Home Read News Next Week in Music | Sept. 13-19 • New Books

Next Week in Music | Sept. 13-19 • New Books

There's a whole lottta publishing goin' on next week. Read all about ’em.


Mellencamp, Motörhead and Matt Sorum. Fripp, folk music and Finnish icons. Guitar pedals and grunge. Hiatt and heavy rock. Dylan and more Dylan. There’s a whole lottta publishing goin’ on next week. Read all about ’em:


By Paul Rees

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:John Mellencamp is not your typical rock star. With music inspired by the work of William Faulkner, John Steinbeck and other giants of American literature, he has experienced a colorful career unlike any other. Now, this fascinating biography fully charts the life of one of this country’s most important voices in American music. Mellencamp’s story is also the story of the American heartland. His coming of age as an artist and evolution into legendary status directly reflected the major changes of the last fifty years. From the Summer of Love to the growing divisiveness of American politics and beyond, his music has served as the backdrop to this evolving country for millions of fans. Featuring exclusive interviews with friends, family, and colleagues, and exploring everything from the founding of Farm Aid to his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, this is a fresh and expansive look at a true original.”

Have A Little Faith: The John Hiatt Story
By Michael Elliott

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “A journey through an artist’s quest for success, deep dive into substance abuse, family tragedy, and ultimate triumph By the mid-1980s, singer-songwriter John Hiatt had been dropped from three record labels, burned through two marriages, and had fallen deep into substance abuse. It took a stint in rehab and a new marriage to inspire him, then a producer and an A&R man to have a little faith. By February 1987, he was back in the studio on a shoestring budget with a hand-picked supergroup consisting of Ry Cooder on guitar, Nick Lowe on bass, and Jim Keltner on drums, recording what would become his masterpiece, Bring The Family. Based on author Michael Elliott’s multiple extensive and deeply personal interviews with Hiatt as well as his collaborators and contemporaries, including Rosanne Cash, Bonnie Raitt, Ry Cooder and many others, Have A Little Faith is the journey through the musical landscape of the 1960s through today that places Hiatt’s long career in context with the glossy pop, college-alternative, mainstream country, and heartland rock of the last half-century. Hiatt’s life both pre- and post-Family will be revealed, as well as the music loved by critics, fellow musicians, and fans alike.”

Double Talkin’ Jive: True Rock ‘n’ Roll Stories from the Drummer of Guns N’ Roses, The Cult, and Velvet Revolver
By Matt Sorum, Leif Eriksson & Martin Svensson

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “In Double Talkin’ Jive, legendary drummer Matt Sorum takes music lovers behind the scenes of a remarkable life in rock. Sorum, whose albums have sold tens of millions of copies around the world, provides an honest, engaging account of the highs and lows of superstardom. Sorum recounts his childhood years idolizing Ringo Starr and surviving an abusive stepfather. After leaving high school, Sorum sold pot to get by. Over time, his drug dealing escalated to smuggling large quantities of cocaine, a career that came toa halt following a dramatic shoot-out. Sorum fled his old life and settled in Hollywood, where he’d enjoy a rapid ascension to rock ’n’ roll immortality. He caught his big break drumming for The Cult, and only a year later was invited to join Guns N’ Roses, with whom he’d record two of rock’s most iconic albums: Use Your Illusion I and II. The Rock And Roll Hall of Fame inductee and Grammy winner opens up with forthright honesty, sharing anecdotes from his time touring the globe, battling drug and alcohol addiction, as well as working with Axl Rose, Slash and the rest of the GN’R team. His career with The Cult, Guns N’ Roses, Velvet Revolver, Motörhead, Hollywood Vampires and Kings of Chaos costars an ensemble of rock royalty, from Billy Idol to Steven Tyler, Billy F Gibbons and Alice Cooper. Double Talkin’ Jive goes beyond the cliches of sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll, telling the very human story of what it takes to make it in music, and the toll stardom exacts from those who achieve success. Sorum invites fans to revel in the debauchery of the good times, but also paints a stark portrait of life after the party. Music fans of any generation will find value in the pages of this evocative, thoughtful, and candid autobiography.”

