Books

Our inspiration in creating this site are the books below. You might want to read this to get ideas, too.

Catch a train to the heart of rock ?n? roll with this essential study of the quintessential American art form. First published in 1975, Greil Marcus?s Mystery Train remains a benchmark study of rock ?n? roll and a classic in the field of music criticism. Focusing on six key artists?Robert Johnson, Harmonica Frank, Randy Newman, the Band, Sly Stone, and Elvis Presley?Marcus explores the evolution and impact of rock ?n? roll and its unique place in American culture. This fifth edition of Mystery Train includes an updated and rewritten Notes and Discographies section, exploring the evolution and continuing impact of the recordings featured in the book.

Rob is a pop music junkie who runs his own semi-failing record store. His girlfriend, Laura, has just left him for the guy upstairs, and Rob is both miserable and relieved. After all, could he have spent his life with someone who has a bad record collection? Rob seeks refuge in the company of the offbeat clerks at his store, who endlessly review their top five films; top five Elvis Costello songs; top five episodes of Cheers. Rob tries dating a singer, but maybe it’s just that he’s always wanted to sleep with someone who has a record contract. Then he sees Laura again. And Rob begins to think that life with kids, marriage, barbecues, and soft rock CDs might not be so bad.

Ann Patchett’s award winning, New York Times bestselling Bel Canto balances themes of love and crisis as disparate characters learn that music is their only common language. As in Patchett’s other novels, including Truth & Beauty and The Magician’s Assistant, the author’s lyrical prose and lucid imagination make Bel Canto a captivating story of strength and frailty, love and imprisonment, and an inspiring tale of transcendent romance.

The author of the international bestseller A Suitable Boy returns with a powerful and deeply romantic tale of two gifted musicians. Michael Holme is a violinist, a member of the successful Maggiore Quartet. He has long been haunted, though, by memories of the pianist he loved and left ten years earlier, Julia McNicholl. Now Julia, married and the mother of a small child, unexpectedly reenters his life and the romance flares up once more. Against the magical backdrop of Venice and Vienna, the two lovers confront the truth about themselves and their love, about the music that both unites and divides them, and about a devastating secret that Julia must finally reveal. With poetic, evocative writing and a brilliant portrait of the international music scene, An Equal Music confirms Vikram Seth as one of the world’s finest and most enticing writers.

The Force of Listening explores the role of listening at the intersection of contemporary art and activism, and asks what transformations listening might facilitate in the world. Written as a constructed dialogue, The Force of Listening draws from conversations with artists, activists and political thinkers which took place during 2013–14, in the aftermath of the wave of protests and occupations against austerity.
Artists Ayreen Anastas and Rene Gabri, media theorist Nick Couldry, philosopher Adriana Cavarero and members of Ultra-red and Precarious Workers Brigade as well as feminist consciousness-raising groups meet on the page to tackle questions of listening, attention and interconnection, collectivity, solidarity and resonance, the politics of the voice and the ethics of listening, the challenges of institutional frameworks and their reflections on the Occupy movement.

How Music Works is David Byrne’s incisive and enthusiastic look at the musical art form, from its very inceptions to the influences that shape it, whether acoustical, economic, social or technological. Utilizing his incomparable career and inspired collaborations with Talking Heads, Brian Eno, and many others, Byrne taps deeply into his lifetime of knowledge to explore the panoptic elements of music, how it shapes the human experience, and reveals the impetus behind how we create, consume, distribute, and enjoy the songs, symphonies, and rhythms that provide the backbeat of life. Byrne’s magnum opus uncovers ever-new and thrilling realizations about the redemptive liberation that music brings us all.