Home Read News Next Week in Music | Feb. 8-14 • New Books

Next Week in Music | Feb. 8-14 • New Books

With just three new titles, this might be the week to make a dent in your to-read pile.


If you’re like me, you’ve probably got a stack of books you’ve been trying to find time to read. This might be the week to make a dent in it — especially since there are only a trio of new titles on the horizon:


Lives of the Musicians: David Bowie
By Robert Dimery

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “As with all great pop stars, David Bowie’s image changed with almost every new album release. This appetite for reinvention, both musically and visually, saw him dubbed the ‘chameleon of pop’. But Bowie’s influence extended well beyond his discography and makeup drawer. His androgynous qualities and public statements on his sexuality proved liberating for those who were uncertain about their own. Lives of the Musicians: David Bowie covers the years he spent struggling to find the right artistic outlet to the dramatic breakthrough in 1972 with Ziggy Stardust — and afterwards, the excessive lifestyle that nearly cost him his sanity. It continues with his artistic rebirth in Berlin during the late ’70s, the mainstream success he achieved with Let’s Dance in 1983 and the artistic price that he paid for it.”

33 1/3 | Nenes’ Koza Dabasa: Okinawa in the World Music Market
By Henry Johnson

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Koza Dabasa explores Okinawa’s island culture and its ghosts of war through the lens of Nenes, a four-woman pop group that draws on the distinctiveness and exoticism of Okinawan musical tradition. Both a tropical island paradise and the site of some of the bloodiest battles of World War II, Okinawa has a unique culture and a contentious history. Its musical traditions are distinct from other parts of Japan, varying in instrumentation, poetic forms, and musical scales. Nenes marks its cultural difference as Okinawan by emphasizing its own exoticism, expressed through its music, fashion, imagery, and performance style. Henry Johnson listens to Koza Dabasa as a representation of Okinawa’s relationship with the Japanese music industry and with the broader themes of international warfare and local tourism.”

Universal Tonality: The Life and Music of William Parker
By Cisco Bradley

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Since ascending onto the world stage in the 1990s as one of the premier bassists and composers of his generation, William Parker has perpetually toured around the world and released over forty albums as a leader. He is one of the most influential jazz artists alive today. In Universal Tonality, historian and critic Cisco Bradley tells the story of Parker’s life and music. Drawing on interviews with Parker and his collaborators, Bradley traces Parker’s ancestral roots in West Africa via the Carolinas to his childhood in the South Bronx, and illustrates his rise from the 1970s jazz lofts and extended work with pianist Cecil Taylor to the present day. He outlines how Parker’s early influences — Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane, Albert Ayler and writers of the Black Arts Movement — grounded Parker’s aesthetic and musical practice in a commitment to community and the struggle for justice and freedom. Throughout, Bradley foregrounds Parker’s understanding of music, the role of the artist, and the relationship between art, politics, and social transformation. Intimate and capacious, Universal Tonality is the definitive work on Parker’s life and music.”