5 New Music Books to Watch Out For

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Pink Floyd: Their Mortal Remains (13 May 2017)

The first book ever produced with full access the Pink Floyd archive. Published to accompany the V&A’s major summer exhibition, Pink Floyd: Their Mortal Remains, celebrates 50 years of one of the greatest bands of all time. Five essays tackle different aspects of their far-reaching legacy in music and the visual arts. Authors including Jon Savage, Howard Goodall and Rob Young examine what makes the band truly special, from the mythology underpinning their output, through to their experimentation with technology to create new sounds. their epic staging and performance impact will also be explored, along with the anti-authoritarianism that infuses their lyrics.The book is heavily illustrated throughout, emphasizing the essential role that visual material played in supporting the music and creating the lasting Pink Floyd phenomenon.

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Berlin Calling: A Story of Anarchy, Music, the Wall, and the Birth of the New Berlin by Paul Hockenos (23 May 2017)
An exhilarating journey through the subcultures, occupied squats, and late-night scenes in the anarchic first few years of Berlin after the fall of the wall.
Berlin Calling is a gripping account of the 1989 “peaceful revolution” in East Germany that upended communism and the tumultuous years of artistic ferment, political improvisation, and pirate utopias that followed. It’s the story of a newly undivided Berlin when protest and punk rock, bohemia and direct democracy, techno and free theater were the order of the day.
In a story stocked with fascinating characters from Berlin’s highly politicized undergrounds–including playwright Heiner Muller, cult figure Blixa Bargeld of the industrial band Einsturzende Neubauten, the internationally known French Wall artist Thierry Noir, the American multimedia artist Danielle de Picciotto (founder of Love Parade), and David Bowie during his Ziggy Stardust incarnation–Hockenos argues that the DIY energy and raw urban vibe of the early 1990s shaped the new Berlin and still pulses through the city today.
Just as Mike Davis captured Los Angeles in his City of Quartz, Berlin Calling is a unique account of how Berlin became hip, and of why it continues to attract creative types from the world over.

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Vinyl Freak by John Corbett (2 Jun 2017)
From scouring flea markets and eBay to maxing-out their credit cards, record collectors will do just about anything to score a long-sought-after album. In Vinyl Freak, music writer, curator, and collector John Corbett burrows deep inside the record fiend’s mind, documenting and reflecting on his decades-long love affair with vinyl. Discussing more than 200 rare and out-of-print LPs, Vinyl Freak is comprised in part of Corbett’s long-running Downbeat magazine column of the same name, which was devoted to records that had not appeared on CD. In other essays where he combines memoir and criticism, Corbett considers the current vinyl boom, explains why vinyl is his preferred medium, profiles collector subcultures, and recounts his adventures assembling the Alton Abraham Sun Ra Archive, an event so all-consuming that he claims it cured his record-collecting addiction. Perfect for vinyl newbies and veteran crate diggers alike, Vinyl Freak plumbs the motivations that drive Corbett and collectors everywhere.

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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 Enemy No. 1 by Cyrus Bozorgmehr (11 Jul 2017)
The untold story of the world’s most controversial album—a surreal tale of secret recordings, baffled customs agents, the world’s most hallowed art institutions, and a villain of comic book proportions.

In 2007, the innovative young Wu-Tang producer, Cilvaringz, took an incendiary idea to his mentor the RZA. They felt that the impact of digitization threatened the sustainability of the record industry and independent artists, while also shifting the perception of music from treasured works of art to disposable consumer products. They needed to fight back. Together they conceived a work of art so radical that it would unleash a torrent of global debate. They would create a sole copy of an album in physical form, encase it in gleaming silver, and sell it through an auction house for millions as a piece of contemporary art.

The execution of this plan raised a number of complex questions: Would selling an album for millions be the ultimate betrayal of music? How would fans react to an album that’s sold on the condition that it could not be commercialized? And could anyone ever justify the selling of the album to the infamous Martin Shkreli?

What unfolds is an extraordinary adventure that veers between outlandish caper and urgent cultural analysis. Once Upon a Time in Shaolin twists and turns through the mayhem and the mischief, while asking profound questions about our relationship with art, music, technology, and ultimately ourselves.

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Musical Theatre: A History by John Kenrick (27 Jul 2017)
Musical Theatre: A History is a new revised edition of a proven core text for college and secondary school students – and an insightful and accessible celebration of twenty-five centuries of great theatrical entertainment. As an educator with extensive experience in professional theatre production, author John Kenrick approaches the subject with a unique appreciation of musicals as both an art form and a business. Using anecdotes, biographical profiles, clear definitions, sample scenes and select illustrations, Kenrick focuses on landmark musicals, and on the extraordinary talents and business innovators who have helped musical theatre evolve from its roots in the dramas of ancient Athens all the way to the latest hits on Broadway and London’s West End. Key improvements to the second edition: * A new foreword by Oscar Hammerstein III, a critically acclaimed historian and member of a family with deep ties to the musical theatre, is included * The 28 chapters are reformatted for the typical 14 week, 28 session academic course, as well as for a two semester, once-weekly format, making it easy for educators to plan a syllabus and reading assignments. * To make the book more interactive, each chapter includes suggested listening and reading lists, designed to help readers step beyond the printed page to experience great musicals and performers for themselves. A comprehensive guide to musical theatre as an international phenomenon, Musical Theatre: A History is an ideal textbook for university and secondary school students.

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