Home Read News Next Week in Music | April 18-24 • New Books

Next Week in Music | April 18-24 • New Books

Next week's music books have a distinctly international feel. Read all about ’em.

Finnish glam-rockers. African metal bands. Egyptian cassette culture. Tejano troubadours. Next week’s books have a distinctly international feel — along with some deep dives into classic albums and lyrics, an ode to Record Store Day and plenty of cocktails. Read all about ’em:


The Road Bends
By Sami Yaffa & Tommi Liimatta

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Sami Yaffa is a bass guitar legend, an icon of the rock world, and an uncompromising walker of his own way, who rose to prominence as the bassist of the mythical Hanoi Rocks. A man of lights and shadows, and the embodiment of street credibility, Yaffa has recorded with Bruce Springsteen and Slash, played with The New York Dolls and Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, crawled across Helsinki pubs and restaurants with Anthony Bourdain, and performed at Carnegie Hall. This is his story.”

DJ Screw: A Life in Slow Revolution
By Lance Scott Walker

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:DJ Screw, aka Robert Earl Davis Jr., changed rap and hip-hop forever. In the 1990s, in a spare room of his Houston home, he developed a revolutionary mixing technique known as chopped and screwed. Spinning two copies of a record, Screw would “chop” in new rhythms, bring in local rappers to freestyle over the tracks, and slow the recording down on tape. Soon Houstonians were lining up to buy his cassettes — he could sell thousands in a single day. Fans drove around town blasting his music, a sound that came to define the city’s burgeoning and innovative rap culture. June 27 has become an unofficial city holiday, inspired by a legendary mix Screw made on that date. Lance Scott Walker has interviewed nearly everyone who knew Screw, from childhood friends to collaborators to aficionados who evangelized Screw’s tapes-millions of which made their way around the globe-as well as the New York rap moguls who honored him. Walker brings these voices together with captivating details of Screw’s craft and his world. More than the story of one man, DJ Screw is a history of the Houston scene as it came of age, full of vibrant moments and characters. But none can top Screw himself, a pioneer whose mystique has only grown in the two decades since his death.”

Way Too Fast, An American Reckoning: The Life and Music of Danny DeGennaro: An American Reckoning
By John Farmer

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Way Too Fast, An American Reckoning: The Life and Music of Danny DeGennaro, is about a superbly talented musician from Levittown, Penn., who was brutally murdered in December of 2011. Danny’s story does not fit the tropes of our popular music literature. His was not the life of a world-famous rock star, like Keith Richards or Bruce Springsteen or Bob Dylan or Eric Clapton or David Bowie, whose autobiographies and overwrought hagiographies fill the shelves of libraries and Kindle inboxes; his life more closely resembles the lives that those more famous musicians sing about but don’t ever really live, their songs recounted at a comfortable distance from their subjects’ lives, particularly once fame and money have insulated them from the struggles of daily life. What took shape in the author’s mind was the story of one man’s life, to be sure, but it was also a story of his time, of our time, the biography of a fading generation. It’s a story bounded by personal and generational loss but bridged by the sustaining power of friendship and the healing power of music.”

Rainbow | Straight Between The Eyes: In-Depth
By Laura Shenton

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “By 1979, the Ronnie James Dio era of Rainbow was no more. The accessible sound of the band’s Down To Earth album signified Ritchie Blackmore’s explicit intention to go in a more commercial direction. By 1982, with a more secure and cohesive lineup, Rainbow were not only in a good position commercially, but at a strong peak musically. And that’s where Straight Between The Eyes comes in. In this book, author Laura Shenton offers an in-depth perspective on Rainbow’s sixth studio album from a range of angles including how it came to be, how it was presented and received at the time (live as well as on record), and what it means in terms of Rainbow’s legacy today.”

Jethro Tull | Heavy Horses: In-Depth
By Laura Shenton

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “By 1978, the landscape of pop music had changed considerably since Jethro Tull’s earlier hit albums Aqualung (1971) and Thick As A Brick (1972). Punk, disco and new wave were in and progressive rock’s heyday was over. Despite all of this, during the year of the band’s tenth anniversary, a cohesive lineup of Jethro Tull worked happily together to release the successful studio album Heavy Horses. In this book, author Laura Shenton offers an in-depth perspective on Heavy Horses from a range of angles including how the album came to be, how it was presented and received at the time (live as well as on record), and what it means in terms of Jethro Tull’s legacy today.”

The Meaning of Metallica: Ride the Lyrics
By William Irwin

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “More than 40 years since their formation, and 125 million album sales later, Metallica is as relevant as ever. Much has been written about the band, but The Meaning of Metallica is the first book to focus exclusively on their lyrics. Their mighty guitar riffs and pounding drums are legendary, but Metallica’s words match the intensity of their tunes. Lead singer James Hetfield writes rock poetry dealing with death, war, addiction, alienation, corruption, freedom, religion, and other weighty topics. Painting a rainbow of emotions with a deft palette, subtle but not obscure, Hetfield’s lyrics deserve careful attention. A master of narrative, Metallica makes listeners care about a vast array of characters, from a vengeful God, to a suicidal teenager, to a man in mid-life crisis. The Meaning of Metallica is like a riveting conversation with a close friend. A thematic tour de force that traces Hetfield’s lyrical development across the decades, this companion examines everything from deep cuts like Confusion to megahits like Enter Sandman. Sure to spark debate and discussion, The Meaning of Metallica provides a close reading of lyrics dense with details and rich with allusions.”

