out to create the future. For more than a year, they battled writer’s block, inter-band disagreements, and crippling self-doubt. In the end, however, they produced an album that was not only a complete departure from their prior guitar-based rock sound, it was the sound of a new era, and embodied widespread changes catalyzed by emerging technologies just beginning to take hold of the culture. What they created was Kid A. At the time, Radiohead’s fourth album divided critics. Some called it an instant classic; others, including the U.K. music magazine Melody Maker, deemed it “tubby, ostentatious, self-congratulatory … whiny old rubbish.” But two decades later, Kid A sounds like nothing less than an overture for the chaos and confusion of the 21st century. Acclaimed rock critic Steven Hyden digs deep into the songs, history, legacy, and mystique of Kid A, outlining the album’s pervasive influence and impact on culture, in time for its 20th anniversary. Deploying a mix of criticism, journalism, and personal memoir, Hyden skillfully revisits this enigmatic, alluring LP and investigates the many ways in which Kid A shaped and foreshadowed our world.”

Music vs The Man
By Peter Rowe

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “For centuries, a war has raged between singers, musicians, bands — and the authorities. The conflict comes to life in Music vs The Man. What is it about musicians like John Lennon, Billie Holiday, Paul Robeson, Michael Jackson and Pussy Riot that has put them so frequently in the cross-hairs of the police, immigration officials, city councils, the FBI, and the Kremlin? Music vs The Man explores the question in chapters featuring artists from Strauss and Shostakovich to Sinatra and the Stones. Music wields the type of revolutionary power that politicians and authorities only dream of. Music has the power to open hearts, change minds, and motivate people to stand up for what they believe in. That’s why, through the centuries, authorities have been trying to censor it, by throwing musicians in prison, raiding their homes and sometimes even killing them. In Music vs The Man, acclaimed filmmaker and author Peter Rowe tells the wild stories of the efforts of a wide group of musical artists to make their voices heard, and the bold and forceful efforts of the authorities to shut them up.”

Sweet Dreams: From Club Culture to Style Culture, the Story of the New Romantics
By Dylan Jones

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:David Bowie. Depeche Mode. Culture Club. Wham!. Soft Cell. Ultravox. Duran Duran. Sade. Spandau Ballet. The Eurythmics. One of the most creative entrepreneurial periods since the ’60s, the era of the New Romantics grew out of the remnants of post-punk and developed quickly alongside club culture, ska, electronica, and goth. The scene had a huge influence on the growth of print and broadcast media, and was arguably one of the most bohemian environments of the late 20th century. Not only did it visually define the decade, it was the catalyst for the second British Invasion, when the U.S. charts would be colonised by British pop music — making it one of the most powerful cultural exports since The Beatles. In Sweet Dreams, Dylan Jones charts the rise of the New Romantics through testimony from the people who lived it. For a while, Sweet Dreams were made of this.”

Channeling Jerry: How the Music Plays His Fans
By Nick Hutchinson, Dennis McNally

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Channeling Jerry is a book partly about Jerry Garcia and The Grateful Dead, but more specifically it highlights some of the musicians who continue to be influenced by Garcia’s acclaimed artistry. It takes stock of where the music has gone since Jerry’s passing in 1995 and where it might lead in the future. The project is dedicated to all the inspired artists and fans who continue to revel in the spirit of the Dead and who endeavor to keep the flame burning. The book features profiles of and in-depth conversations with twenty notable musicians who have honored and continue to explore the rich tradition started by Garcia and company. It’s a look at where the extended Grateful Dead music community stands today. Speaking to players who have performed with the remaining members of the Grateful Dead and the Jerry Garcia Band, as well as those who have created their own Garcia-inspired musical efforts, I attempt to shed light on the ongoing story of the sound as this seemingly unstoppable music continues to thrive and in some cases even reinvent itself. Each interview also includes a brief Gear Talk section (for the gearheads among us). Like a rose unfolding, Jerry’s spirit lives on.”

