Music

Beeswing: Losing My Way and Finding My Voice 1967-1975 by Richard Thompson - Book Review

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$27.95
ISBN: 9781616208950
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Published: Algonquin Books - April 6th, 2021

Like his lyrics Thompson weaves magic into simple honest review of his early life, music and the people who helped or inspired him along the way. The man can write a lyric that twists your heart and lingers in your soul. Red Molly and "Beeswing" are more than flights of fancy but spirits that hug your imagination and leaves me wanting more. I read the book in one sitting. ~ Reviewed by Maeve Noonan


A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance by Hanif Abdurraqib - Book Review

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A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781984801197
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Published: Random House - March 30th, 2021

“The problem with approaching history in America is that too many people measure things by distance and not by impact.” This should be the book that catapults Abdurraqib to public intellectual. A gorgeously written, deeply moving, and intellectually rigorous collection of essays that is also a memoir and a topical meditation on the black experience and the history of black performance in America from the acclaimed poet and music writer. From the formally experimental essay in the form of a poetic crown that juxtaposes Mike Tyson and Bernie Mac,to essays on Joesphine Baker, Beyoncé, and Merry Clayton the haunting backup singer on the Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter,” to the essay “Sixteen Ways of Looking at Blackface,” Abdurraqib always takes the reader on a journey through culture and history, both American and personal. He explores how Black Lives Matter as a statement is “commodif[ied] into silence,” the “weapons people disguise in small talk,” and how “if you are Black, and you are twice as good as a lot of [white] people doing [the same thing], it serves you to remind the public of your greatness from time to time.” Come for the intellectual engagement with Aretha or Lando or self-congratulatory Hollywood movies where race relations are sanitized, stay for the memories of Abdurraqib’s late mother, for his poetic prose, and moments like the one late in the book in which an embrace saves a life. ~ Reviewed by Dafydd Wood


Jimmy Page: The Anthology by Jimmy Page - Book Review

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$60.00
ISBN: 9781905662616
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Published: Genesis Publications - October 20th, 2020

This is a hefty work that may require a team lift to even get onto your lap. But that is no small coincidence given what is contained within. This is not just a juicy compilation of Zeppelin/Page memorabilia; one does not have to be a fan of the group or artist to fully appreciate the depth of what is offered here. The photos of Page's extensive personal collection of memorabilia along with his accompanying notes are a true insider's guide to a significant slice of Rock and Roll history. ~ Reviewed by Jon Fine


The Hard Times: The First 40 Years by Matt Saincome - Book Review

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$20.00
ISBN: 9780358022374
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Published: Mariner Books - October 29th, 2019

Reductively, this is The Onion for music, and music-adjacent interests. Not only are the "headlines" eye catching and chuckle-worthy, but the articles are extremely clever and full of Easter eggs for those in the know. I'd go so far as to say this might be a must-buy for those interested. ~ Reviewed by Chris Linendoll


The Show Won't Go On: The Most Shocking, Bizarre, and Historic Deaths of Performers Onstage by Jeff Abraham - Book Review

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$16.99
ISBN: 9781641602174
Availability: Click Title for IN STOCK Location
Published: Chicago Review Press - September 3rd, 2019

A morbidly fun collection of essays, perfect for pick up and go reading. As the title suggests, this is a look at performers who unfortunately met their demise in the most public of arenas. Even my kid liked this one, so I guess it's family friendly, if you're into that kind thing. ~ Reviewed by Chris Linendoll


Alice in Chains: The Untold Story by David de Sola - Book Review

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$19.99
ISBN: 9781250199386
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Published: A Thomas Dunne Book for St. Martin's Griffin - November 13th, 2018

The first definitive biography of the seminal Seattle grunge band. AiC perfectly blended the wailing vocals of metal with the deep grooves of alternative rock and broke big before people knew what Teen Spirit smelled like. The author dives deep into the history of the first incarnation of the band via hundreds of interviews with dozens of those who knew the band best. Most of the pages are devoted to Layne Staley's years fronting AiC, although there is nice epilouge giving well deserved praise to William DuVall, who took over vocal duties after Staley's rock'n'roll exile and eventual drug related demise. ~ Reviewed by Chris Linendoll


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