Fifty Shades of Crimson: Robert Fripp and King Crimson
By Pete Tomsett

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “In 1969, five young Englishmen calling themselves King Crimson altered the course of rock music, and despite a revolving-door lineup, the band has continued to innovate and inspire for more than 50 years. Fifty Shades of Crimson tells the story of this legendary band and of the unique English guitarist Robert Fripp it revolves around. With a deep passion for the music, author Pete Tomsett celebrates the achievements of Fripp and the array of incredible talent that has passed through Crimson, while not shying away from the many behind-the-scenes difficulties. Getting signed after supporting The Rolling Stones at Hyde Park, Crimson shot to fame with their debut album, In the Court of the Crimson King, becoming one of the most influential bands of that era and triggering the rise of prog rock. While going through countless personnel, including Greg Lake, Bill Bruford and John Wetton, rejecting Elton John and Bryan Ferry along the way, they have put out many highly acclaimed albums and to this day maintain a big international following. In their early years Fripp’s band reached the same heights as the likes of David Bowie and Pink Floyd. However, as an intellectual who despised the practices of the music business, Fripp preferred innovation over chasing big sales. In 1974 he withdrew from mainstream music, but was eventually tempted back and reformed Crimson to much acclaim in the ’80s. As well as also having collaborations with Brian Eno, Andy Summers and others, Fripp has created new forms of instrumental music, run his own idiosyncratic guitar courses and set up an ethical record company. Both genius and ‘a special sort of awkward’, Fripp has never been afraid to take his music where no one has gone before, and Crimson have been a powerful influence on everyone from Genesis and Yes to Roxy Music and Radiohead, creating a legacy that will live on for decades.”

Motörhead: Fast & Loose: Snapshots from the Graham Mitchell Archive, 1977-1982
By Graham Mitchell

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “One of the most influential hard rock bands of all time, Motörhead mixed rock, punk, and heavy metal into an aggressive blend of pure explosive energy. Between 1977 and 1982, the classic “three amigos” lineup of the band (Lemmy Kilmister, Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor, and “Fast” Eddie Clarke) toured relentlessly, and recorded a half dozen classic albums that continue to impact the music world today. During that period, Graham Mitchell was, in his own words, “their tour manager, their babysitter, their procurer of women, their procurer of drugs, procurer of everything.” Somehow, in the midst of the whirlwind, Graham managed to pick up his camera and snap amazing images of the group that document the raw power of the band with an intimacy that only an insider could capture. Presented in large format and featuring nearly 100 snapshots, many that have never been seen before, Fast & Loose is an inside look at a one-of-a-kind group that is essential for any diehard fan.”

Jean Sibelius: Life, Music, Silence
By Daniel M. Grimley

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Few composers have enjoyed such critical acclaim — or longevity — as Jean Sibelius, who died in 1957 aged 91. Always more than simply a Finnish national figure, an ‘apparition from the woods’ as he ironically described himself, Sibelius’s life spanned turbulent and tumultuous events, and his work is central to the story of late 19th- and early 20th-century music. This book situates Sibelius within a rich interdisciplinary environment, paying attention to his relationship with architecture, literature, politics and the visual arts. Drawing on the latest developments in Sibelius research, it is intended as an accessible and rewarding introduction for the general reader, and also offers a fresh and provocative interpretation for those more familiar with his music.”

Listening to Bob Dylan (Music in American Life)
By Larry Starr

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Venerated for his lyrics, Bob Dylan in fact is a songwriting musician with a unique mastery of merging his words with music and performance. Larry Starr cuts through pretention and myth to provide a refreshingly holistic appreciation of Dylan’s music. Ranging from celebrated classics to less familiar compositions, Starr invites readers to reinvigorate their listening experiences by sharing his own — sometimes approaching a song from a fresh perspective, sometimes reeling in surprise at discoveries found in well-known favorites. Starr breaks down often-overlooked aspects of the works, from Dylan’s many vocal styles to his evocative harmonica playing to his choices as a composer. The result is a guide that allows listeners to follow their own passionate love of music into hearing these songs — and personal favorites — in new ways. Reader-friendly and revealing, Listening to Bob Dylan encourages hardcore fans and Dylan-curious seekers alike to rediscover the music legend.”