The Complete John Lennon Songs: All the Songs. All the Stories. All the Lyrics. 1970-80
By Paul Du Noyer

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “This unique book recounts John Lennon’s life after The Beatles with a fascinating and revealing track-by-track analysis of the stories behind each song that he wrote. There are many books about John Lennon’s life and about the music of The Beatles. What is often overlooked is the extraordinary solo work that John produced in the final decade of his life, 1970 to 1980, between the end of The Beatles and his murder in New York in December. Lennon’s life in these years was eventful and fascinating, as was the development of the music he wrote during this period. For the first time, we will be able to showcase the stories behind every one of his solo songs, alongside the lyrics, which have only been printed in song books until now.”

Popular Music Matters: Essays in Honour of Simon Frith
By Lee Marshall, Dave Laing

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Simon Frith has been one of the most important figures in the emergence and subsequent development of popular music studies. From his earliest academic publication, The Sociology of Rock (1978), through to his recent work on the live music industry in the U.K., in his desire to ’take popular music seriously’ he has probably been cited more than any other author in the field. Uniquely, he has combined this work with a lengthy career as a music critic for leading publications on both sides of the Atlantic. The contributions to this volume of essays and memoirs seek to honour Frith’s achievements, but they are not merely ’about Frith’. Rather, they are important interventions by leading scholars in the field, including Robert Christgau, Antoine Hennion, Peter J. Martin and Philip Tagg. The focus on ’sociology and industry’ and ’aesthetics and values’ reflect major themes in Frith’s own work, which can also be found within popular music studies more generally. As such the volume will become an essential resource for those working in popular music studies, as well as in musicology, sociology and cultural and media studies.”

Dream Theater: Every Album, Every Song
By Jordan Blum

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “No other band has affected modern progressive metal as deeply or widely as American quintet Dream Theater. Formed at Berklee College of Music as Majesty in 1985 by guitarist John Petrucci, drummer Mike Portnoy, and bassist John Myung, the group has spent thirty years repeatedly pushing new boundaries and reinventing their identity. Although other acts — such as Queensrÿche and Fates Warning — paved the way for the prog-metal subgenre, Dream Theater were without doubt the first to meld influences from both metal and progressive rock into a groundbreaking blend of quirky instrumentation, extensively complex arrangements, and exceptional songwriting. Whether subtly or overtly, they’ve since left their mark on just about every progressive metal band that’s followed. In this book, Jordan Blum examines virtually all Dream Theater collections, and their behind-the-scenes circumstances, to explore how the group distinctively impacted the genre with each release. Whether classics of the 1990s like Images and Words and Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory, benchmarks of the 2000s like Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence and Octavarium, or even thrilling modern efforts like A Dramatic Turn of Events and Distance Over Time, every sequence of albums contributes something crucial to making Dream Theater’s legacy nothing short of astonishing.”

Can Music Make You Sick? Measuring the Price of Musical Ambition
By Sally Anne Gross, George Musgrave

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “It is often assumed that creative people are prone to psychological instability, and that this explains apparent associations between cultural production and mental health problems. In their detailed study of recording and performing artists in the British music industry, Sally Anne Gross and George Musgrave turn this view on its head. By listening to how musicians understand and experience their working lives, this book proposes that whilst making music is therapeutic, making a career from music can be traumatic. The authors show how careers based on an all-consuming passion have become more insecure and devalued. Artistic merit and intimate, often painful, self-disclosures are the subject of unremitting scrutiny and data metrics. Personal relationships and social support networks are increasingly bound up with calculative transactions. Drawing on original empirical research and a wide-ranging survey of scholarship from across the social sciences, their findings will be provocative for future research on mental health, wellbeing and working conditions in the music industries and across the creative economy. Going beyond self-help strategies, they challenge the industry to make transformative structural change. Until then, the book provides an invaluable guide for anyone currently making their career in music, as well as those tasked with training and educating the next generation.”

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