Scream for Me, Africa!: Heavy Metal Identities in Post-Colonial Africa
By Edward Banchs

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Scream for Me Africa! examines the hard rock and metal scenes in five African countries: Botswana, Togo, South Africa, Kenya, and Ghana. Edward Banchs interviewed musicians, producers, and fans in each country to create vivid pictures of each of these rarely discussed scenes. The book considers how the subculture of heavy metal is viewed in postcolonial Africa and examines how musicians on the continent have stepped forward to make this genre their own. It looks at Africa’s blossoming scenes through various themes, including hybridity, othering, and political tensions.”

Media of the Masses: Cassette Culture in Modern Egypt
By Andrew Simon

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Media of the Masses investigates the social life of an everyday technology ― the cassette tape ― to offer a multisensory history of modern Egypt. Over the 1970s and 1980s, cassettes became a ubiquitous presence in Egyptian homes and stores. Audiocassette technology gave an opening to ordinary individuals, from singers to smugglers, to challenge state-controlled Egyptian media. Enabling an unprecedented number of people to participate in the creation of culture and circulation of content, cassette players and tapes soon informed broader cultural, political, and economic developments and defined “modern” Egyptian households. Drawing on a wide array of audio, visual, and textual sources that exist outside the Egyptian National Archives, Andrew Simon provides a new entry point into understanding everyday life and culture. Cassettes and cassette players, he demonstrates, did not simply join other 20th-century mass media, like records and radio; they were the media of the masses. Comprised of little more than magnetic reels in plastic cases, cassettes empowered cultural consumers to become cultural producers long before the advent of the Internet. Positioned at the productive crossroads of social history, cultural anthropology, and media and sound studies, Media of the Masses ultimately shows how the most ordinary things may yield the most surprising insights.”

Across the Border and Back: Music in the Big Bend
By Marcia Hatfield Daudistel

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “In the vast, sparsely populated area of West Texas known as the Big Bend, life takes place on a different scale. The nearest neighbor can be 40 miles away, perhaps located not just in another town but another country, the border historically less obvious than it is today. In the small-town, bicultural atmosphere of the Big Bend, musicians from both sides of the Rio Grande come together, creating music that spans genre, culture, and international borders. From Ojinaga, Mexico, to Alpine, Texas, and most points in between, writer Marcia Hatfield Daudistel and photographer Bill Wright have gathered, through hours of interviews, a trove of anecdotes, images, and personal recollections that explore what makes music — and musicians — in the Big Bend slightly different from anything found elsewhere. Playing big band music one night for a dance at Marfa Army Air Field and border polkas the next evening at a quinceañera; playing traditional norteño and conjunto but throwing in the saxophone to change the dynamic; making a living with their music or keeping their day jobs and playing when they can: these are the stories that demonstrate the cultural and musical versatility required for musicians in the Big Bend. From the porch at Terlingua’s Trading Post to the jukebox at Lajitas, Across the Border and Back: Music in the Big Bend features the people, the history, the local color, the venues, and, above all, the distinctive attitude that have defined music-making in this place, at once one of the most remote and most unique in the country.”

Record Store Day: Ushering in the Most Improbable Comeback of the 21st Century
By Larry Jaffee

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Record Store Day: Ushering inthe Most Improbable Comeback of the 21st Century provides the official inside story on how Record Store Day managed to revive the vinyl format from oblivion over the past 15 years with some of the biggest artists jumping at the chance to sup-port independent record stores. This alliance and renewed camaraderie between artists and record stores set in motion the world’s largest annual music event: Record Store Day. The voices of numerous artists, record store owners, and the creators of Record Store Day take the reader from this phenomenon’s shaky beginnings through the crisis of 2020, illustrating how record stores went from irrelevance to irrevocably changing the music industry forever. Record Store Day is sure to appeal to record collectors who line up the night before in a quest to snare limited-edition collectibles on vinyl, while capturing the important role that independent record stores play in their communities.”

Bodies: Life and Death in Music
By Ian Winwood

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Money, freedom, adoring fans: professional musicians seem to have it all. But beneath the surface lies a frightening truth: for years the music industry has tolerated death, addiction and exploitation in the name of entertainment. In Bodies, Ian Winwood explores the industry’s reluctance to confront its many failures in a far-reaching story which features first-hand access to artists such as Foo Fighters, Green Day, Trent Reznor, Biffy Clyro, Kings of Leon, Chris Cornell, Mark Lanegan, Pearl Jam. Much more than a touchline reporter, Winwood also tells the tale of his own mental-health collapse following the shocking death of his father. Written with warmth, humour and bracing honesty, Bodies is a deeply personal story and essential reading for musicians and fans alike.”

Booze & Vinyl Vol. 2: 70 More Albums + 140 New Recipes
By André Darlington & Tenaya Darlington

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Get set to party with 70 great records — organized by theme, from Rockin’ to Beats, Mellow to Jazzy & Bluesy — spanning the 1950s to today. Each entry features liner notes on the album and two accompanying boozy beverage recipes that complement the music. Among the featured albums are: Are You Experienced? (The Jimi Hendrix Experience), Toys in the Attic (Aerosmith), Synchronicity (The Police), Jagged Little Pill (Alanis Morisette), The B-52’s (The B-52’s), Gipsy Kings (Gipsy Kings), Violator (Depeche Mode), Ready to Die (Notorious B.I.G.), Play (Moby), Lemonade (Beyoncé), Coat of Many Colors (Dolly Parton), Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (Elton John), So (Peter Gabriel), Whitney Houston (Whitney Houston), Oops!…I Did it Again (Britney Spears), Getz/Gilberto (Stan Getz and João Gilberto) and A Love Supreme (John Coltrane).”