How Music Works
Penguin, MUSIC, PB, 9780857862532
$29.99 ex $32.99 inc
How Music Works is David Byrne's remarkable celebration of a subject he has spent a lifetime thinking about. In it he explores how profoundly music is shaped by its time and place, and he explains how the advent of recording technology in the twentieth century forever changed our relationship to playing, performing, and listening to music. Acting as historian and anthropologist, raconteur and social scientist, he searches for patterns - and shows how those patterns have affected his own work over the years with Talking Heads and his many collaborators, from Brian Eno to Caetano Veloso. Byrne sees music as part of a larger, almost Darwinian pattern of adaptations and responses to its cultural and physical context. His range is panoptic, taking us from Wagnerian opera houses to African villages, from his earliest high school reel-to-reel recordings to his latest work in a home music studio (and all the big studios in between).Touching on the joy, the physics and the business of making music, How Music Works is an irresistible adventure and an impassioned argument for music's liberating, life-affirming power.
When Ziggy Played Guitar: David Bowie & "Starman"
Preface Publishing, MUSIC, HC, 9781848093850
$45.41 ex $49.95 inc
And then there was David Bowie, the uber-freak with the mismatched pupils, the low-tech space face from the planet Sparkle. This was Bowie's third appearance on TOTP but this was the one that properly resonated with its audience, the one that would go on to cause a seismic shift in the Zeitgeist. This is the performance that turned Bowie into a star, embedding his Ziggy Stardust persona into the nation's consciousness. With a tall, flame-orange cockade quiff (stolen from a Kansai Yamamoto model on the cover of Honey), lavishly applied make-up, white nail polish, and wearing a multi-coloured jump-suit that looked as though it were made from fluorescent fish skin (chosen by Ziggy co-shaper, the designer Freddie Buretti), and carrying a brand spanking new blue acoustic guitar, a bone thin Bowie appeared not so much as a pop singer, but rather as some sort of benevolent alien, a concept helped along by the provocative appearance of his guitarist, the chicken-headed Mick Ronson, with both of them unapologetically sporting knee-length patent leather wrestler's boots (Bowie's were red). 'Most people are scared of colour,' Bowie said later. 'Their lives are built up in shades of grey. It doesn't matter how straight the style is, make it brightly coloured material and everyone starts acting weird.' Suddenly Bowie - a man called alias - had the world at his nail-varnished fingertips, and in no time at all he would be the biggest star in the world.
A Light That Never Goes Out: The Enduring Saga of the Smiths
Random House, MUSIC, PB, 9780434022182
$31.82 ex $35.00 inc
The Smiths - Morrissey, Johnny Marr, Andy Rourke and Mike Joyce - were four working-class youths who came together, by fate and chance, in Manchester in the early 1980s. Their sound was both traditional and radically different, a music that spoke to a generation, and defied the dark social-economic mood of the Thatcher years. By early 1984, barely a year after their first headlining gig, they were the hottest name in modern music. In the years that followed the group produced an extraordinary body of work: seventeen classic singles, four studio albums, and over sixty unique songs. Yet for all their brilliance The Smiths were continually plagued by their own reticence to play the game, and by the time of 1987's Strangeways Here We Come, they had split. The Smiths would never play together again - their enormous contribution to pop culture forever condensed into a prolific and prosperous halcyon period, their legacy intact and untarnished.
Cinema of Germany
Wallflower Press, FILM, PB, 9781905674909
$36.32 ex $39.95 inc
This volume tells the story of the cinema of Germany in 24 essays, each concerning an individual film, in a fresh and concise way. It describes a 'national' film industry which successfully met the demand of a 'national' audience from the 1910s to the 1960s. The book represents this system by focusing on films which were very popular with contemporary German audiences such as Metropolis (1927), Three from the Filling Station (1930), The Great Love (1942), The Heath is Green (1951) and The Treasure of Silver Lake (1962). As a consequence of World War II, the system of popular German cinema declined during the 1960s and early 1970s. Films from these decades such as Yesterday Girl (1966) and Germany in Autumn (1978) broke with the film form as well as with the mode of production that the popular narrative cinema had established. From the 1980s on, a new generation has tried to re-establish a popular German cinema with films such as The Boat (1981), Run Lola Run (1998) and Goodbye Lenin! (2003).
