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Next Week in Music | Nov. 27 – Dec. 3 • New Books

Simple Minds, Nick Cave & more: Page through these additions to your reading list.

Tom Werman turns it up, Derek Forbes keeps it simple, Iron Maiden give you a piece of their mind, Leonard Cohen and Nick Cave go under the microscope and more. Page through these new additions to your reading list:


Turn It Up!: My Time Making Hit Records In The Glory Days Of Rock Music
By Tom Werman

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Growing up in the Boston suburbs, Tom Werman was deeply affected by pop music from a young age. He long dreamed of a career in music — first as Elvis Presley, then as the next George Harrison — but it almost didn’t turn out that way. Dutifully following the path his parents had laid out for him, he obtained an MBA from an Ivy League university and took a plum job in an industry he came to despise. Then, in 1970, a chance letter to CBS Records boss Clive Davis led to a new opportunity… and a place in rock’n’roll history. As an A&R man at Epic Records, Werman helped introduce the world to REO Speedwagon, Boston, Ted Nugent and Cheap Trick; he also discovered KISS, Rush and Lynyrd Skynyrd, but his record label passed on all of them. Then, as an independent producer, he oversaw landmark albums by Mötley Crüe (Shout At The Devil), Twisted Sister (Stay Hungry), Lita Ford (Dangerous Curves), Jeff Beck (Live With Jan Hammer), Poison (Open Up And Say … Ahh!), and many more. All in all, his record-making résumé includes 23 gold- or platinum-selling albums and sales of more than 52 million copies. After several sea changes in the music industry, Werman retired in 2001 and reinvented himself as an innkeeper in Massachusetts. And that might have been that — until an off-the-cuff rebuttal to a disparaging critique of his role in making the Mötley Crüe album Girls, Girls, Girls on a music website led to a fortnightly column and now this book — an honest and engaging insider account on how some of the best-loved albums of the 1970s and ’80s came to be. A must for anyone interested in the glory days of rock and metal, Turn It Up! offers valuable insights into the recording process, the studio, the role of the producer, and the production values that are essential to the creation of a hit record.”

Elvis And The Colonel: An Insider’s Look At the Most Legendary Partnership in Show Business
By Greg McDonald & Marshall Terrill

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Col. Tom Parker, often reviled in his time, led the strategy from the earliest days of Elvis Presley’s career. Together, they built the most legendary partnership in show business. For the first time, Parker’s story is told by an insider, Greg McDonald, who worked under Parker for years. Never-before-heard stories of Parker’s collaboration with Elvis reveal the man behind the legend and the strategies that made Elvis a commercial groundbreaker. Ingrained lore has it that Parker took advantage of a poor country boy to sign the singer who became The King. But Elvis And The Colonel shows that Elvis was not foolish when it came to business arrangements. This book is full of stories of innovations Parker made with his star client, including ingenious merchandising (eg, selling both “I love Elvis” and “I hate Elvis” buttons), licensing and branding, from suits to toys, ashtrays to guitars, establishing Elvis as an artist-in-residence in Las Vegas, creating TV concert events. Many of the practices Parker established are still deployed today by most major agencies. Parker’s experience as a carny and an immigrant shaped his management style when he was at his peak, showing how he adapted big top practices to the big time. The heart of Elvis And The Colonel is the long, strong, warm and complex relationship between two iconic men.”

A Very Simple Mind
By Derek Forbes

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The long-awaited autobiography by Derek Forbes, the Simple Minds legend known for those iconic spine-rattling bass riffs which we recognize in many Simple Minds songs. This is his story. Forbes started his musical career as a lead guitarist but soon changed to bass. He wrote and co-wrote many of the band’s earliest classics. Derek is also well-known on the international stage as songwriter and bassist for Big Country and Propaganda and has recorded with Iggy Pop, David Bowie, Dave Gilmour of Pink Floyd and Kirsty MacColl. He won an Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Song Collection in 2016 for his songwriting for Simple Minds, was voted best bass player in the world in 1982 and best bass player from Scotland in 2010. He still lives in Glasgow and is planning his next tour.”

