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PREMIUM

A Guide to Library Research in Music

Written for students at the undergraduate and graduate level, as well as for general learners, this is a necessary tool for those looking for guidance in finding music research.
PREMIUM

Can’t Slow Down: How 1984 Became Pop’s Blockbuster Year

Protracted dissections of events such as the Grammys may prove tedious, but pop fans with an appetite for nostalgia will find much to like.
PREMIUM

They Just Seem a Little Weird: How KISS, Cheap Trick, Aerosmith, and Starz Remade Rock and Roll

Devotees of Kiss, Aerosmith, Cheap Trick, and/or Starz, and they are legion, are going to lick this up. Rock this way.
PREMIUM

Beethoven: A Life in Nine Pieces

Music students and aficionados alike will appreciate this engaging and accessible portrait of the composer.
PREMIUM

This Is Bop: Jon Hendricks and the Art of Vocal Jazz

This evocative work conveys the challenges and successes Hendricks experienced and make for an affecting, well-rounded portrait of an underappreciated jazz artist who is ripe for rediscovery.
PREMIUM

Jagged Little Pill

Ardent Morissette fans and Broadway buffs will enjoy this peek behind the curtain.

Patti Smith on Patti Smith: Interviews and Encounters

An illuminating compilation and study of an American artistic treasure. This study is both a finely wrought biographical snapshot and an opportunity to sit in on conversations with one of the sharpest and most provocative minds of our time.
PREMIUM

Star Wars: The Triumph of Nerd Culture

A slight, unnecessary look at cultural divisions between a creator and his creations.
PREMIUM

Beethoven: A Political Artist in Revolutionary Times

Kinderman’s exhaustive scholarship and fluid style combine with up-to-date references to issues such as systemic repression and other provocative topics, which should resonate with both academics and informed general readers.
PREMIUM

Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics

Heartwarming and insightful in equal measure. For Parton fans.
PREMIUM

When Sunday Comes: Gospel Music in the Soul and Hip-Hop Eras

A multilensed view of a continually evolving and consistently vibrant art form. For gospel fans, music scholars, and scholars of African American history and culture generally.
PREMIUM

Sonic Boom: The Impossible Rise of Warner Bros. Records, from Hendrix to Fleetwood Mac to Madonna to Prince

Carlin’s spring-loaded narrative keeps the reader involved, and characterizing the empathetic side of some of the outsize personalities humanizes the Warner mythos. Record label books abound, but there has been little available about Warner itself or its sister companies since Warren Zanes’s Revolutions in Sound; Carlin’s title admirably fills that gap.
PREMIUM

The Way of Bach: Three Years with the Man, the Music, and the Piano

For the serious music lover and anyone seeking answers to some essential questions about art and music.

The South Never Plays Itself: A Film Buff’s Journey Through the South on Screen

Recommended for film buffs and those interested in a reflective, nonacademic examination of race and film.
PREMIUM

The Beatles 101: A Pocket Guide in 101 Moments, Songs, People and Places

Though not writing for aficionados who undoubtedly have pored over the hundreds of detailed books and firsthand accounts about the Beatles, Reilly offers a breezy, heavily illustrated romp through Beatles history for listeners who might not know much about the iconic group.
PREMIUM

The Meaning of Mariah Carey

A must-read for Carey’s fans, though music lovers of all genres will also delight in this personal story.
PREMIUM

Grand

A perfect read for those who enjoyed Michelle Buteau’s Survival of the Thickest and Amy Poehler’s Yes, Please.

Singular Sensation: The Triumph of Broadway

Readers of this breezy, fun, and informative work are the beneficiaries of the rarefied theatrical air of Broadway inhabited by Riedel. An obligatory purchase for all theater collections.
PREMIUM

Woody Guthrie: An Intimate Life

Though sometimes unable to explain the chasm between Guthrie’s words and actions, the author offers a well-researched addition to the Guthrie bibliography for general readers that complements Joe Klein’s standard biography, Woody Guthrie: A Life.
PREMIUM

60 Stories About 30 Seconds: How I Got Away with Becoming a Pretty Big Commercial Director Without Losing My Soul (Or Maybe Just Part of It)

