Memphis 68: The Tragedy of Southern Soul


Stuart Cosgrove - 2017
    It was a deeply segregated city, ill at ease with the modern world and yet to adjust to the era of civil rights and racial integration. Stax Records offered an escape from the turmoil of the real world for many soul and blues musicians, with much of the music created there becoming the soundtrack to the civil rights movements.The book opens with the death of the city's most famous recording artist, Otis Redding, who died in a plane crash in the final days of 1967, and then follows the fortunes of Redding's label, Stax/Volt Records, as its fortunes fall and rise again. But, as the tense year unfolds, the city dominates world headlines for the worst of reasons: the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King.

No Such Thing as Silence: John Cage's 4'33"


Kyle Gann - 2009
    A meditation on the act of listening and the nature of performance, Cage’s controversial piece became the iconic statement of the meaning of silence in art and is a landmark work of American music.In this book, Kyle Gann, one of the nation’s leading music critics, explains 4'33" as a unique moment in American culture and musical composition. Finding resemblances and resonances of 4'33" in artworks as wide-ranging as the paintings of the Hudson River School and the music of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, he provides much-needed cultural context for this fundamentally challenging and often misunderstood piece. Gann also explores Cage’s craft, describing in illuminating detail the musical, philosophical, and even environmental influences that informed this groundbreaking piece of music. Having performed 4'33" himself and as a composer in his own right, Gann offers the reader both an expert’s analysis and a highly personal interpretation of Cage’s most divisive work.

Turn On Your Mind: Four Decades of Great Psychedelic Rock


Jim DeRogatis - 2003
    Whether or not psychedelic drugs played a role (and as many musicians say they've used them as not) psychedelic rock has consistently charted brave new worlds that exist only in the space between the headphones. The history books tell us the music's high point was the Haight-Ashbury scene of 1967 but the genre didn't start in San Francisco and its evolution didn't end with the Summer of Love. A line can be drawn from the hypnotic drones of the Velvet Underground to the disorienting swirl of My Bloody Valentine; from the artful experiments of the Beatles' �Revolver� to the flowing otherworldly samples of rappers P.M. Dawn; from the dementia of the 13th Floor Elevators to the grungy lunacy of the Flaming Lips; and from the sounds and sights at Ken Kesey's '60s Acid Tests to those at present-day raves. �Turn On Your Mind� is an attempt to connect the dots from the very first groups who turned on tuned in and dropped out to such new-millennial practitioners as Wilco the Elephant 6 bands Moby the Super Furry Animals and the so-called stoner-rock and ork-pop scenes.

Making Beats: The Art of Sample-Based Hip-Hop


Joseph G. Schloss - 2004
    But hip-hop deejays and producers have collectively developed an artistic system that features a complex aesthetic, a detailed array of social protocols, a rigorous set of ethical expectations and a rich historical consciousness. Based on ten years of research among hip-hop producers, Making Beats is the first work of scholarship to explore the goals, methods and values of this surprisingly insular community. Focusing on a variety of subjects--from hip-hop artists' pedagogical methods to the Afro-diasporic roots of the sampling process to the social significance of "digging" for rare records--Joseph G. Schloss examines the way hip-hop artists have managed to create a form of expression that reflects their creative aspirations, moral beliefs, political values and cultural realities.

Springsteen: Album by Album


Ryan White - 2014
    Renowned for his passionate songwriting, galvanizing live shows, and political activism, the iconic rocker shows no signs of slowing down. Richly photographed, and featuring brilliant writing by one of America's top music critics as well as a foreword by Peter Ames Carlin (author of the bestselling biography Bruce), this is a must-have for Springsteen's millions of fans.

Wreckers of Civilisation: The Story of COUM Transmissions and Throbbing Gristle


Simon Ford - 1999
    Comprehensive history of the performance art group COUM Transmissions and the industrial music pioneers Throbbing Gristle.