Iron Maiden: Piece of Mind
By Iron Maiden

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “40 years have passed since the release of Piece Of Mind. More than an album, it was a thunderous statement of intent by a band whose meteoric rise from the East End of London would propel them to the world stage, thrusting them into the realms of legend. This commemorative tome, containing comics, art, and remembrances from acclaimed writers, artists, musicians and storytellers, is a powerful celebration of the unparalleled vision which inspired them — the living legend that is Iron Maiden.”

Darker With The Dawn: Nick Cave’s Songs Of Love And Death
By Adam Steiner

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “From his early work with The Birthday Party to the future sounds of Ghosteen, Nick Cave has rewritten the language of rock ’n’ roll. Darker With The Dawn uncovers the history and deeper meanings behind Cave and The Bad Seeds’ most well-known songs from Tupelo, The Mercy Seat, Red Right Hand, Stagger Lee and Into My Arms to Higgs Boson Blues and beyond. The book explores Cave’s life in music drawing upon his inspirations of the Bible, Greek myth, and literature, as well as his enduring passion for gospel, blues, and progressive rock. Steiner reflects upon Cave’s journey from his childhood in Australia, struggles with drug addiction, his young fascination with the nightmare landscapes of America’s wild west and the southern gothic towards a reckoning with his own sense of Christian spirituality. In a career spanning four decades, Cave’s songwriting has moved from the saints and sinners of the traditional murder ballad to piano-based heartbreak songs, deconstructed garage rock and ambient fever dreams delivered through minimalist electronica. Adam Steiner dives into the world of a complex songwriter who, in his universal expressions of love and death, continues to speak to us of the light and shade of humanity.”

The Contemporary Leonard Cohen: Response, Reappraisal, and Rediscovery
By Kait Pinder & Joel Deshaye

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The death of Leonard Cohen received media attention across the globe, and this international star remains dear to the hearts of many fans. This book examines the diversity of Cohen’s art in the wake of his death, positioning him as a contemporary, multi-media artist whose career was framed by the 20th-century and neoliberal contexts of its production. The authors borrow the idea of “the contemporary” especially from philosophy and art history, applying it to Cohen for the first time — not only to the drawings that he included in some of his books but also to his songs, poems, and novels. This idea helps us to understand Cohen’s techniques after his postmodern experiments with poems and novels in the 1960s and 1970s. It also helps us to see how his most recent songs, poems, and drawings developed out of that earlier material, including earlier connections to other writers and musicians. Philosophically, the book also sounds out the deep feelings that Cohen’s work still generates in readers and listeners. Whether these feelings are spiritual or secular, sincere or ironic, we get them partly from the sense of timeliness and the sense of timelessness in Cohen’s lyrics and images, which speak to our own lives and times, our own struggles and survival. From a set of international collaborators, The Contemporary Leonard Cohen delivers an appreciative but critical examination of one of our dark luminaries.”

Listen: On Music, Sound and Us
By Michel Faber

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “There are countless books on music with much analysis given to musicians, bands, eras and/or genres. But rarely does a book delve into what’s going on inside us when we listen. Michel Faber explores two big questions: how do we listen to music and why do we listen to music? To answer these questions, he considers a range of factors, which includes age, illness, the notion of “cool,” commerce, the dichotomy between “good” and “bad” taste and much more. From the award-winning author of The Crimson Petal and the White and Under the Skin, this idiosyncratic and philosophical book reflects Faber’s lifelong obsession with music of all kinds. Listen will change your relationship with the heard world.”

