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Books that'll rock you

We rate the latest tune-related tomes, from the work of a passionate critic to a history of five especially melodic years in New York City

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Free Ride
Robert Levine
The status quo isn’t usually something that needs rigorous defending. But Levine risks being labeled a Luddite to make a good case that the devaluation of music and media — via pirated content and loosening copyright laws — is dismantling the culture industry as we know it. It’s an interesting read, even if you’ll never look at Google (and other supposedly benevolent tech titans) the same way again. B+Keith Staskiewicz

Love Goes to Buildings on Fire
Will Hermes
Longtime Rolling Stone and NPR contributor Hermes unpacks a stream of revelatory moments in the coolest five years of NYC’s musical history (1973 through 1977, which covers both the birth of punk and the roots of hip-hop) and also provides tertiary rock & roll details like the complete contents of a Greenwich Village head shop. AKyle Anderson

Rock and Roll Always Forgets
Chuck Eddy
Defying accepted music-critic wisdom for 25 years, Eddy thinks through seemingly indefensible positions with humor, logic, and passion. His gradual move from heavy metal/noise enthusiast to pop/country aficionado is both logical and exciting. Eddy’s achievement here is to make apparent artlessness artful and to make gut instinct work as an aesthetic. A-Ken Tucker