The Romantic Generation


Charles Rosen - 1995
    An exhilarating exploration of the musical language, forms, and styles of the Romantic period, it captures the spirit that enlivened a generation of composers and musicians, and in doing so it conveys the very sense of Romantic music. In readings uniquely informed by his performing experience, Rosen offers consistently acute and thoroughly engaging analyses of works by Schubert, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Bellini, Liszt, and Berlioz, and he presents a new view of Chopin as a master of polyphony and large-scale form. He adeptly integrates his observations on the music with reflections on the art, literature, drama, and philosophy of the time, and thus shows us the major figures of Romantic music within their intellectual and cultural context.Rosen covers a remarkably broad range of music history and considers the importance to nineteenth-century music of other cultural developments: the art of landscape, a changed approach to the sacred, the literary fragment as a Romantic art form. He sheds new light on the musical sensibilities of each composer, studies the important genres from nocturnes and songs to symphonies and operas, explains musical principles such as the relation between a musical idea and its realization in sound and the interplay between music and text, and traces the origins of musical ideas prevalent in the Romantic period. Rich with striking descriptions and telling analogies, Rosen's overview of Romantic music is an accomplishment without parallel in the literature, a consummate performance by a master pianist and music historian.

Musicking: The Meanings of Performing and Listening


Christopher Small - 1998
    In this new book, Small outlines a theory of what he terms "musicking," a verb that encompasses all musical activity from composing to performing to listening to a Walkman to singing in the shower.Using Gregory Bateson's philosophy of mind and a Geertzian thick description of a typical concert in a typical symphony hall, Small demonstrates how musicking forms a ritual through which all the participants explore and celebrate the relationships that constitute their social identity. This engaging and deftly written trip through the concert hall will have readers rethinking every aspect of their musical worlds.

Closer You Are: The Story of Robert Pollard and Guided By Voices


Matthew Cutter - 2018
    Pollard was a longtime grade school teacher who toiled endlessly on his music, finding success only after adopting a do-it-yourself approach, relying on lo-fi home recordings for much of his and his band's career. A prolific artist, Pollard continues to churn out album after album, much to the acclaim of critics and his obsessive and devoted fans. But his story has never been faithfully told in its entirety. Until now. Author Matthew Cutter is a longtime friend of Pollard and, with Pollard's blessing, he's set out to tell the whole, true story of Guided By Voices. Closer You Are is the first book to take an in-depth look at the man behind it all, with interviews conducted by the author with Pollard's friends, family, and bandmates, along with unfettered access to Pollard himself and his extensive archives. Robert Pollard has had an amazing and seemingly endless career in rock music, but he's also established himself as a consummate artist who works on his own terms. Now fans can at long last learn the full story behind one of America's greatest living songwriters.

Soul Mining: A Musical Life


Daniel Lanois - 2010
    A French-speaking kid from Canada, Lanois was driven by his innate curiosity and intense love of music to transcend his small-town origins and become one of the world’s most prolific and successful record producers, as well as a brilliant musician in his own right. Lanois takes us through his childhood, from being one of four kids raised by a single mother on a hairdresser’s salary, to his discovery by Brian Eno, to his work on albums such as U2’s The Joshua Tree, Bob Dylan’s Time Out of Mind, and Emmylou Harris’s Wrecking Ball. Revealing for the first time ever his unique recording secrets and innovations, Lanois delves into the ongoing evolution of technology, discussing his earliest sonic experiments with reel-to-reel decks, the birth of the microchip, the death of discrete circuitry, and the arrival of the download era. Part technological treatise, part philosophical manifesto on the nature of artistic excellence and the overwhelming need for music, Soul Mining brings the reader viscerally inside the recording studio, where the surrounding forces have always been just as important as the resulting albums. Beyond skill, beyond record budgets, beyond image and ego, Lanois’s work and music show the value of dedication and soul. His lifelong quest to find the perfect mixture of tradition and innovation is inimitable and unforgettable.

Jimi Hendrix: A Life from Beginning to End (Biographies of Rock Stars Book 2)


Hourly History - 2019
    Meet the man who single-handedly changed the face of modern music. In this book you will find the story of Hendrix’s life in full detail—from his childhood to his stint in the U.S. military to his time as an international superstar. We will discuss the man, the myth, and the legend, Jimi Hendrix. Inside you will read about... ✓ Extraterrestrial Encounter ✓ Running from Welfare Workers ✓ Jimi Joins the Army ✓ The Jimi Hendrix Experience ✓ Hendrix at Woodstock And much more!

