REVIEW: Written from the heart, Elton John’s “Love is the Cure” will confound those expecting to read about his musical career but in discussing AIDS and the work of foundations seeking to eradicate the disease, John has created a valuable document. Perplexing. That’s the word to describe Love is the Cure, the short book or […]
Reviews: Music Books
Music Book Reviews
MuseWire COLUMN: Joke book or important guide to the music industry? Author and compiler Jeffrey Weber believes it is both. One thing is certain: you will laugh, wince, howl, grimace, and laugh some more. Two musicians walk into a bar. One doesn’t order a drink. Hey, it could happen. If you smiled, this book (“You’ve […]
MuseWire REVIEW: Edward Kennedy ‘Duke’ Ellington’s music is not often discussed alongside the work of Igor Stravinsky, Bela Bartok, and Arnold Schoenberg, but Reed College professor David Schiff convincingly makes a case for comparing and contrasting the creativity of each of these composers. Gershwin, Ravel, Debussy, and Alban Berg show up, too. For music majors, […]
Music Industry Newswire COLUMN: When you hear the word ‘image’ you may think of a pretty picture or the manufactured persona of someone who is famous for being famous. But if you say ‘Baron Wolman image,’ suddenly you’re talking about beauty, truth, and iconographic permanence.
Music Industry Newswire COLUMN: Smoothly written and dynamic, Sean Wilentz’ book is full of insight, commentary, and historical perspective about songwriting’s greatest poet. Like his subject, the work is reflection and refraction of fact, fancy, and fable.
Music Industry Newswire COLUMN: Storytellers are to be cherished and Clark Terry should be on a pedestal for his thoroughly entertaining autobiography. Brimming with life, love, music, and great characters, this book is as much a history of the twentieth century as it is a history of his ninety years (and counting!) .
MuseWire COLUMN: Not a musician, yet a giant of jazz. Undiplomatic, but an ambassador of American culture. Often impolite, but always truthful. Unequaled, yet a champion of equality. And that just touches the surface of Norman Granz, producer of more music than one might think humanly possible. Social justice made great strides in the United […]
MuseWire COLUMN: You may think of spoken word recordings as esoteric or antiquated, but in Jacob Smith’s new book they have a different purpose: to illuminate the roots of today’s society. When NASA launched the Voyager missions during 1977, the two spacecraft contained gold-coated phonograph records and music from around the globe. Among the recordings: […]
REVIEW: From his smooth writing style to his commitment to interviewing nearly every possible source involved with the material, there’s a lot to like about Joseph Vogel’s new book on the King of Pop. In fact, considering the poor quality of much that has previously been churned out on this topic, I think a lot […]
REVIEW: Singer and professional vocal coach Teri Danz decided to put her own private lesson plan into a book with accompanying CD. The results cover less than fifty pages but singers will find something valuable on every page. You can sing, right? You hit all the notes just perfectly, you’re never short of breath, and […]
REVIEW: Music of the avant-garde is for those who are open to outrage, shock, conceptualized art, and boundary-pushing ideas. If you fit in that category, you will enjoy these tales of pioneers wrestling with the 1960s triumphs of their tragedies. Or perhaps it’s the other way around.
REVIEW: Noisemakers unite! Calling all anti-composers and radical music theorists! That was the idea of a group of wildly unpredictable academics and stars of the experimental music world back in “the sixties.” Cage, Oliveros, Neuhaus, Reich, Budd, Foss and dozens more appear in this collection of pieces originally published in the eleven unusual (and now […]
REVIEW: Back in the early 1990s, Randy Poe authored a book entitled “Music Publishing: A Songwriter’s Guide.” Several revisions, editions and rewrites later, Poe returned with “The New Songwriter’s Guide to Music Publishing” (Writer’s Digest Books, 157 pages, ISBN-13: 978-1582978048, $18.99) and I am here to tell you that it’s terrific, informative, helpful, and friendly. […]
MuseWire COLUMN: You cannot teach someone to write good song lyrics. That’s just how I feel. And yet, I kind of changed my mind after reading “The Art of Writing Great Lyrics” by Pamela Phillips Oland (Allworth Press, 260 pages, $18.95, ISBN 978-1-58115-093-3). First, she has the idea that a friendly attitude and a tell-all […]
MuseWire COLUMN: The title of this article is the same as the title of a book that should be owned by every songwriter and music publisher. That book is: “Music, Money and Success: The Insider’s Guide to Making Money in the Music Business,” Sixth Edition, by Jeffrey Brabec & Todd Brabec (Schirmer, $24.95, 524 pages, […]
COLUMN: The description on Amazon was interesting so I purchased “The Future of Music: Manifesto for the Digital Music Revolution” by David Kusek and Gerd Leonhard (Hal Leonard/Berklee Press, $16.95, ISBN: 978-0-87639-059-7), not realizing it was written in 2004 and released the following year. Sure, the publication date is on the site but my mistake […]
BOOK REVIEW: Punk meets metal, punk loses metal, punk gets metal. That is one of the themes of Steve Waksman’s “This Ain’t the Summer of Love” (University of California Press, ISBN 978-0-520-25717-7), a sometimes down ‘n’ dirty but always scholarly examination of the flashpoint where those two powerful rock music genres smash up against each […]