Home Read News Next Week in Music | Sept. 6-12 • New Books

Next Week in Music | Sept. 6-12 • New Books

Bonzo, Buzzcocks, McCartney, DBT, Janelle Monae & the rest of the latest reads.


Bonzo, Buzzcocks and Britpop. Sam Cooke, southern rockers and Stompin’ Tom. Gearheads, grunge and graphic novels. Toss in Josh Ritter, Janelle Monae and just about anything else you can think of, and you’ve got this week’s lineup of new music books. Read all about ’em:


Beast: John Bonham and the Rise of Led Zeppelin
By C. M. Kushins

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Beast: John Bonham and the Rise of Led Zeppelin is the first biography of the iconic John Bonham, considered by many to be one of the greatest (if not THE greatest) rock drummer of all time. Bonham first learned to play the drums at the age of five, and despite never taking formal lessons, began drumming for local bands immediately upon graduating from secondary school. By the late 1960s, Bonham was looking for a more solid gig in order to provide his growing family with a more regular income. Meanwhile, following the dissolution of the popular blues rock band The Yardbirds, lead guitarist Jimmy Page sought the company of new bandmates to help him record an album and tour Scandinavia as The New Yardbirds. A few months later, Bonham was recruited to join the band who would eventually become known as Led Zeppelin — and before the year was out, Bonham and his three bandmates would become the richest rock band in the world. In their first year, Led Zeppelin released two albums and completed four U.S. and four U.K. concert tours. Throughout the 1970s, Led Zeppelin reached new heights of commercial and critical success, making them one of the most influential groups of the era, both in musical style and in their approach towards the workings of the entertainment industry. They traveled in a private jet airliner, rented out entire sections of hotels and became the subject of frequently repeated stories of debauchery and destruction. In September of 1980, Bonham — plagued by alcoholism, anxiety, and the after-effects of years of excess — was found dead by his bandmates. To this day, Bonham is posthumously described as one of the most important and influential drummers in rock, topping best-of lists describing him as an inimitable, all-time great. As Adam Budofsky, managing editor of Modern Drummer, explained, “If the king of rock ’n’ roll was Elvis Presley, then the king of rock drumming was certainly John Bonham.”

Talking to Myself
By Chris Jagger

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “It’s Chris Jagger’s turn to lift the lid on one of the most colorful and exotic periods in British cultural history. He unrolls an insider’s tale of growing up among the bombsites and ration books of post-war Dartford, weaving through the glittery underground of late 1960s countercultural London, and spending months in India before most trod that path. He covers the highs and lows of acting and film work, and the pursuit of his own unique musical adventures that have resulted in a number of albums and gigs across the world. Ultimately though it’s the beguiling story of a close-knit family and deep brotherly ties.”

Paul McCartney: The Stories Behind the Classic Songs
By Mike Evans

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: Paul McCartney’s songwriting output as a member of The Beatles, mainly with co-writer John Lennon, has been exhaustively documented over the years. Now, taking 50 key songs from his six-decade career since the break-up of The Fab Four, Paul McCartney: The Stories Behind the Songs takes an in-depth look at the solo work of one of popular music’s most versatile and prolific composers and performers McCartney has been a genuine pop idol, a cutting-edge experimenter, and in later years recognized as an international musical treasure. The 50 selections from his vast songwriting catalogue highlighted in this book mark more than half a century of musical creativity by a true icon of popular music.”

Ever Fallen in Love: The Lost Buzzcocks Tapes
By Pete Shelley & Louie Shelley

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “When Pete Shelley, lead singer of legendary punk band Buzzcocks, passed away in 2018, we lost the chance to hear one of music’s brightest stars tell his story. Or so it seemed. Now, recordings have surfaced of a series of remarkable interviews in which Pete tells the story of his life, his band and his place at the beating heart of the punk explosion in fascinating detail. Recorded over a series of late-night calls with a close friend, the tapes hear Pete talk song-by-song through Buzzcocks releases to reveal the personal memories behind the music and the inspiration for masterpieces such as Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve) and What Do I Get? Published for the first time and with the blessing of Pete’s estate, Ever Fallen In Love: The Lost Buzzcocks Tapes is a tribute to a founding member of punk and a chance to hear one of music’s true visionaries tell his own story at last.”

