Books about music
ROCK AND ROLL IS HERE TO STAY: AN ANTHOLOGY
Edited by William McKeen, introduction by Peter Guralnick
McKeen, a professor of rock & roll (well, journalism, technically) and author of books on Bob Dylan and the Beatles, packs Frank Zappa’s testimony before Congress, Patti Smith’s poetry, William S. Burroughs’ interview with Devo, and much more into this 672-page ode to his favorite genre. Critics such as Greil Marcus, Robert Christgau, and the late Lester Bangs add insights along the way.
CAN’T YOU HEAR ME CALLIN’: THE LIFE OF BILL MONROE, FATHER OF BLUEGRASS
Richard D. Smith
Smith thins the fog of mystery around the bandleader, who quite literally invented bluegrass music (the Southern rural genre was named after his first band, Blue Grass Boys). Paying particular attention to Monroe’s personal life and relationships, the author finds a conflicted character: strong-willed in public but gentle and earnest in private.
THIRTY FRAMES PER SECOND: THE VISIONARY ART OF THE MUSIC VIDEO
Steve Reiss and Neil Feineman, foreword by Jeff Ayeroff, preface by Michael Stipe
With music-video makers like Spike Jonze and McG directing hit movies (Being John Malkovich and Charlie’s Angels, respectively), this thorough look at the three-minute art form arrives at an appropriate hour. The lush volume highlights 55 top video directors and captures nearly 400 music-video stills in an effort to show the medium’s impact on everything from advertising to fine art.
ANGEL ON MY SHOULDER: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY
In this tell-all — and we do mean all — Cole comes clean about her struggle with cocaine addiction, intra-family legal battles over her father’s estate, and increasingly odd encounters with an aging Frank Sinatra. Without shying away from the darkness, Cole also focuses on the light: her famous father, her music, and her faith, all of which, she says, helped her overcome the tumult.