Home Read News Next Week in Music | Oct. 10-16 • New Books

Next Week in Music | Oct. 10-16 • New Books

Leonard, Linda, Charlie, Sly, and more of the big names headed for the bookshelf.


Leonard, Linda and Led Zep. Bob, The Beatles and Bergmann. Along with Charlie, Sly, King Curtis and Human League, they’re some of the bigger names hitting the bookshelves next week. Read all about ’em:


A Ballet of Lepers: A Novel and Stories
By Leonard Cohen

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Before the celebrated late-career world tours, before the Grammy awards, before the chart-topping albums, before Hallelujah and So Long, Marianne and Famous Blue Raincoat, the young Leonard Cohen wrote poetry and fiction and yearned for literary stardom. In A Ballet of Lepers, readers will discover that the magic that animated Cohen’s unforgettable body of work was present from the very beginning. Written between 1956 in Montreal, just as Cohen was publishing his first poetry collection, and 1961, when he’d settled on Greece’s Hydra island, the pieces in this collection offer startling insight into Cohen’s imagination and creative process, and explore themes that would permeate his later work, from shame and unworthiness to sexual desire to longing, whether for love, family, freedom, or transcendence. The titular novel, A Ballet of Lepers — one he later remarked was “probably a better novel” than his celebrated book The Favourite Game — is a haunting examination of these elements, while the fifteen stories, as well as the playscript, probe the inner demons of his characters, many of whom could function as stand-ins for the author himself. Meditative, surprising, playful, and provocative, A Ballet of Lepers is vivid in its detail, unsparing in its gaze, and reveals the great artist and visceral genius like never before.”

Feels Like Home: A Song for the Sonoran Borderlands
By Linda Ronstadt & Lawrence Downes

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “In Feels Like Home, Grammy-winning singer Linda Ronstadt effortlessly evokes the magical panorama of the high desert, a landscape etched by sunlight and carved by wind, offering a personal tour built around meals and memories of the place where she came of age. Growing up the granddaughter of Mexican immigrants and a descendant of Spanish settlers near northern Sonora, Ronstadt’s intimate new memoir celebrates the marvelous flavors and indomitable people on both sides of what was once a porous border whose denizens were happy to exchange recipes and gather around campfires to sing the ballads that shaped Ronstadt’s musical heritage. Following her bestselling musical memoir, Simple Dreams, this book seamlessly braids together Ronstadt’s recollections of people and their passions in a region little understood in the rest of the United States. This road trip through the desert, written in collaboration with former New York Times writer Lawrence Downes and illustrated throughout with beautiful photographs by Bill Steen, features recipes for traditional Sonoran dishes and a bevy of revelations for Ronstadt’s admirers. If this book were a radio signal, you might first pick it up on an Arizona highway, well south of Phoenix, coming into the glow of Ronstadt’s hometown of Tucson. It would be playing something old and Mexican, from a time when the border was a place not of peril but of possibility.”

Charlie’s Good Tonight: The Authorized Biography of Charlie Watts
By Paul Sexton

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Charlie Watts was one of the most decorated musicians in the world, having joined The Rolling Stones, a few months after their formation, early in 1963. A student of jazz drumming, he was headhunted by the band after bumping into them regularly in London’s rhythm and blues clubs. Once installed at the drum seat, he didn’t miss a gig, album or tour in his 60 years in the band. He was there throughout the swinging ’60s, the early shot at superstardom and the Stones’ world conquest; and throughout the debauchery of the 1970s, typified by 1972’s Exile on Main St., considered one of the great albums of the century. By the 1980s, Charlie was battling his own demons, but emerged unscathed to enhance his unparalleled reputation even further over the ensuing decades. Watts went through band bustups, bereavements and changes in personnel, managers, guitarists and rhythm sections, but remained the rock at the heart of the Rolling Stones for nearly 60 years — the thoughtful, intellectual but no less compelling counterpoint to the raucousness of his bandmates Keith Richards, Mick Jagger and Ronnie Wood. And this is his story.”