For film students and celebrity mavens alike.
PREMIUM

Emerald Street: A History of Hip Hop in Seattle

This enjoyable and encyclopedic treatment of a thriving and still-growing culture will appeal to listeners and scholars of Seattle hip-hop and the genre in general.
PREMIUM

Giacomo Meyerbeer: The Deliberately Forgotten Composer

Accessible and illuminating, this is required reading for anyone interested in opera and its complete history.
PREMIUM

The Sanity of Satire: Surviving Politics One Joke at a Time

Punch lines and favorite riffs, interspersed with a more academic discussion of political satire, all in about 175 pages before endnotes, make this an interesting but not overbearing choice for humor collections.
PREMIUM

Laura’s Ghost: Women Speak About Twin Peaks

Followers of the convoluted drama series will have an easier time following the conversation. While it’s easy to embrace Twin Peaks for its quirkiness, Stallings successfully centers the conversation on its darkest secrets. The work includes trigger warnings for sexual assault, sexual abuse, and domestic violence, as it embraces difficult topics that are sadly as relevant today as when the show first aired.
PREMIUM

Laughing To Keep from Dying: African American Satire in the Twenty-First Century

This scholarly analysis may find its audience in academic performing arts collections.

Masterpiece: America’s 50-Year-Old Love Affair with British Television Drama

The definitive guide for scholars and fans alike to all things Masterpiece and Mystery!
PREMIUM

Tumult! The Incredible Life and Music of Tina Turner

Students of popular music and Turner devotees who want to know what Tina is doing now will enjoy this well-researched volume.
PREMIUM

Shit, Actually: The Definitive, 100% Objective Guide to Modern Cinema

This irreverent look at film criticism will be popular among West’s many fans and may provide insight for readers grappling with liking flawed films.
PREMIUM

Bluegrass Ambassadors: The McLain Family Band in Appalachia and the World

Jenkins brings renewed focus to an important and influential, if possibly overlooked group from the heyday of bluegrass performance. One might wish for a more dispassionate gaze than his almost universal approbation of their musical contributions, but this is a small quibble in an excellent effort brimming with infectious joy, a signature of the McLain Family Band.
PREMIUM

Love Her Madly: Jim Morrison, Mary, and Me

Die-hard Morrison fans might enjoy this, but it’s a marginal addition for even the largest music or biography collection.
PREMIUM

Sax Appeal: Ivy Benson and Her All-Girls Band

A satisfying look at a trailblazer and noteworthy role model.
PREMIUM

Fast Forward, Play, and Rewind

It’s hard to say who this book is for, exactly, as the musical era of the late Sixties and early Seventies recedes further into the past. But there’s something more than nostalgia here: It’s documentation of a particular period of pop music, from a time whose documents are less than readily accessible. An appealing slice of pop music history for fans and researchers of the era.
PREMIUM

Cary Grant, the Making of a Hollywood Legend

An excellent portrait that emphasizes the man more than the movie star.
PREMIUM

Cary Grant: A Brilliant Disguise

Combining existing research with voluminous new interviews and access to Grant’s personal papers, this is an informative and entertaining biography of a legendary actor.

PREMIUM

Alright, Alright, Alright: An Oral History of Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused

Linklater devotees, those who love Dazed and Confused, and anyone interested in 1990s indie film will appreciate Maerz’s detailed tribute.

PREMIUM

Survival of the Thickest: Essays

This wonderful offering can be read in one sitting or savored one essay at a time. Fans of Ali Wong or Mindy Kaling will appreciate this heartbreaking and hopeful volume.

PREMIUM

Confess: The Autobiography

Rock fans will naturally enjoy this book, but it is also a significant contribution to LGBTQIA+ nonfiction.

Fright Favorites: 31 Movies To Haunt Your Halloween and Beyond

Skal wrings new life from the undead in this loving tribute to horror cinema. Movie buffs will appreciate his depth of knowledge, and fright fans will treasure this gorgeous look at the ghoulish.
PREMIUM

Starring Women: Celebrity, Patriarchy, and American Theater, 1790-1850

Lampert offers a fascinating glimpse into the complicated history of 19th-century theater and the role of female performers in changing the dynamic of women’s place in society. For libraries with large gender studies and performing arts collections.
PREMIUM

Is This Anything?

