Home Read News Next Week in Music | Feb. 15-21 • New Books

Next Week in Music | Feb. 15-21 • New Books

Talib's memoirs, Jacko comics, punk history and more of the week's reads.

Talib Kweli chronicles his beautiful struggle, Mick O’Shea has a pocketful of punk, Michael Jackson becomes a comic and more — these are the tales of the week. Read all about em:


Vibrate Higher: A Rap Story
By Talib Kweli

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “From one of the most lyrically gifted, socially conscious rappers of the past 20 years, Vibrate Higher is a firsthand account of hip-hop as a political force. Before Talib Kweli became a world-renowned hip-hop artist, he was a Brooklyn kid who liked to cut class, spit rhymes, and wander the streets of Greenwich Village with a motley crew of artists, rappers, and DJs who found hip hop more inspiring than their textbooks (much to the chagrin of the educator parents who had given their son an Afrocentric name in hope of securing for him a more traditional sense of pride and purpose). Kweli’s was the first generation to grow up with hip hop as established culture ― a genre of music that has expanded to include its own pantheon of heroes, rich history and politics, and distinct worldview. Eventually, childhood friendships turned into collaborations and Kweli gained notoriety as a rapper in his own right. From collaborating with some of hip hop’s greatest ― including Mos Def, Common, Kanye West, Pharrell Williams and Kendrick Lamar ― to selling books out of the oldest African-American bookstore in Brooklyn, and ultimately leaving his record label and taking control of his own recording career, Kweli tells the winding, always compelling story of the people and events that shaped his own life as well as the culture of hip hop which informs American culture at large. Vibrate Higher illuminates Talib Kweli’s upbringing and artistic success, but so too does it give life to hip hop as a political force ― one that galvanized the Movement for Black Lives, and serves a continual channel for resistance against the rising tide of white nationalism.”

Pocket Guide to Punk
By Mick O’Shea

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The punk movement created a revolution in the music industry with its anarchic approach and DIY ethos. It was the antidote to a bloated record business that had become moribund and prog bands which had become hugely self indulgent. Punk grew out of the politics of the ’70s in the U.K. and from bands like Dr. Feelgood. With The Sex Pistols as torch bearers the movement provoked strong reactions amongst music fans and industry alike. The first wave of punk was reasonably short-lived but many of the bands continued. But punk has never gone away and there is a whole new generation listening to the likes of The Damned, The Buzzcocks, X-Ray Specs, Siouxsie and the Banshees and The Clash, as well as a continuing stream of punk bands.”

Michael Jackson in Comics!
By Ceka

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Well beyond his passing in 2009, Michael Jackson remains one of the most adulated and mysterious stars in the world. Incredible singer, brilliant musician, amazing performer, he was just as talented as he was eccentric, adored as well as reviled with sordid accusations, sadly caught between a stolen childhood and a suffocating star system. Discover in this biography mixing comics and documentary chapters, how the youngest of The Jackson 5 was propelled to the front of the stage and then onto one of the most extraordinary solo careers in music. The next volume in the sellout series featuring The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Bob Marley.”

Cheques, Drugs & Rock ‘N’ Roll
By Dave Field

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Dave Field was an artist and designer based on Carnaby Street in the middle of the Swinging ’60s, working with famous record labels and musicians whilst living in a hippy commune in Putney. He designed some of the most iconic album covers of the ’60s and ’70s, from The Sensational Alex Harvey Band to Rod Stewart, from Uriah Heep’s Return to Fantasy to Brian Jones Presents the Pipes of Pan at Joujouka. In this memoir, he tells the inside story of the era and describes his encounters with some of the most famous musicians in the world — heavy drinking sessions with Black Sabbath, drawing caricatures of AC/DC, playing John Lennon’s white piano, spraypainting graffiti for It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll with Mick Jagger. Field shares his many iconic record sleeves together with the stories of a life lived in the middle of rock ’n’ roll royalty.”