Folk Music: A Bob Dylan Biography in Seven Songs
By Greil Marcus

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Across seven decades, Bob Dylan has been the first singer of American song. As a writer and performer, he has rewritten the national songbook in a way that comes from his own vision and yet can feel as if it belongs to anyone who might listen. In Folk Music, Greil Marcus tells Dylan’s story through seven of his most transformative songs. Marcus’s point of departure is Dylan’s ability to “see myself in others.” Like Dylan’s songs, this book is a work of implicit patriotism and creative skepticism. It illuminates Dylan’s continuing presence and relevance through his empathy — his imaginative identification with other people. This is not only a deeply felt telling of the life and times of Bob Dylan but a rich history of American folk songs and the new life they were given as Dylan sat down to write his own.”

The Longest Suicide: The Authorized Biography of Art Bergmann
By Jason Schneider

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “As Canada’s punk poet laureate, Art Bergmann has been tearing up stages, and terrifying the music industry, for half a century. Often referred to as “Canada’s Lou Reed,” Art’s story is one of rock and roll’s great tales untold. Until now. From his days helping to lay the foundation of the Vancouver punk scene with The K-Tels, to his acclaimed solo work in the ’80s and ’90s, and a late career resurgence that has culminated with being named to the Order of Canada, The Longest Suicide chronicles every unlikely twist and turn Art’s life has taken. Working with veteran music journalist Jason Schneider, Art lays it all out in his own inimitable way, with dozens of people who took part adding their own voices to corroborate (and sometimes dispute) the often-incredible chain of events. With cameos by John Cale, Bob Rock, The Clash, Bob Geldof and many others, The Longest Suicide is both a triumphant story of personal survival, as well as a unique glimpse inside the rise of alternative rock. Above all, it is a tribute to Canada’s most unheralded singer-songwriter, whose greatness is only now being widely recognized.”

Sly & the Family Stone: An Oral History
By Joel Selvin

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Sly Stone shook the foundations of soul and turned it into a new sound that influenced and liberated musicians as varied as Miles Davis, Stevie Wonder, and Herbie Hancock. His group — consisting of Blacks and whites, men and women — symbolized the Woodstock generation and crossed over to dominate pop charts with anthems like Everyday People, Dance To The Music and I Want to Take You Higher. Award-winning journalist and bestselling author Joel Selvin weaves an epic American tale from the voices of the people around this funk phenomenon: Sly’s parents, his family members and band members (sometimes one and the same), and rock figures including Grace Slick, Sal Valentino, Bobby Womack, Mickey Hart, Clive Davis, Bobby Freeman and many more. In their own words, they candidly share the triumphs and tragedies of one of the most influential musical groups ever formed — “different strokes” from the immensely talented folks who were there when it all happened. Available for the first time in years, Sly & The Family Stone: An Oral History is an unflinching look at the rise and fall one of music’s most enigmatic figures.”

Glory Guitars: Memoir of a ’90s Teenage Punk Rock Grrrl
By Gogo Germaine

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Ensconced in the black hole between childhood and adulthood, a glorious degenerate-grade freedom endures. A rebellion from respectability. An anathema to normalcy. It is the type of defiance that’s hopeful ― hurt by the world but looking to reconcile it. Enter Gogo Germaine and her girl gang of delinquents. As manic teens in the ’90s punk scene, they engage in a vivid spectrum of misbehavior ― from truancy to tattoos to trespassing. Here, in the underbelly of adolescence, music is God and the rest is a rush of nihilism. Gogo and her friends stumble through sound and fury into questionable firsts at varying degrees of sobriety. Many of us blunder through that black hole. It is a point of universal convergence, manifested by divergent experiences. Gogo’s rebellion may look different from yours, but the soaring highs and visceral lows will be familiar.”