Spielberg: A Retrospective
Thames & Hudson, FILM, HC, 9780500516089
$45.41 ex $49.95 inc
Impeccably designed and illustrated with more than 400 superb images, many sourced specially from the Steven Spielberg Archive, this book celebrates more than forty years of Steven Spielberg’s boundless energy and his unwavering commitment to excellence in all areas of his work. It is an essential companion to the art of making movies and an authoritative tribute to a Hollywood icon.
For more than four decades, Steven Spielberg has created inspiring, exciting and unforgettable movie magic. Jaws, E.T., the Indiana Jones series, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Schindler’s List, Saving Private Ryan and War Horse some of the highest-grossing, most captivating and enduring films of all time – contemporary classics that indelibly remain part of our lives.
Richard Schickel provides unique insight on every one of Spielberg’s twenty-eight major movies. Featuring many first-person observations drawn from Schickel’s interviews, as well as a personal foreword by the director himself, this is an insider’s perspective on Spielberg’s legendary achievements.
Steven Spielberg’s own story is itself the stuff of dreams. In 1959, he made a mini-movie to earn his Boy Scout photography merit badge. By the time he was a teenager he was charging his friends admission to his home movies and won his first prize at the age of thirteen for a short war film. Soon he took to wandering the lot at Universal Studios, hoping not to get caught, and eventually was taken on there as an intern. The rest, as they say, is history.
Film After Film: Or What Became of 21st Century Cinema
Verso, FILM, HC, 9781844677511
$27.23 ex $29.95 inc
How the digital turn and 9/11 have changed motion picture history. In this sly and thought-provoking volume, J. Hoberman turns an erudite eye to the study of twenty-first-century cinema and finds that, only a dozen years into the new millennium, the world of movies has already experienced a revolutionary transformation.
The advent of new digital technology has displaced the medium of photographic film—and, perhaps, the reality on which it once depended. With locations, sets and cameras now optional, the history of motion pictures has become the history of animation.
This sea change in filmmaking spanned the 2000 American presidential election and the trauma of 9/11, events that reshaped world politics and left an indelible imprint on the emerging aesthetic of the new century’s cinema. A rupture opened up in the evolution of film, presaging, as Susan Sontag forlornly predicted a few years earlier, the death of cinephilia, or at least cinephilia as we know it.
Witty and allusive, in the style of classic film theorist/critics such as André Bazin and Siegfried Kracauer, Film After Film expands on a much-discussed era-defining Artforum article by Hoberman before moving on to a chronicle of the Bush years in cinema (featuring reviews from Hoberman’s final decade at the Village Voice). The book concludes with considerations of the twenty-one central movies of the twenty-first century, which include works by Lars von Trier and Jia Zhangke as well as the hi-tech spectacles WALL-E and Avatar.
Try Whistling This: Writings on Music
Black Inc, MUSIC, PB, 9781863955713
$29.99 ex $32.99 inc
Perceptive and entertaining, Try Whistling This is a pleasurable journey through music, ideas and history. Andrew Ford traces the concept of dirty dancing back to the sixteenth century, marvels at the weirdeness of Percy Grainger and considers the decision of Wilhelm FurtwÃ¤ngler to keep conducting under the Nazis. He explores the intersection of words and music, the bugbear of Australian musical identity, and the fundamental importance, in music and in life, of listening. There are essays based on ford's acclaimed radio series Music and Fashion, as well as illuminating examinations of music-makers from Mozart to Messiaen, Elgar to Brett Dean, Cole Porter to Bob Dylan.
Fire & Rain: The Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, James Taylor, CSNY & the Lost Story of 1970
Da Capo, MUSIC, PB, 9780306820724
$19.99 ex $21.99 inc
January 1970: Three of the most iconic acts of the 60s are, at last, wrapping up major new releases. The Beatles assemble one more time to put the final touches on Let It Be. Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young finish their highly anticipated Deja vu. Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel finally complete their masterpiece, Bridge Over Troubled Water. Meanwhile, on the sidelines, a shy upstart singer-songwriter named James Taylor is trying to write one more song to finalize an album called Sweet Baby James. Over the course of the next twelve months, the lives of these remarkable musicians - and the world around them - will change irrevocably. Fire and Rain tells the story of four landmark albums of 1970, the intertwining personal ties between the legendary artists who made them, and the ways in which their songs and journeys mirrored the end of one era and the start of another.
