Home Read News Next Week in Music | Nov. 7-13 • New Books

Next Week in Music | Nov. 7-13 • New Books

A punk hero, a glam god, a rock icon, a country boy and more. Read all about ’em.

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A punk hero, a glam god, a rock icon, a country boy, two sexy one-hit wonders, a jazz extraterrestrial and a host of classic rock and pop stars. You can find the whole crew next week at the bookstore — or maybe even inside your mailbox or favourite device. In the meantime, read all about ’em:

 


Punk Paradox: A Memoir
By Greg Graffin

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Greg Graffin is the lead vocalist and songwriter of Bad Religion, recently described as “America’s most significant punk band.” Since its inception in Los Angeles in 1980, Bad Religion has produced 18 studio albums, become a long-running global touring powerhouse, and has established a durable legacy as one of the most influential punk rock bands of all time. Punk Paradox is Graffin’s life narrative before and during L.A. punk’s early years, detailing his observations on the genre’s explosive growth and his band’s steady rise in importance. The book begins by exploring Graffin’s Midwestern roots and his life-changing move to Southern California in the mid-’70s. Swept up into the burgeoning punk scene in the exhilarating and often-violent streets of Los Angeles, Graffin and his friends formed Bad Religion, built a fanbase, and became a touring institution. All these activities took place in parallel with Graffin’s never-ceasing quest for intellectual enlightenment. Despite the demands of global tours, recording sessions, and dedication to songwriting, the author also balanced a budding academic career. In so doing, he managed to reconcile an improbable double-life as an iconic punk rock front man and university lecturer in evolution. Graffin’s unique experiences mirror the paradoxical elements that define the punk genre — the pop influence, the quest for society’s betterment, music’s unifying power — all of which are prime ingredients in its surprising endurance. Fittingly, this book argues against the traditional narrative of the popular perception of punk. As Bad Religion changed from year to year, the spirit of punk — and its sonic significance — lived on while Graffin was ever willing to challenge convention, debunk mythology, and liberate listeners from the chains of indoctrination. As insightful as it is exciting, this thought-provoking memoir provides both a fly on the wall history of the punk scene and astute commentary on its endurance and evolution.”


Transformer: A Story of Glitter, Glam Rock, and Loving Lou Reed
By Simon Doonan

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “In November 1972, Lou Reed released his album Transformer because he thought it was “dreary for gay people to have to listen to straight people’s love songs.” That groundbreaking idea echoed with the times. That same year, Sweden was the first country to legalize gender-affirming surgery, and San Francisco struck down employment discrimination based on sexual orientation. Sometimes an artistic creation perfectly aligns with a broader social and political history, and Transformer — with the songs Walk On The Wild Side, Perfect Day and Vicious — perfectly captured its time. Walk On The Wild Side was banned on radio across the country but became a massive hit when young people threatened to boycott stations that would not play it. The album’s cover featured a high-contrast image of Lou, flaunting a new mascara’d glam  incarnation, shot by legend Mick Rock, thereby underscoring his intention to create “a gay album.” In Transformer, Doonan tells the story of how Reed came to make the album with the help of David Bowie, and places its creation within the course of Reed’s life. A poignant, personal addition to modern music and LGBTQ+ history, Transformer captures a pivotal moment when those long silenced were finally given a voice. As transgender icon Candy Darling, highlighted in his lyrics, told Reed, “It’s so nice to hear ourselves.”


Chuck Berry: An American Life
By RJ Smith

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Best known as the groundbreaking artist behind classics like Johnny B. Goode, Maybellene, You Never Can Tell and Roll Over Beethoven, Chuck Berry was a man of wild contradictions whose motives and motivations were often shrouded in mystery. After all, how did a teenage delinquent come to write so many songs that transformed American culture? And, once he achieved fame and recognition, why did he put his career in danger with a lifetime’s worth of reckless personal behavior? Throughout his life, Berry refused to shed light on either the mastery or the missteps, leaving the complexity that encapsulated his life and underscored his music largely unexplored — until now. In Chuck Berry, biographer RJ Smith crafts a comprehensive portrait of one of the great American entertainers, guitarists, and lyricists of the 20th century, bringing Berry to life in vivid detail. Based on interviews, archival research, legal documents, and a deep understanding of Berry’s St. Louis (his birthplace, and the place where he died in March 2017), Smith sheds new light on a man few have ever really understood. By placing his life within the context of the American culture he made and eventually withdrew from, we understand how Berry became such a groundbreaking figure in music, erasing racial boundaries, crafting subtle political commentary, and paying a great price for his success. While celebrating his accomplishments, the book also does not shy away from troubling aspects of his public and private life, asking profound questions about how and why we separate the art from the artist. Berry declined to call himself an artist, shrugging that he was good at what he did. But the man’s achievement was the rarest kind, the kind that had social and political resonance, the kind that made America want to get up and dance. At long last, Chuck Berry brings the man and the music together.”