Despite the self-deprecating title, Seinfeld has assembled his greatest hits. Readers will delight in seeing how he mined a shifting landscape of inane commercial products, societal norms, and myriad pet peeves for laughs. Just don’t expect him to reveal how all this magic works.
PREMIUM

Time Between: My Life as a Byrd, Burrito Brother, and Beyond

A pleasant memoir that offers an inside look at the history of folk and country rock from one of its founders.
PREMIUM

Leonard Cohen, Untold Stories: The Early Years

This book offers a seductive blend of sometimes contradictory insights into Cohen but will be sought after only by his most devoted fans.

The Nolan Variations: The Movies, Mysteries, and Marvels of Christopher Nolan

For the foreseeable future, this is the definitive word on Nolan and a must for film buffs.
PREMIUM

I Don’t Like the Blues: Race, Place, and the Backbeat of Black Life

Foster’s thoughtful and well-researched look at race and the blues via an exploration of a distressed and declining Southern rural town will be useful to music and sociology academics.
PREMIUM

She Come by It Natural: Dolly Parton and the Women Who Lived Her Songs

A thoughtful musing on the significance of Parton’s work and success, and those she inspires.
PREMIUM

Unlikely Angel: The Songs of Dolly Parton

A persuasive argument for taking Dolly Parton seriously as an artist. For folk and country music scholars, musicians, and fans.
PREMIUM

Dance We Do: A Poet Explores Black Dance

Of interest to those familiar with Shange’s written work, and generally to dancers and dance historians.
PREMIUM

A Sound Mind: How I Fell in Love with Classical Music (and Decided To Rewrite Its Entire History)

An excellent guide for anyone interested in expanding their musical horizons.
PREMIUM

Amplified: A Design History of the Electric Guitar

Acknowledging the significant role guitar historian Tony Bacon has played in this arena through his more popularly oriented publications, Atkinson’s more academic contribution to the literature is decidedly welcome. His rigorous scholarship and clear affection for the subject shine.
PREMIUM

Whose Blues? Facing Up to Race and the Future of the Music

Extremely knowledgeable but a bit overly academic, Gussow ably details the African American core of the blues and the shifting racial dynamics that have made the music so compelling to white Americans and blues fans in other cultures. Blues scholars will find the book illuminating.
PREMIUM

The Butterfly Effect: How Kendrick Lamar Ignited the Soul of Black America

Fans will likely devour this title despite its problems, and the work has crossover appeal to young adult readers, who will be stirred by Lamar’s professional and personal journey. [See Prepub Alert, 4/15/20.]
PREMIUM

Composers: Their Lives and Works

There’s little new here; readers will find the same information covered in similar texts. Still, for nonmusically trained readers, this is an aesthetically pleasing introduction to Western classical music.

150 Glimpses of the Beatles

Brown presents a fresh take on a seemingly inexhaustible subject
PREMIUM

Sun Ra’s Chicago: Afrofuturism and the City

Not the launching point for an introduction to the life of Sun Ra, but rather a deeper dive into the city life and utopian vision informing his work and philosophy, emphasizing that (Urban) Space Is the Place. Recommended for academic libraries.

Do You Feel Like I Do?

Entertaining and rousing, on the stage and now on the page, Frampton Comes Alive.

PREMIUM

Heart Full of Rhythm: The Big Band Years of Louis Armstrong

Though sometimes overly enthusiastic about Armstrong and presenting more detail than most general readers need, Riccardi produces a meticulously researched but readable account that jazz fans will embrace as a standard work about the iconic trumpeter. [See Q&A, p. 69.]
PREMIUM

The Voyages of Star Trek: A Mirror on American Society Through Time

Socially conscious fans will appreciate this study, which shows a real affection for its subject; however, skeptics may question the conclusions it draws.

