Home Read News Next Week in Music | June 24-30 • New Books

Next Week in Music | June 24-30 • New Books

Read all about ’em. Or don't. My work is done either way.

Peep Kurt and Courtney‘s snapshots, learn about Josef K’s life and times, dive deep into The Boss and Blondie’s back catalogs, meet the women of punk and Afrobeat — or open the covers on one of the other new books heading for the shelves. Or don’t. Frankly, I don’t care. My work is done either way:


Family Values: Kurt, Courtney & Frances Bean
By Guzman

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “With an ineffable ability to connect with people through his music, Kurt Cobain was charismatic and full of pathos, something of a lost boy poet struggling against his personal demons while holding the world in thrall. And yet in the midst of his struggles with success, fame, fortune, drugs, and the wounds of a traumatic childhood, he managed in his brief adulthood to get married to Courtney Love — who of course had her own accomplishments as an electrifying and unrestrained lead singer and lyricist. The couple had already emerged as a cultural touchstone when their baby Frances Bean was born in 1992. Photographers Guzman captured, amidst toys and pajamas, the sweetness, humor, irony and the simple happiness of a new mom and dad at home with their baby girl. Family Values is a photography book presenting approximately 90 images featuring the family, taken one morning in their modest Hollywood home and selected from a photoshoot that Guzman did for Spin magazine in 1992. Only five photographs from the shoot were published in the magazine at the time, including the cover. Another appeared in Rolling Stone at the time of Cobain’s death. The book will also include a memoir of the photo shoot written by Guzman and an introduction by curator and music journalist Michael Azerrad. Family Values is a photographic assignment that revealed two famous rock stars who during one brief moment transcended the magnifying glass of fame and were revealed, amidst all the chaos, as being just a mom and dad.”

Through The Crack In The Wall: The Secret History Of Josef K
By Johnnie Johnstone

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Josef K are the great lost post-punk band. Taking their name from the haunted protagonist of Franz Kafka’s existentialist novel The Trial, they posed for photographs before brutalist and gothic architecture and produced visionary, often incendiary music that felt like the product of perpetual anxiety. And it really was. Through The Crack In The Wall is the first biography of the band, tracing their story from their origins in the leafy suburbs of Edinburgh through to their untimely implosion four years later. It’s a tale of fun and frenzy, filled with highs and lows. From their thrilling live shows, which left onlookers spellbound, to more anxious occasions confronting a baying audience of rioting anarcho-punks in Brussels; from a brief spell as press darlings of the inkies to the fateful decision to pull their debut album just as pop stardom beckoned — one that continues to haunt them today. Drawing extensively on new interviews with the band members and those around them as well as contemporary press articles, the book explores the band’s inner workings and analyses their relationships with Postcard Records supremo Alan Horne, labelmates Orange Juice and manager Allan Campbell. It re-evaluates their position in the pantheon of post-punk greats and considers how their music helped shape the U.K. independent scene of the ’80s. More than anything else, though, the book’s primary purpose is to celebrate the incredible music Josef K made and consider what makes it more vital today than ever.”

Desolation: A Heavy Metal Memoir
By Mark Morton

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “A gritty, revealing heavy metal memoir by Lamb of God’s lead guitarist and co-lyricist, which explores both his life in music and his tumultuous path through addiction and into recovery. Desolation is the story of Mark Morton’s lifelong quest for clarity and self-acceptance, and shows how the pressures of career success and personal battles eventually came into conflict with his dedication to the creative process. Intertwined with addiction, self-destruction, and the path to eventual surrender and recovery, Morton also reveals the greatest personal tragedy of his life: The death of his two-day old daughter, plunging Morton further into hopelessness. Surrounded by bandmates living their wildest dreams, Morton wanted nothing more than to disappear, ingesting potentially lethal cocktails of drugs and alcohol into his system on a daily basis. And yet, amidst the harrowing heartbreak, there were moments of triumph, hope, and incredible personal connection. Morton developed close relationships with his bandmates and crew members, sharing experiences that have made for some strange and hilarious tales. He’s also gained a greater sense of purpose through interactions with his fans, who remind him that his work reaches people on a deeply personal level. Through the highs and the lows, Morton learns how to find presence and gratitude where he once found fear and resentment, a process that he considers a gift of spiritual awakening. Desolation is, at its core, about Morton’s journey as a musician navigating self doubt, anxiety and the progressive disease of addiction, and ultimately finding relative serenity.”

