Music memoirs come in many different forms, but Three Pianos by Andrew McMahon is in a small sub-genre: the self-loathing confessional.
"In music, impact comes from steady improvement, pruning, intensifying, through intelligence, sensitivity."
“For those of us who care about opera, Don Giovanni Captured is a fascinating book.”
“Even amid all his late-life venting in The Last Days, Geoff Dyer manages to please once again with his artful sentences and close observations.”
Name your strongest memories.
Let’s be honest—to really enjoy Through the Prism, Untold Stories from the Hipgnosis Archive by Aubrey Powell, it would help if you lived through the days of yore when rock album covers we
“Hong’s memoir is as perfect in tone and pitch as a memoir can be.”
“This revealing, nicely crafted account of rock performers from Bill Haley and His Comets to Pink Floyd will appeal greatly to nostalgic rock fans.”
There’s a lot to argue with in Joseph Horowitz’s Dvorák’s Prophecy and the Vexed Fate of Black Classical Music.
How does a composer suspend time? A fermata—a dot underneath a semi-circle—tells the musician that a note should be prolonged beyond its normal duration.
“Singing Like Germans is a superb piece of historical research enlivened by its author’s deep fascination with her subject matter.”
“If there’s one book about music that deserves to be read cover to cover this year it’s Kelefa Sanneh’s Major Labels. It’s bound to be a contemporary classic.”
Britain’s Desert Island Discs has been on the BBC since 1942. They don’t have to choose records on that mythical patch of sand with a lone palm tree for company, but many do.
“Drawing on Heylin’s many remarkable new discoveries in the Dylan Archive, The Double Life of Bob Dylan: A Restless, Hungry Feeling (1941–1966) makes phenomenally captivating readi
Instead of pursuing the Muse, we passively hear her.
It’s not surprising that the jacket blurb compares this new memoir to Patti Smith’s Just Kids. Besides being a terrific book, that one sold really well.
Rudyard Kipling—the Anglo Indian novelist, short story writer, and bard of the British Empire—must have known that it wasn't true when he wrote, "East is East, and West is West, and Never the twain
In Mozart: The Reign of Love musical historian Jan Swafford dispels the myths and popular lore about Mozart in Peter Shaffer’s hit play and movie Amadeus.
“‘I have often said that my songs are my children and that I expect them to support me when I’m old. Well, I am old, and they are!’”
Michael Oberman was the music columnist at the daily Washington Star, taking over from his older brother, Ron, from February 1967 to March 1973.
Paul Morley is fond of the playlist.
Philip Norman has tackled some interesting luminaries of the golden age of rock and roll.
So this is the new “book” by the great singer-songwriter David Byrne, with illustrations by Maira Kalman.
“Guthrie, from what we learn, is part of a bigger picture, challenging the 'simple narrative' of individual freedom of expression."
Leonard Cohen Untold Stories could not have happened before social media. Through Facebook, Google, and WhatsApp, Michael Posner located people who once knew Leonard Cohen and fell away.