Home Read News Next Week in Music | April 8-14 • 12 New Books

Next Week in Music | April 8-14 • 12 New Books

The Beatles, Yoko Ono, Jah Wobble, Black country & the rest of your reading list.

The Beatles have their say; Yoko Ono gets framed; Jah Wobble expands his viewpoint; Chapel Hill, Black country and electronica go under the microscope; rap goes to prison and more: Enjoy the latest additions to your reading list:


All You Need Is Love: The Beatles in Their Own Words
By Peter Brown & Steven Gaines

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:All You Need Is Love is a groundbreaking oral history of the one of the most enduring musical acts of all time. The material is comprised of intimate interviews with Paul McCartney, Yoko Ono, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, their families, friends and business associates that were conducted by Beatles intimate Peter Brown and author Steven Gaines in 1980-1981 during the preparation of their international bestseller, The Love You Make, which spent four months on the New York Times bestseller list in 1983 and remains the biggest selling biography worldwide about The Beatles. Only a small portion of the contents of these transcribed interviews have ever been revealed. The interviews are unique and candid. The information, stories, and experiences, and the authority of the people who relate to them, have historic value. No collection like this can ever be assembled again. In addition to interviews with Paul, Yoko, Ringo and George, Brown and Gaines also include interviews from ex-wives Cynthia Lennon, Pattie Harrison Clapton and Maureen Starkey, as well as the major social and business figures of The Beatles’ inner circle. Among other sought-after information the interviews contribute definitively as to why The Beatles broke up.”

Yoko Ono: Music of the Mind
By Various Writers

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Yoko Ono (b. 1933) firmly established herself as a leading figure in the Fluxus movement by the mid-1960s. Since that time, her multimedia practice, encompassing sculpture, film, performance, instruction, and music, has had a significant impact on the trajectory of contemporary art. The first major publication on Ono’s work in more than a decade, this important volume celebrates her career at a pivotal moment and illustrates the prescient themes that the artist has long championed and that have become central to today’s art practice. This handsome volume traces Ono’s career across continents, beginning with the artist’s early work in Tokyo. Ono’s time in 1960s London is also centered, and the survey looks critically at the development of her work in that period against the more public specter of her relationship with John Lennon and The Beatles. The book then focuses a wider lens on Ono’s transnational networks, including her impact on continental Europe and her extended residency in New York. Throughout her career in each of these places, Ono championed feminist, antiwar, and environmental ideas that have only grown in relevance. Drawing on key themes of audience participation, play, and music, the book also employs Ono’s own words to encourage readers to experience Ono’s work through actions that she finds particularly resonant: reading, enacting, imagining, and wishing.”

Dark Luminosity: Memoirs Of A Geezer Expanded
By Jah Wobble

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Written in his own unmistakable voice, this is the frank and fascinating memoir by arguably the greatest bass player of his generation. Beginning with an East End childhood in a London barely recovered from the Second World War, Jah Wobble takes us on a journey through the beginnings of punk and post-punk as a founding member of Public Image Ltd., an illustrious 40-year solo career which has seen collaborations with musical greats such as U2, Brian Eno and Can through to the present day still playing to sold-out audiences. Along the way we hear how Wobble navigated chronic alcoholism and other personal issues to emerge as an alternative national treasure.”

A Really Strange and Wonderful Time: The Chapel Hill Music Scene: 1989-1999
By Tom Maxwell

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “North Carolina has always produced extraordinary music of every description. But the indie rock boom of the late 1980s and early ’90s brought the state most fully into the public consciousness, while the subsequent post-grunge free-for-all bestowed its greatest commercial successes. In addition to the creation of legacy label Merge Records and a slate of excellent indie bands like Superchunk, Archers of Loaf and Polvo, this was the decade when other North Carolina artists broke Billboard’s Top 200 and sold millions of records — several million of which were issued by another indie label based in Carrboro, Chapel Hill’s smaller next-door neighbor. It’s time to take a closer look at exactly what happened. A Really Strange and Wonderful Time features a representative cross section of what was being created in and around Chapel Hill between 1989 and 1999. In addition to the aforementioned indie bands, it documents — through firsthand accounts — other local notables like Ben Folds Five, Dillon Fence, Flat Duo Jets, Small, Southern Culture On The Skids, The Veldt and Whiskeytown. At the same time, it describes the nurturing infrastructure which engendered and encouraged this marvelous diversity. In essence, A Really Strange and Wonderful Time is proof of the genius of community.”

