Music History and Criticism +
First Avenue: Minnesota's Mainroom
First Avenue
Minnesota's Mainroom
Hardcover      ISBN: 1681340445

One of the longest running clubs in American rock 'n' roll, First Avenue in Minneapolis finally gets the rock-star treatment it deserves in print. This book chronicles the club's storied past, beginning with its impressive inaugural show in April 1970 (Joe Cocker's "Mad Dogs & Englishmen" tour) and through its oft-maligned disco era of the late 1970s. In the 1980s, it earned global attention as the hub of Prince's "Purple Rain" and the incubator for widely revered, wild-eyed indie-rock bands such as the Replacements, H sker D , Soul Asylum, and Babes in Toyland. The Ramones and R.E.M., Chrissie Hynde and Lauryn Hill, Wilco and the Wu-Tang Clan, and hundreds more played the hallowed halls of First Avenue and 7th Street Entry, and all are immortalized in this volume.

First Avenue survived corporate competitors, bankruptcy, and a bitter ownership battle to become one of the most successful independent clubs in the country and ground zero to Minneapolis's thriving community of hip-hop and indie-rock acts. Amidst all that history, the book is interlaced with anecdotes, quotes, and occasionally cloudy memories from musicians, employees, and regulars--many of whom are as unique as the club itself. Chock full of concert photos and memorabilia collected from professional photographers and average fans alike, the book is a lavish celebration of a rock 'n' roll landmark.
Music: A Subversive History
Music
A Subversive History
Hardcover      ISBN: 1541644360
"A dauntingly ambitious, obsessively researched" (Los Angeles Times) global history of music that reveals how songs have shifted societies and sparked revolutions
Histories of music overwhelmingly suppress stories of the outsiders and rebels who created musical revolutions and instead celebrate the mainstream assimilators who borrowed innovations, diluted their impact, and disguised their sources. In Music: A Subversive History, Ted Gioia reclaims the story of music for the riffraff, insurgents, and provocateurs.
Gioia tells a four-thousand-year history of music as a global source of power, change, and upheaval. He shows how outcasts, immigrants, slaves, and others at the margins of society have repeatedly served as trailblazers of musical expression, reinventing our most cherished songs from ancient times all the way to the jazz, reggae, and hip-hop sounds of the current day.
Music: A Subversive History is essential reading for anyone interested in the meaning of music, from Sappho to the Sex Pistols to Spotify.
Complicated Fun: The Birth of Minneapolis Punk and Indie Rock, 1974-1984 --- An Oral History
Complicated Fun
The Birth of Minneapolis Punk and Indie Rock, 1974-1984 --- An Oral History
Paperback      ISBN: 1681340321

In the early 1970s, the Minneapolis music scene was no scene at all. Radio stations played Top 40 music; bars and clubs booked only rock cover bands and blues bands. Meanwhile, cities like New York, Detroit, and London were spawning fresh and innovative--and loud and raw--sounds by musicians creating a new punk and rock movement. A small but daring group of Twin Cities musicians, artists, entrepreneurs, and enthusiasts wanted a piece of that action. To do it, they had to build it themselves.

Complicated Fun brings together the recollections of the men and women who built Minnesota's vibrant and vital indie rock scene. Through interviews with dozens of musicians, producers, managers, journalists, fans, and other scenesters, Cyn Collins chronicles the emergence of seminal bands like the Suicide Commandos, the Hypstrz, Curtiss A, Flamingo, the Suburbs, H sker D , the Replacements, and more. The subjects reflect on the key role that Oar Folkjokeopus record store, Jay's Longhorn bar, and Twin/Tone Records played by providing outlets for hearing, performing, and recording these new sounds.

Complicated Fun explores the influences, motivations, moments, and individuals that propelled Minneapolis to its status as a premier music scene and, in turn, inspired future generations of rockers.

Neil Sedaka: Rock'n'roll Survivor: The Inside Story of His Incredible Comeback
Neil Sedaka: Rock'n'roll Survivor
The Inside Story of His Incredible Comeback
Paperback      ISBN: 1908279427

From 1958 to 1963, Neil Sedaka sold 25 million records--more than anyone except Elvis Presley. He thought he could do no wrong, but a year later he was all but off the charts, swept away by The Beatles and the British Invasion--a blow he never saw coming. The deejays stopped playing his records, and the public stopped buying them. For 12 agonizing years, Sedaka battled to get back on the charts--back to respectability. He tried everything: working with hip, young songwriters, playing on demo sessions, and even enduring the rough and tumble of working men's clubs in remote corners in the UK. Then, one magical night, he performed at the Royal Albert Hall in London. His new songs, including 'Solitaire, ' were greeted with thunderous applause. Shortly thereafter, Elton John offered to sign Neil to his new label, Rocket Records. "Great songwriters always re-establish themselves," Elton writes in the foreword to this book. And that was it. In October 1974, 'Laughter In The Rain' showed up at number 95 on Billboard--Sedaka's first appearance on the charts in over a decade. Sixteen weeks later it reached number one. This vivid and authoritative book, written with full access to Sedaka and those closest to him, tells the absorbing story of how he overcame one obstacle after another to become the ultimate rock 'n' roll survivor

