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.
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.

Hijinx and Hearsay: Scenester Stories from Minnesota's Pop Life
Hijinx and Hearsay
Scenester Stories from Minnesota's Pop Life
Paperback      ISBN: 1681341328

In the summer of 1979, while disco was dying and new wave and punk were rising from the underground, two twenty-something guys were thrown together on a new music monthly ignobly called Sweet Potato. One had a Canon camera, the other a thirty-six-pound Royal typewriter. Over the next several years, the two chronicled the Minneapolis scene and the cultural landscape of the Twin Cities, covering some of the most influential artists, musicians, writers, comedians, and entertainers of the past forty years. They profiled legendary musicians from across the globe and across musical genres--Paul and Linda McCartney, Bob Marley, U2, James Brown, John Lee Hooker, Devo, and more--as well as homegrown talents ranging from Dylan and Prince to the Replacements and H sker D . They covered such disparate writers as William Burroughs and Dr. Seuss, and young, up-and-coming comedians like Jerry Seinfeld, Louie Anderson, and Lizz Winstead.
In Hijinx and Hearsay, writer Martin Keller and photographer Greg Helgeson are at it again, offering a delectable, fun, and fresh perspective through Helgeson's photography (much of it never seen before) and new stories and insights by Keller that shed fascinating light on a singular, influential era in popular culture in Minnesota.

Uproot: Travels in 21st-Century Music and Digital Culture
Uproot
Travels in 21st-Century Music and Digital Culture
Paperback      ISBN: 0374533423

In 2001 Jace Clayton was an unknown DJ who recorded a three-turntable, sixty-minute mix and put it online to share with friends. Within weeks, Gold Teeth Thief became an international calling card, whisking Clayton away to play a nightclub in Zagreb, a gallery in Osaka, a former brothel in Sao Paolo, and the American Museum of Natural History. Just as the music world made its fitful, uncertain transition from analog to digital, Clayton found himself on the front lines of creative upheavals of art production in the twenty-first century globalized world.

Uproot is a guided tour of this newly-opened cultural space. With humor, insight, and expertise, Clayton illuminates the connections between a Congolese hotel band and the indie-rock scene, Mexican rodeo teens and Israeli techno, and Whitney Houston and the robotic voices is rural Moroccan song, and offers an unparalleled understanding of music in the digital age.
The Natural Mystics: Marley, Tosh, and Wailer
The Natural Mystics
Marley, Tosh, and Wailer
Hardcover      ISBN: 0393081176

Over one dramatic decade, a trio of Trenchtown R&B crooners swapped their 1960s Brylcreem hairdos and two-tone suits for 1970s battle fatigues and dreadlocks to become the Wailers--one of the most influential groups in popular music. Colin Grant presents a lively history of this remarkable band from their upbringing in the brutal slums of Kingston to their first recordings and then international superstardom. With energetic prose and stunning, original research, Grant argues that these reggae stars offered three models for black men in the second half of the twentieth century: accommodate and succeed (Marley), fight and die (Tosh), or retreat and live (Livingston). Grant meets with Rastafarian elders, Obeah men (witch doctors), and other folk authorities as he attempts to unravel the mysteries of Jamaica's famously impenetrable culture. Much more than a top-flight music biography, The Natural Mystics offers a sophisticated understanding of Jamaican politics, heritage, race, and religion--a portrait of a seminal group during a period of exuberant cultural evolution.

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.

Mad Scenes and Exit Arias: The Death of the New York City Opera and the Future of Opera in America
Mad Scenes and Exit Arias
The Death of the New York City Opera and the Future of Opera in America
Paperback      ISBN: 1250230721

From the Wall Street Journal's opera critic, a wide-ranging narrative history of how and why the New York City Opera went bankrupt--and what it means for the future of the arts

In October 2013, the arts world was rocked by the news that the New York City Opera--"the people's opera"--had finally succumbed to financial hardship after 70 years in operation. The company had been a fixture on the national opera scene--as the populist antithesis of the grand Metropolitan Opera, a nurturing home for young American talent, and a place where new, lively ideas shook up a venerable art form. But NYCO's demise represented more than the loss of a cherished organization: it was a harbinger of massive upheaval in the performing arts--and a warning about how cultural institutions would need to change in order to survive.

Drawing on extensive research and reporting, Heidi Waleson, one of the foremost American opera critics, recounts the history of this scrappy company and reveals how, from the beginning, it precariously balanced an ambitious artistic program on fragile financial supports. Waleson also looks forward and considers some better-managed, more visionary opera companies that have taken City Opera's lessons to heart.

Above all, Mad Scenes and Exit Arias is a story of money, ego, changes in institutional identity, competing forces of populism and elitism, and the ongoing debate about the role of the arts in society. It serves as a detailed case study not only for an American arts organization, but also for the sustainability and management of nonprofit organizations across the country.
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

A Pure Drop: The Life of Jeff Buckley
A Pure Drop
The Life of Jeff Buckley
Hardcover      ISBN: 0879309547

It was Bono who said that "Jeff Buckley was a pure drop in an ocean of noise." During his 30 years, Jeff Scott Buckley lived many lives: suburban loner, music school misfit, and rock and roll gypsy. His real life was only revealed after his tragic death 10 years ago, when he was found in the Mississippi river just hours before he was due to start rehearsals for the follow-up album to Grace., In this startling new bio, Jeff Buckley's friends, peers, enemies, lovers, collaborators, and others all speak of the Jeff Buckley they knew - or, in some cases, thought they knew. The contents of his many personal letters are revealed for the first time. His struggle with writer's block is explored, as are his battles with the concept of stardom, his desire for escape, and his attempts to deal with the unavoidable legacy of his equally gifted father, Tim Buckley. Even 10 years after his death, Buckley is still influential - Radiohead and Coldplay readily confess to the debt they owe him.

The Rap Year Book: The Most Important Rap Song from Every Year Since 1979, Discussed, Debated, and Deconstructed
The Rap Year Book
The Most Important Rap Song from Every Year Since 1979, Discussed, Debated, and Deconstructed
Paperback      ISBN: 1419718185
New York Times Bestseller - Washington Post Bestseller - Pitchfork Book Club selection

The Rap Year Book takes readers on a journey that begins in 1979, widely regarded as the moment rap became recognized as part of the cultural and musical landscape, and comes right up to the present. Shea Serrano deftly pays homage to the most important song of each year. Serrano also examines the most important moments that surround the history and culture of rap music--from artists' backgrounds to issues of race, the rise of hip-hop, and the struggles among its major players--both personal and professional. Covering East Coast and West Coast, famous rapper feuds, chart toppers, and show stoppers, The Rap Year Book is an in-depth look at the most influential genre of music to come out of the last generation.

Complete with infographics, lyric maps, hilarious and informative footnotes, portraits of the artists, and short essays by other prominent music writers, The Rap Year Book is both a narrative and illustrated guide to the most iconic and influential rap songs ever created.