Music

Sellout: The Major-Label Feeding Frenzy That Swept Punk, Emo, and Hardcore (1994–2007) by Dan Ozzi - Book Review

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$28.00
ISBN: 9780358244301
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Published: Dey Street Books - October 26th, 2021

In the wake of the cultural tsunami of Nirvana, and their eventual tragic end, major music labels sought the Next Big Thing after the "Seattle sound" of grunge. They didn't have to wait long, as the release of Green Day's "Dookie" in 1994 set off a feeding frenzy of A&R men sent out to sign any punk-rock band that could write a decent melody. Using nearly a dozen major label debut albums as a framing device, Ozzi takes a look at what bands like Jimmy Eat World, Thursday, and others were up against in the battle to retain their artistic integrity in the rapidly-changing industry of the early 2000s. ~ Reviewed by Chris Linendoll


The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music by Dave Grohl - Book Review

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$29.99
ISBN: 9780063076099
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Published: Dey Street Books - October 5th, 2021

Dave Grohl seems to have been born to be a rock star. Here he weaves together the many stories that tell the tale of how he became one. More importantly, he tells the story of a person who is willing to follow his dream to make a life doing what makes him happy. From dropping out of high school to tour with a punk band, to somehow always finding himself in the right place at the right time (imagine being an unknown drummer in an unknown band and being asked to sit in with Iggy Pop for a gig), to joining Nirvana, and then fronting the Foo Fighters. He seems to always be at the crossroads of some great musical event. Grohl's stories about his life and music are filled with humor and emotion. ~ Reviewed by Allen Boulet


Conversations by Steve Reich - Book Review

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$27.99
ISBN: 9781335425720
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Published: Hanover Square Press - March 8th, 2022

In lieu of a memoir and on the occasion of his 85th birthday, "[the country's] greatest living composer" Steve Reich crafted a collection of conversations inspired by Stravinsky's books of conversations with his amanuensis Robert Craft. During the pandemic Reich spoke with musicians from his ensemble, conductors like Michael Tilson Thomas and Brad Lubman, old friends like Stephen Sondheim and Richard Serra, younger composers (like the Bang on a Can collective--David Lang, Julia Wolfe, and Michael Gordon-- Brian Eno, and younger like Nico Muhly), and later generations of performers (like Radiohead's guitarist Jonny Greenwood, David Harrington the first violin in the Kronos Quartet, and others) about his career, each conversation loosely centering on a particular work. There is a charming back and forth that always gives a sense of both conversationalists, and it still hits the major beats expected in a memoir of his 50 year career. Recommended for readers who already have an interest in contemporary classical music. ~ Reviewed by Dafydd Wood


Three Pianos: A Memoir by Andrew McMahon - Book Review

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Three Pianos: A Memoir Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9781648960208
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Published: Princeton Architectural Press - October 26th, 2021

Lyrical, dizzying memoir of a gifted musician's many highs and lows. Road trips, family, friends, bandmates, drugs, disease, booze, relationships, tours, and concerts scatter McMahon's attention and complicate his life. Through it all, his sole solace awaits: his piano. ~ Reviewed by Mike Hare


The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music by Dave Grohl - Book Review

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The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music Cover Image
$29.99
ISBN: 9780063076099
Availability: Click Title for IN STORE Location
Published: Dey Street Books - October 5th, 2021

This book reads like a conversation with a long-lost bandmate, catching up on the intervening years; as though we were young in the same place once, and though our lives may have been very different, we understand each other. All that is to say, I loved it. ~ Reviewed by Arabella Peterson


Not for You: Pearl Jam and the Present Tense by Ronen Givony - Book Review

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$16.95
ISBN: 9781501360671
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Published: Bloomsbury Academic - October 21st, 2021

A backstage pass to the story of Pearl Jam, written by a fan trying to understand why this band means so much to him and how they came to be one of the most influential bands of a generation. Givony covers their journey from playing small Seattle clubs to selling out massive arenas, all while maintaining the integrity of the influential music they continue to make. There is a lot of emphasis on the live performances which have made Pearl Jam legendary, as well as their willingness to stand up for progressive causes even when doing so hurt their career. Givony doesn't shy away from the contradictions of a band that claims to not want fame while at the same time seeking to become the biggest band in the world; a goal they actually achieved. A must read for any Pearl Jam fan and anyone looking to understand the culture they influenced with their music and their activism. ~ Reviewed by Allen Boulet


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