My Country
By George Canyon

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Today, George Canyon is a platinum-selling country musician known for hits such as Good Day to Ride, I Want You To Live and songs that tell stories about family, love, faith, and having a good drink every now and then. But growing up in Pictou County, N.S., among his close-knit family of grandparents, aunts, and uncles, George wanted nothing more than to be an astronaut. He was always drawn to music, whether it was the hymns he belted out from the church pew or the old guitar he strummed his first notes on at the tender age of five, but it was possibility of a life in the stars that drove him. First, though, he had to learn to fly a plane on Earth, so as soon as he turned 12, he joined the Air Cadets, following a rich family tradition of serving one’s country. Just two years later, George’s big dreams of being a pilot came crashing to the ground when he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. And with limited treatment options available in the 1980s, the diagnosis ruled out the air force. Devastated as he was, deep down George knew that there was a greater plan for his life. When a snap decision to audition for a musical led to an offer to join a local country band, everything changed: George found his calling. It would be years of hard work and sacrifice — touring dive bars across the country and working multiple jobs — but with the unwavering support of his family and his deep faith, George got his big break in 2004 when he landed a spot on Nashville Star, a singing competition TV show. From there, he was catapulted onto the world stage. With his natural gift for spinning a good tale and his signature humour and honesty, George recounts his musical journey from small-town Nova Scotia to the big city of Nashville, and how his life came full circle when he returned to Canada — this time, to the wide plains of Alberta. At its heart, this memoir is a love song to a way of life that’s rooted in family, faith, and place, and a reminder to never give up on your dreams.”


Jimi: 80th Birthday Edition
By Janie Hendrix & John McDermott

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Jimi is the ultimate tribute to the greatest guitar player in rock ’n’ roll history, celebrating what would have been Jimi Hendrix‘s 80th birthday on Nov. 27, 2022. This comprehensive visual celebration is an official collaboration with Jimi’s sister Janie Hendrix, and John McDermott of Experience Hendrix. Jimi significantly expands on the authors’ previously published titles, including An Illustrated Experience, and features a new introduction by Janie, extensive biographical texts, and a trove of lesser known and never-before-published photographs, personal memorabilia, lyrics, and more. Additionally, Jimi includes quotations by legendary musicians, such as Paul McCartney, Ron Wood, Jeff Beck, Lenny Kravitz, Drake, Dave Grohl and others who have spoken about Hendrix’s lasting influence. In the four years before his untimely death at age 27, Hendrix created a groundbreaking musical legacy, one that includes revered classics such as Purple Haze and Voodoo Child. His signature guitar playing, provocative songwriting, and charismatic performances have continued to inspire legions of musicians and fans alike.”


The Beatles 1963
By Dafydd Rees

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “At the start of 1963, The Beatles were a successful local Liverpool band with one hit single; 12 months, two albums, and the arrival of Beatlemania later, they were on the cusp of world domination. Featuring daily entries covering every pivotal event, The Beatles 1963 draws on hundreds of new eyewitness accounts and provides numerous unseen photographs. Meticulously researched, this is the definitive account of the momentous year that sent John, Paul, George and Ringo to stratospheric heights.”


Roadhouse Blues: Morrison, The Doors, and the Death Days of the Sixties
By Bob Batchelor

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Shrouded in mystery and the swirling psychedelic sounds of the ’60s, The Doors have captivated listeners across seven decades. Jim Morrison — haunted, beautiful, and ultimately doomed — transformed from rock god to American icon. With each successive generation of fans, the Doors become more popular and transcendent. Yet the band’s full significance is buried beneath layers of mythology and folklore. In Roadhouse Blues, Bob Batchelor presents an epic tale of one of rock’s (and America’s) most significant periods, as the Age of Aquarius gave way to a new age of mayhem, presidential misdeeds, and murder. Batchelor combines cultural history, musical and lyrical analysis, and a broad stroke of pop-culture mythos to give fresh perspective on a pivotal time. Candid, authoritative, and utterly absorbing, Roadhouse Blues is a biography of a man, a band, and an era that set the tone for the contemporary world. Beyond the mythology, the hype, and the mystique around Morrison’s untimely death, this book takes readers on a roller-coaster ride, examining the impact the band had on America as the nation veered from decadence to debauchery. “We’re gonna have a real good time!”