The Journal of Beatles Studies (Volume 1, Issue 1)
By Holly Tessler & Paul Long

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “To mark the first issue of this exciting new journal, Liverpool University Press are publishing a commemorative paperback edition of The Journal of Beatles Studies, the first journal to establish The Beatles as an object of academic research, and will publish original, rigorously researched essays, notes, as well as book and media reviews. The journal aims to provide a voice to new and emerging research locating the Beatles in new contexts, groups and communities from within and beyond academic institutions; to inaugurate, innovate, interrogate and challenge narrative, cultural historical and musicological tropes about The Beatles as both subject and object of study; and to publish original and critical research from scholars around the globe and across disciplines. The Journal of Beatles Studies establishes a scholarly focal point for critique, dialogue and exchange on the nature, scope and value of The Beatles as an object of academic enquiry and seeks to examine and assess the continued economic value and cultural values generated by and around The Beatles, for policy makers, creative industries and consumers. The journal also seeks to approach The Beatles as a prism for accessing insight into wider historical, social and cultural issues.”

Soul Serenade: King Curtis and His Immortal Saxophone
By Timothy R Hoover

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Although in 2000 he became the first sideman inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame, “King CurtisOusley never lived to accept his award. Tragically, he was murdered outside his New York City home in 1971. At that moment, 37-year-old King Curtis was widely regarded as the greatest R&B saxophone player of all time. He also may have been the most prolific, having recorded with well over 200 artists during an 18-year span. Soul Serenade is the definitive biography of one of the most influential musicians of the ’50s, ’60s and early ’70s. Timothy R. Hoover chronicles King Curtis’s meteoric rise from a humble Texas farm to the recording studios of Memphis, Muscle Shoals, and New York City as well as to some of the world’s greatest music stages, including the Apollo Theatre, Fillmore West and Montreux Jazz Festival. Curtis’s “chicken-scratch” solos on The CoastersYakety Yak changed the role of the saxophone in rock ’n’ roll forever. His band opened for The Beatles at their famous Shea Stadium concert in 1965. He also backed his “little sister” and close friend Aretha Franklin on nearly all of her tours and Atlantic Records productions from 1967 until his death. Soul Serenade is the result of more than 20 years of interviews and research. It is the most comprehensive exploration of Curtis’s complex personality: his contagious sense of humor and endearing southern elegance as well as his love for gambling and his sometimes aggressive temperament. Hoover explores Curtis’s vibrant relationships and music-making with the likes of Buddy Holly, Sam Cooke, Isaac Hayes, Jimi Hendrix, Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, Sam Moore, Donny Hathaway and Duane Allman, among many others.”

Terry O’Neill: The A-Z of Rock ‘N’ Roll
By Terry O’Neill CBE

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Terry O’Neill (1938-2019) was one of the world’s most celebrated and collected photographers. No one captured the front line of fame so broadly — and for so long. Terry O’Neill: The A-Z of Rock ’N’ Roll contains some of the most famous and powerful music photographs of all time. At the same time, the book includes many intimate personal photos taken behind the scenes and at private functions. O’Neill photographed the giants of the music world — both on and offstage. For more than 50 years he captured those on the front line of fame in public and in private. David Bowie, Elton John, Led Zeppelin, Amy Winehouse, Dean Martin, The Who, Janis Joplin, AC/DC, Eric Clapton, Sammy Davis Jr., The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Chuck Berry and The Beatles — to name only a few. O’Neill spent more than 30 years photographing Frank Sinatra as his personal photographer, with unprecedented access to the star. He took some of the earliest known photographs of The Beatles, and then forged a lifetime relationship with members of the band that allowed him to photograph their weddings and other private moments. It is this contrast between public and private that makes Terry O’Neill: The A-Z of Rock ’N’ Roll such a powerful document. Without a doubt, O’Neill’s work comprises a vital chronicle of rock history. To any fan of music or photography, this book will be a must-buy.”

Telling Stories: Photographs of The Fall
By Kevin Cummins & Simon Armitage

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “From chaotic early gigs to their final years, NME photographer Kevin Cummins provides a definitive, unique perspective on cult favorites The Fall. In this stunning visual history spanning four decades, discover how and why they emerged as one of the most innovative, boundary-breaking bands in modern music. With interviews and essays from the band’s members and devotees, as well as never-before-seen images from Cummins’ archives, this is the ultimate visual companion to The Fall.”

