Home Read News Next Week in Music | Feb. 21-27 • New Books

Next Week in Music | Feb. 21-27 • New Books

Bruce, The Beatles, Frank Zappa, Fat White Family & rest of your upcoming reads.


Bruce and The Beatles, Frank Zappa and Fat White Family, Major Lazer, Mercyful Fate and Modeselektor — these are the names in next week’s new releases. Read all about ’em:


The Music of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
By Simon Trowbridge

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Bruce Springsteen is both a singer-songwriter and the leader of the last of the iconic groups of rock’s golden age still operating at a peak level of passion and creativity. Like most of the great groups, The E Street Band was the product of a particular place and time, the New Jersey shore during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Asbury Park’s music scene, so close and yet so far from the skyline of N.Y.C., was a haven for young misfits with guitars who were looking for somewhere to play. The members of The E Street Band were bound by the ties of a shared history, and Springsteen remained committed to the band after he had been signed by Columbia as a solo artist. His greatest and most resonant music was written for these musicians and recorded with them. This new book is about the recordings Springsteen made with the band and the accompanying tours. In discussing the albums, Simon Trowbridge considers musical structure, instrumentation, themes and metaphors.”

Frank & Co: Conversations with Frank Zappa 1977-1993
By Co de Kloet

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Co de Kloet and Frank Zappa were friends for many years, and during that time Co recorded nearly every conversation the two men had. They also corresponded frequently — about life, music, politics, and much more besides — and this book offers a unique chronicle of their friendship, from their first meeting in 1977 to Zappa’s death in 1993. Co is renowned as an expert on Zappa’s music, but this book is about far more than that, and is unlike any other collection of interviews. As his son Dweezil Zappa writes in his foreword, Frank was a reluctant and sometimes combative interviewee, yet his conversations with Co were open and wide-ranging. Through more than two decades of these discussions, Frank & Co reveals a thoughtful, sensitive, and expansive Zappa, offering readers new insights into the life and career of one of the great masters of 20th-century American music. It also includes Co’s favourite memories of Frank, as well as interviews with Zappa alumni Flo & Eddie, Jimmy Carl Black, Pamela Zarubica and Don van Vliet, aka Captain Beefheart.”

Ten Thousand Apologies: Fat White Family and the Miracle of Failure 
By Adelle Stripe & Lias Saoudi

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “From the mountains of Algeria to the squats of South London via sectarian Northern Ireland, Ten Thousand Apologies is the sordid and thrilling story of the country’s most notorious cult band, Fat White Family. Loved and loathed in equal measure since their formation in 2011, the relentlessly provocative, stunningly dysfunctional “drug band with a rock problem” have dedicated themselves to constant chaos and total creative freedom at all costs. Like a tragicomic penny dreadful dreamed up by a mutant hybrid of Jean Genet, the Dadaists and Mark E. Smith, the Fat Whites‘ story is a frequently jaw-dropping epic of creative insurrection, narcotic excess, mental illness, wanderlust, self-sabotage, fractured masculinity, and the ruthless pursuit of absolute art. Co-written with lucidity and humour by singer Lias Saoudi and acclaimed author Adelle Stripe, Ten Thousand Apologies is that rare thing: a music book that barely features any music, a biography as literary as any novel, and a confessional that does not seek forgiveness. This is the definitive account of Fat White Family’s disgraceful and radiant jihad — a depraved, romantic and furious gesture of refusal to a sanitised era.”

Party Like a Rockstar: The Crazy, Coincidental, Hard-Luck, and Harmonious Life of a Songwriter
By J.T. Harding

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “In Party Like A Rockstar, J.T. Harding charts his life from a kid growing up in Michigan to a chart-topping songwriter living in Nashville and working with country music stars like Keith Urban and Kenny Chesney. As a kid playing rock ’n’ roll in his parents’ garage, Harding’s was a world in which every taste of new music — from KISS to Prince and everyone between — was a revelation. Inspired by his favorite artists, Harding abandons the classic American dream and runs away to Los Angeles, where he forms a band and becomes part of the music scene there, all the while selling records to his favorite artists and producers at Tower Records. A story of youth, rebellion, and determination, Party Like A Rockstar is a memoir for music lovers and an invaluable how-to guide for anyone who wants to learn how to write a hit song. Fun and heartfelt, Harding’s memoir is the story of one man’s unshakable love for rock ’n’ roll, how it guided him through some of the greatest tragedies — and greatest triumphs — of his wild and unvarnished life.”