Psychedelia and Other Colours
Psychedelia and Other Colours
Paperback      ISBN: 0571282741

In Psychedelia and Other Colours, acclaimed author Rob Chapman explores in crystalline detail the history, precedents and cultural impact of LSD, from the earliest experiments in painting with light and immersive environments to the thriving avant-garde scene that existed in San Francisco even before the Grateful Dead and the Fillmore Auditorium. In the UK, he documents an entirely different history, and one that has never been told before. It has its roots in fairy tales and fairgrounds, the music hall and the dead of Flanders fields, in the Festival of Britain and that peculiarly British strand of surrealism that culminated in the Magical Mystery Tour.

Sitars and Sergeant Pepper, surfadelica and the Soft Machine, light shows and love-ins - the mind-expanding effects of acid were to redefine popular culture as we know it. Psychedelia and Other Colours documents these utopian reverberations -- and the dark side of their moon -- in a perfect portrait.
They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us
They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us
Paperback      ISBN: 1937512657

*2018 "12 best books to give this holiday season" --TODAY Show
*Best Books of 2018 --Rolling Stone
"A Best Book of 2017" --NPR, Buzzfeed, Paste Magazine, Esquire, Chicago Tribune, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, CBC, Stereogum, National Post, Entropy, Heavy, Book Riot, Chicago Review of Books, The Los Angeles Review, Michigan Daily
*American Booksellers Association (ABA) 'December 2017 Indie Next List Great Reads'
*Midwest Indie Bestseller

In an age of confusion, fear, and loss, Hanif Abdurraqib's is a voice that matters. Whether he's attending a Bruce Springsteen concert the day after visiting Michael Brown's grave, or discussing public displays of affection at a Carly Rae Jepsen show, he writes with a poignancy and magnetism that resonates profoundly.

In the wake of the nightclub attacks in Paris, he recalls how he sought refuge as a teenager in music, at shows, and wonders whether the next generation of young Muslims will not be afforded that opportunity now. While discussing the everyday threat to the lives of black Americans, Abdurraqib recounts the first time he was ordered to the ground by police officers: for attempting to enter his own car.

In essays that have been published by the New York Times, MTV, and Pitchfork, among others--along with original, previously unreleased essays--Abdurraqib uses music and culture as a lens through which to view our world, so that we might better understand ourselves, and in so doing proves himself a bellwether for our times.

"Funny, painful, precise, desperate, and loving throughout. Not a day has sounded the same since I read him." --Greil Marcus, Village Voice

Listen to This
Listen to This
Paperback      ISBN: 0312610688

One of The Telegraph's Best Music Books 2011

Alex Ross's award-winning international bestseller, The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century, has become a contemporary classic, establishing Ross as one of our most popular and acclaimed cultural historians. Listen to This, which takes its title from a beloved 2004 essay in which Ross describes his late-blooming discovery of pop music, showcases the best of his writing from more than a decade at The New Yorker. These pieces, dedicated to classical and popular artists alike, are at once erudite and lively. In a previously unpublished essay, Ross brilliantly retells hundreds of years of music history--from Renaissance dances to Led Zeppelin--through a few iconic bass lines of celebration and lament. He vibrantly sketches canonical composers such as Schubert, Verdi, and Brahms; gives us in-depth interviews with modern pop masters such as Bj rk and Radiohead; and introduces us to music students at a Newark high school and indie-rock hipsters in Beijing.

Whether his subject is Mozart or Bob Dylan, Ross shows how music expresses the full complexity of the human condition. Witty, passionate, and brimming with insight, Listen to This teaches us how to listen more closely.
Your Song Changed My Life: From Jimmy Page to St. Vincent, Smokey Robinson to Hozier, Thirty-five Beloved Artists on Their Journey and the Music That Inspired It
Your Song Changed My Life
From Jimmy Page to St. Vincent, Smokey Robinson to Hozier, Thirty-five Beloved Artists on Their Journey and the Music That Inspired It
Hardcover      ISBN: 0062344447

"Bob Boilen's book gets at something real and rare about the power of music."--New York Times Book Review

From the beloved host and creator of NPR's All Songs Considered and Tiny Desk Concerts comes an essential oral history of modern music, told in the voices of iconic and up-and-coming musicians, including Dave Grohl, Jimmy Page, Michael Stipe, Carrie Brownstein, Smokey Robinson, and Jeff Tweedy, among others--published in association with NPR Music.