Sound Studies Reader
Routledge, MUSIC, PB, 9780415771313
$51.82 ex $57.00 inc
The Sound Studies Reader blends recent work that self-consciously describes itself as ‘sound studies’ along with earlier and lesser-known scholarship on sound from across the humanities and social sciences. The Sound Studies Reader touches on key themes like noise and silence; architecture, acoustics and space; media and reproducibility; listening, voices and disability; culture, community, power and difference; and shifts in the form and meaning of sound across cultures, contexts and centuries. Writers reflect on crucial historical moments, difficult definitions, and competing accounts of the role of sound in culture and everyday life. Across the essays, readers will gain a sense of the range and history of key debates and discussions in sound studies.
The collection begins with an introduction to welcome novice readers to the field and acquaint them the main issues in sound studies. Individual section introductions give readers further background on the essays and an extensive up to date bibliography for further reading in sound studies make this an original and accessible guide to the field.
The Rough Guide to 21st Century Cinema
Rough Guide, FILM, PB, 9781405385374
$27.26 ex $29.99 inc
Celebrate the centurys' finest movies in The Rough Guide to 21st Century Cinema, a lavishly illustrated homage to the world's best movies of this new era of cinema.
The best 101 films: a run down of the finest films of the millenium from Hollywood blockbusters to indie gems. The hottest stars: features on the up and coming actors and actresses who have made a mark.
The winning genres: best-in-class features on drama, comedy, horror, sci-fi, animation, documentary, superhero movies and all the genre-mash ups in between.
The unsung heroes: the finest talent behind the camera, including directors, cinematographers, set designers and special effects specialists.
The Rough Guide to 21st Century Cinema is the essential companion to movies of the moment.
The Essay Film: From Montaigne, After Marker
Oxford University Press, FILM, PB, 9780199781706
$30.86 ex $33.95 inc
Even though essay films have been a key practice since the 1950s, there is scant analysis about this form in English. Part of this is likely due to the inherent difficulty of definition. The films, which foreground subjectivity and adopt an explicit, personal approach to their subject matter, can look and feel very different from one another. Their coherence as a group, however, comes into focus when contextualized as part of the larger tradition from which they draw. By looking to the literary and philosophical lineage of the essay form, Corrigan brings new clarity to a practice that, arguably, is one of the most common and successful in contemporary film culture. The Essay Film situates its investigation in the literary tradition of essayists such as Montaigne, Barthes, and Huxley before moving to an expansive discussion of filmmakers such as Derek Jarman, Allan Clark, Werner Herzog, Harun Farocki, Chantal Akerman, Chris Marker, Errol Morris, Nanni Moretti, Agnes Varda, Ross McElwee, Abbas Kiarostami, Raoul Ruiz, Lynne Sachs, and Trinh T. Minh-ha.
Every Night the Trees Disappear: Werner Herzog & the Making of Heart of Glass
Chicago University Press, FILM, HC, 9781569766071
$31.82 ex $35.00 inc
Alan Greenberg first showed up at Herzog’s Munich home at age twenty-four. At the end of their evening together Herzog urged Greenberg to work with him on his film Heart of Glass—and everything thereafter. He clinched his plea by assuring the young American that “On the outside we’ll look like gangsters, while on the inside we’ll wear the gowns of priests.”
What Greenberg didn’t know at the time was how unusual Herzog’s filmmaking methods could be. In Heart of Glass, Herzog exercised control over his actors in a unique way: he hypnotized them before shooting their scenes. The result was one of the most haunting movies ever made.
Not since Lillian Ross’s classic 1950 book Picture, about John Huston directingThe Red Badge of Courage, has an American writer given such a close, firsthand, book-length account of how a director makes a movie. But Every Night the Trees Disappear is not a conventional, journalistic account; instead it presents a unique vision with the feel of a novel—intimate, penetrating, and filled with mystery.