Still Too Sexy: Surviving Right Said Fred
By Fred Fairbrass & Richard Fairbrass

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Richard and Fred Fairbrass, better known as Right Said Fred, scored a global No. 1 hit in 1991 with their debut single I’m Too Sexy, selling 30 million albums, being showered with industry awards, and earning plaudits from admirers such as Madonna and Prince. Before that breakthrough, though, the brothers spent over a decade in London and New York, trying to make it in the music industry. Fred played guitar with Bob Dylan and Richard played bass in several David Bowie videos, with the brothers appearing on stage with Joy Division and Suicide, and on film with Mick Jagger. Once fame hit, the good times rolled, the substances mounted up and the groupies formed an orderly queue, but it wasn’t long before the brothers realised that fame and fortune is not for everyone. Still Too Sexy is their story, with a foreword by the legendary stunt motorcyclist Eddie Kidd, OBE.”


ABBA At 50
By Carl Magnus Palm

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Emerging victorious from Eurovision in 1974 with winning tune Waterloo, ABBA catapulted to fame and captured hearts across the world with their melodic and ever-so catchy pop songs. Formed in Stockholm in 1972 by Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad, ABBA became one of the most commercially successful acts in the history of popular music, topping the charts worldwide from 1974 to 1982 with classic hits such as Dancing Queen, Gimme, Gimme, Gimmie, and Knowing Me, Knowing You. Their total record sales are estimated at more than 150 million; only The Beatles have sold more. ABBA At 50 charts the journey of the Swedish quartet, from humble beginnings in post-war Sweden to global superstardom. Beautifully illustrated with essential images, it examines the group’s enduring legacy and much-loved musical repertoire of perfectly crafted pop. From the group’s outlandish outfits to the toll commercial success took on the private lives of the two married couples, this book is a must for all ABBA fans.”


Prince: All the Songs – The Story Behind Every Track
By Benoît Clerc

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The latest book in the bestselling All The Songs series, this is the most in-depth exploration of Prince’s songs ever written. Spanning nearly 50 years of albums, EPs, B-sides, and more, read the full story behind all of the songs that Prince ever released. Moving chronologically through his epic back catalogue, expert author Benoît Clerc analyses everything there is to know about each song and session. With a career as mythologized as Prince, this book is an exhaustive compendium that shines a light on every corner of Prince’s magnificent, otherworldly career. No stone is left unturned across more than 600 pages, illustrated with incredible photography throughout. From the inspiration behind the lyrics and melody to the recording process and even the musicians and producers who worked on each track, uncover the stories behind the music in this truly definitive book — a must-have for every Prince fan.”


The Poets of Tin Pan Alley
By Philip Furia & Laurie J. Patterson

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “From the turn of the century to the 1960s, the songwriters of Tin Pan Alley were synonymous with American popular music. Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, George and Ira Gershwin, Rodgers and Hart ― even today these giants remain household names, their musicals regularly revived, their methods and styles analyzed and imitated, and their songs the bedrock of jazz and cabaret. In this new edition of The Poets of Tin Pan Alley, authors Philip Furia and Laurie Patterson offer a unique perspective on these great songwriters, showing how their poetic lyrics were as important as their brilliant music in shaping a golden age of American popular song. Furia and Patterson continue the tradition of great perception and understanding established in the first edition as they explore the deft rhymes, inventive imagery, and witty solutions these songwriters used to breathe new life into rigidly established genres. They devote full chapters to such greats as Irving Berlin, Lorenz Hart, Ira Gershwin, Cole Porter, Oscar Hammerstain II, Howard Dietz, E.Y. Harburg, Dorothy Fields, Leo Robin and Johnny Mercer. They also offer a comprehensive survey of other lyricists who wrote for the sheet-music industry, Broadway, Hollywood, and Harlem nightclub revues. This was the era that produced The New Yorker, Don Marquis, Dorothy Parker and E.B. White ― and the book places Tin Pan Alley lyrics firmly in this fascinating historical context. In these pages, the lyrics emerge as an important element of American modernism, as the lyricists, like the great modernist poets, took the American vernacular and made it sing.”