The Hollies: Every Album, Every Song
By Andrew Darlington

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The road is long, with many a winding turn, that leads us to who knows where? Who knows where?’ Everyone loved The Hollies. They were the ‘group’s group’. Never confrontational or rebellious, always smartly suited, always smiling. The band had an unbroken run of immaculate pop singles which, while they seldom had that must-buy factor of the latest Rolling Stones or Beatles record, was hallmarked by tight harmonies and unfailing chart sensibility. Throughout the ’60s and well into the ’70s, everyone had — own up — at least one or two Hollies singles in their collection. No-one begrudged The Hollies their hits. When He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother and Long Cool Woman In A Black Dress became global million-sellers, The Hollies were inducted into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. Graham Nash — by then deep into his second career as part of Crosby, Stills and Nash — was reunited with other members of the outfit, all on stage together in the March 2010 ceremony. This book tells the full story, from the band’s origins in Manchester, through the full arc of hits, and the albums — track-by-track, into the 21st century. Then… now… always.”

33 1/3: Mercyful Fate’s Don’t Break the Oath
By Henrik Marstal

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Upon its release, Don’t Break the Oath charted fifth on the official British heavy metal album list and was supported by a two month long sold-out American tour in early 1985. The band’s controversial stage appearance with burning crosses, a microphone stand formed as a cross made of two human leg bones, as well as other blasphemous rituals attracted the attention of the then newly formed PRMC (Parental Resource Music Center) committee, ironically reassuring the band its position on the charts. But though the album was hugely popular in the anglophone metal scene, it was conceived in peripheral Denmark. This book discusses the relationship between center and periphery. It juxtaposes the Anglophone reticent of heavy metal with the rather marginalized location of Copenhagen, and examines Mercyful Fate’s relation to the Nordic region more generally. It also takes a close look at the methods involved in the production of King Diamond’s vocals, and emphasizes the role of the vocalist as just as an important part of the over-all soundscape as the instrumental contributions.”

33 1/3: Modeselektor’s Happy Birthday!
By Sean Nye

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Modeselektor, the Berlin electronic duo of Gernot Bronsert and Sebastian Szary, released Happy Birthday! in 2007, an album that mixed emotion, humour, and party excess. Through this album, this book presents a unique window into the histories of Berlin techno, European rave culture, and electronic music. By emphasizing Happy Birthday! as a network of collabs, genres, and insider winks, it highlights key features in Modeselektor’s career: above all, the beginnings of Moderat, the famous project between Modeselektor and Apparat, as well as the connections to groups and artists as diverse as Thom Yorke, Ellen Allien, Paul St. Hilaire, Otto von Schirach, Scooter and Jones & Stephenson.”

One-Hit Wonders: An Oblique History of Popular Music
By Sarah Hill

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The one-hit wonder has a long and storied history in popular music, exhorting listeners to dance, to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony, to ponder mortality, to get a job, to bask in the sunshine, or just to get up and dance again. Catchy, memorable, irritating, or simply ubiquitous, one-hit wonders capture something of the mood of a time. This collection provides a series of short, sharp chapters focusing on one-hit wonders from the 1950s to the present day, with a view toward understanding both the mechanics of success and the socio-musical contexts within which such songs became hits. Some artists included here might have aspired to success but only managed one hit, while others enjoyed lengthy, if unremarkable, careers after their initial chart success. Put together, these chapters provide not only a capsule history of popular music tastes, but also ruminations on the changing nature of the music industry and the mechanics of fame.”