Mick: The Wild Life & Mad Genius of Jagger
Robson Books, MUSIC, HC, 9781849543828
$31.81 ex $34.99 inc
Mick Jagger is one of the dominant cultural figures of our time - swaggering, strutting, sinister, and mesmerizing - yet he has vowed never to write his own life story. Now, Christopher Andersen provides an explosive, compelling, and definitive biography for Stones fans of all ages. Mick is the definitive look at the leader of the world's greatest rock-and-roll band on the eve of its 50th anniversary, and is destined to become the definitive biography every fan must have.
Dirty Deeds: My Life Inside & Out of AC/DC
Allen & Unwin, MUSIC, PB, 9781743310847
$20.90 ex $22.99 inc
A few days after his 19th birthday, rock and roll lover and bass player Mark Evans wandered into his local to check out the band - and his life would never be the same again. Two days later he was playing his first show as bass player with AC/DC; within a week he was on Countdown, rocking out next to wildman Bon Scott, who was dressed as a pigtailed, cigarette-smoking schoolgirl - and waving a mallet - and Angus who was - of course - decked out as a schoolboy. And all for the princely wage of $60 a week! Then came nearly being burnt alive on the video shoot for 'Jailbreak', and working with legends Vanda and Young on the massive album TNT, on which Mark's take-no-prisoners basslines anchored such immortal hits as 'TNT' and 'It's a Long Way To the Top'. Within a year, the band had relocated to London and were on the road to rock 'n' roll stardom, living the life of rock gods and making the most of all that had to offer. Until the tragic death of his good friend Bon Scott changed everything. Dirty Deeds is the first book about AC/DC written from the inside, by an insider - which is gold for any AC/DC fan. It is an honest, gripping, sometimes laugh-out-loud account of a band that lived fast, played hard and broke every one of the rules - before they broke all the records. It is also a revealing and frank memoir of a man who's had to contend with everything life has thrown at him - a rough-as-guts upbringing, lucky breaks and soaring highs, as well as terrible personal tragedy and loss. The hard lessons Mark has learned along the way will inspire any reader.
Guitar Zero: The New Musician & the Science of Learning
One World Publishers, MUSIC, PB, 9781851689323
$27.23 ex $29.95 inc
On the eve of his fortieth birthday, scientist Gary Marcus decided to fulfil a lifeling dream and learn to play the guitar, investigating how humans ‘make’ music and how anyone of any age might master a new skill. In a quest that takes him from Suzuki classes to guitar gods, Marcus discovers the best ways to train your brain and your body. He also brings insight into the question, What counts as a life well lived? A groundbreaking look at the origins and allure of music, Marcus’s journey is also an empowering tale of the mind’s plasticity and the ability to grow throughout life.
I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution
Dutton, MUSIC, HC, 9780525952305
$31.82 ex $35.00 inc
The first-ever history of MTV's first decade.
In the beginning, nobody thought it would survive. Record labels were skeptical and cable operators were dismissive-perhaps rightfully so. MTV had an inventory of just one hundred clips, most by fringe British and Australian bands. The channel was available in only a few cities and towns. On the night the network launched, staffers celebrated at a bar in New Jersey because no Manhattan cable operator carried MTV.
When MTV debuted in 1981, its slogan was You'll never look at music the same way again. But MTV's influence went beyond music-it soon changed network and cable television, radio, sports, film, fashion, teen sexuality, and even politics.
Highly respected music journalist Craig Marks and Rob Tannenbaum have assembled an unprecedented collection of stories from the early days of MTV, straight from the mouths of those who were part of the video revolution. I Want My MTV focuses on the network's first decade with accounts from major artists including Madonna, The Police, Duran Duran, Eurythmics, Bon Jovi, and Chuck D of Public Enemy; executives; VJs; famous fans; and others whose careers were shaped by MTV. Their words chronicle the music industry's last great era-a time of excess, innovation, and grandiosity.
