Music History and Criticism +
The History of Gangster Rap: From Schoolly D to Kendrick Lamar
The History of Gangster Rap
From Schoolly D to Kendrick Lamar
Paperback      ISBN: 1419729152
The History of Gangster Rap is a deep dive into one of the most fascinating subgenres of any music category to date. Sixteen detailed chapters, organized chronologically, examine the evolution of gangster rap, its main players, and the culture that created this revolutionary music. From still-swirling conspiracy theories about the murders of Biggie and Tupac to the release of the 2015 film Straight Outta Compton, the era of gangster rap is one that fascinates music junkies and remains at the forefront of pop culture. Filled with interviews with key players such as Snoop Dogg, Ice-T, and dozens more, as well as sidebars, breakout bios of notorious characters, lists, charts, and more, The History of Gangster Rap is the be-all-end-all book that contextualizes the importance of gangster rap as a cultural phenomenon.
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.
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.

Roger Waters: The Man Behind the Wall
Roger Waters
The Man Behind the Wall
Hardcover      ISBN: 161713564x

(Book). To some, he is the face behind classic Pink Floyd. To others, he is the temperament behind some of the greatest albums of the rock era. And to others still, he is one of the most original songwriters of a generation that overflows with notable talent. To all, he is an enigma: a rock star who not only eschewed stardom but also spent much of his career railing against it. But to call Roger Waters a mass of contradictions is simply taking the easy way out. He is so much more than that. Roger Waters: The Man Behind the Wall is the first full biography of the author of The Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, and, of course, The Wall . It traces his life from war-torn suburbia to the multitude of wars he has fought since then with his bandmates, with his audience, and most of all with himself. Packed with insight and exclusive interviews with friends and associates, Roger Waters: The Man Behind the Wall dismantles the wall brick by brick, revealing the man who built it in all his glory.

Dylan Goes, Electric!: Newport, Seeger, Dylan, and the Night That Split the Sixties
Dylan Goes, Electric!
Newport, Seeger, Dylan, and the Night That Split the Sixties
Hardcover      ISBN: 0062366688

One of the music world's pre-eminent critics takes a fresh and much-needed look at the day Dylan "went electric" at the Newport Folk Festival, timed to coincide with the event's fiftieth anniversary.

On the evening of July 25, 1965, Bob Dylan took the stage at Newport Folk Festival, backed by an electric band, and roared into his new rock hit, Like a Rolling Stone. The audience of committed folk purists and political activists who had hailed him as their acoustic prophet reacted with a mix of shock, booing, and scattered cheers. It was the shot heard round the world--Dylan's declaration of musical independence, the end of the folk revival, and the birth of rock as the voice of a generation--and one of the defining moments in twentieth-century music.

In Dylan Goes Electric , Elijah Wald explores the cultural, political and historical context of this seminal event that embodies the transformative decade that was the sixties. Wald delves deep into the folk revival, the rise of rock, and the tensions between traditional and groundbreaking music to provide new insights into Dylan's artistic evolution, his special affinity to blues, his complex relationship to the folk establishment and his sometime mentor Pete Seeger, and the ways he reshaped popular music forever. Breaking new ground on a story we think we know, Dylan Goes Electric is a thoughtful, sharp appraisal of the controversial event at Newport and a nuanced, provocative, analysis of why it matters.

--Buzzfeed
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

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.
Got to Be Something Here: The Rise of the Minneapolis Sound
Got to Be Something Here
The Rise of the Minneapolis Sound
Hardcover      ISBN: 0816632332

Beginning in the year of Prince's birth, 1958, with the recording of Minnesota's first R&B record by a North Minneapolis band called the Big Ms, Got to Be Something Here traces the rise of that distinctive sound through two generations of political upheaval, rebellion, and artistic passion.

Funk and soul become a lens for exploring three decades of Minneapolis and St. Paul history as longtime music journalist Andrea Swensson takes us through the neighborhoods and venues, and the lives and times, that produced the Minneapolis Sound. Visit the Near North neighborhood where soul artist Wee Willie Walker, recording engineer David Hersk, and the Big Ms first put the Minneapolis Sound on record.

Across the Mississippi River in the historic Rondo district of St. Paul, the gospel-meets-R&B groups the Exciters and the Amazers take hold of a community that will soon be all but erased by the construction of I-94. From King Solomon's Mines to the Flame, from The Way in Near North to the First Avenue stage (then known as Sam's) where Prince would make a triumphant hometown return in 1981, Swensson traces the journeys of black artists who were hard-pressed to find venues and outlets for their music, struggling to cross the color line as they honed their sound.

And through it all, there's the music: blistering, sweltering, relentless funk, soul, and R&B from artists like Maurice McKinnies, Haze, Prophets of Peace, and The Family, who refused to be categorized and whose boundary-shattering approach set the stage for a young Prince Rogers Nelson and his peers Morris Day, Andr Cymone, Jimmy Jam, and Terry Lewis to launch their careers, and the Minneapolis Sound, into the stratosphere. A visit to Prince's Paisley Park and a conversation with the artist provide a rare glimpse into his world and an intimate sense of his relationship to his legacy and the music he and his friends crafted in their youth.

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.
Metallica
Metallica
Paperback      ISBN: 0879309709

More than any other publication, Guitar World magazine has followed Metallica's rise from underground phenomenon to mainstream metal giant. Guitar World Presents Metallica features every one of the facts and figures, interviews and stories about the band ever to have appeared in the magazine in one self-contained package. Presented in the chronological order in which they appeared in the magazine, the revealing interviews with band members James Hetfield, Kirk Hammett, Robert Trujillo, and Lars Ulrich - as well as former bassists Cliff Burton and Jason Newsted - tell the story of the boys from San Francisco who went on to become the metal men of the world. This newly updated and expanded edition features an in-depth 20th anniversary look back at the group's 1986 epic, Master of Puppets; a revealing article about late bassist Cliff Burton's last 24 hours, including one of his final interviews; as well as a monumental guitar lesson with lead guitarist Kirk Hammett, who examines the techniques and theoretical approach that have made him a hard rock legend. It's all right here in Guitar World Presents Metallica - the myths, the memories, the triumphs, and the tragedies of America's foremost heavy metal team.