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Next Week in Music | March 8-14 • New Books

Pearl Jam, Carole King and the weirdest women of rock are all on your reading list.

Rewind a pair of classic albums, meet the weirdest women in music, and root through some old fanzines without having to go to the basement: These are your new music books of the week. Read all about ’em:


33 1/3 | Pearl Jam’s Vs.
By Clint Brownlee

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Vs. is the sound of a band on fire. The same confluence of talent, passion, timing, and fate that made “grunge” the world’s soundtrack also lit a short fuse beneath Pearl Jam. The band combusted between late 1992 and mid-1994, the span during which they planned, recorded, and supported their sophomore record. The spotlight, the pressure, the pace — it all nearly turned the thriving act to ash. Eddie Vedder, the reluctant public face of the band, responded by lashing out lyrically. Jeff Ament, Mike McCready, and Stone Gossard, who beheld success with varying degrees of anxious satisfaction, attacked their instruments in solidarity. Dave Abbruzzese welcomed the rock-star lifestyle, and left his mark on the record with more than just potent percussion. Vs. roils with fury — and at times, gently steams — over the trappings of fame, human faults, and societal injustice. The record is a thrashing testament to Pearl Jam’s urgent creativity and greater-good interests, and the band’s logistical calculations behind it drew a career-defining line in the sand. It promised the world that Pearl Jam would neither burn out nor fade away. This book weaves research, little-known details, and band members’ memories into a definitive account of how Vs. set them on a path toward enduring integrity and relevance.”

33 1/3 | Carole King’s Tapestry
by Loren Glass

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Carole King’s Tapestry is both an anthemic embodiment of second-wave feminism and an apotheosis of the Laurel Canyon singer-songwriter sound and scene. And these two elements of the album’s historic significance are closely related insofar as the professional autonomy of the singer-songwriter is an expression of the freedom and independence women of King’s generation sought as the turbulent sixties came to a close. Aligning King’s own development from girl to woman with the larger shift in the music industry from teen-oriented singles by girl groups to albums by adult-oriented singer-songwriters, this volume situates Tapestry both within King’s original vision as the third in a trilogy (preceded by Now That Everything’s Been Said and Writer) and as a watershed in musical and cultural history, challenging the male dominance of the music and entertainment industries and laying the groundwork for female dominated genres such as women’s music and Riot Grrrl punk.”

You’re History: The Twelve Strangest Women in Music
By Lesley Chow

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Raucous, sensual and sublime: how twelve pioneering female artists rewrote the rules of pop. From Kate Bush to Nicki Minaj, from Janet Jackson to TLC and Taylor Swift, pop’s greatest female pioneers are simply strange: smashing notions of taste and decorum, and replacing them with new ideals of pleasure. Instead of rehashing biographies, Lesley Chow dives deep into the music of these groundbreaking performers, identifying the ecstatic moments in their songs and finding out what makes them unique. You’re History is a love letter to pop’s most singular achievements, celebrating the innovations of women who are still critically underrated. It’s a ride that includes tributes to Chaka Khan, Rihanna, Neneh Cherry, Sade, Shakespears Sister, Azealia Banks, and many more…”

Mass Movement: The Digital Years Vol. 1
By Tim Cundle

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “It was never supposed to last or be anything other than an underground punk rock fanzine. But fate had other ideas and for the last 22 years, Mass Movement has been navigating its own singular course through the often strange and always wonderful worlds of punk rock and geek culture. The Best of Mass Movement: The Digital Years is the result of a crazy five-year period that saw Mass Movement reluctantly enter, and make its mark on the digital age. They are a testament to the power of the underground and capture the essence of a magazine and website that celebrated, and continues to champion, the writers, musicians, artists and scenes and the people who make life a glorious adventure.”