Magic City: How The Birmingham Jazz Tradition Shaped the Sound Of America
By Burgin Mathews

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Magic City is the story of one of American music’s essential unsung places: Birmingham, Alabama, birthplace of a distinctive and influential jazz heritage. In a telling replete with colorful characters, iconic artists, and unheralded masters, Burgin Mathews reveals how Birmingham was the cradle and training ground for such luminaries as big band leader Erskine Hawkins, cosmic outsider Sun Ra, and a long list of sidemen, soloists, and arrangers. He also celebrates the contributions of local educators, club owners, and civic leaders who nurtured a vital culture of Black expression in one of the country’s most notoriously segregated cities. In Birmingham, jazz was more than entertainment: long before the city emerged as a focal point in the national civil rights movement, its homegrown jazz heroes helped set the stage, crafting a unique tradition of independence, innovation, achievement, and empowerment.”

Full Coverage: A History of Rock Journalism in Australia
By Samuel J. Fell

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “For over 50 years, Australia has maintained its own rock press — a vibrant, passionate, sometimes volatile industry of dozens of papers and magazines committed to the coverage of the country’s robust music scene. From the glossy and glamorous to the punk and pernicious, these publications were the medium that brought Australian music culture to international attention and launched the careers of countless musicians, as well as writers, editors, publishers and photographers. Go-Set started it all; the Australian Rolling Stone, RAM and Juke defined their eras; music newspapers such as Beat and Inpress brought indie music to the streets; and sites like Mess+Noise, Tone Deaf and Junkee harnessed the digital age. Drawing on comprehensive research and scores of interviews with key figures including Molly Meldrum, Lily Brett and Phillip Frazer, journalist Samuel J. Fell captures the vibrancy of music journalism in Australia with colourful anecdotes and rollicking stories. Full Coverage is the tale of how the Australian rock press was born, grew and evolved to become an integral part of Australian culture.”

Homesick Blues: Politics, Protest, and Musical Storytelling in Modern Japan
By Scott W. Aalgaard

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Homesick Blues explores how artists, fans, amateur practitioners, and others have used music to tell stories of everyday life in Japan from the late 1940s to 2018, a practice that author Scott Aalgaard calls “musical storytelling.” At its core, musical storytelling is a political practice, presenting world-producing potentials as social actors generate and share stories of themselves and others in ways that intersect with and inform social and political life. Sometimes, musical storytelling is used by powerful entities to reinforce dominant geopolitical, cultural, or economic visions. More often, it is deployed as a means of interfering in or redirecting those visions. In all cases, attending to musical storytelling helps reveal the complex and unexpected ways that everyday life has been imagined and critiqued across disparate moments in modern Japanese history. Aalgaard pushes beyond the upheavals of the 1960s and early 1970s, challenging well-established characterizations of these years as fleeting moments when critical politics in Japan reached an apex, and an end. Instead, he asserts that musical storytelling is robust and ongoing, and proposes more nuanced and comprehensive understandings of critical political and cultural engagement in modern Japan.”

The Needle And The Lens: Pop Goes To The Movies From Rock ‘n’ Roll To Synthwave
By Nate Patrin

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Quick: What movie do you think of when you hear The Sounds of Silence? Better yet, what song comes to mind when you think of The Graduate? The link between film and song endures as more than a memory, Nate Patrin suggests with this wide-ranging and energetic book. It is, in fact, a sort of cultural symbiosis that has mutually influenced movies and pop music, a phenomenon Patrin tracks through the past 50 years, revealing the power of music in movies to move the needle in popular culture. Rock ‘n’ roll, reggae, R&B, jazz, techno, and hip-hop: each had its moment-or many-as music deployed in movies emerged as a form of interpretive commentary, making way for the legitimization of pop and rock music as art forms worthy of serious consideration. These commentaries run the gamut from comedic irony to cheap-thrills excitement to deeply felt drama, all of which Patrin examines in pairings such as American Graffiti and Do You Want to Dance?; Saturday Night Fever and Disco Inferno; Apocalypse Now and The End; Wayne’s World and Bohemian Rhapsody; and Jackie Brown and Didn’t I Blow Your Mind This Time? As Patrin surveys the scene-musical and cinematic-across the decades, expanding into the deeper origins, wider connections, and echoed histories that come into play, The Needle and the Lens offers a new way of seeing, and hearing, these iconic soundtrack moments.”