Biography & Autobiography

Johnny Marr - The Smiths & the Art of Gunslinging | ,

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The shimmering, muscular guitar pop of The Smiths shone like a beacon through the eighties as they took up the mantle of the best British band since The Beatles. Their unparalleled musicality inspired a generation of popular bands including Oasis, the Stone Roses and Radiohead. Johnny Marr was the genius behind that revolutionary sound. Manchester-born Marr has proved to be a gun-slinger without equal, a guitarist who rode the longest highways to find the most thrilling sounds and who built the gilt-edged frames in which the lyrical portraits of co-writer Morrissey sat so perfectly. Whilst he may well be remembered forever for the haunting intro to ‘How Soon Is Now?’ Marr has not slowed down creatively, inspiring a generation of younger listeners through his work with The Cribs, and even working with Hans Zimmer on the stunning soundtrack to the critically-acclaimed blockbuster Inception. He remains as influential and important as ever - a true guitar hero. Filled with insight and musical lore, The Smiths & the Art of Gun-Slinging traces the incredible story of how the son of Irish immigrants rose to become the iconic architect of a new sound for British guitar music..

Music

The New Guitarscape in Critical Theory, Cultural Practice and Musical Performance | Kevin Dawe

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In The New Guitarscape, Kevin Dawe argues for a re-assessment of guitar studies in the light of more recent musical, social, cultural and technological developments that have taken place around the instrument. The author considers that a detailed study of the guitar in both contemporary and cross-cultural perspectives is now absolutely essential and that such a study must also include discussion of a wide range of theoretical issues, literature, musical cultures and technologies as they come to bear upon the instrument. Dawe presents a synthesis of previous work on the guitar, but also expands the terms by which the guitar might be studied. Moreover, in order to understand the properties and potential of the guitar as an agent of music, culture and society, the author draws from studies in science and technology, design theory, material culture, cognition, sensual culture, gender and sexuality, power and agency, ethnography (real and virtual) and globalization. Dawe presents the guitar as an instrument of scientific investigation and part of the technology of globalization, created and disseminated through corporate culture and cottage industry, held close to the body but taken away from the body in cyberspace, and involved in an enormous variety of cultural interactions and political exchanges in many different contexts around the world. In an effort to understand the significance and meaning of the guitar in the lives of those who may be seen to be closest to it, as well as providing a critically-informed discussion of various approaches to guitar performance, technologies and techniques, the book includes discussion of the work of a wide range of guitarists, including Robert Fripp, Kamala Shankar, Newton Faulkner, Lionel Loueke, Sharon Isbin, Steve Vai, Bob Brozman, Kaki King, Fred Frith, John 5, Jennifer Batten, Guthrie Govan, Dominic Frasca, I Wayan Balawan, Vicki Genfan and Hasan Cihat ter..

Music

I Swear I Was There - Sex Pistols, Manchester and the Gig that Changed the World | David Nolan

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'A f**king great book' PETER HOOK, JOY DIVISION 'A fascinating insight into a gig that really did change the world' ROCKSOUND On 4 June 1976, four young men took to the tiny stage of the Lesser Free Trade Hall in Manchester. The noise they made changed everything... The NME named it as the most important gig of all time. When the Sex Pistols played Manchester in '76 they set off a series of musical detonations that are still being felt today. Despite thousands claiming they were in attendance, only a handful of people were actually there – but those that were went on to form bands including The Smiths, Buzzcocks, Joy Division, New Order and The Fall. They kick-started the Manchester music scene, created Factory Records and laid the foundations for the world-famous Haçienda nightclub. Forty years on, music journalist David Nolan tells the true story of that legendary gig, plus the Pistols' follow up performance and the band's first ever TV appearance at Manchester's Granada TV a few weeks later. The question has truly become one of rock 'n' roll's greatest mysteries: Who really saw the Sex Pistols at the Lesser Free Trade Hall in 1976? So how does David Nolan finally solve it? By trying to track down the whole audience! In an updated edition comprised of scores of exclusive, extensive interviews with key players and audience members, and featuring previously unpublished photos, I Swear I Was There is the true story of the electrifying gig that changed the music scene forever. 'The gig that truly heralded the punk revolution. Who was there? David Nolan should know, he wrote a bloody book about it! Here he separates fact from fiction' NME 'Excellent, in-depth study...Hilarious eyewitness testimonies' UNCUT 'One of the greatest rock stories ever told' GQ.