The Age of Movies: Selected Writings of Pauline Kael
Library of America, FILM, HC, 9781598531091
$50.91 ex $56.00 inc
Film criticism is exciting just because there is no formula to apply, Pauline Kael once observed, just because you must use everything you are and everything you know. Between 1968 and 1991, as regular film reviewer for The New Yorker, Kael used those formidable tools to shape the tastes of a generation, enthralling readers with her gift for capturing, with force and fluency, the essence of an actor's gesture or the full implication of a cinematic image. Kael called movies the most total and encompassing art form we have, and she made her reviews a platform for considering both film and the worlds it engages, crafting in the process a prose style of extraordinary wit, precision, and improvisatory grace.
To read The Age of Movies, the first new selection in more than a generation, is to be swept up into an endlessly revealing and entertaining dialogue with Kael at her witty, exhilarating, and opinionated best. Her ability to evoke the essence of a great artist-an Orson Welles or a Robert Altman-or to celebrate the way even seeming trash could tap deeply into our emotions was matched by her unwavering eye for the scams and self-deceptions of a corrupt movie industry. Here in this career spanning collection are her appraisals of the films that defined an era-among them Breathless, Bonnie and Clyde, The Leopard, The Godfather, Last Tango in Paris, Nashville -along with many others, some awaiting rediscovery, all providing the occasion for masterpieces of observation and insight, alive on every page.
Notting Hill Editions, FILM, HC, 9781907903458
$21.82 ex $24.00 inc
'Late Spring, directed and co-written by Yasujiro Ozu, was released in 1949, which makes it an old film, or a film that has been new for a long time...' So begins this remarkable essay in narrative reconstruction, which elicits a world of meanings from the reticences of one classic Japanese movie, and reserves to the very end a resolution of its mystery. Adam Mars-Jones gives a virtuoso comeback performance as that lost figure from the earl days of cinema: the film explainer. There has never been a film book like this one.
Music as Alchemy: Journeys With Great Conductors & Their Orchestras
Faber & Faber, MUSIC, HC, 9780571240470
$36.35 ex $39.99 inc
How are conductors' silent gestures magicked into sound by a group of more than a hundred brilliant but belligerent musicians? The mute choreography of great conductors has fascinated and frustrated musicians and music-lovers for centuries, from Toscanini to Karajan, from Carlos Kleiber to Gustavo Dudamel. Orchestras can be inspired to the heights of musical and expressive possibility by their maestros, or flabbergasted that someone who doesn't even make a sound should be elevated to demigod-like status by the public. This is the first book to go inside the rehearsal rooms of some of the most inspirational orchestral partnerships in the world. It's the first to see how Simon Rattle works with his musicians at the Berlin Philharmonic, how Mariss Jansons deals with the Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam, and how Claudio Abbado creates the world's most luxurious pick-up band every year with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra. From London to Budapest, Bamberg to Vienna, great orchestral concerts are recreated as a collection of countless human and musical stories. The book reveals how the catalysts of place, time, and personal history are alchemised into the indelible magic of life-changing performances.
Soulacoaster: The Diary of Me
Ecco, MUSIC, HC, 9781401928353
$38.18 ex $42.00 inc
Through the iconic anthem I Believe I Can Fly and such R&B mega-hits as Bump and Grind and Ignition , R. Kelly has proven himself to be one of the greatest musical talents of his generation. Yet his rollercoaster ride to the top has been as perilous as it has been exhilarating. With Soulacoaster , Kelly shares his life story through episodic tales and exclusive colour photographs. From the crippling learning disorder that rendered him unable to read or write, to the teacher-mentor who prophesised that his destiny was in music, not basketball, we follow his evolution from Chicago street performer to struggling LA musician and beyond. Kelly reveals his hard-won ascent to superstardom and his battle to move forward after legal and personal ordeals that nearly ruined his life. Now back at the top, Kelly recounts the journey that has taken him to new heights of maturity and artistry. Part memoir, part keepsake, Soulacoaster unlocks the door to R. Kelly's story as only he can tell it, promising his fans an intimate and unforgettable ride.
