Book Reviews rss

Girl In A Girl Band (Rare Bird Books)

October 4, 2019

A compelling and enjoyable new book from former Dum Dum Girls bassist Malia James captures what life was like for her as an active touring musician, and serves as an interesting encapsulation of the dullness that goes into being a successful, internationally touring band.

Man In The Music: The Creative Life And Work Of Michael Jackson (Vintage Press)

Journalist Joseph Vogel’s superb examination of the creative life of Michael Jackson is greatly expanded and revised, offering a critical and non-judgmental look at one of the most polarizing and controversial pop stars of our time.

Texas Flood: The Inside Story of Stevie Ray Vaughan (St. Martin’s Press)

The first-ever in-depth biography of the legendary Texas blues-rock guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan is a rollercoaster ride through hard work, disappointments, addictions, and tragedy–yet his story, as tragic as it ends, is ultimately one of redemption and dedication to overcoming one’s demons.

Billie Holiday: The Last Interview And Other Conversations (Melville House)

Lisa Carver delves into the latest in Melville House’s fantastic The Last Interview series, a rather short but absolutely compelling historical artifacts from the doomed jazz vocalist Billie Holiday.

Kathy Acker: The Last Interview And Other Conversations (Melville House)

We welcome back our correspondent Lisa Carver, who gives us a fantastic take on one of the latest in Melville House’s series, The Last Interview, this one dedicated to the words and thoughts of performance artist and writer Kathy Acker.

No Encore!: Musicians Reveal Their Weirdest, Wildest, Most Embarrassing Gigs (Post Hill Press)

The life of a touring musician has its ups and its downs. The highs are often forgettable, while the lows are the stuff of legend. Music journalist Drew Fortune’s new book compiles 61 fantastic, hilarious, and occasionally thought-provoking stories from a vast array of musicians from all musical genres.

Serving The Servant: Remembering Kurt Cobain (Ecco Press)

Nirvana manager Danny Goldberg had a ringside seat as one of rock and roll’s most tumultuous bands redefined rock music and underground culture. He has a unique insight into the machinations of one of the best bands of all time. Unfortunately, this book doesn’t offer any, and feels like a missed opportunity.

Prince: The Last Interview And Other Conversations (Melville House)

The enigmatic and notoriously press-hostile Prince Rogers Nelson is the subject of an ongoing publishing series that collects a person of note’s final interview, as well as select conversations from that person’s career. Catty, mysterious, often comically combative, this volume is a fun look into a unique individual’s public thoughts.

Dreaming of Dylan: 115 Dreams About Bob (BMG Books)

Dreaming of Dylan: 115 Dreams About Bob is a fantastically enjoyable, often hilarious collection of dreams and fantasies involving one of America’s greatest living songwriters.

Comeback ’68 / Elvis: The Story of the Elvis Special (Meteor 17)

A fascinating and delightful picture book examines one of Elvis Presley’s career high points from the man who made it happen. It’s an enjoyable and fresh look into a well-told story.