Looking To Get Lost: Adventures in Music and Writing

A wide-ranging vision and appreciation of American musical creativity from a writer who is himself an essential voice.
PREMIUM

Right Place, Right Time: The Life of a Rock & Roll Photographer

Rock fans will devour this narrative and find its “you are there” style eminently palpable.
PREMIUM

This Thing Called Life: Prince’s Odyssey, On and Off the Record

Karlen’s writing is too often barely coherent. Even devoted fans should skip.
PREMIUM

Film and the Anarchist Imagination

For film scholars and those interested in anarchism and other revolutionary movements.
PREMIUM

Who Is Alex Trebek? A Biography

With Trebek’s public battle with pancreatic cancer, it’s hard not to ascribe a eulogistic tone to this work. Nevertheless, Rogak’s work is a well-crafted biography that will especially appeal to Jeopardy! fans.
PREMIUM

Constant Comedy: How I Started Comedy Central and Lost My Sense of Humor

Bell acknowledges that he’s taken liberties, but his unexpectedly gripping account of the early 1990s cable television scene makes for compelling reading.

Me and Sister Bobbie: True Tales of the Family Band

Country fans, especially Willie Nelson devotees, will devour this down-to-earth yet inspiring account of an unbreakable bond between brother and sister. [See Prepub Alert, 4/1/20.]
PREMIUM

Jazz: Race and Social Change (1870–2019)

Great for readers who have a basic knowledge of American history and seek to deepen that knowledge through the incorporation of jazz history.
PREMIUM

On the Record: Music Journalists on Their Lives, Craft, and Careers

There’s much to ponder here for a variety of readers, from nostalgia buffs to those seeking exciting new discoveries.
PREMIUM

Sweet Dreams: The Story of the New Romantics

Strongly recommended for fans of the era’s music and those interested in pop culture history.
PREMIUM

Limelight: Rush in the ’80s

Popoff’s treasure trove of enlightening and entertaining glimpses into the workings of three complex individuals combined into a cohesive unit will appeal to anyone with even a casual interest in Rush. One misses some of the familial and folksy connections in volume one, but readers will eagerly await the conclusion of this impressive endeavor.
PREMIUM

But What I Really Want To Do Is Direct: Lessons from a Life Behind the Camera

An enjoyable memoir that offers lessons on filmmaking, what counts as success in Hollywood, and the magic of film.

Made Men: The Story of Goodfellas

A must for any fan of Goodfellas, Scorsese, or movies in general. [See “Turn the Page,” p. 18.]
PREMIUM

Because He’s Jeff Goldblum: The Movies, Memes, and Meaning of Hollywood’s Most Enigmatic Actor

Goldblum fans will appreciate this glowing portrait that also analyzes the actor’s appeal.
PREMIUM

Nobody Ever Asked Me About the Girls: Women, Music and Fame

An intriguing (and occasionally snarky) look at the lives, loves, and off-stage personas of well-known women soloists and band members. With the increased visibility of women in entertainment generally, and music specifically, this title will find an audience in most libraries.
PREMIUM

A Book About the Film Monty Python’s the Meaning of Life: All the References from Americans to Zulu Nation

Larsen teeters between exhaustive and exhausting in this comprehensive approach to drawing meaning from The Meaning of Life.
PREMIUM

Murder and the Movies

Thomson leads readers on a meandering path, never successfully reaching a conclusion. However, the journey isn’t unpleasant and Thomson is a reservoir of film knowledge.
PREMIUM

Lyrics of My Life: My Journey with Family, HIV, and Reality TV

Look elsewhere for finely crafted prose. Look here for, at times brutal, honesty about a life still being lived

Glitter Up the Dark: How Pop Music Broke the Binary

Geffen’s clear love and deep knowledge of the subject, along with insightful historical and critical arguments about the intertwining of gender and music, make this a deliciously necessary read for anyone interested in either pop culture or gender studies.

Wagnerism: Art and Politics in the Shadow of Music

With this multifaceted jewel of a book, Ross has produced a monumental study of Wagner’s legacy. Eighteen out of 18 anvils.
PREMIUM

The House That Rock Built: How It Took Time, Money, Music Moguls, Corporate Types, Politicians, Media, Artists, and Fans To Bring the Rock Hall to Cleveland

This informative and entertaining read will likely become the definitive volume on this important cultural center’s formation, and is a worthy companion to stand beside Nick Talevski’s useful if dated The Unofficial Encyclopedia of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
PREMIUM

Beethoven, a Life

Detailed and engaging, this fitting tribute to the iconic composer will enrich anyone’s enjoyment and appreciation of his great music.