Fiction

I, etcetera | Susan Sontag

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In eight stories, this singular collection of short fiction written over the course of ten years explores the terrain of modern urban life. In reflective, telegraphic prose, Susan Sontag confronts the reader with exposed workings of an impassioned intellect in narratives seamed with many of the themes of her essays—the nature of knowing, our relationship with the past, and the future in an alienated present..

Music

Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs | Eric Eidelstein

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The Suburbs is an incredibly sentimental and nostalgic album, which generally moved critics but was jarring to others. But it also made a heavy impact on fans and – to the surprise of many – won Album of the Year at the 2011 Grammy Awards. This immensely visceral album triggers a sincere celebration of not formative years spent in a cookie-cutter development, but of feeling self-important, immortal, and desperate to escape. It examines youth and amplifies an innate sense of longing and remembrance. Eric Eidelstein's The Suburbs explores this weird, utopic recollection of youth by comparing the album to suburban scenes in film and television, such as Blue Velvet, Mad Men, The Americans, and Spike Jonze's Scenes from the Suburbs. Through the close examination of film and televised depictions of the suburbs, both past and present, Eidelstein delves into the societal factors and artistic depictions that make the suburbs such a fascinating cultural construct, and uncovers why the album creates such a relatable and universal sense of reminiscence..

Music

Eddie Trunk's Essential Hard Rock and Heavy Metal | Eddie Trunk

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“Eddie Trunk is one of the greatest true rock-and-roll fans I’ve ever met. He hears it, sees it from all angles, with an unusually unbiased point of view.” —Slash “Eddie’s a true flag-waving defender of all things rock.” —Bret Michaels “Eddie’s name should be spelled M-E-T-A-L. All of us should be thanking him because he has kept this scene alive for everyone.” —Ronnie James Dio In the much-anticipated sequel to the bestselling Eddie Trunk’s Essential Hard Rock and Heavy Metal, Trunk picks up where he left off by featuring 35 new bands, both legendary and forgotten, and sharing his passion for all things metal. Complete with his favorite playlists, band discographies, memorabilia, trivia, and more than 200 color photographs, this new book combines brief band histories with Trunk’s unique personal experiences and anecdotes in a must-read for all fans of rock and roll. Featuring a diverse lineup, from Marilyn Manson and Ace Frehley to Lita Ford and Whitesnake, Volume 2 salutes all those who are ready to rock!.

History

Twelve Years a Slave | Solomon Northup

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Kidnapped into slavery in 1841, Northup spent 12 years in captivity. This autobiographical memoir represents an exceptionally detailed and accurate description of slave life and plantation society. 7 illustrations. Index..

Biography & Autobiography

Kanye West Owes Me $300 | Jensen Karp

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“Kanye West Owes Me $300 might be the funniest rap memoir ever.” –LA Weekly After Vanilla Ice, but before Eminem, there was "Hot Karl," the Jewish kid from the L.A. suburbs who became a rap battling legend—and then almost became a star. When 12-year old Jensen Karp got his first taste of rapping for crowds at his friend's bar mitzvah in 1991, little did he know that he was taking his first step on a crazy journey—one that would end with a failed million-dollar recording and publishing deal with Interscope Records when he was only 19. Now, in Kanye West Owes Me $300, Karp finally tells the true story of his wild ride as "Hot Karl," the most famous white rapper you've never heard of. On his way to (almost) celebrity, Jensen shares his childhood run-ins with rock-listening, southern California classmates, who tell him that "rap is for black people," and then recounts his record-breaking rap battling streak on popular radio contest “The Roll Call”—a run that caught the eye of a music industry hungry for new rap voices in the early ‘00s. He also introduces his rap partner, Rickye, who constitutes the second half of their group XTra Large; his supportive mom, who performs with him onstage; and the soon-to-be-household-name artists he records with, including Kanye West, Redman, Fabolous, Mya, and will.i.am. Finally, he reveals why his album never saw the light of day (two words: Slim Shady), the downward spiral he suffered after, and what he found instead of rap glory. Full of rollicking stories from his close brush with fame, Karp’s hilarious memoir is the ultimate fish-out-of-water story about a guy who follows an unlikely passion—trying to crack the rap game—despite what everyone else says. It’s 30 Rock for the rap set; 8 Mile for the suburbs; and quite the journey for a white kid from the valley..

Music

The Pro Guitarist's Handbook | Paul Lidel

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If you dream of having a career as a professional guitarist, then this book is for you! Paul Lidel, an Atlantic, Sony and Shrapnel recording artist, offers advice on playing the guitar and surviving in the music business. Covering everything from how to pass an audition and how the recording process works to theory, technique and playing great solos, this comprehensive guide is the ultimate reference for any aspiring professional guitarist. You'll be coming back to this useful reference book for years to come..