Springsteen: Album by Album
By Ryan White

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The definitive illustrated book on The Boss ― now in an updated edition to celebrate his 75th birthday! Renowned for his passionate songwriting, galvanizing live shows, and political activism, Bruce Springsteen stands astride the rock ’n’ roll stage like a colossus ― and the iconic rocker shows no signs of slowing down. With in-depth reviews of 21 studio albums spanning over six decades of music history, Springsteen delves into every aspect of the superstar’s career. Richly photographed, and featuring brilliant writing by one of America’s top music critics as well as an introduction by Peter Ames Carlin (author of the bestselling biography Bruce), this unofficial retrospective is a must-have for Springsteen’s millions of fans.”

Blondie: Every Album, Every Song
By Derek Tait

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Blondie were one of the most iconic bands of the 1970s with their hits continuing into the 1980s and 1990s. Consisting originally of Debbie Harry, Chris Stein, Clem Burke, Gary Valentine and Jimmy Destri, they gained huge popularity especially in the U.K. Over three decades, they had hits with tracks such as Denis, Dreaming, Call Me, Heart Of Glass, Atomic, Rapture, The Tide is High and later in the 1990s, Maria. Blondie first came together at CBGB’s, a venue at 315 Bowry in New York which had become the meeting place for people into punk and new wave music. Their third album Parallel Lines became hugely successful worldwide, boasting four hit singles and has one of the most iconic and instantly recognisable album covers of all time. However, they went on to release a total of eleven studio albums, which this album deals with track by track. However, the band continue to tour today attracting huge audiences including people who appreciated their music originally in the early days, together with new fans who are just discovering their remarkable music for the first time.”

Procol Harum: Every Album, Every Song
By Scott Meze

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Few artists have had as great an impact with their debut single as Procol Harum. Mesmerising and perplexing in equal measure, A Whiter Shade of Pale remains the perfect distillation of the possibilities of psychedelia in that brief period when British pop seemed to promise a summer of love that would last forever. But as this book reveals, from the start Procol Harum envisioned a post-psychedelic landscape of the heartsick and bewildered. Through Gary Brooker’s classically inspired melodies and soaring, soulful vocals, lyricist Keith Reid told harrowing stories of voyages into the darkness of the soul, through graveyards of the damned, and to the depths of madness. Aided by musicians of the calibre of Matthew Fisher and Robin Trower, Procol Harum invented and mapped out the interplay of organ and electric guitar soon to explode into prog rock’s epic structures, and pioneered the integration of band and orchestra that broke the boundaries separating young musicians and the establishment. It’s all here in Scott Meze’s guide, from the first note to the last of a legacy that cries out to be heard.”

Tupac Shakur: Politics And Spirituality
By William Whalen

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Tupac Shakur (1971-1996) is one of the great hip-hop stars. Still a hugely influential figure in the music world, there is much more to Shakur than his controversial media image suggests. This new book aims to interpret and analyze some of the more esoteric themes at play in the lyrics and practice of Tupac Shakur, as well as to consider their political implications to attempt to come to a better understanding of Tupac’s spirituality and why he felt the world could benefit from his teachings. Like Christ, who repeatedly says, ‘He who hath ears to hear, let him hear, ‘ Tupac says in various ways, ‘Holler if ya hear me, ‘ suggesting that his words are not only literal but also require deep interpretive consideration.This new book is one of the few to explore the spiritual themes in the music and lyrics of Shakur, and how they are manifested politically. William Whalen considers Tupac’s work in relation to religions such as Buddhism, Christianity and Hinduism, and to figures such as Carl Jung, Friedrich Nietzsche, Alan Watts, St John of the Cross, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Georges Bataille. The book is illustrated with examples from Shakur’s lyrics and songs.”