Brian Eno's Another Green World (33 1/3 Book 67)


Geeta Dayal - 2009
    It was the first Brian Eno album tobe composed almost completely in the confines of a recording studio,over a scant few months in the summer of 1975. The album was a proofof concept for Eno's budding ideas of "the studio as musicalinstrument," and a signpost for a bold new way of thinking aboutmusic.In this book, Geeta Dayal unravels Another Green World's abundantmysteries, venturing into its dense thickets of sound. How was analbum this cohesive and refined formed in such a seemingly ad hoc way?How were electronics and layers of synthetic treatments used to createan album so redolent of the natural world? How did a deck of cardsfigure into all of this? Here, through interviews and archivalresearch, she unearths the strange story of how Another Green Worldformed the link to Eno's future -- foreshadowing his metamorphosisfrom unlikely glam rocker to sonic painter and producer.

Awopbopaloobop Alopbamboom: The Golden Age of Rock


Nik Cohn - 1969
    But it was much more than that. It was a cogent history of an unruly era, from the rise of Bill Haley to the death of Jimi Hendrix.And while telling outrageous tales, vividly describing the music, and cutting through the hype, Nik Cohn would engender a new literary form: rock criticism. In his book's wake, rock criticism has turned into a veritable industry, and the world of music has never been the same. Now this seminal history of rock 'n' roll's evolution is available once more -- as riotous a spree as any in rock writing.

The Unanswered Question: Six Talks at Harvard (The Charles Eliot Norton Lectures)


Leonard Bernstein - 1976
    These lectures, Mr. Bernstein's most recent venture in musical explication, will make fascinating reading as well. Virgil Thomson says of the lectures: "Nobody anywhere presents this material so warmly, so sincerely, so skillfully. As musical mind-openers they are first class; as pedagogy they are matchless."Mr. Bernstein considers music ranging from Hindu ragas through Mozart and Ravel, to Copland, suggesting a worldwide, innate musical grammar. Folk music, pop songs, symphonies, modal, tonal, atonal, well-tempered and ill-tempered works all find a place in these discussions. Each, Mr. Bernstein suggests, has roots in a universal language central to all artistic creation. Using certain linguistic analogies, he explores the ways in which this language developed and can be understood as an aesthetic surface. Drawing on his insights as a master composer and conductor, Mr. Bernstein also explores what music means below the surface: the symbols and metaphors which exist in every musical piece, of whatever sort. And, finally, Mr. Bernstein analyzes twentieth century crises in the music of Schoenberg and Stravinsky, finding even here a transformation of all that has gone before, as part of the poetry of expression, through its roots in the earth of human experience.These talks, written and delivered when Leonard Bernstein was Charles Eliot Norton Professor of Poetry at Harvard University, are the newest of the author's literary achievements. In addition to a distinguished career as conductor, pianist, and composer, Mr. Bernstein is the recipient of many television Emmys for the scripts of his Young People's Concerts, Omnibus programs, and others, and is the author of The Infinite Variety of Music and The Joy of Music, for which he received the Christopher Award.

The 500 Greatest Albums of All Times


Joe Levy - 2005
    Whether youre looking for advice to round out your music collection or just inspiration for a heated argument, Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time is the essential guide to the best music of modern times from the world's greatest music magazine.The albums included in this comprehensive book were chosen by 273 of the world's pre-eminent musicians and critics ranging from Fats Domino to Moby. From the Beatles Sgt. Peppers to Nirvana's Nevermind, Ray Charles The Birth of Soul to the White Stripes Elephant, this book is packed with classics. Behind-the-scenes stories of the making of these albums are included, as well as rare photos of legendary recording studios including Abbey Road and Muscle Shoals. Topping the list of 500 are Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (the Beatles, 1967), Pet Sounds (the Beach Boys, 1966), Revolver (the Beatles, 1966), Highway Revisited (Bob Dylan, 1965), Rubber Soul (the Beatles, 1965), What's Going On (Marvin Gaye, 1971), Exile on Main Street (the Rolling Stones, 1972), London Calling (the Clash, 1980), Blonde on Blonde (Bob Dylan, 1966 ), and The White Album (the Beatles, 1968 ).