Led Zeppelin: Album by Album
By Martin Popoff

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Formed by the unlikely alliance of two ace London studio musicians and two bar-band bumpkins, Led Zeppelin went on to create the template for the marauding modern rock ’n’ roll band. Often described as “heavy,” any true fan will tell you that the band’s nine studio albums and 81 tracks thereon are actually a complex amalgam of blues, psychedelia, rock, folk, and country that reveal the influences of Led Zeppelin’s four members. Veteran music journalist Martin Popoff picks apart each of these 81 tracks in exquisite detail, and for the first time ever, you can come along for the ride. Popoff analyzes the circumstances that led to their creation, the recording processes, the historical contexts, and more. Offstage and performance photography, as well as images of rare memorabilia, bring the band’s story to vivid life. Included as a special bonus, he also offers an introductory essay on each of the band’s nine studio albums, and sidebar features that explore influences on the band as well as song details, such as running time, instruments played, engineers, and studios.”

The Human League: Every Album, Every Song
By Andrew Darlington

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Sheffield in the late-1970s was isolated from what was happening in London in the same way that Liverpool had been in 1963. A unique generation of electro-experimental groupings evolved in the former Steel City around Cabaret Voltaire and The Future. The Future split into two factions, Clock DVA and The Human League. Then The Human League split into two further factions, Heaven 17, and The Human League as we now know them, fronted by Philip Oakey with Joanne Catherall and Susan Sulley. Dare became one of the most iconic albums of the ’80s; the album by which Human League are most instantly recognised. It is a musically ambitious album, both driven and voracious album, with giddy grenades of shared inventiveness. A triumph of content over considerable style, at once phenomenally commercial and gleefully avant-garde. The American success of Don’t You Want Me, accelerated by the high-gloss movie-quality video, exploiting the band’s extreme visual appeal, heralded what was soon termed the Second British Invasion. It was the first of two Human League singles to top the American charts. This book tells the full story, from the band’s origins in Sheffield, through the full arc of Human League and the very early Heaven 17 hits, and the albums — track-by-track, into the 21st century.”

Who Hears Here?: On Black Music, Pasts and Present Vol. 1
By Guthrie P. Ramsey

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Guthrie P. Ramsey, Jr., is an award-winning musicologist, music historian, composer, and pianist whose prescient theoretical and critical interventions have bridged Black cultural studies and musicology. Representing 25 years of commentary and scholarship, these essays document Ramsey’s search to understand America’s Black musical past and present and to find his own voice as an African American writer in the field of musicology. This far-reaching collection embraces historiography, ethnography, cultural criticism, musical analysis, and autobiography, traversing the landscape of Black musical expression from sacred music to art music, and jazz to hip-hop. Taken together, these essays and the provocative introduction that precedes them are testament to the legacy work that has come to define a field, as well as a rousing call to readers to continue to ask the hard questions and write the hard truths.”

Black And Blue: Jazz Stories
By Stanley Péan

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Author and radio personality Stanley Péan is a jazz scholar who takes us seamlessly and knowledgeably through the history of the music, stopping at a number of high points along the way. He gets behind the scenes with anecdotes that tell much about the misunderstandings that have surrounded the music. How could French existentialist writer Jean-Paul Sartre have mixed up Afro-Canadian songwriter Shelton Brooks with the Jewish-American belter Sophie Tucker? What is the real story behind the searing classic Strange Fruit made immortal by Billie Holiday, who at first balked at performing it? Who knew that an Ohio housewife named Sadie Vimmerstedt was behind the revenge song I Wanna Be Around (“I wanna be around to pick up the pieces when somebody breaks your heart?”) And since this is jazz, there is no shortage of sad ends: Bix Beiderbecke, Chet Baker, Lee Morgan to name a few. Jazz is liberation music, from Fats Waller to Duke Ellington to John Coltrane who walked side by side with Martin Luther King with his piece Alabama. Péan shows how musicians like Miles Davis worked with the emerging voices of hip-hop to widen jazz’s audience. The intricate crisscross between Black musical forms, from Marvin Gaye to The Last Poets is explored, as well as how the movies, Hollywood and European cinema alike, tried to use jazz, often whitening it in the process (with the exception of Spike Lee).”

