Music

The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century by Alex Ross - Book Review

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The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century Cover Image
$23.00
ISBN: 9780312427719
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Published: Picador - October 14th, 2008

I love this book—it’s an imminently readable history of twentieth century avant-garde music. Wonderfully written, with great sketches of moments, biographies, and performances. Ross explains the thorny music and introduces the reader to a plethora of wild compositions--from Mahler, Strauss, and Schoenberg to Reich, Adams and Radiohead. But it’s really a history of the 20th century through music. ~ Reviewed by Dafydd Wood


Lament from Epirus: An Odyssey Into Europe's Oldest Surviving Folk Music by Christopher C. King - Book Review

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Lament from Epirus: An Odyssey Into Europe's Oldest Surviving Folk Music Cover Image
$29.95
ISBN: 9780393248999
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Published: W. W. Norton & Company - May 29th, 2018

Despite a seeming incomprehension for music recorded after about 1930, King’s Lament from Epirus is an enjoyable travelogue, ethnomusicological treatise, and meditation on music and art. Wide-ranging and (mostly) delightfully-written, King explores his acknowledged bizarre fondness for 78s and takes the reader on a trip from discovering the folk recordings of Epirus in an Istanbul bazaar, listening to them in Virginia, and back across the Atlantic to Northern Greece. He sleuths out the biographies of his favorite recording artists, listens to contemporary performances by Romany musicians, and describes the wounds incurred through a night of Epirote moonshine and concerts. But he also reflects on prehistory, the origins of music, and the perils of writing about history and art in general. ~ Reviewed by Dafydd Wood


Meet Me in the Bathroom: Rebirth and Rock and Roll in New York City 2001-2011 by Lizzy Goodman - Book Review

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Meet Me in the Bathroom: Rebirth and Rock and Roll in New York City 2001-2011 Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780062233097
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Published: Dey Street Books - May 23rd, 2017

An addictive conversational oral history about the NYC music scene in the early 2000s. Goodman weaves together many viewpoints to show how America had lost its sense of musical identity in an increasingly pop-fueled world during the late 90s. You do not need to be a fan of all musicians or bands mentioned to appreciate the excitement surrounding the resurgence of indie rock. ~ Reviewed by Laura Knapp


Dreaming the Beatles: The Love Story of One Band and the Whole World by Rob Sheffield - Book Review

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Dreaming the Beatles: The Love Story of One Band and the Whole World Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780062207661
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Published: Dey Street Books - June 19th, 2018

Joyous, whimsical, soulful, trenchant, funny, moving: descriptions of the Beatles are equally apt for Sheffield's tribute. His premise, that the group that defined the 60's keeps growing decades after its breakup, is proven by the wonder experienced every day, all over the world, when someone first hears a Beatles song. ~ Reviewed by Mike Hare


Everybody Loves Our Town: An Oral History of Grunge by Mark Yarm - Book Review

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Everybody Loves Our Town: An Oral History of Grunge Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780307464446
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Published: Three Rivers Press - March 13th, 2012

A definitive look at the grunge music scene that blossomed out of Seattle and the Pacific Northwest. The story told by those (few) who lived through it. If you're a fan of Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains or any of the other grunge bands, you need to read this. ~ Reviewed by Chris Linendoll


Parental Discretion Is Advised: The Rise of N.W.A and the Dawn of Gangsta Rap by Gerrick D. Kennedy - Book Review

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Parental Discretion Is Advised: The Rise of N.W.A and the Dawn of Gangsta Rap Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781501134913
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Published: Atria Books - December 5th, 2017

The best biography of the notorious Compton gangsta rap group I've come across. Not only is each member of the group given substantial biographical attention, but the author also dives into the socio-politcal climate of the times in which NWA exploded. Tremendous research pulled from hundreds of interviews and sources makes this a perfect all-in-one primer for fans of the group, or those interested in learning more about how NWA changed the culture forever. ~ Reviewed by Chris Linendoll


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