Check out our exciting new books on popular music. They include How music got free which is the intriguing study of digital music industry today, and In the all-night café in which Stuart David, co-founder of musical collective Belle and Sebastian, tells all about their early days. Enjoy!
How music got free : the end of an industry, the turn of the century, and the patient zero of piracy / Stephen Witt.
“Journalist Stephen Witt traces the secret history of digital music piracy, from the German audio engineers who invented the mp3, to a North Carolina compact-disc manufacturing plant where factory worker Dell Glover leaked nearly two thousand albums over the course of a decade, to the high-rises of midtown Manhattan where music executive Doug Morris cornered the global market on rap, and, finally, into the darkest recesses of the Internet. Through these interwoven narratives, Witt has written a thrilling book that depicts the moment in history when ordinary life became forever entwined with the world online — when, suddenly, all the music ever recorded was available for free. How Music Got Free isn’t just a story of the music industry–it’s a must-read history of the Internet itself.” (Syndetics summary)
The first collection of criticism by a living female rock critic / Jessica Hopper.
“Jessica Hopper’s music criticism has earned her a reputation as a firebrand, a keen observer and fearless critic not just of music but the culture around it. With this volume spanning from her punk fanzine roots to her landmark piece on R. Kelly’s past, The First Collection leaves no doubt why The New York Times has called Hopper’s work “influential.” Not merely a selection of two decades of Hopper’s most engaging, thoughtful, and humorous writing, this book documents the last 20 years of American music making and the shifting landscape of music consumption. Through this vastrange of album reviews, essays, columns, interviews, and oral histories, Hopper chronicles what it is to be truly obsessed with music.” (Syndetics summary)
Rockwiz decades : the greatest songs of our time / Toby Creswell.
“Rockwiz Decades is a comprehensive guide to, and documentation of, the best songs of each decade dating as far back as the 1950s. Author Toby Creswell reminds us of the great songs that the last 65 years have offered us, delving into the untold stories behind some of the best songs of all time_from Bob Dylan to Joan Baez, Pulp to Leonard Cohen, Pet Shop Boys to Beach Boys to Beyonce_no rolling stone is left unturned.” (Syndetics summary)
In the all-night café : a memoir of Belle and Sebastian’s formative year / Stuart David.
“”One afternoon in 1994, I had an idea.” So begins Stuart David’s charming, evocative memoir about the indie pop band Belle and Sebastian. Determined to make his living writing stories and songs, Stuart had spent several years scraping by on the dole in his small, industrial hometown. Then he had the fateful idea to learn bass guitar, and to head for Glasgow in search of likeminded artists. In the All-Night Café describes his fortuitous meeting with the group’s cofounder Stuart Murdoch in a course for unemployed musicians. It tells of their adventures in two early incarnations of Belle and Sebastian and culminates in the recording of their celebrated debut album, Tigermilk . This portrait of the group and its origins will resonate with anyone who has put together–or thought of putting together–a band.” (Syndetics summary)
Being Conchita : we are unstoppable / as told to Daniel Oliver Bachmann.
“With the song “Rise Like a Phoenix,” Thomas Neuwirth–better known to the world as Conchita Wurst–stormed to victory in 2014’s Eurovision Song Contest. The bearded drag queen’s winning words, “We are unity and we are unstoppable,” were a pointed riposte to overt Russian hostility and Eastern European homophobia, and a watershed moment for LGBT campaigners. Her victory stirred massive support right across the continent in the gay community and beyond, and Conchita’s inspirational book will undoubtedly attract that same support and goodwill. This is Conchita’s full story from rural childhood to recording artist, Gaultier Couture model and cultural icon.” (Syndetics summary)
The big midweek : life inside The Fall / Steve Hanley and Olivia Piekarski.
“The first insider’s account of life inside seminal British rock band, The Fall. Hanley’s story unfolds like a novel; from 1979 when he joined The Fall with his schoolmates Marc Riley and Craig Scanlon, up to and including an infamous on-stage fight.” (Syndetics summary)
Psychedelic bubble gum : Boyce & Hart, the Monkees, and turning mayhem into miracles / Bobby Hart with Glenn Ballantyne.
“From the man who wrote the songs that outsold the Beatles and the Rolling Stones in 1967-1968, comes the story of the first decades of his life in Hollywood and New York . Immerse yourself in Grammy, Golden Globe, and Academy Award nominated songwriter Bobby Hart’s world as he shares the story behind his success; from humble beginnings comes a musical goliath. Psychedelic Bubble Gum is a rollercoaster ride through the 1960s and 1970s during America’s whirlwind era of free speech, mysticism, and psychedelic pop culture , and, of course, rock ‘n’ roll.” (Syndetics summary)
Allen Klein : the man who bailed out the Beatles, made the Stones, and transformed rock & roll / Fred Goodman.
“The story of notorious manager Allen Klein, revealing new, behind-the-scenes details about some of the biggest rock bands in history Allen Klein was like no one the music industry had seen before. The hard-nosed business manager became infamous for allegedly catalyzing the Beatles’ breakup and robbing the Rolling Stones, but the truth is both more complex and more fascinating. As the manager of the Stones and then the Beatles–not to mention Sam Cooke, Donovan, the Kinks, and numerous other performers–he taught young soon-to-be legends how to be businessmen as well as rock stars.” (Syndetics summary)
Musical wit : quips and quotes for musicians and music lovers / with text contributed by Vicky Edwards ; illustrations by Kath Walker.
“Whether you’re a regular Rolling Stone or bananas about Beethoven, this cacophony of quips and quotes will have your ears ringing with laughter. Perfect for when you’ve hit too many bum notes and need a little harmony.” (Syndetics summary)
Nice work if you can get it : notes from a musician’s diary / Don Franks.
Tales from a NZ musician. Don has played at restaurants, dances, pubs, festivals, weddings and funerals. He’s taught music in schools, night classes, prisons, and to private students. He’s performed at protests and picket lines and recorded two albums of his protest songs. Don produces a weekly Access Radio programme of music and social commentary.
Jack! : celebrating Jack Body, composer / edited by Jennifer Shennan, Gillian Whitehead & Scilla Askew.
Internationally renowned composer and ethnomusicologist Jack Body is 70 — celebrate his birthday and unswerving commitment to New Zealand music with this beautiful volume. Featuring more than 120 contributions, Jack! is an astounding collection of memories, photos, paintings, art and music from friends and colleagues such as Vincent Ward, Slamet A Sjukur, Geoff Chapple, Martin Lodge, Tan Dun, Charles Te Ahukaramu Royal, Gao Ping, Ian Wedde, Gareth Farr, Budi Putra, Jose Evangelista and Richard Nunns. Woven between the stories is a transcript of Jack’s comprehensive Radio NZ ‘Composer of the Week’ interview with Elizabeth Kerr. A must for lovers of contemporary New Zealand music.