A Women’s History of The Beatles
By Christine Feldman-Barrett

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:A Women’s History of The Beatles is the first book to offer a detailed presentation of the band’s social and cultural impact as understood through the experiences and lives of women. Drawing on a mix of interviews, archival research, textual analysis, and autoethnography, this scholarly work depicts how the Beatles have profoundly shaped and enriched the lives of women, while also reexamining key, influential female figures within the group’s history. Organized topically based on key themes important to the Beatles story, each chapter uncovers the varied and multifaceted relationships women have had with the band, whether face-to-face and intimately or parasocially through mediated, popular culture. Set within a socio-historical context that charts changing gender norms since the early 1960s, these narratives consider how The Beatles have affected women’s lives across three generations. Providing a fresh perspective of a well-known tale, this is a cultural history that moves far beyond the screams of Beatlemania to offer a more comprehensive understanding of what the now iconic band has meant to women over the course of six decades.”

For the Culture: Hip-Hop and the Fight for Social Justice
By Lakeyta Bonnette-Bailey & Adolphus Belk

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:For the Culture: Hip-Hop and the Fight for Social Justice documents and analyzes the ways in which hip-hop music, artists, scholars, and activists have discussed, promoted, and supported social justice challenges worldwide. Drawing from diverse approaches and methods, the contributors in this volume demonstrate that rap music can positively influence political behavior and fight to change social injustices, and then zoom in on artists whose work has accomplished these ends. The volume explores topics including education and pedagogy; the Black Lives Matter movement; the politics of crime, punishment, and mass incarceration; electoral politics; gender and sexuality; and the global struggle for social justice. Ultimately, the book argues that Hip-Hop is much more than a musical genre or cultural form: Hip-hop is a resistance mechanism.”

The Perfect Sound: A Memoir in Stereo
By Garrett Hongo

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Garrett Hongo’s passion for audio dates back to the Empire 398 turntable his father paired with a Dynakit tube amplifier in their modest tract home in Los Angeles in the early 1960s. But his adult quest begins in the CD-changer era, as he seeks out speakers and amps both powerful and refined enough to honor the top notes of the greatest opera sopranos. In recounting this search, he describes a journey of identity where meaning, fulfillment, and even liberation were often most available to him through music and its astonishingly varied delivery systems. Hongo writes about the sound of surf being his first music as a kid in Hawaii, about doo-wop and soul reaching out to him while growing up among Black and Asian classmates in L.A., about Rilke and Joni Mitchell as the twin poets of his adolescence, and about feeling the pulse of John Coltrane’s jazz and the rhythmic chords of Billy Joel’s piano from his car radio while driving the freeways as a young man trying to become a poet. Journeying further, he visits devoted collectors of decades-old audio gear as well as designers of the latest tube equipment, listens to sublime arias performed at La Scala, hears a ghostly lute at the grave of English romantic poet John Keats in Rome, drinks in wisdom from blues musicians and a diversity of poetic elders while turning his ear toward the memory-rich strains of the music that has shaped him: Hawaiian steel guitar and canefield songs; Bach and The Band; Mingus, Puccini and Duke Ellington. And in the decades-long process of perfecting his stereo setup, Hongo also discovers his own now-celebrated poetic voice.”

Popular Music in Japan: Transformation Inspired by the West
By Toru Mitsui

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Popular music in Japan has been under the overwhelming influence of American, Latin American and European popular music remarkably since 1945, when Japan was defeated in World War II. Beginning with gunka and enka at the turn of the century, tracing the birth of hit songs in the record industry in the years preceding the war, and ranging to the adoption of Western genres after the war —the rise of Japanese folk and rock, domestic exoticism as a new trend and J-Pop — Popular Music in Japan is a comprehensive discussion of the evolution of popular music in Japan. In eight revised and updated essays written in English by renowned Japanese scholar Toru Mitsui, this book tells the story of popular music in Japan since the late 19th century when Japan began positively embracing the West.”

Major Lazer: Year Negative One
By Alex De Campi & Ferry Gouw

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “In an alternate timeline 1984, Jamaica’s crown jewel is Nu Kingston — a retro futuristic metropolis where gang lords control hordes of zombie-like addicts with a drug called Spice. Worst among them is BadMan Jones, who is prophesied to wipe out humanity for mysterious extraterrestrials. As Spice spreads to every corner of the island, Major Lazer can no longer maintain neutrality and must rely on new weapons and old comrades to prevent total apocalypse.”

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