Bert: The Life & Times of A L Lloyd
Pluto Australia, MUSIC, HC, 9780745332529
$49.95 ex $54.95 inc
Folk singer and folk music collector, writer, painter, journalist, art critic, whalerman, sheep station roustabout, Marxist, and much more - this is the story of A. L. (Bert) Lloyd's extraordinary life. A. L. Lloyd played a key part in the folk music revival of the 1950s and 60s, but that is only part of his story. Dave Arthur documents how Lloyd became a member of the Communist Party, forceful antifascist, trade unionist and an important part of left-wing culture from the early 1930s to his death in 1982. Following his return from Australia as a 21-year-old, self-educated agricultural labourer, he was at the heart of the most important left-wing movements and highly respected for his knowledge in various fields. Dave Arthur recounts the life of a creative, passionate and life-loving Marxist, and in so doing provides a social history of a turbulent twentieth century.
Blade Runner: BFI Film Classics
Palgrave, FILM, PB, 9781844575220
$22.68 ex $24.95 inc
Ridley Scott's dystopian classic Blade Runner, an adaptation of Philip K. Dick's novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, combines noir with science fiction to create a groundbreaking cyberpunk vision of urban life in the twenty-first century. With replicants on the run, the rain-drenched Los Angeles which Blade Runner imagines is a city of oppression and enclosure, but a city in which transgression and disorder can always erupt. Graced by stunning sets, lighting, effects, costumes and photography, Blade Runner succeeds brilliantly in depicting a world at once uncannily familiar and startlingly new. In his innovative and nuanced reading, Scott Bukatman details the making of Blade Runner and its steadily improving fortunes following its release in 1982. He situates the film in terms of debates about postmodernism, which have informed much of the criticism devoted to it, but argues that its tensions derive also from the quintessentially twentieth-century, modernist experience of the city - as a space both imprisoning and liberating. In his foreword to this special edition, published to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the BFI Film Classics series, Bukatman suggests that Blade Runner 's visual complexity allows it to translate successfully to the world of high definition and on-demand home cinema. He looks back to the sciencefiction tradition of the early 1980s, and on to the key changes in the 'final' version of the film in 2007, which risk diminishing the sense of instability created in the original.
Vertigo: BFI Film Classics
Palgrave, FILM, PB, 9781844574988
$22.68 ex $24.95 inc
In the 1992 Sight and Sound poll, critics and film-makers voted Vertigo the fourth greatest film of all time. Yet in it Hitchcock abandoned his trademark suspense, allowing the central mystery to be solved well before the end. What remained was a study in sexual obsession, as James Stewart's Scottie pursues Madeleine/Judy (Kim Novak) to her death in a remote Californian mission. Novak is ice-cool but vulnerable, Stewart -- in the darkest role of his career -- genial on the surface but damaged within. Although seen as Hitchcock's most personal film, Charles Barr argues that, like Citizen Kane, Vertigo is a triumph not so much of individual authorship as of creative collaboration. Barr documents the crucial role of screenwriters Alec Coppel and Samuel Taylor and, by a combination of textual and contextual analysis, explores the reasons why Vertigo has come to inspire such continuing fascination. Barr's introduction to this new edition looks at the film alongside works that have influenced, and been influenced by, Hitchcock. He discusses a hypothetical 'director's cut', where the central mystery remains hidden until the end, but posits that such a change may run contrary to the Hitchcock tradition of 'suspense over surprise'.
Taxi Driver: BFI Film Classics
Palgrave, FILM, PB, 9781844574995
$22.68 ex $24.95 inc
Paul Schrader was in meltdown in 1972. Drinking heavily, living in his car, he was hospitalised with a gastric ulcer. There he read about Arthur Bremer's attempt to assassinate Alabama Governor George Wallace: the story was the germ of his screenplay for Taxi Driver (1976). Executives at Columbia hated the script, but when Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro, who were flying high after the triumphs of Mean Streets (1973) and The Godfather Part II (1974), signed up, Taxi Driver became too good a package to refuse. Scorsese transformed the script into what is now considered one of the two or three definitive films of the 1970s. De Niro is mesmerising as Travis Bickle - pent-up, bigoted, steadily slipping into psychosis, the personification of American masculinity post-Vietnam. Cybill Shepherd and Jodie Foster give fine support and Scorsese brought in Bernard Herrmann, the greatest of film composers, to write what turned out to be his last score. Crucially, Scorsese rooted Taxi Driver in its New York locations, tuning the film's violence into the hard reality of the city. Technically thrilling though it is, Taxi Driver is profoundly disturbing - finding, as Amy Taubin shows, racism, misogyny and gun fetishism at the heart of American culture. In her foreword to this special edition, published to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the BFI Film Classics series, Amy Taubin considers Taxi Driver anew in the context of contemporary politics of race and masculinity in the US, and draws on an exclusive interview with Robert De Niro about his memories of making the film.