Selling Folk Music: An Illustrated History
By Ronald D. Cohen & David Bonner

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Selling Folk Music: An Illustrated History highlights commercial sources that reveal how folk music has been packaged and sold to a broad, shifting audience in the United States. Folk music has a varied and complex scope and lineage, including the blues, minstrel tunes, Victorian parlor songs, spirituals and gospel tunes, country and western songs, sea shanties, labor and political songs, calypsos, pop folk, folk-rock, ethnic, bluegrass, and more. The genre is of major importance in the broader spectrum of American music, and it is easy to understand why folk music has been marketed as America’s music. Selling Folk Music presents the public face of folk music in the United States via its commercial promotion and presentation throughout the twentieth century. Included are concert flyers; sheet music; book, songbook, magazine, and album covers; concert posters and flyers; and movie lobby cards and posters, all in their original colors. The 1964 hootenanny craze, for example, spawned such items as a candy bar, pinball machine, bath powder, paper dolls, Halloween costumes, and beach towels. The almost 500 images in Selling Folk Music present a new way to catalog the history of folk music while highlighting the transformative nature of the genre. Following the detailed introduction on the history of folk music, illustrations from commercial products make up the bulk of the work, presenting a colorful, complex history.”

Renegade Snares: The Resistance And Resilience Of Drum & Bass
By Ben Murphy & Carl Loben

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Renegade Snares is the definitive book on drum & bass music. Pieced together using original interviews conducted with all the scene’s main players, it traces the history of jungle/drum & bass from its early roots in soundsystem culture and rave music right through to the present day. With its hyper-speed breakbeats, warping bass pressure, and vast spectrum of sounds, drum & bass quickly spawned a whole new movement in youth culture. What began as an outlaw street reverberation from the inner cities of Britain developed into a Mercury Prize-winning, chart-topping, world-conquering genre in just a few short years. The frontier-breaking sorcery that emanated from its foundational producers and DJs pushed new levels of sonic science into the music world, and it has influenced all other electronic music genres in assorted ways. From the shock of the new to a global phenomenon, drum & bass has morphed from frowned-upon marginalisation to establishment approval — and back again. A multicultural triumph, it is a story of resilience and resistance that takes in pioneers such as Goldie, Roni Size, Kemistry & Storm, Photek, Fabio & Grooverider, and many more renegade mavericks — even, at one point, David Bowie. With vivid descriptions of key tracks and a detailed lineage of the scene’s development, Renegade Snares traces the genre’s gestation while also examining its musical twists and turns, worldwide spread, and enduring popularity.”

Electric Wizards: A Tapestry of Heavy Music, 1968 to the Present
By JR Moores

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “It began with The BeatlesHelter Skelter. It was distilled to its dark essence by Black Sabbath. And it has flourished into a vibrant modern underground, epitomized by Newcastle’s Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs. This is the evolution of heavy music, and Electric Wizards is your sonic gazetteer. The voyage is as varied as it is illuminating: from the lysergic blunt trauma of Blue Cheer to the locked grooves of Funkadelic, the aural frightmares of Faust to the tectonic crush of Sleep, alighting on post-punk, industrial, grunge, stoner rock and numerous other genres along the way. Ranging from household names to obscure cult heroes and heroines, Electric Wizards demonstrates how each successive phase of heavy music was forged by what came before, outlining a rich and eclectic lineage that extends far beyond the usual boundaries of heavy rock or heavy metal. It extols those who did things differently, who introduced something fresh and exciting into this elemental tradition, whether by design, accident or sheer chance. In doing so, Electric Wizards weaves an entirely new tapestry of heavy music.”