Where The Devil Don’t Stay: Traveling The South With The Drive-By Truckers
By Stephen Deusner

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “In 1996, Patterson Hood recruited friends and fellow musicians in Athens, Georgia, to form his dream band: A group with no set lineup that specialized in rowdy rock ’n’ roll. The Drive-By Truckers, as they named themselves, grew into one of the best and most consequential rock bands of the 21st century, a great live act whose songs deliver the truth and nuance rarely bestowed on Southerners, so often reduced to stereotypes. Where The Devil Don’t Stay tells the band’s unlikely story not chronologically but geographically. Seeing the Truckers’ albums as roadmaps through a landscape that is half-real, half-imagined, their fellow Southerner Stephen Deusner travels to the places the band’s members have lived in and written about. Tracking the band from Muscle Shoals, Alabama, to Richmond, Virginia, to the author’s hometown in McNairy County, Tennessee, Deusner explores the Truckers’ complex relationship to the South and the issues of class, race, history, and religion that run through their music. Drawing on new interviews with past and present band members, including Jason Isbell, Where The Devil Don’t Stay is more than the story of a great American band; it’s a reflection on the power of music and how it can frame and shape a larger culture.”

331/3: Janelle Monáe’s The ArchAndroid
By Alyssa Favreau

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “In Janelle Monáe’s full-length debut, the science fiction concept album The ArchAndroid, the android Cindi Mayweather is on the run from the authorities for the crime of loving a human. Living in 28th-century Metropolis, Cindi fights for survival, soon realizing that she is in fact the prophesied ArchAndroid, a robot messiah meant to liberate the masses and lead them toward a wonderland where all can be free. Taking into account the literary merit of Monáe’s astounding multimedia body of work, the political relevance of the science fictional themes and aesthetics she explores, and her role as an Atlanta-based pop cultural juggernaut, this book explores the lavish world building of Cindi’s story, and the many literary, cinematic, and musical influences brought together to create it. Throughout, a history of Monáe’s move to Atlanta, her signing with Bad Boy Records, and the trials of developing a full-length concept album in an industry devoted to the production of marketable singles can be found, charting the artist’s own rise to power. The stories of Monáe and of Cindi are inextricably entwined, each making the other more compelling, fantastical, and deeply felt.”

331/3: Racionais MCs’ Sobrevivendo No Inferno
By Derek Pardue

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “In 1997 the rap group Racionais MCs (Rational MCs) recorded the album Sobrevivendo No Inferno (Surviving in Hell), subsequently changing the hip-hop scene in São Paulo and firmly establishing itself as the point of reference for youth across Brazil. In an era when rappers needed to defend the very idea that their work was indeed music and a time when neighborhoods such as Capão Redondo, from where Racionais frontman Mano Brown hailed, often topped homicide statistics, Sobrevivendo empowered as it provoked. As one journalist noted, “the underworld of São Paulo’s working-class suburbs is dominated by cheap thrills and provides little space for representation.” Sobrevivendo changed all of that; a brutal but invigorating imagination was born. The lure of Sobrevivendo is the particular combination of word and sound that powerfully involves listeners, especially those millions of young Brazilians who live in the neighborhoods on the periphery of Brazil’s megacities. This book celebrates the 25-year anniversary of Sobrevivendo by representing the album’s power not only within the hip-hop community but also in other cultural domains such as cinema and literature. The author also provides his own narrative spins on the sentiment of Sobrevivendo, thus making the book a creative mix of cultural analysis and inspired testimony.”

331/3: Sam Cooke’s Live At The Harlem Square Club, 1963
By Colin Fleming

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Shelved for over 20 years, Sam Cooke’s Live At The Harlem Square Club, 1963, stands alongside Otis Redding’s Live In Europe and James Brown’s Live At The Apollo as one of the finest live soul albums ever made. It also reveals a musical, spiritual, emotional, and social journey played out over one night on the stage of a sweaty Miami club, as Cooke made music that encapsulated everything he had ever cut, channeling forces that would soon birth A Change Is Gonna Come, the most important soul song ever written. This book covers Cooke’s days with the Soul Stirrers, the gospel unit that was inventing a strand of soul in the 1950s, and continues on to his string of hit singles as a solo artist that reveal far more about this complex man and the complex music he was always fashioning. A writer and an agent of social change, he absorbed the teachings of Billie Holiday and Bob Dylan while reconciling his own identity and what fans expected of him. Fleming explores how this towering soul artist came to reconcile so many disparate elements on a Florida stage on a winter night in 1963 — a stage that extended well into the future, beyond Cooke’s own life, beyond the 1960s, and into a perpetual here-and-now. Live At The Harlem Square Club, 1963 will resonate so long as we all have need to look into ourselves and square our differences and become more human, and more connected with others in our humanity.”