From Punk to Monk: A Memoir
By Ray Cappo

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Ray Cappo was a hardcore punk singer and pioneer of the straight-edge movement living on the Lower East Side of New York City in the ’80s, where his band Youth of Today played to packed clubs and touched thousands of people across the globe. But despite the accolades from fans, the popularity of his records, and the positivity he’d brought to the punk music scene, none of this success gave Ray joy. He felt stagnant, and he yearned for something more. This, along with his father’s untimely death, led him to abruptly quit the band and buy a one-way ticket to India in pursuit of the answers to life’s great mysteries. Living as a monk in the sacred city of Vrindavan and traveling across the country on a series of train trips, Ray embraced the rich, spiritual culture he discovered there. As his unusual adventure unfolded, he encountered extraordinary characters, witnessed deep acts of devotion, and experienced profound moments of divine connection, leading to a radical transformation that was ego-crushing and blissful all at once. Inspired to write music again, Ray returned to the US, where he and other monks founded Shelter, a band dedicated to spreading a message of faith, hope, and love. Told with warmth, candor, and humor, this heartfelt memoir chronicles Ray’s emotional and spiritual journey from punk to monk and beyond.”

Living Space: John Coltrane, Miles Davis, and Free Jazz, from Analog to Digital
By Michael E. Veal

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Living Space: John Coltrane, Miles Davis, and Free Jazz, from Analog to Digital fuses biography and style history in order to illuminate the music of two jazz icons, while drawing on the discourses of photography and digital architecture to fashion musical insights that may not be available through the traditional language of jazz analysis. The book follows the controversial trajectories of two jazz legends, emerging from the 1959 album Kind of Blue. Coltrane’s odyssey through what became known as “free jazz” brought stylistic (r)evolution and chaos in equal measure. Davis’s spearheading of “jazz-rock fusion” opened a door through which jazz’s ongoing dialogue with the popular tradition could be regenerated, engaging both high and low ideas of creativity, community, and commerce.”

Live!: Why We Go Out
By Robert Elms

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “In 1972, when Robert Elms was 13, he saw The Jackson 5 play live at the Empire Pool. At some point during the performance, he found himself in a state of otherworldly perfect synchronicity with everything happening around him. This single event would set him off on an endless pursuit for that same height of pleasure. Since then, Robert has lived his life through live music, from pub rock to jazz funk, punk to country, and everything in between. Each gig is memorable in its own way, and his snapshots of musicians past and present are both evocative and startlingly concise: Tom Waits showboating with an umbrella, Grace Jones vogueing with a mannequin, Gil Scott-Heron rapping with a conga drum. While in our changed times, Robert notes that we have found new ways of listening — of being part of something special by uniting fans with their favourite performers online — there is not, nor can there ever be, anything quite like the live experience. Live!: Why We Go Out is a memoir and a musing on why experiencing live music really matters.”

Futuromania: Electronic Dreams, Desiring Machines and Tomorrow’s Music Today
By Simon Reynolds

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Simon Reynolds’ first book in eight years is a celebration of music that feels like a taste of tomorrow. Sounds that prefigure pop music’s future — the vanguard genres and heroic innovators whose discoveries eventually get accepted by the wider mass audience. But it’s also about the way music can stir anticipation for a thrillingly transformed world just around the corner: a future that might be utopian or dystopian, but at least will be radically changed and exhilaratingly other. Starting with an extraordinary chapter on Giorgio Moroder and Donna Summer, taking in illuminating profiles of Ryuichi Sakamoto, Boards of Canada, Burial and Daft Punk, and arguing for AutoTune as the defining sound of 21st century pop, Futuromania shapes over two-dozen essays and interviews into a chronological narrative of machine-music from The 1970 s to now. Reynolds explores the interface between pop music and science fiction’s utopian dreams and nightmare visions, always emphasising the quirky human individuals abusing the technology as much as the era-defining advances in electronic hardware and digital software. A tapestry of the scenes and subcultures that have proliferated in that febrile, sexy and contested space where man meets machine, Futuromania is an enthused listening guide that will propel readers towards adventures in sound. There is a lifetime of electronic listening here.”

