Home Read News Next Week in Music | May 13-19 • 13 New Books

Next Week in Music | May 13-19 • 13 New Books

Your reading list is dropping some major names. Check them all out below.

Kathleen Hanna, Serj Tankian, Pete Seeger, Joel Gion, Ghostface Killah and more: Your reading list is dropping some major names next week. Let’s crack the covers:


Rebel Girl: My Life as a Feminist Punk
By Kathleen Hanna

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Kathleen Hanna’s band Bikini Kill embodied the punk scene of the ’90s, and today her personal yet feminist lyrics on anthems like Rebel Girl and Double Dare Ya are more powerful than ever. But where did this transformative voice come from? In Rebel Girl, Hanna’s raw and insightful new memoir, she takes us from her tumul­tuous childhood to her formative college years and her first shows. As Hanna makes clear, being in a punk “girl band” in those years was not a simple or safe prospect. Male violence and antagonism threatened at every turn, and surviving as a singer who was a lightning rod for controversy took limitless amounts of determination. But the relationships she developed during those years buoyed her, including with her bandmates Tobi Vail, Kathi Wilcox, JD Samson and Johanna Fateman. And her friendships with musicians like Kurt Cobain, Ian MacKaye, Kim Gordon and Joan Jett reminded her that, despite the odds, the punk world could still nurture and care for its own. Hanna opens up about falling in love with Ad-Rock of Beastie Boys and her debilitating battle with Lyme disease, and she brings us behind the scenes of her musical growth in her bands Le Tigre and The Julie Ruin. She also writes candidly about the Riot Grrrl movement, documenting with love its grassroots origins but critiquing its exclusivity. In an uncut voice all her own, Hanna reveals the hardest times along with the most joyful — and how they continue to fuel her revolutionary art and music.”

Down With The System: A Memoir (of Sorts)
By Serj Tankian

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Serj Tankian will be the first to admit that his band, System Of A Down, were “unlikely a chart-topper as had ever existed in modern music history: A band of Armenian-Americans playing a practically unclassifiable clash of wildly aggressive metal riffs, unconventional tempo-twisting rhythms, and Armenian folk melodies, with me alternately growling, screaming, and crooning lyrics that could pivot from avant-garde silliness to raging socio-political rants in the space of a single line.” After all, as Serj concedes, “it’s not easy listening.” Even so, there’s no doubt that System’s music had struck a chord with millions of listeners across the globe ever since they burst on the scene in the mid-1990s. With nearly 40 million album sales, three albums topping the Billboard charts, and a devoted legion of fans, the band dominated the alt-rock and metal scenes just as the world hurtled into a new millennium, redefining the very idea of what rockstars could and couldn’t talk about, could and couldn’t do, could and couldn’t represent. In Down With The System, Serj presents readers with a memoir that is far more than just a rock ‘n’ roll fable. It’s an immigrant’s tale, it’s an activist’s awakening, and it’s a spiritual journey from darkness toward light. And all of this comes down to the fact that Serj himself has had the chance to live an extraordinary life — thanks to a combination of luck, circumstance, struggle, talent, and spiritual awakening. Braiding together Serj’s thought-provoking insight with heartfelt and poetic prose, Down With The System retraces Serj’s remarkable and unlikely journey, and explores what it’s taught him — about music, about art, about activism, and about himself.”

In the Jingle Jangle Jungle: Keeping Time with the Brian Jonestown Massacre
By Joel Gion

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:The Brian Jonestown Massacre are one of the great cult American rock bands. At the peak of their anarchic reign in the San Francisco underground of the late ’90s, their psychedelic output was almost as prodigious and impressive as their narcotic intake. Immortalized in one of the most unforgettable rock ’n’ roll documentaries of all time, DIG!, at a time when the U.S. was obsessed with grunge, the BJM felt like a ’60s anachronism. But with albums like Their Satanic Majesties Second Request and Thank God for Mental Illness, and incendiary, often chaotic, live shows, they burnished their legend as true believers and custodians of the original west coast flame; a privilege and responsibility which continues to this day when the band have a bigger and more dedicated audience than ever. Joel Gion’s memoir tells the story of the first 10 years of the band. A righteous account of the hazards and pleasures of life on and off the road, In The Jingle Jangle Jungle takes use behind the scenes of the supposed behind the scenes film that cemented the band’s legend. Funny as hell, shot through with the innocence and wonder of a ‘percussionist’ whose true role is that of the band’s ‘spirit animal,’ In The Jingle Jangle Jungle is destined to take its place in the pantheon of rock literature.”