Is there a unforgettable song that changed your life?

NPR's renowned music authority Bob Boilen posed this question to some of today's best-loved musical legends and rising stars. In Your Song Changed My Life, Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin), St. Vincent, Jonsi (Sigur Ros), Justin Vernon (Bon Iver), Cat Power, David Byrne (Talking Heads), Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Foo Fighters), Jeff Tweedy (Wilco), Jenny Lewis, Carrie Brownstein (Portlandia, Sleater-Kinney), Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens), Colin Meloy (The Decemberists), Trey Anastasio (Phish), Jackson Browne, Valerie June, Philip Glass, James Blake, and other artists reflect on pivotal moments that inspired their work.

For Wilco's Jeff Tweedy, it was discovering his sister's 45 of The Byrds' "Turn, Turn, Turn." A young St. Vincent's life changed the day a box of CDs literally fell off a delivery truck in front of her house. Cat Stevens was transformed when he heard John Lennon cover "Twist and Shout." These are the momentous yet unmarked events that have shaped these and many other musical talents, and ultimately the sound of modern music.

A diverse collection of personal experiences, both ordinary and extraordinary, Your Song Changed My Life illustrates the ways in which music is revived, restored, and revolutionized. It is also a testament to the power of music in our lives, and an inspiration for future artists and music lovers.

Amazing contributors include: Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin), Carrie Brownstein (Sleater-Kinney, Portlandia, Wild Flag), Smokey Robinson, David Byrne (Talking Heads), St. Vincent, Jeff Tweedy (Wilco), James Blake, Colin Meloy (The Decemberists), Trey Anastasio (Phish), Jenny Lewis (Rilo Kiley), Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Foo Fighters), Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens), Sturgill Simpson, Justin Vernon (Bon Iver), Cat Power, Jackson Browne, Michael Stipe (R.E.M.), Philip Glass, Jonsi (Sigur Ros), Hozier, Regina Carter, Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes, and others), Courtney Barnett, Chris Thile (Nickel Creek, Punch Brothers), Leon Bridges, Sharon Van Etten, and many more.

Blumenfeld's Dictionary of Musical Theater: Opera, Operetta, Musical Comedy
Blumenfeld's Dictionary of Musical Theater
Opera, Operetta, Musical Comedy
Paperback      ISBN: 0879103728

Have you heard of the first American musical, The Black Crook, which opened in 1866 and had fifteen revivals? Do you know Oscar Straus's hilarious parody of Wagner's Ring cycle, Die lustigen Nibelungen (The Merry Nibelungs)? Do you know who the Ricci brothers, the Piccinni family, Edmond Audran, David Braham, or Fran ois-Joseph Gossec were? Look them up in this remarkable, thoroughly researched, lively book. Packed with nearly 1 800 entries, this is a must-have research tool and handy reference for the theater and music lover, student, teacher, professional singer, director, and producer Meant as a supplement and companion to Blumenfeld's Dictionary of Acting and Show Business (Limelight, 2009), this unique dictionary is chock-full of information about all the various genres of musical theater; thumbnail plot summaries of works well-known and obscure; thumbnail biographies of composers and writers; and dance, theatrical, singing, and music terminology. Historical terms and foreign terms (with pronunciations) are included along with information on available recordings of many obscure pieces. Convenient lists of the works of Verdi, Puccini, Wagner, Gilbert and Sullivan, Sondheim, Rodgers and Hammerstein, and many others are provided.

Less Noise, More Soul: The Search for Balance in the Art, Technology and Commerce of Music
Less Noise, More Soul
The Search for Balance in the Art, Technology and Commerce of Music
Paperback      ISBN: 1617130982

(Book). The digital revolution has enabled the creation and distribution of music in ways previously unimagined. Paradoxically, it has also made possible better and better recordings of less and less substance. Artists, engineers, and producers have begun to raise questions about the balance between the profoundly human undertaking that is the creation of music and the ever-more-antiseptic means by which it is translated into recordings. Less Noise, More Soul: The Search for Balance in the Art, Technology, and Commerce of Music brings together original essays by a select group of industry professionals, many of them award winners, who share a wealth of experience, passion, and insight into where popular music has been, where it currently finds itself, and where it's going. The book is designed to be a portable vehicle for generating discussion: not too long, and replete with the poignant, thought-provoking commentary of many "brand-name" players in the industry. Perfect for the office or the college classroom, Less Noise, More Soul will enhance the understanding of music as a medium and a business for students, artists, producers, and other industry professionals. Contributors include Bob Ludwig, Adam Ayan, Kenny Aronoff, Lydia Hutchinson, and more.