My Black Country: A Journey Through Country Music’s Black Past, Present, And Future
By Alice Randall

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Alice Randall, award-winning professor, songwriter, and author, offers a lyrical, introspective, and unforgettable account of her past and her search for the first family of Black country music. Country music had brought Randall and her activist mother together and even gave Randall a singular distinction in American music history: She is the first Black woman to cowrite a No. 1 country hit, Trisha Yearwood’s XXX’s and OOO’s. Randall found inspiration and comfort in the sounds and history of the first family of Black country music: DeFord Bailey, Lil Hardin, Ray Charles, Charley Pride and Herb Jeffries who, together, made up a community of Black Americans rising through hard times to create simple beauty, true joy, and sometimes profound eccentricity. What emerges in My Black Country is a celebration of the most American of music genres and the radical joy in realizing the power of Black influence on American culture. As country music goes through a fresh renaissance today, with a new wave of Black artists enjoying success, My Black Country is the perfect gift for longtime country fans and a vibrant introduction to a new generation of listeners who previously were not invited to give the genre a chance.”

Missing Music: Voices from Where the Dirt Roads End
By Ian Brennan

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Missing Music: Voices from Where the Dirt Roads End details Grammy-winning music producer and author Ian Brennan’s ongoing quest to provide musical platforms for underrepresented nations and populations around the world. In a compact and quick-read format, Missing Music collects the latest narratives from Brennan’s field-recording treks. This edition features a greater emphasis on storytelling and an even greater abundance of photos from his wife, Italian-Rwandan photographer/filmmaker Marilena Umuhoza Delli. Together, they meet the elderly shamans of the world’s most musical language, Taa, a tongue that sadly is dying, with fewer than 2,500 speakers left. The duo traveled the most remote roads of Botswana to find the formally nomadic people now relegated to small desert towns. In Azerbaijan, Brennan and Delli ascended to the mountainous Iranian border to record centenarians in scattered villages of the Talysh minority, where the world’s oldest man reportedly reached the age of 168. The result is the only record ever released to feature the voices of singers over 100 year of age. Arising from the more than 40 records that Brennan has produced over the past decade from underrepresented nations such as Comoros, Djibouti, Romania, South Sudan, Suriname, and Cambodia, Missing Music serves as the newest suite in the multiverse symphony of the world’s most ignored corners — the places where countries expire and the forgotten live.”

Rap and Redemption On Death Row: Seeking Justice And Finding Purpose Behind Bars
By Alim Braxton & Mark Katz

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Imprisoned since age 19, Alim Braxton has spent more than a quarter century on North Carolina’s death row. During that time, he converted to Islam and dedicated his life to redemption. Braxton, a rapper since the age of 13, uses his rhymes as a form of therapy and to advocate for prison reform, particularly by calling attention to the plight of the wrongfully incarcerated. This book, a hip-hop-rich prison memoir, chronicles Braxton’s struggles and triumphs as he attempts to record an album while on death row, something no one has done before. Braxton’s world is complex: Full of reflections on guilt, condemnation, incarceration, religious awakening, and the redemptive power of art. Ultimately, Braxton shows us that even amid the brutality of our prison system there are moments of joy, and on death row joy may be the most powerful form of resistance.”

What Harry Says: The Unofficial Collection
By Hardie Grant

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Harry Styles is one of the biggest pop icons of the times. What Harry Says is an inspiring collection of some of his best quotes. “Happiness isn’t this final resting place. Life is about the peaks and troughs.” “If you’re happy doing what you’re doing then nobody can tell you you’re not successful.” “You can never be overdressed. There’s no such thing.”