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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ISBN: 9781501134913
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

1966: The Year the Decade Exploded by Jon Savage - Book Review

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ISBN: 9780571277636
Availability: Special Order
Published: Faber & Faber Social - January 2nd, 2018

If you think life happens fast now, consider 1966, when both the Beatles and the Stones imploded, and teenage pop became what we now know as "rock." Savage tells the story of a year in pop culture by looking at 12 songs and using them as springboards for discussions of Vietnam, civil rights, the counterculture, and more. It's a Pandora's Box of a book, that will send anybody interested in pop culture to YouTube to recall the sights and sounds of arguably the most important year of the 20th century. ~ Reviewed by Charles Bottomley

Substance: Inside New Order by Peter Hook - Book Review

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ISBN: 9780062307972
Availability: Special Order
Published: Dey Street Books - January 31st, 2017

Following the suicide of lead singer Ian Curtis in 1980, the members of Joy Division reconvened as New Order. Once they discovered the drum machine, there was no looking back. The thunderous basslines of their dance-rock hybrid were provided by Peter Hook. For a decade, he was the leather-trousered rock god of MTV's 120 Minutes, anchoring hits like "Blue Monday" and "Bizarre Love Triangle." The second volume of his memoirs is a veritable library's-worth of rock anecdotes, with all the furniture smashing, drug-fueled tantrums and band in-fighting one could ever wish for. As well as being a veritable manual on how not to get along with your fellow musicians, Hook also litters his stories of excess with liner notes on New Order's songs and loving descriptions of the gear that went into making them. An instant classic, perfect for any fan of 1980s music or just rock star misbehavior in general. ~ Reviewed by Charles Bottomley

Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl: A Memoir by Carrie Brownstein - Book Review

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ISBN: 9780399184765
Availability: IN WAREHOUSE - Usually Ships in 1-5 Business Days
Published: Riverhead Books - October 25th, 2016

An enticing debut memoir from Brownstein about her life as a musician during the feminist riot grrrl movement of the 90s until present day. If you aren't familiar with her bands Wild Flag or Sleater-Kinney, you will still get pulled into her life story & how she has dealt with her own mental health over the years. You won't be able to put this book down! ~ Reviewed by Laura Knapp

Good Things Happen Slowly: A Life in and Out of Jazz by Fred Hersch - Book Review

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ISBN: 9781101904343
Availability: Backordered
Published: Crown Archetype - September 12th, 2017

Fred Hersch is one of the greatest jazz pianists of his generation. This is his story--from upper middle-class Midwestern beginnings to wild times in New York City where he ultimately forged his illustrious career. Hersch is the first openly gay, HIV positive jazz man. In the overtly masculine world of be-bop and straight-ahead jazz, his was a difficult road in coming to terms with who he was and dealing with serious health concerns. Readers and listeners of jazz will appreciate this candid and musical memoir. ~ Reviewed by Stan Hynds

Once Upon a Time in Shaolin: The Untold Story of Wu-Tang Clan's Million-Dollar Secret Album, the Devaluation of Music, and America's New Public Ene by Cyrus Bozorgmehr - Book Review

I came into this book expecting a fun, quick read about the Wu-Tang Clan's infighting, some producer trying to make a quick buck, and Martin Shkreli being a general ass. I was blown away by how much deeper this title goes. Rather than being a typical "making of the album" journal, or a tell-all screed, Once Upon a Time in Shaolin is a deep-dive into the changing face of the music industry and the need for artists to adapt amidst the falling revenue streams of the major-label benefactors. How do you make money in a world that is used to getting the hottest new albums for free? Wu-Tang and their protege-turned-producer had just the idea: Make a new album, produce only one copy of it, and let the market decide how much it was worth. This is and of itself is an amazing story, but it only gets better once everyone's favorite "pharma-bro" gets involved. ~ Reviewed by Chris Linendoll


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