5 New Music Books to Watch Out For

No Walls And The Recurring Dream by Ani DiFranco (9 May 2019)
no walls
A memoir by the celebrated singer-songwriter and social activist Ani DiFranco. 

In her new memoir, No Walls and the Recurring Dream, Ani DiFranco recounts her early life from a place of hard-won wisdom, combining personal expression, the power of music, feminism, political activism, storytelling, philanthropy, entrepreneurship, and much more into an inspiring whole. In these frank, honest, passionate, and often funny pages is the tale of one woman’s eventful and radical journey to the age of thirty. Ani’s coming of age story is defined by her ethos of fierce independence–from being an emancipated minor sleeping in a Buffalo bus station, to unwaveringly building a career through appearances at small clubs and festivals, to releasing her first album at the age of 18, to consciously rejecting the mainstream recording industry and creating her own label, Righteous Babe Records. In these pages, as in life, she never hesitates to challenge established rules and expectations, maintaining a level of artistic integrity that has impressed many and antagonized more than a few. Ani continues to be a major touring and recording artist as well as a celebrated activist and feminist, standing as living proof that you can overcome all personal and societal obstacles to be who you are and to follow your dreams.

Brian Eno: Visual Music by Christopher Scoates (14 May 2019)
visual musoc.jpg
Visual Music is a one-of-a-kind guided tour through the visual art of creative polymath Brian Eno. Featuring more than 300 images of Eno’s installation, light, and video artwork, this exquisite volume is the definitive monograph of a contemporary master. In addition to page after page of full-color art, Visual Music features Eno’s personal notebook pages, his essay “Perfume, Defense, and David Bowie’s Wedding,” an interview with the artist, scholarly essays, and an original-for-the-book piece of free downloadable music. We’re frequently asked to bring this book back into print and here it is now for the first time in a deluxe paperback edition.

Sir Elton by Philip Norman (16 May 2019) 
elton.jpg
‘He’s got me spot on’ Elton John

‘Anyone who can read will admire the intelligence, the detail and the robust good sense of this biography. It captures the flavour of the times every bit as distinctively as it captures the personality of Elton John’ Sunday Telegraph

Elton John is one of the biggest stars in the world, a man whose extraordinary career has resulted in timeless songs and sold-out world tours. But how did the sensitive boy from Pinner, who started out pounding the piano in a pub, become such an iconic figure?

Philip Norman’s acclaimed biography paints a frank but sympathetic portrait, from Elton’s rise to success to the attempted suicides, from Watford football club chairman to flamboyant Versace shopaholic, from the draining addictions to his turbulent personal relationships and the extraordinary moment in Westminster Abbey when ‘Candle in the Wind’ turned into a requiem for his friend Diana Princess of Wales.

Covering the first five decades of Elton’s life, setting him in the context of the changing music scene, this is a vivid, perceptive, superbly researched account of a musical legend.

Nothing’s Bad Luck: The Lives of Warren Zevon by C. M. Kushins (13 Jun 2019)
zevon.jpg
As is the case with so many musicians, the life of Warren Zevon was blessed with talent and opportunity yet also beset by tragedy and setbacks. Raised mostly by his mother with an occasional cameo from his gangster father, Warren had an affinity and talent for music at an early age. Taking to the piano and guitar almost instantly, he began imitating and soon creating songs at every opportunity. After an impromptu performance in the right place at the right time, a record deal landed on the lap of a teenager who was eager to set out on his own and make a name for himself. But of course, where fame is concerned, things are never quite so simple.

Drawing on original interviews with those closest to Zevon, including Crystal Zevon, Jackson Browne, Mitch Albom, Danny Goldberg, Barney Hoskyns, and Merle Ginsberg, Nothing’s Bad Luck tells the story of one of rock’s greatest talents. Journalist C.M. Kushins not only examines Zevon’s troubled personal life and sophisticated, ever-changing musical style, but emphasizes the moments in which the two are inseparable, and ultimately paints Zevon as a hot-headed, literary, compelling, musical genius worthy of the same tier as that of Bob Dylan and Neil Young.

In Nothing’s Bad Luck, Kushins at last gives Warren Zevon the serious, in-depth biographical treatment he deserves, making the life of this complex subject accessible to fans old and new for the very first time.

Afternoons with the Blinds Drawn by Brett Anderson (3 Oct 2019)
afternoons.jpg
‘A compelling personal account of the dramas of a singular British band’ Neil Tennant

The trajectory of Suede – hailed in infancy as both ‘The Best New Band in Britain’ and ‘effete southern wankers’ – is recalled with moving candour by its frontman Brett Anderson, whose vivid memoir swings seamlessly between the tender, witty, turbulent, euphoric and bittersweet.

Suede began by treading the familiar jobbing route of London’s emerging new 1990s indie bands – gigs at ULU, the Camden Powerhaus and the Old Trout in Windsor – and the dispiriting experience of playing a set to an audience of one. But in these halcyon days, their potential was undeniable. Anderson’s creative partnership with guitarist Bernard Butler exposed a unique and brilliant hybrid of lyric and sound; together they were a luminescent team – burning brightly and creating some of the era’s most revered songs and albums.

In Afternoons with the Blinds drawn, Anderson unflinchingly explores his relationship with addiction, heartfelt in the regret that early musical bonds were severed, and clear-eyed on his youthful persona. ‘As a young man . . . I oscillated between morbid self-reflection and vainglorious narcissism’ he writes. His honesty, sharply self-aware and articulate, makes this a compelling autobiography, and a brilliant insight into one of the most significant bands of the last quarter century.

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s