Wild Thing: The Short, Spellbinding Life of Jimi Hendrix

There will be much interest in all things Hendrix on the 50th anniversary of his death this September. As his chronicler, Norman is, most definitely, experienced. Essential for music collections and anyone interested in Hendrix or music of the 1960s. [See Prepub Alert, 4/15/20.]
PREMIUM

My Life in the Purple Kingdom

This page-turning memoir, while focusing on the artist’s early days and ignoring the past 30 years of his life, will appeal to BrownMark’s fans and general music enthusiasts.
PREMIUM

American Utopia

Whether or not readers are fans of Byrne, they’ll enjoy this colorful and playful presentation.
PREMIUM

Memphis Mayhem: A Story of the Music That Shook Up the World

This quick romp through Memphis music from a racial perspective will complement Robert Gordon’s books, as well as James Dickerson’s Goin’ Back to Memphis.
PREMIUM

The Baddest Bitch in the Room

An enlightening memoir about self-discovery, embracing one’s heritage, and finding success.
PREMIUM

Fangirls: Scenes From Modern Music Culture

Anyone who has wondered why someone would bid thousands for a wad of used chewing gum or collect a closetful of an idol’s clothing will come away with greater understanding. May fit a niche for broad collections.

Working on a Song: The Lyrics of Hadestown

Fans of Hadestown, especially, will gain a better understanding of Mitchell’s lyricism, while theater lovers, generally, will appreciate insight into the dramaturgy. A captivating read.

PREMIUM

Stanley Kubrick: American Filmmaker

An engaging and well-researched primer to the work of a cinematic legend.
PREMIUM

Magic Time: A Memoir; Notes on Theatre & Other Entertainment

A pleasant yet unremarkable story of a well-lived life in the world of theater.
PREMIUM

Women Rapping Revolution: Hip Hop and Community Building in Detroit

An intriguing addition to the growing body of hip-hop literature. For listeners and fans and for scholars in musicology, cultural studies, and related disciplines.
PREMIUM

Always Young and Restless: My Life On and Off America’s #1 Daytime Drama

For those interested in show business memoirs, both Young and the Restless fans and those unfamiliar with the series.

Peggy Lee: A Century of Song

Those seeking the skinny on personal information, such as Lee’s four marriages and subsequent divorces, should look elsewhere, but those wanting to geek out on the subtleties of Lee’s jazz slides, phrasing, and vocal interpretive prowess will be richly rewarded.
PREMIUM

The Seven Lives of Alejandro Jodorowsky

Fans of the creative, disturbing, psychedelic, restless, and challenging Jodorowsky will find much to appreciate here, as will anyone curious about the radical and ragged edge of 1960s theatrical and cinematic experimentation.
PREMIUM

George Harrison on George Harrison: Interviews and Encounters

Harrison’s humanity, thoughtfulness, and humor are on rich display throughout, and a portrait of his entire life emerges. A fascinating addition to the voluminous catalog of Beatle-related literature.

Music Lessons

Stimulating, thought provoking, and sometimes just provoking, Wiseman’s ruminations on all things musical (and beyond) are a trip worth taking.
PREMIUM

The Meaning of Soul: Black Music and Resilience since the 1960s

A strong choice for libraries supporting African American studies or popular American music programs.
PREMIUM

Niche: A Memoir in Pastiche

Showing a prodigious awareness of the sweep of centuries of culture, this is an admirable conceit finely executed. It will have great appeal to anyone interested in new modes of autobiography as well as Anglophiles and devotees of Momus’s musical, literary, and artistic talents.
PREMIUM

The Films of Martin Scorsese: Gangsters, Greed, and Guilt

A clear, nuanced, and highly accessible primer to the films of one of America’s greatest directors.

PREMIUM

Seinfeld: A Cultural History

Lively writing, extensive research, and thoughtful analysis combine to make Arras’s book a must for those interested in taking a deeper dive into a show about nothing.

PREMIUM

Modern Family: The Untold Oral History of One of Television’s Groundbreaking Sitcoms

This definitive guide to the show answers every question a fan could pose, by quoting the people who created it.

Indian Sun: The Life and Music of Ravi Shankar

Compelling, informative, and the definitive book on this musical legend.
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