The Grunge Diaries: Seattle, 1990–1994
by Dave Thompson

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Throughout the 1990s, Dave Thompson was the Seattle-based contributing editor to Alternative Press magazine — America’s biggest-selling and most influential alternative rock monthly — and a regular contributor to other publications both nationally and internationally. Throughout this decade, grunge music ruled the world and Seattle was its birthplace and focal point. Thompson was an eyewitness to it all. His writings and interviews chronicled the entire history of grunge — from its roots in the earliest explosion of punk in the mid-1970s to its rise and ultimate fall from grace in the late 1990s. Drawing from Thompson’s extensive experience and research — from personal files and journals and hours of interviews with both musicians and fans, other music industry figures, and a wealth of characters from the Seattle scene — The Grunge Diaries is an exhaustive account of this unique era. Featured are all of the major acts — Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Mudhoney, Soundgarden — and many lesser known bands and artists. But it’s not only about the music, the fashions, and the personalities that still resonate today. The Grunge Diaries also tells the tale of the end of an era in American history — 20th-century music culture’s last hurrah before the dot-com monsters (many of whom were themselves based in Seattle) devoured its soul and faceless corporations rebranded entertainment. These were the days when fame was still within reach of anyone who knew three chords and had three friends.”

Chasing the Blues: A Traveler’s Guide to America’s Music
By Josephine Matyas & Craig Jones

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Chasing the Blues explores the roots of the blues — the music birthed in the Mississippi Delta by African Americans who fashioned a new form of musical expression grounded in their shared experience of brutal oppression. They used the power of music to survive that oppression, creating a simple-in-structure, emotionally complex form that transformed and upended culture and became the bedrock of popular song. Tracing the music back to its geographical and cultural origins in the Delta is key to understanding how the blues were shaped. Over time, the Delta blues have touched virtually every form of popular music (rock and roll, soul, R&B, country-western, gospel), creating the soundscape of our lives. What makes this book unique? Fathoming how the music flowed from living and working conditions in the heart of the Deep South; appreciating how life-changing events like the Flood of 1927 sparked a mass migration away from plantation life, spreading the blues to the cities in the North and becoming the soundtrack to the civil rights movement; how blues musicians interacted, “cross-fertilizing” their music by learning, influencing, and imitating each other. The habits of travel are shifting, and there is more interest and a larger market for diving deep into destinations closer to home. Interest in Black history and culture and the role Black Americans played in shaping America is at an all-time high. By appreciating the roots of this most American style of music, readers will have a richer experience listening to songs and visiting blues’ holy and sacred sites.”

Rock ‘n’ Roll London: A Guide to the City’s Musical Heritage
By Tony Barrell

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Discover the London landmarks associated with some of the biggest names in musical history. The culmination of detailed research into where the greats stayed, rehearsed, recorded and died. London teemed with top-rated singers and musicians during the ’60s and ’70s, whether they were squatting, playing gigs or investing in multi-million pound mansions. Follow Paul McCartney and co. to the quiet flat on Green Street that was their refuge before the Beatlemaniacs sought them out. Wind back time to when Andrew Loog Oldham locked Mick Jager and Keith Richards in their flat and demanded they compose a song. From the zany to the tragic — it was in St Mary Abbot’s Hospital, Kensington where Jimi Hendrix was pronounced dead — this is a guidebook like no other, a pilgrimage dedicated to the rock ‘n’ roll greats.”

Bob Dylan in London: Troubadour Tales
By Jackie Lees & K G Miles

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “This is both a guide and history on the impact of London on Bob Dylan, and the lasting legacy of Bob Dylan on the London music scene. Bob Dylan In London celebrates this journey, and allows readers to experience Dylan’s London and follow in his footsteps to places such as the King and Queen pub (the first venue that Dylan performed at in London), the Savoy hotel and Camden Town. This book explores the key London places and times that helped to create one of the greatest of all popular musicians.”

Alien Listening: Voyager’s Golden Record and Music from Earth
By Daniel K. L. Chua & Alexander Rehding

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “An examination of NASA‘s Golden Record that offers new perspectives and theories on how music can be analyzed, listened to, and thought about ― by aliens and humans alike. In 1977, NASA shot a mixtape into outer space. The Golden Record aboard the Voyager spacecrafts contained world music and sounds of Earth to represent humanity to any extraterrestrial civilizations. To date, the Golden Record is the only human-made object to have left the solar system. Alien Listening asks the big questions that the Golden Record raises: Can music live up to its reputation as the universal language in communications with the unknown? How do we fit all of human culture into a time capsule that will barrel through space for tens of thousands of years? And last but not least: Do aliens have ears? The stakes could hardly be greater. Around the extreme scenario of the Golden Record, the authors develop a thought-provoking, philosophically heterodox, and often humorous Intergalactic Music Theory of Everything, a string theory of communication, an object-oriented ontology of sound, and a Penelopean model woven together from strands of music and media theory. The significance of this exomusicology, like that of the Golden Record, ultimately takes us back to Earth and its denizens. By confronting the vast temporal and spatial distances the Golden Record traverses, the authors take listeners out of their comfort zone and offer new perspectives in which music can be analyzed, listened to, and thought about ― by aliens and humans alike.”