The Great Glorious Goddamn of It All: A Novel
By Josh Ritter

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “From singer-songwriter Josh Ritter comes a lyrical, sweeping novel about a young boy’s coming-of-age during the last days of the lumberjacks. In the tiny timber town of Cordelia, Idaho, 99-year-old Weldon Applegate recounts his life in all its glory, filled with tall tales writ large with murder, mayhem, avalanches and bootlegging. It’s the story of dark pine forests brewing with ancient magic, and Weldon’s struggle as a boy to keep his father’s inherited timber claim, the Lost Lot, from the ravenous clutches of Linden Laughlin. Ever since young Weldon stepped foot in the deep Cordelia woods as a child, he dreamed of joining the rowdy ranks of his ancestors in their epic axe-swinging adventures. Local legend says their family line boasts some of the greatest lumberjacks to ever roam the American West, but at the beginning of the 20th century, the jacks are dying out, and it’s up to Weldon to defend his family legacy Braided with haunting saloon tunes and just the right dose of magic, The Great Glorious Goddamn Of It All is a novel bursting with heart, humor and an utterly transporting adventure that is sure to sweep you away into the beauty of the tall snowy mountain timber.”

A Field Guide To Grunge
By Steve Wide

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “This book is your gateway to the ’90s’ gritty, plaid-wearing underground. A Field Guide To Grunge delves into music’s most influential genres to uncover the innovators and agitators who changed music history forever. Steve Wide explores the dynamic scene that sprang from the ashes of punk and underground metal in America’s Pacific Northwest. From the sludge metal of Melvins and the noise punk of Mudhoney, to the point where Nirvana blew the charts apart, this book examines the artists, albums, music labels, who’s who, and hangouts that shaped an alternative scene into a worldwide phenomenon.”

A Field Guide to Britpop
By Steve Wide

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “This book is your gateway to the oasis of Britain’s music in the ’90s. A Field Guide to Britpop delves into music’s most influential genres to uncover the innovators and agitators who changed music history forever. Steve Wide explores a scene fueled by north–south rivalries, tribal fashion, and a good cup of tea. Uncover the artists and albums, the who’s who, and hangabouts that defined the era. From Blur’s jaunty pop, Pulp’s working-class poetry and Suede’s dark tales of the elegantly wasted to the pub singalongs of Oasis, Britpop looked to the past to reshape the future, becoming the last true music scene of the 20th century.”

Guitar Talk: Conversations with Visionary Players
By Joel Harrison

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Guitar Talk offers interviews with many of the most creative guitarists of our time. This new book presents conversations with Nels Cline, Pat Metheny, Fred Frith, Bill Frisell, Julian Lage, Elliott Sharp, Michael Gregory Jackson, Ben Monder, Anthony Pirog, Henry Kaiser, Mike and Leni Stern, Vernon Reid, Mary Halvorson, Nguyên Le, Rez Abbasi, Ava Mendoza, Liberty Ellman, Brandon Ross, Wayne Krantz, Dave Fiuczynski, Wolfgang Muthspiel, Miles Okazaki, Sheryl Bailey, Rafiq Bhatia, and Ralph Towner — 27 great guitarists in all. An enormous range of approaches and sounds exist in the modern guitar. The instrument can howl, scrape, scratch, scream, sing, pluck, and soothe. What stands out in this book is not so much the instrument itself, rather the wonderful and idiosyncratic personalities of these bold souls, their sometimes wild, often zigzagging, and ultimately profound journeys toward beauty, meaning, and excellence in their work. We find out that jazz icon Bill Frisell won a high school band contest playing R&B tunes, beating out future members of Earth, Wind and Fire. We learn which of Nels Cline’s compositions he wishes to have played at his funeral. Michael Gregory Jackson recounts painful episodes of racism as he stretched between the chasm of avant jazz, rock, and blues in the 1980s. Many more revelations, amusements, and philosophies abound.”