Begin Again: A Biography of John Cage
Northwestern Uni Press, MUSIC, PB, 9780810128309
$31.82 ex $35.00 inc
A man of extraordinary and seemingly limitless talents--musician, inventor, composer, poet, and even amateur mycologist--John Cage became a central figure of the avant-garde early in his life and remained at that pinnacle until his death in 1992 at the age of eighty. Award-winning biographer Kenneth Silverman gives us the first comprehensive life of this remarkable artist. Silverman begins with Cage's childhood in interwar Los Angeles and his stay in Paris from 1930 to 1931, where immersion in the burgeoning new musical and artistic movements triggered an explosion of his creativity. Cage continued his studies in the United States with the seminal modern composer Arnold Schoenberg, and he soon began the experiments with sound and percussion instruments that would develop into his signature work with prepared piano, radio static, random noise, and silence. Cage's unorthodox methods still influence artists in a wide range of genres and media. Silverman concurrently follows Cage's rich personal life, from his early marriage to his lifelong personal and professional partnership with choreographer Merce Cunningham, as well as his friendships over the years with other composers, artists, philosophers, and writers.
Drawing on interviews with Cage's contemporaries and friends and on the enormous archive of his letters and writings, and including photographs, facsimiles of musical scores, and Web links to illustrative sections of his compositions, Silverman gives us a biography of major significance: a revelatory portrait of one of the most important cultural figures of the twentieth century.
How Soon is Now?: The Madmen & Mavericks Who Made Independent Music, 1975 – 2005
Faber & Faber, MUSIC, PB, 9780571243907
$36.35 ex $39.99 inc
Richard King's How Soon Is Now? is a landmark survey of the record labels that make up the backbone of the independent music industry and the hugely inspirational, eccentric, impulsive and visionary figures who created them.
One of the most tangible aftershocks of punk was its urgency to prompt individuals into action. Document your reality: do it yourself. From this, a generation was inspired and, with often zero financial planning or business sense, in bedrooms, garages and sheds, labels such as Factory, Rough Trade, Mute, 4AD, Beggars Banquet, Warp, Creation and Domino began, shifting the musical landscape and trading on an ethos and identity no brand consultant would now dare dream of.
Musicians were encouraged to do whatever the hell they wanted and damn the consequences. From humble beginnings, some of our most influential artists were allowed to thrive: Orange Juice, New Order, Cocteau Twins, Depeche Mode, Happy Mondays, The Smiths, Sonic Youth, Primal Scream, My Bloody Valentine, Aphex Twin, Autechre, Teenage Fanclub, Broadcast, The White Stripes, Franz Ferdinand, and Arctic Monkeys, to name but a handful.
Bruce Springsteen & the Promise of Rock 'N' Roll
Norton, MUSIC, HC, 9780393081350
$34.50 ex $37.95 inc
Smart and incisive,this unique book takes us through Bruce Springsteen’s life by tracing the cultural, political, and personal forces that shaped his music. Beyond his constant stylistic adaptations, Springsteen developed over the decades from expressing the voice of a guy from working-class New Jersey to writing aboutthe larger issues facing the country, including war, class disparity, and prejudice. Marc Dolan draws on a range of new and little-known sources - including hundreds of unreleased studio recordings and bootlegs of live performances - making this an indispensable reference for avid Springsteen fans as well as those interested in learning the stories behind his music. Combining political analysis, music history, and colorful storytelling, Bruce Springsteen and the Promise of Rock ’n’ Roll reveals how a gifted, ambitious community college dropout achieved superstardom - and spent decades refining what he wanted his music to say.