iTake-Over: The Recording Industry in the Streaming Era
By David Arditi

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The second edition of iTake-Over: The Recording Industry in the Streaming Era sheds light on the way large corporations appropriate new technology to maintain their market dominance in a capitalist system. To date, scholars have erroneously argued that digital music has diminished the power of major record labels. In iTake-Over, sociologist David Arditi suggests otherwise, adopting a broader perspective on the entire issue by examining how the recording industry strengthened copyright laws for their private ends at the expense of the broader public good. Arditi also challenges the dominant discourse on digital music distribution, which assumes that the recording industry has a legitimate claim to profitability at the expense of a shared culture. Arditi specifically surveys the actual material effects that digital distribution has had on the industry. Most notable among these is how major record labels find themselves in a stronger financial position today in the music industry than they were before the launch of Napster, largely because of reduced production and distribution costs and the steady gain in digital music sales. Moreover, instead of merely trying to counteract the phenomenon of digital distribution, the RIAA and the major record labels embraced and then altered the distribution system.”

PedalCulture: An Exploration into the Cultural Significance and Design Semiotics of the Contemporary Guitar Effects Pedal
By Megan Pai

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:PedalCulture is a themed exploration of guitar effects pedals as cultural artifacts, derived from a 2017 design exhibition at San Francisco State University curated by the writer. This colorful and artfully designed volume contains curatorial text describing eight different object displays along with photographs of each of the 63 individual pedals, richly illustrated in approximately 100 original photographs. The anthropological quest into understanding how effects stompboxes allow for quasi-supernatural power transference from on high to working guitarists is just one of the many themes explored in this volume. Other exhibits explore symbolic associations in the branding of sonic effects with notable cultural touchstones from popular arts and culture: As material manifestations of noir literature, retro-futuristic cinema, and Japanese anime; as explicit graphic metaphors for female pudenda; in explicit reference to gruesome tabloid tales of murder and mayhem; in alluring ads for small-batch, handmade artisanal creations; and in all too obvious associations to guacamole and chips. This is PedalCulture ― where we also find a heartfelt dialog among church musicians for whom effects pedals bring heaven to earth, yet risk interjecting the world of crass materialism into sanctified settings. Designers and musicians will find the catalog of value for its topical content, and arts educators will appreciate an exemplary case study of students collaborating with artists and curators from the community at large. Unlike other books about the expansive (and expensive) world of guitar gear, the curatorial tone of PedalCulture employs an irreverent sensibility expressed in a whimsical and ironic attitude toward its subject. The PedalCulture catalog is intended as a hip, personally expressive design project fusing form, content, and aesthetics into a volume oozing both art style and curatorial substance.”

Reinvention: Poems
By Rik Emmett

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Reinvention is a largely autobiographical collection of poetry ― a project that followed on the heels of Rik Emmett retiring from a touring musician’s and college educator’s life in early 2019. Inside all of the slashes that define him ― singer/songwriter/guitarist/rock star/teacher/columnist ― writing has always been his strongest avocation, and the poetic style of Ultra Talk, in particular, offered a welcome spark for a songwriter’s freedom of expression. This creative license is organized under seven headings — The Humanities, Life & Death, There’s Politics in Everything, Double Helix, Soapbox Sermonettes, Time Time Time, and Ars Nova 2020. Rik’s poetry (literally) reinvents his own retirement, and it’s not just some aging dilettante’s bucket list fancy. He discovered a sincere way to tie up a lot of loose ends, fulfill dormant promise, and eschew show biz tangents. Reinvention, his first book, makes some sense of a life that always went in a lot of different directions at once. Finally, he’s given himself permission to chase a mode of self-expression with less commercial potential … than jazz guitar recordings.”

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