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

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

Johnny and Freddie and Laurie and the rest of your upcoming musical reads.


The Man in Black gets political, a big bandleader replays his career, Freddie gets ready for your coffee table, musicians sing the praises of their favourite tunes, Hellbangers get the picture, vinyl junkies wax enthusiastically — and those are just some of next week’s musical tomes. Read all about ’em:


Citizen Cash: The Political Life and Times of Johnny Cash
By Michael Stewart Foley

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Johnny Cash was an American icon, known for his level, bass-baritone voice and somber demeanor, and for huge hits like Ring of Fire and I Walk the Line. But he was also the most prominent political artist in the United States, even if he wasn’t recognized for it in his own lifetime, or since his death in 2003. Then and now, people have misread Cash’s politics, usually accepting the idea of him as a “walking contradiction.” Cash didn’t fit into easy political categories — liberal or conservative, Republican or Democrat, hawk or dove. Like most people, Cash’s politics were remarkably consistent in that they were based not on ideology or scripts but on empathy — emotion, instinct, and identification. Drawing on untapped archives and new research on social movements and grassroots activism, Citizen Cash offers a major reassessment of a legendary figure.”

Face the Music: A Memoir
By Peter Duchin & Patricia Beard

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The internationally famous bandleader Peter Duchin’s six decades of performing have taken him to the most exclusive dance floors and concert halls in the world. He has played for presidents, kings, and queens, as well as for civil rights and cultural organizations. But in 2013, Duchin suffered a stroke that left him with limited use of his left hand, severely impacting his career. Days of recuperating from his stroke — and later from a critical case of Covid-19 — inspired Duchin to reconsider his complicated past. His father, the legendary bandleader Eddy Duchin, died when Peter was 12; his mother, Marjorie Oelrichs Duchin, died when he was just six days old. In the succeeding decades, Duchin would follow his father to become the epitome of mid-20th century glamour. But it was only half a century later, in the aftermath of his sudden illnesses, that he began to see his mother and father not just as the parents he never had, but as the people he never got to know; and at the same time, to reconsider the milieu in which he has been both a symbol and a participant. More than a memoir, Face the Music offers a window into the era of debutantes and white-tie balls, when such events made national headlines. Duchin explores what “glamour” and “society” once meant, and what they mean now. With sincerity and humor, Face the Music offers a moving portrait of an extraordinary life, its disruptions, and revitalization.”

Freddie Mercury: A Legendary Voice
By Ernesto Assante

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “A singer, songwriter, an inimitable performer: Freddie Mercury left his mark on the popular culture of the last 50 years, and his music has influenced different generations. Here is the biggest voice in probably of all music’s history in a celebratory volume, 30 years after his passing.”

By Pep Bonet

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The Hellbangers are the ‘enfants terribles’ of a sleepy, diamonds rich country. Photographer Pep Bonet (1974, Mallorca) has been following Overthrust, a heavy metal band from Botswana, Africa, and shows us a growing, exciting and thoroughly organic heavy metal community. Ten years ago, one group existed. Today there are more than 10 — and their fans are growing every year. The inhabitants of Botswana portrayed in this book are tattooed, loudly and proudly dress in leather, and play heavy death metal music. Imagine the DIY ingenuity of their ‘costume creation’ involving harvested animal skulls and other natural elements. With names like Demon and Gunsmoke, it would be easy though to think they are thugs, but “We try to be examples. Rock is a wild thing, but also something for the heart”, says Gunsmoke, the heavy metal head. Here too, the lyrics of the songs are very critical towards societies, just like their western peers. Metal in Botswana is rebellious movement against authorities. This is the story of what looks at first to be an unlikely union, yet one which powerfully illustrates how music, how heavy metal music, has become a positively unifying force in an unlikely part of the world.”

The Listening Party: Artists, Bands and Fans Reflect on 100 Favorite Albums
By Tim Burgess

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “In 2020 when the world was forced to hit pause on live in-person gigs, Tim Burgess (aka lead singer of The Charlatans UK) found an ingenious way to bring people together by inviting artists and bands, from Paul McCartney and New Order to Michael Kiwanuka and Kylie, to host real-time album playbacks via Twitter. Relive 100 of the most memorable listening parties here with stories from bands and fans, rarely seen backstage images, and unique insider info from those who created these iconic albums.”

Vinyl World: You Spin me Right Round
By Markus Caspers

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The good old record is still spinning! With its demise predicted over and over, the vinyl has shown itself to triumphant over technology trends, beloved by music professionals and fans, collectors and DJs alike. This richly illustrated photo book celebrates the history of the record with over 200 color and black and white images, seasoned with essential vinyl knowledge on record magazines, consoles, shops and cafes. From the art legends who shaped the cover art to the LPs that became coveted collector’s items, this is a must-have compendium for all vinyl fans and collectors.”

Laurie Anderson’s Big Science
By S. Alexander Reed

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Shimmering in maximal minimalism, joyful bleakness, and bodiless intimacy, Laurie Anderson’s Big Science diagnosed crises of meaning, scale, and identity in 1982. Decades later, the strange questions it poses loom even larger: How do we remain human when our identities are digitally distributed? Does technology bring us closer together or further apart? Can we experience the stillness of “now” when time is always moving? How does our experience become memory? Laurie Anderson pioneered new techniques and aesthetics in performance art, becoming its first and most enduring superstar. In this book, author S. Alexander Reed dives into the wonderfully strange making and meanings of this singular album and of its creator’s long artistic career. Packed with scrupulous new research, reception history, careful description, and dizzying creativity, this book is an interdisciplinary love letter to a record whose sounds, politics, and expressions of gendered identity grow more relevant each day.”

Dylan, Lennon, Marx and God
By Jon Stewart

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Bob Dylan and John Lennon are two of the most iconic names in popular music. Dylan is arguably the 20th century’s most important singer-songwriter. Lennon was founder and leader of The Beatles who remain, by some margin, the most covered pop songwriters in history. While Dylan erased the boundaries between pop and poetry, Lennon and his band transformed the genre’s creative potential. The parallels between the two men are striking but underexplored. This book addresses that lack. Jon Stewart discusses Dylan’s and Lennon’s relationship; their politics; their understanding of history; and their deeply held spiritual beliefs. In revealing how each artist challenged the restrictive social norms of their day, the author shows how his subjects asked profound moral questions about what it means to be human and how we should live. His book is a potent meditation and exploration of two emblematic figures whose brilliance changed Western music for a generation.”