Rise Of A Killah
By Ghostface Killah

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The story of the celebrated rapper and the iconic Wu-Tang Clan, as told by one of its founding members Dennis Coles — aka Ghostface Killah — is the tale of a legendary hip-hop group who established themselves by breaking all the rules, taking their music to the streets, releasing anthem after classic anthem, and serving as the foundation of modern hip-hop. Rise Of A Killah is Ghost’s autobiography, focusing on the people, places and events that mean the most to him as he enters his fourth decade writing and performing. It’s a beautiful and intense book, going back to the creative ferment that led to Ghost’s first handwritten rhymes. Dive into his defining personal moments, his battles with his personal demons, his journey to Africa, his religious viewpoints, his childhood in Staten Island, and his commitment to his family (including his two brothers with muscular dystrophy). Exclusive photos and memorabilia, as well as graphic art commissioned for this book, make Rise Of A Killah both a memoir and a unique visual record, a narrative of Ghost’s life as he sees it, and a one-of-a-kind holy grail for Wu-Tang and Ghost fans alike.”

Chopping Wood: Thoughts & Stories Of A Legendary American Folksinger
By Pete Seeger & David Bernz

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Chopping Wood is Pete Seeger up close and personal like never before. Derived from years of conversations between Seeger and his close friend and collaborator David Bernz, it takes readers on a uniquely personal journey through this legendary folksinger and songwriter remarkable life and career, in his own words. Listen in as Pete unabashedly shares historical and family stories; tells of learning the banjo, traveling with Woody Guthrie, and finding commercial success with The Weavers; explains how he wrote books and put together songs; delves into controversial subjects like communism and the Peekskill Riots; and highlights those he admired and respected, including Bruce Springsteen, who honoured Pete with his Seeger Sessions album in 2006. Pete and David share the heavy lifting as they tackle subjects such as the 1965 Newport Folk Festival, Pete’s relationship to Greenwich Village, and the need for copyright reform. Together, they describe how Pete put his worldview into practice in his local community, how he lived with local hero status in later life, and how they made recordings together that resulted in two Grammy Awards. Readers will come to know Pete more deeply as they hear this gentle, principled man’s voice resonate in their own heads and bear witness to his humility and willingness to respect those whose opinions differed greatly from his own — vital qualities in these troubled times.”

By Justin Vellucci

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Days before flying to New York City to ink a major-label deal that might have propelled his band Brainiac to stardom, frontman Tim Taylor was killed in a car crash. But that’s only the beginning of the story. Rooted in the musical community and history of their native Rust Belt home, Dayton, Ohio, Brainiac left their punk and New Wave brand of indie-rock on musicians ranging from Beck to The Mars Volta. Now, more than 25 years after the release of their swan song EP, Brainiac — dubbed “the great lost band of the ’90s”  — have reunited, finding newfound fame, a celebrity-laced documentary, live shows, and a sense of closure.”

Outlaw Country Reporter: Misfits, Madams, And Hangin’ With Willie
By Sam Kindrick

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Journalist Sam Kindrick was present at the creation of outlaw country and, perhaps, as intimately involved as the artists themselves. The longtime newspaper reporter and columnist is probably best known as the founder of Action Magazine in 1975, the principal vehicle for his wild and wooly chronicles of the music movement spawned by Willie Nelson, Jerry Jeff Walker, Kris Kristofferson, David Allan Coe and others. Born into a religious household in Junction, Texas, Kindrick matriculated began his journalistic career at the Bay City News, Kerrville Times and San Angelo Standard-Times before being hired by the San Antonio Express-News in 1960, where he remained until 1975. Forging close ties with Nelson and other progenitors of the outlaw sound, Kindrick adopted their redneck attitude and lifestyle, which may partly explain why he was forced, for a period of time, to operate Action Magazine from the confines of Bexar County Jail. In this no-holds-barred recounting of a colorful and eventful life, Kindrick takes readers inside the world of the artists who were reshaping country music. He also shines an unflinching light on the hard-living ways that led to some of his darker moments. Outlaw Country Reporter: Misfits, Madams, And Hangin’ With Willie offers an unvarnished and supremely entertaining account of the early days of a vital moment in American music.”

The Days Are Long But The Years Are Shorter
By Angel Balestier

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “This is the story of a self-made, second-generation Puerto Rican raised in New York City with an unyielding determination to succeed. Angel Balestier avoided the allure of organized crime, recognizing its limited prospects. A chance opportunity led him to secure a position at a commercial music recording studio, plunging him into the world of music, and dedicated himself relentlessly to mastering the trade, viewing it as his sole path to escape. After spending several years under the guidance of legendary sound recording engineer and producer Phil Ramone, who provided his entry into the music business, Angel became enthralled by this world. A few years later, he made the life-changing decision to relocate to Los Angeles alongside renowned sound impresarios Ami Hadani and Tom Hidley. In a remarkably short span, Angel established himself as a prominent sound recording engineer. Despite the challenges, he remained unstoppable; music had become an inseparable part of his life. The 1960s marked a pivotal era for music in Los Angeles, with the rise of significant recording studios and independent sound engineers. The British Invasion further solidified Los Angeles as the new epicenter, attracting talent from the East Coast. Before establishing his flagship facility, Group IV Recording, Angel made significant stops at MGM Records, Motown, and his independent venture, ALB.”