Change The Record: Punk Women Music Politics
By M.I. Franklin

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Poets, guitarists, songwriters, TV stars, provocateurs, Riot Grrrl founders, the authors in this study challenge perceptions of punk music and politics. Viv Albertine, Alice Bag, Pauline Black, Carrie Brownstein, Kim Gordon, Nina Hagen, Chrissie Hynde, Patti Smith, Brix Smith Start and Cosey Fanni Tutti have been breaking new ground in writing about their lives. They fill gaps in the historical record, back catalogues and perceptions of how music works as politics. They provide fans and music scholars with a corrective to androcentric studies of punk as a DIY politics of resistance to the mainstream. M.I. Franklin shows how they do this, along with ways to hear the personal and world politics inherent in their musical output.”

Queens Of Afrobeat: Women, Play, And Fela Kuti’s Music Rebellion
By Dotun Ayobade

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “In Queens of Afrobeat, the women of Afrobeat music — a unique blend of jazz, soul, highlife, and West African rhythms — are finally given the recognition they deserve. This extensive study takes a multifaceted view of the storied lives of the women behind Fela Kuti’s activist music. Dotun Ayobade’s wide-ranging research pulls from interviews with surviving queens, ethnographic narratives, the exploration of newspaper archives, and close readings of album covers, photographs, and promotional materials to help us see and understand the women who surrounded Kuti on stage and in everyday life. Not only were these artists crucial performers and backup singers for Kuti’s most important compositions, they also played key roles in his activism and campaigns of social protest against the Nigerian government in the 1970s. Drawing on previously untapped material, Queens of Afrobeat weaves together an intricate narrative of women’s participation in popular music. The stories of these remarkable women transform and uniquely personalize our understanding of the politics and performance of one of the major modern musical traditions in Africa.”

We Had Fun And Nobody Died: Adventures Of A Milwaukee Music Promoter
By Amy T. Waldman

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “This irreverent biography provides a rare window into the music industry from a promoter’s perspective. From a young age, Peter Jest was determined to make a career in live music, and despite naysayers and obstacles, he did just that, bringing national acts to his college campus at UW–Milwaukee, booking thousands of concerts across Wisconsin and the Midwest, and opening Shank Hall, the beloved Milwaukee venue named after a club in the cult film This Is Spinal Tap. This funny, nostalgia-inducing book details the lasting friendships Jest established over the years with John Prine, Arlo Guthrie and Milwaukee’s own Violent Femmes, among others. It also shines a light into the seldom-seen world of music promotion, as Jest attempts to manage a turbulent band on the road, negotiates with agents, deals with fires (both real and metaphorical), struggles through a pandemic, and takes pleasure in presenting music of all kinds — from world-famous acts to up-and-coming local bands. In addition to photos of celebrated musicians, the book includes concert posters, tickets, and backstage passes documenting decades of rock, folk, and alternative shows that helped put Milwaukee on the live music map.”

Beats Not Beatings: The Rise Of Hip Hop Criminology
By Anthony J. Nocella II

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Beats Not Beatings: The Rise Of Hip Hop Criminology is a powerful radical intersectional scholarly-activist collection of liberation-based articles by “Mic” Crenshaw, Chandra Ward, Maurece Graham, Daniel White Hodge, Anthony J. Nocella II, Antonio Quintana, Andrea N. Hunt, Tammy D. Rhodes, Kenneth Culton, Andre Douglas Pond Cummings, Victor Mendoza, Adam de Paor-Evans, Lenard G. Gomes, Elloit Cardozo and Tasha Iglesias that center marginalized and oppressed stories and experiences. This book emerged out of the Black Lives Matter and prison abolition movements. This collection challenges state violence as well as racist and classiest laws such as the school to prison pipeline, redlining, three strikes, mandatory minimums, truancy, felons cannot vote, check the box, and curfew. This thought-provoking insightful text demands that those affected by the criminal justice system should be leading the conversation on how it is broken, managed, and needs to be transformed. Critical theorist Anthony J. Nocella II, an innovative intersectional public intellectual, pushes educators and society to make connections and think outside the box on how Hip Hop has always had the answers on how to dismantle racism and classism by the U.S. criminal justice system. This book explains how hip-hop brilliantly since day one has the answer to ending violence and crime in society, it is time to listen, get in where you fit in, or get out of the way.”