Friday, September 19, 2008

Music Books

Amanda Petrusich's new book, It Still Moves: Lost Songs Lost Highways, and the Search for the Next American Music, is sure to be a favorite for fans of good tunes. Amanda describes the book:

It Still Moves is a travelogue about “Americana” music, tracing the sound (and the notion) from its earliest incarnations (Delta blues, Appalachian folk) through its newer, more contemporary forms (everything from Cracker Barrel to Garth Brooks to Animal Collective). It seemed obvious to me from the start that this story was very much about the road – about movement and discovery and escape and what we think of when we think about America. Luckily for me, that allowed me to combine two of the world’s most freeing pastimes: driving and listening to records. I hope you’ll think of this mix as a road story, too – it’s got some of my all-time favorite tracks, as well as a few examples of the incredible ways in which Americana music has reinvented itself and endured.

The Musician's Guide to the Road: A Survival Handbook & All-Access Backstage Pass to Touring by Susan Voelz

From Amazon:
Product Description
What’s a tour bus like? What are the band members saying to each other on stage? Exactly how much sex, how many drugs, how much rock ‘n’ roll are we talking here? The Musician’s Guide to the Road answers all these questions and many, many, many more. Both a valuable primer designed to prepare young musicians for life on the road and an entertaining memoir of the touring life written by a seasoned musician, this is the book that reveals the scene behind the scenes. Chapters focus on preparing to tour, touring by van and bus, the day of the show, the afternoon before the show, the night of the show and the morning after, life on the road, and the end of the road.

1000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die by Tom Moon

From the Publisher:
The musical adventure of a lifetime. The most exciting book on music in years. A book of treasure, a book of discovery, a book to open your ears to new worlds of pleasure. Doing for music what Patricia Schultz—author of the phenomenal 1,000 Places to See Before You Die—does for travel, Tom Moon recommends 1,000 recordings guaranteed to give listeners the joy, the mystery, the revelation, the sheer fun of great music.

This is a book both broad and deep, drawing from the diverse worlds of classical, jazz, rock, pop, blues, country, folk, musicals, hip-hop, world, opera, soundtracks, and more. It's arranged alphabetically by artist to create the kind of unexpected juxtapositions that break down genre bias and broaden listeners’ horizons— it makes every listener a seeker, actively pursuing new artists and new sounds, and reconfirming the greatness of the classics. Flanking J. S. Bach and his six entries, for example, are the little-known R&B singer Baby Huey and the '80s Rastafarian hard-core punk band Bad Brains. Farther down the list: The Band, Samuel Barber, Cecelia Bartoli, Count Basie, and Afropop star Waldemer Bastos.

Each entry is passionately written, with expert listening notes, fascinating anecdotes, and the occasional perfect quote—"Your collection could be filled with nothing but music from Ray Charles," said Tom Waits, "and you'd have a completely balanced diet." Every entry identifies key tracks, additional works by the artist, and where to go next. And in the back, indexes and playlists for different moods and occasions.

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