Music

The Ashgate Research Companion to Popular Musicology | Derek B. Scott

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The research presented in this volume is very recent, and the general approach is that of rethinking popular musicology: its purpose, its aims, and its methods. Contributors to the volume were asked to write something original and, at the same time, to provide an instructive example of a particular way of working and thinking. The essays have been written with a view to helping graduate students with research methodology and the application of relevant theoretical models. The team of contributors is an exceptionally strong one: it contains many of the pre-eminent academic figures involved in popular musicological research, and there is a spread of European, American, Asian, and Australasian scholars. The volume covers seven main themes: Film, Video and Multimedia; Technology and Studio Production; Gender and Sexuality; Identity and Ethnicity; Performance and Gesture; Reception and Scenes and The Music Industry and Globalization. The Ashgate Research Companion is designed to offer scholars and graduate students a comprehensive and authoritative state-of-the-art review of current research in a particular area. The companion's editor brings together a team of respected and experienced experts to write chapters on the key issues in their speciality, providing a comprehensive reference to the field..

Music

Dreaming the Beatles | Rob Sheffield

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Rob Sheffield, the Rolling Stone columnist and bestselling author of Love Is a Mix Tape offers an entertaining, unconventional look at the most popular band in history, the Beatles, exploring what they mean today and why they still matter so intensely to a generation that has never known a world without them. Dreaming the Beatles is not another biography of the Beatles, or a song-by-song analysis of the best of John and Paul. It isn’t another exposé about how they broke up. It isn’t a history of their gigs or their gear. It is a collection of essays telling the story of what this ubiquitous band means to a generation who grew up with the Beatles music on their parents’ stereos and their faces on T-shirts. What do the Beatles mean today? Why are they more famous and beloved now than ever? And why do they still matter so much to us, nearly fifty years after they broke up? As he did in his previous books, Love is a Mix Tape, Talking to Girls About Duran Duran, and Turn Around Bright Eyes, Sheffield focuses on the emotional connections we make to music. This time, he focuses on the biggest pop culture phenomenon of all time—The Beatles. In his singular voice, he explores what the Beatles mean today, to fans who have learned to love them on their own terms and not just for the sake of nostalgia. Dreaming the Beatles tells the story of how four lads from Liverpool became the world’s biggest pop group, then broke up—but then somehow just kept getting bigger. At this point, their music doesn’t belong to the past—it belongs to right now. This book is a celebration of that music, showing why the Beatles remain the world’s favorite thing—and how they invented the future we’re all living in today..

Biography & Autobiography

Here's the Story | Maureen McCormick

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Marcia! Marcia! Marcia! Marcia Brady, eldest daughter on television's The Brady Bunch, had it all—style, looks, boys, brains, and talent. No wonder her younger sister Jan was jealous! For countless adolescents across America who came of age in the early 1970s, Marcia was the ideal American teenager. Girls wanted to be her. Boys wanted to date her. But what viewers didn't know about the always-sunny, perfect Marcia was that offscreen, her real-life counterpart, Maureen McCormick, the young actress who portrayed her, was living a very different—and not-so-wonderful—life. Now, for the very first time, Maureen tells the shocking and inspirational true story of the beloved teen generations have invited into their living rooms—and the woman she became. In Here's the Story, Maureen takes us behind the scenes of America's favorite television family, the Bradys. With poignancy and candor, she reveals the lifelong friendships, the hurtful jealousies, the offscreen romance, the loving support her television family provided during a life-or-death moment, and the inconsolable loss of a man who had been a second father. But The Brady Bunch was only the beginning. Haunted by the perfection of her television alter ego, Maureen landed on the dark side, caught up in a fast-paced, drug-fueled, star-studded Hollywood existence that ultimately led to the biggest battle of her life. Moving from drug dens on Wonderland Avenue to wild parties at the Playboy mansion and exotic escapades on the beaches of Hawaii, this candid, hard-hitting memoir exposes a side of a beloved pop-culture icon the paparazzi missed. Yet it is also a story of remarkable success. After kicking her drug habit, Maureen battled depression, reconnected with her mother, whom she nursed through the end of her life, and then found herself in a pitched battle for her family in which she ultimately triumphed. There is no question: Maureen McCormick is a survivor. After fifty years, she has finally learned what it means to love the person you are, insight that has brought her peace in a happy marriage and as a mother. Here's the Story is the empowering, engaging, shocking, and emotional tale of Maureen McCormick's courageous struggle over adversity and her lifelong battle to come to terms with the idea of perfection—and herself..