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Thread: Reading suggestions

  1. #26
    Registered User Dave Hicks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reading suggestions

    The new bio of Levon Helm is pretty good - seems well-balanced. Some mando content, too, though not much bluegrass.

    https://www.nodepression.com/the-rea...nd-and-beyond/

    D.H.

  2. #27
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    Default Re: Reading suggestions

    Perfecting Sound Forever: An Aural History of Music - A fascinating look at the history of recording technology from wax cylinders through modern day digital recording. It's easy to say you "get" that the medium has an impact on the music, but for me at least, it took reading this book to truly grasp how much of everything we here was shaped by the technology to record, store, sell, and transmit it. David Byrne quotes extensively from it in his terriffic book, How Music Works, which I also highly recommend, even if you're not much of a Talking Heads fan. Yes, several chapters deal exclusively with the Heads, but the majority of the book is composed of Byrne's thoughts on music in general, including the experience of live music, a detailed breakdown of the ways record company's rob artists via recording contracts (and how to negotiate a contract that benefits the musician), models for self-distribution, and why certain music scenes succeed asnd others fizzle out.

    Love Goes To Buildings on Fire: Five Years In New York That Changed Music Forever - An incredible book covering everything from the birth of punk, glam, Latin jazz, disco, hip-hop, free jazz, modern classical (okay...basically Phillip Glass), and Springsteen. The book also functions as a highly detailed look at NYC during some of its grittiest years. I've read a ton about the '70's NYC punk scene and while other books dig a bit deeper into that scene, none of them quite conveyed the sense of what it was like to be living in mid- and lower Manhattan back then. It's not just an amazing book covering the genesis of several major styles of music, it's also an engrossing bit of history.

    I'll also second Mandocrucian's recommendation of White Bicycles. My only issue with it is that it's too short. There are so many great first-hand stories in there about everyone from Pink Floyd to Nick Drake to Reverend Gary Davis.

    Warren Zane's Tom Petty bio is absolutely killer. IMO, Petty was America's greatest rock artist. Some wrote better albums, some wrote deeper lyrics, but no other American rocker managed to write more songs that were sharper, catchier, smarter, and have become more deeply embedded fixtures in rock and pop music than Petty. IMO he's that one guy who everyone from sixty-something boomers to teens just picking up a guitar absolutely love. A buddy of mine who has been in and out of punk bnds his whole life told me, after Petty's death, "You haven't lived until you've played "American Girl" on stage with a full band." Turns out that behind the perpetually stoned grin and the slow drawl he was also a ferociously competitve guy, a canny and cold-blooded businessman, and a guy who worked as hard as anyone in rock history to make songs that seemed like they were created effortlessly. Two years on and I still can't believe we live in a world without Tom Petty.

  3. #28

    Default Re: Reading suggestions

    Kentucky Traveller by Ricky Skaggs and The Bill Monroe Reader are a decent enough read. Satan is real gets my vote as well.

  4. #29
    Isolated enthusiast Caleb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reading suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Orr View Post
    Perfecting Sound Forever: An Aural History of Music - A fascinating look at the history of recording technology from wax cylinders through modern day digital recording. It's easy to say you "get" that the medium has an impact on the music, but for me at least, it took reading this book to truly grasp how much of everything we here was shaped by the technology to record, store, sell, and transmit it. David Byrne quotes extensively from it in his terriffic book, How Music Works, which I also highly recommend, even if you're not much of a Talking Heads fan. Yes, several chapters deal exclusively with the Heads, but the majority of the book is composed of Byrne's thoughts on music in general, including the experience of live music, a detailed breakdown of the ways record company's rob artists via recording contracts (and how to negotiate a contract that benefits the musician), models for self-distribution, and why certain music scenes succeed asnd others fizzle out.

    Love Goes To Buildings on Fire: Five Years In New York That Changed Music Forever - An incredible book covering everything from the birth of punk, glam, Latin jazz, disco, hip-hop, free jazz, modern classical (okay...basically Phillip Glass), and Springsteen. The book also functions as a highly detailed look at NYC during some of its grittiest years. I've read a ton about the '70's NYC punk scene and while other books dig a bit deeper into that scene, none of them quite conveyed the sense of what it was like to be living in mid- and lower Manhattan back then. It's not just an amazing book covering the genesis of several major styles of music, it's also an engrossing bit of history.

    I'll also second Mandocrucian's recommendation of White Bicycles. My only issue with it is that it's too short. There are so many great first-hand stories in there about everyone from Pink Floyd to Nick Drake to Reverend Gary Davis.

    Warren Zane's Tom Petty bio is absolutely killer. IMO, Petty was America's greatest rock artist. Some wrote better albums, some wrote deeper lyrics, but no other American rocker managed to write more songs that were sharper, catchier, smarter, and have become more deeply embedded fixtures in rock and pop music than Petty. IMO he's that one guy who everyone from sixty-something boomers to teens just picking up a guitar absolutely love. A buddy of mine who has been in and out of punk bnds his whole life told me, after Petty's death, "You haven't lived until you've played "American Girl" on stage with a full band." Turns out that behind the perpetually stoned grin and the slow drawl he was also a ferociously competitve guy, a canny and cold-blooded businessman, and a guy who worked as hard as anyone in rock history to make songs that seemed like they were created effortlessly. Two years on and I still can't believe we live in a world without Tom Petty.
    I want to read the Petty book at some point. Back in the summer I decided to go through Petty’s entire catalog from start to finish. Of course the hits were great, but I found some absolute gems buried there, as well as a few songs that just sounded thrown together in the studio. But for the most part it’s a very impressive body of work. Listening in order, I was particularly struck by the jump in quality (sound and songs) when Jeff Lynne came on board as producer.
    ...

  5. #30
    Administrator Mandolin Cafe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reading suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandolin Cafe View Post
    True Adventures with the King of Bluegrass, Jimmy Martin is another highly entertaining book worth the time. Another of those you can't make up stuff like this. This book will make you either cry or have you in stitches, or both.

    True Adventures with the King of Bluegrass: Jimmy Martin
    Happens to be the anniversary of the publication of this book today. Tempted to re-read this one it's so good.

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