Vince Guaraldi At The Piano (Second Edition)
By Derrick Bang

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Although Vince Guaraldi’s playful jazz piano themes for the early Peanuts animated television specials are well known, the composer himself remains largely unheralded. More than merely “the Peanuts guy,” Guaraldi cut his jazz teeth as a member of combos fronted by Cal Tjader and Woody Herman, and garnered Top 40 fame with his Grammy-winning hit Cast Your Fate to the Wind. This career study, extensively updated, gives Guaraldi long-overdue recognition, chronicling his years as a sideman; his attraction to the emerging bossa nova sound of the late 1950s; his collaboration with Brazilian guitarist Bola Sete; his development of the Grace Cathedral Jazz Mass; his selection as the fellow to put the jazz swing in Charlie Brown’s step; and his emergence as a respected veteran in the declining Northern California jazz club scene of the 1970s. Ironically, his place in the jazz universe has grown exponentially since this book’s initial 2012 publication, and this second edition acknowledges such honors and features a wealth of new material.”

Lady Gaga: The Biography Of An American Pop Superstar
By United Library

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The biography of Lady Gaga takes readers on a captivating journey through the extraordinary life of Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, known globally as Lady Gaga. Renowned for her avant-garde style, groundbreaking music, and versatile performances, she has left an indelible mark on the entertainment industry. Starting her artistic journey as a teenager performing at open-mic nights, Lady Gaga’s determination and talent led her to the pinnacle of musical success. From her breakthrough with the chart-topping singles Just Dance and Poker Face to the exploration of electronic rock and techno-pop in Born This Way, the book navigates through the evolution of her music. It delves into her collaborations with Tony Bennett, acting achievements, and the monumental success of A Star Is Born, making her the first woman to achieve major awards in music and film simultaneously. The narrative explores Lady Gaga’s resilience, image reinventions, and her impact on pop culture. With five consecutive albums debuting atop the Billboard 200, 13 Grammy Awards, and numerous other accolades, Lady Gaga’s influence extends beyond music into acting, fashion, and philanthropy.”

Mixing Pop And Politics: A Marxist History Of Popular Music
By Toby Manning

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Mixing Pop And Politics is not a history of political music, but a political history of popular music. Spanning the early ’50s to the present, it shows how, from doo-wop to hip-hop, punk to crunk and grunge to grime, music has both reflected and resisted the political events of its era. Mixing Pop And Politics explores the connections between popular music and political ideology, whether that’s the liberation of rock ’n’ roll or the containment of girl groups, the refusal of glam or the resignation of soft rock, the solidarity of disco or the individualism of ’80s pop. At a time when reactionary forces are waging political war in the realm of culture, and we’re being told to keep politics out of music, Mixing Pop And Politics is a timely, original and joyful exploration of popular music’s role in our society.”

The Little Guide to AC/DC: For Those About to Read, We Salute You!
By Orange Hippo!

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Jacked up to the max with plenty of juice left to squeeze, AC/DC can still ignite their excitable audiences with their supercharged, power-chord hungry rock, even in 2023. The Little Guide to AC/DC is the ultimate, greatest hits compilation of the band’s best bits in quick-fix shots, amped up to 11 with high voltage facts, shocking stats, killer quips and quotes, heavy-duty historic dates and thunderstruck trivia, a compact compendium of wit and wisdom that will keep every AC/DC fan as hard as a rock all night long. For those about to read, we salute you! Says guitarist Angus Young: “I’m sick to death of people saying we’ve made 11 albums that sound exactly the same. In fact, we’ve made 12 albums that sound exactly the same.”

Female Force: Janet Jackson
By Michael L. Frizell & Ramon Salas

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Janet Jackson is the youngest of the iconic Jackson family. Growing up in the Jackson household undoubtedly profoundly impacted her future career. Janet’s older brothers, including superstar Michael, were already established stars in the music industry, and her father, Joe Jackson, managed their careers. Janet was exposed to the entertainment world from a young age and developed a keen interest in music and performance. A child actor turned musician, Janet reached superstar status when she signed a $40 million contract with Virgin Records first and then an $80 million contract. But her trajectory was halted by the infamous Super Bowl halftime show in 2004. Read about this icon’s story in the latest issue of Female Force.”