Going Up The Country: Adventures In Blues Fieldwork In The 1960s
By Marina Bokelman & David Evans

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “At the height of the blues revival, Marina Bokelman and David Evans, young graduate students from California, made two trips to Louisiana and Mississippi and short trips in their home state to do fieldwork for their studies at UCLA. While there, they made recordings and interviews and took extensive field notes and photographs of blues musicians and their families. Going Up The Country: Adventures In Blues Fieldwork In The 1960s presents their experiences in vivid detail through the field notes, the photographs, and the retrospective views of these two passionate researchers. The book includes historical material as well as contemporary reflections by Bokelman and Evans on the times and the people they met during their southern journeys. Their notes and photographs take the reader into the midst of memorable encounters with many obscure but no less important musicians, as well as blues legends, including Robert Pete Williams, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Al Wilson (cofounder of Canned Heat), Babe Stovall, Rev. Ruben Lacy and Jack Owens. This volume is not only an adventure story, but also a scholarly discussion of fieldwork in folklore and ethnomusicology. Including retrospective context and commentary, the field note chapters describe searches for musicians, recording situations, social and family dynamics of musicians, and race relations and the racial environment, as well as the practical, ethical, and logistical problems of doing fieldwork.”


Love And Rage: Autonomy In Mexico City’s Punk Scene
By Kelley Tatro

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Love And Rage is a deeply ethnographic account of punk in Mexico City as it is lived and practiced, connecting the sounds of punk music to different styles of political action. Through compelling first-person accounts, ethnographer Kelley Tatro shows that punk is more than music. It is a lifestyle choice that commits scene participants to experimentation with anarchist politics. Key to that process is the concept of autogestión (“self-management”), a term with deep history in local leftist politics. In detailed vignettes, grounded in historical, social, and political frames, the book shows how punk-scene sounds and practices foster autogestión through intensely affective experiences, understood as manifestations of love and rage. Drawing on the history of anarchism in Mexico City, as well as social movement scholarship, Love And Rage details the pleasures and problems of using music as a tool for creating an autonomous politics.”


Sun Ra: Art on Saturn – The Album Cover Art of Sun Ra’s Saturn Label
By Sun Ra & Chris Reisman

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Considered the foremost exponent of Afrofuturism, Sun Ra mastered a wide array of styles that spanned jazz, R&B, experimental, and chamber works. In his 45-year recording career, he issued an epic number of albums and was one of the first Black musicians to own an independent label, which he named Saturn, after the planet on which he claimed to have been born. The covers of Saturn LPs, issued from 1957 to 1988, are iconic ― some rolled off commercial printing presses but many were hand-crafted and were sold at concerts, club dates, and by mail order. As collectibles, original handmade Saturn covers sell for hundreds, sometimes thousands, of dollars. More than just packaging for a slab of vinyl, they are works of art in their own right. Sun Ra: Art on Saturn is the first comprehensive collection of all Saturn printed covers, along with hundreds of the best hand-designed, one-of-a-kind sleeves and disc labels, decorated by Ra himself and members of his Arkestra. Essays by Ra preservationist Irwin Chusid, noted Ra scholar John Corbett, and Glenn Jones, who signed Ra to a distribution deal that put countless homemade covers into circulation, add insights into the interplanetary life and work of Sun Ra and his Saturn partner Alton Abraham.”


My Vinyl Collection: How to Build, Maintain, and Experience a Music Collection in Analog
By Jenna Miles

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Vinyl records are back — in a big way. Music lovers are turning back to vinyl for its pure sound and the fun of collection. If you’re an avid collector or are looking to start your collection, this book will walk you through the basics of what is sure to become your newest passion; and give you the space to keep track of your own growing collection. Whether your musical tastes are jazz, rock, country, classical, or showtunes, you can find vinyl records from your favorite artists — but you have to know where to look. And DJ-turned-vinyl expert Jenna Miles will let you know all that and more! With essential guidance on storing, cleaning, and fixing records, this guided journal is a must-have for music fans everywhere.”