Gizmos, Gadgets, and Guitars: The Story of Leo Fender
By Michael Mahin & Steven Salerno

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The picture-book biography of ingenious American inventor Leo Fender, creator of the world’s most iconic Fender electric guitars. Fender loved to tinker and take things apart and put them back together again. When he lost an eye in a childhood accident, he refused to think of himself as broken. With a new pair of magnifying glasses, Leo got back to doing what he loved, fixing machines big and small ― even broken instruments. His inventions ― which included the Telecaster and Stratocaster ― would inspire the rock ’n’ roll generation and go on to amplify the talents of legendary guitarists Muddy Waters, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and Bonnie Raitt, among others. Fender’s brilliant engineering vision connected science and art forever.”

Motörhead: The Rise Of The Loudest Band In The World: The Authorized Graphic Novel
By David Calcano & Mark Irwin

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Dive into the world of Motörhead’s wild 40-year career with this officially authorized, fully illustrated graphic novel crafted by award-winning animation studio Fantoons. Spanning 144 pages packed with stunning illustrations, Motörhead: The Rise Of The Loudest Band In The World tells the legendary story of Motörhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister and the band’s meteoric rise to become one of the most influential rock bands of all time. From Lemmy’s early days working at a riding school in the English countryside to the recording of the band’s iconic album and first major international success, Ace of Spades, this Motörhead graphic novel chronicles the extraordinary story of the famous frontman’s incredible journey as the leader of the “loudest band in the world.” With this essential piece of Motörhead history and lore, fans will learn more about the band that heavily influenced well-known groups like Metallica and Foo Fighters, and discover the fascinating tale of the legend himself, Lemmy Kilmister. Born to lose. Live to win.”

Czarface: A Czar Is Born
By Seamus aka MC Esoteric Ryan & Chris Robinson

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Hero to some, villain to others, Czarface’s true origins have remained a mystery — until now. Who are the Zarta Ku? And why has their desperate mission brought them to Planet Earth? Meanwhile, Zach and his dog were just a washed up wrestling tag team making ends meet on the comicon circuit when they crossed paths with a woman who will change both their lives forever. Written by Czarface’s own Esoteric (Merry X-Men Holiday Special) with art by veteran illustrator Ariel Olivetti (Cable; Punisher War Journal), this landmark original graphic novel is a must-have for Wednesday warriors, wrestling marks, and hip-hop heads — or fans of all three combined!”

Standing On The Verge & Maggot Brain
By Adrian Matejka, Nicholas Galanin & Kevin Neireiter

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “A collaboration of visual art and poetry inspired by Funkadelic’s classic albums Standing On The Verge Of Getting It On and Maggot Brain. Adrian Matejka’s new book Standing On The Verge & Maggot Brain is a chorus of poems and visual art that is psychedelic and bright, full of quarter notes disguised as words. The poems bend like a solo bends the big ideas of Funkadelic’s glitter and unrepentant funk. The colletion also bends thedesign of books themselves. Standing On The Verge & Maggot Brain is more accurately described as a double-chapbook, featuring two front covers and no back cover. Essentially, it is a two-in-one book. For the Standing On The Verge section, sculptor and artist Kevin Neireiter translates music into stained glass graffiti in honor of the landmark record. For Maggot Brain, Nicholas Galanin’s art creates musical compositions from monochromatics in response to the quintessential album. Matejka’s collection of poems is synesthesia for the ear and alchemy for the eyes and heart. Standing On The Verge & Maggot Brain is both a tribute to the iconic band Funkadelic and deep introspection of the contrasts in poet Matejka’s celebrant hips and maggot brain. Just as the album Standing On The Verge Of Getting It On is a celebration of energy and action, Maggot Brain is a place of deep sorrow. Matejka explores both the light and dark within the visual art by Neireiter and Galanin, reflecting the poet’s radiances and shadows.”

The Official Marillion Coloring Book: The H Years
By David Calcano & Eduardo Benatar

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “An officially authorized Marillion coloring book, with more than 70 unique illustrations inspired by the band’s multi-platinum catalogue. Having sold more than 15 million albums worldwide, Marillion are one of the greatest progressive rock bands of all-time, with 19 studio albums and 23 Top 40 singles in the U.K. alone. Their influence across generations of musicians over the past four decades is virtually unmatched. Fully approved by the band and created by artists of the award-winning animation studio Fantoons, this official Marillion Coloring Book features original art inspired by the band’s unique sound and passionate lyrics, as well as their wonderful sense of humor — cherished by their worldwide fanbase. From Seasons End to their latest album With Friends from the Orchestra, this detailed coloring book celebrates Marillion’s legacy and their numerous stylistic developments. For both new and long-time fans of Marillion, this coloring book is a must-add to your collection!”