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Cathy Berberian: Pioneer of Contemporary Vocality

by Pamela Karantonis, Francesca Placanica & Anne Sivuoja-Kauppala

Cathy Berberian (1925-1983) was a vocal performance artist, singer and composer who pioneered a way of composing with (and listening to) the voice in the musical worlds of Europe, North America and beyond. As...


Garcia: An American Life

by Blair Jackson

He was there when Dylan went electric, when a generation danced naked at Woodstock, and when Ken Kesey started experimenting with acid. Jerry Garcia was one of the most gifted musicians of all time, and he was...


Season of the Witch: How the Occult Saved Rock and Roll

by Peter Bebergal

This epic cultural and historical odyssey unearths the full influence of occult traditions on rock and roll-from the Beatles to Black Sabbath-and shows how the marriage between mysticism and music changed our...


History of Rock 'n' Roll in Ten Songs

by Greil Marcus

Unlike all previous versions of rock 'n' roll history, this book omits almost every iconic performer and ignores the storied events and turning points that everyone knows. Instead, in a daring stroke, Greil...


The History of Classical Music for Beginners

by R. Ryan Endris & Joe Lee

Music history is nearly as old as human civilization itself, and while it has permeated the arts and popular culture for centuries, it still has this mystifying aura surrounding it. But fear not—it’s not...


On Highway 61: Music, Race, and the Evolution of Cultural Freedom

by Dennis Mcnally

On Highway 61 explores the historical context of the significant social dissent that was central to the cultural genesis of the sixties. The book is going to search for the deeper roots of American cultural...


Music, Travel, and Imperial Encounter in 19th-Century France: Musical Apprehensions

by Ruth Rosenberg

This book considers the activities and writings of early song collectors and proto-ethnomusicologists, memoirists, and other "musical travelers" in 19th-century France. Each of the book's discrete but interrelated...


Roots of the Revival: American and British Folk Music in the 1950s

by Ronald D. Cohen & Rachel Clare Donaldson

Comparing the impact of the folk revival on each side of the Atlantic


Gimme Indie Rock

by Andrew Earles

The ultimate guide to one of the most revered periods and movements in American rock history. The 1980s are one of the most ridiculed and parodied epochs in popular music-what with all the skinny lapels, synthesizers,...


When That Rough God Goes Riding: Listening to Van Morrison

by Greil Marcus

This book is a quest to understand Van Morrison's particular genius through a close look at the most extraordinary and unclassifiable moments in his long career, beginning in 1965 and continuing in full force...


The Beach Boys' Smile

by Luis Sanchez

Smile is not merely a great unfinished album, but a living work of art that is all at once expansive, indeterminate, and resolutely pop.

In the early 1960s, The Beach Boys rose from the suburbs of Hawthorne,...


Liz Phair's Exile in Guyville

by Gina Arnold

Although Exile in Guyville was celebrated as one of the year's top records by Spin and the New York Times, it was also, to some, an abomination: a mockery of the Rolling Stones' most revered record and a rare...


J Dilla's Donuts

by Jordan Ferguson

From a Los Angeles hospital bed, equipped with little more than a laptop and a stack of records, James �J Dilla� Yancey crafted a set of tracks that would forever change the way beatmakers viewed their artform....


Oasis' Definitely Maybe

by Alex Niven

Oasis's incendiary 1994 debut album Definitely Maybe managed to summarize almost the entire history of post-fifties guitar music from Chuck Berry to My Bloody Valentine in a way that seemed effortless. But this...


Sigur R¿s's ( )

by Ethan Hayden

Words like "inspiring," "expansive," and "moving" are regularly used to describe Sigur R�s's ( ), and yet the only words heard on the record itself are a handful of meaningless nonsense syllables. The album...


Fleetwood Mac's Tusk

by Rob Trucks

A prismatic�look at one of the most unusual albums ever released by a major rock band, with fresh�input from Lindsey Buckingham.


Slayer's Reign in Blood

by D.X. Ferris

Issued on America's premier rap label at the peak of the thrash metal movement, Slayer's controversial Reign in Blood remains the gold standard for extreme heavy metal, a seamless 29-minute procession of ten...


Nine Inch Nails' Pretty Hate Machine

by Daphne Carr

Combining solid research into NIN's roots with compelling, emotional oral histories from fans, a fascinating account of a huge subculture.


Steely Dan's Aja

by Don Breithaupt

Aja was the album that made Steely Dan a commercial force on the order of contemporaries like Fleetwood Mac, the Eagles and Chicago. A double-platinum, Grammy-winning bestseller, it lingered on the Billboard...


Wire's Pink Flag

by Wilson Neate

In contrast with many of their punk peers, Wire were enigmatic and cerebral, always keeping a distance from the crowd. Although Pink Flag appeared before the end of 1977, it was already a meta-commentary on...