Walking with Asafo in Ghana: An Ethnographic Account of Kormantse Bentsir Warrior Music
By Prof. Ama Oforiwaa Aduonum

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “What is Asafo ndwom (music)? How and when is it performed? What is the state of this warrrior tradition that once served as the bedrock of the Akan, Ewe, and Ga societies in Ghana? How does Asafo enact the past and serve as an archive for the people? In an attempt to answer these questions, Walking With Asafo in Ghana investigates the musical pasts of Asafo. The book is an ethnography of walking, organized into eight chapters. Each chapter ends with a piece of creative writing in the author’s “ethnographic voice,” in which she sums up the main ideas. It is Ama Oforiwaa Aduonum’s attempt at an anticolonial and decolonialist African musicology, one that subverts and decenters white racial framing of research, analysis, and presentation, disrupting how Euro-American concepts frame our ways of telling and experiencing ndwom. Aduonum’s goal on this trajectory is to tell her story, create something new, and chart a new path. Through this fluid and complex book, she repositions African Elders’ knowledge as “epistemologies of decolonization and de-coloniality” and centers the stories shared by local Fante scholars. The text is polyvocal, multimodal, multiperspective, performative, reflexive, and dialogic, informed by the structure of Asafo ndwom, appellations, proverbs, her mentors’ tellings, and “embodied” calling and responding. It is a performative scholarly discourse, ndwom-based: a performance. As a celebration of Asafo, those warriors who insisted their lives matter, the text is meant to be read and performed.”

Declassified: A Low-Key Guide to the High-Strung World of Classical Music
By Arianna Warsaw-Fan Rauch

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Arianna Warsaw-Fan Rauch’s life-long fascination with classical music has taken her through Juilliard and into the shiny world of symphony halls and international concert tours. She’s loved classical music her whole life. But she’s also hated classical music her whole life. After all, if you can like Beyoncé without liking Bieber, you can certainly like Brahms without liking Bach — especially since they were born 148 years apart and the thing we call “classical music” is really just centuries of compositions shoved into one hodge-podge of a genre. In Declassified, Warsaw-Fan Rauch blows through the cobwebs of elitism and exclusion and invites everyone to love and hate this music as much as she does. She offers a backstage tour of the industry and equips you for every listening scenario, covering: The seven main compositional periods (even the soul-crushingly depressing Medieval period), a breakdown of the instruments and their associated personality types (apologies to violists and conductors), what it’s like to be a musician at the highest level (it’s hard), how to steal a Stradivarius (and make no money in the process), and when to clap during a live performance (also: when not to). Declassified cheekily demystifies the world of high art while making the case that classical music matters, perhaps now more than ever.”

The Ink In The Grooves: Conversations on Literature and Rock ‘n’ Roll
By Florence Dore

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Drop the record needle on any vinyl album in your collection, then read the first pages of that novel you’ve been meaning to pick up — the reverberations between them will be impossible to miss. Since Bob Dylan went electric, listening to rock ‘n’ roll has often been a surprisingly literary experience, and contemporary literature is curiously attuned to the history and beat of popular music. In The Ink In The Grooves, Florence Dore brings together a remarkable array of acclaimed novelists, musicians, and music writers to explore the provocatively creative relationship between musical and literary inspiration: the vitality that writers draw from a three-minute blast of guitars and the poetic insights that musicians find in literary works from Shakespeare to Southern Gothic. Together, the essays and interviews in The Ink In The Grooves provide a backstage pass to the creative processes behind some of the most exciting and influential albums and novels of our time. Contributors: Laura Cantrell, Michael Chabon, Roddy Doyle, Bob Dylan, Steve Earle, William Ferris, Dom Flemons, Rhiannon Giddens, Dave Grohl, Peter Guralnick, Amy Helm, Randall Kenan, Jonathan Lethem, Greil Marcus, Rick Moody, Lorrie Moore, the John Prine band (Dave Jacques, Fats Kaplin, Pat McLaughlin, Jason Wilber), Dana Spiotta, John Jeremiah Sullivan, Richard Thompson, Scott Timberg, Daniel Wallace, Colson Whitehead, Lucinda Williams, Warren Zanes.