A Mad Love
By Vivien Schweitzer
Opera is a visceral, emotional experience. No prior knowledge is needed to enjoy a soaring aria, or to be moved to laughter and to tears by popular operas like Carmen and La Boheme. But to fully appreciate this centuries-old art form, one must know its history and the many ways its component parts-music, poetry, theater-can be fit together. In A Mad Love, critic Vivien Schweitzer offers a lively introduction to opera, spanning from Monteverdi's L'Orfeo in 1600, generally considered the first successful opera, to Dead Man Walking and Anna Nicole Smith in recent decades. Along the way, she introduces readers to the genre's most important composers, performers, and conductors, and to its key terminology, from coloratura to recitative. She recounts the longstanding debates about how best to pair story and song that have shaped opera over the centuries, highlighting some of the ways operas have shocked and delighted listeners. Dissecting opera's eclectic musical language, she equips readers to assess precisely how a particular performance succeeded or failed.There is undoubtedly a thrill to hearing a great opera singer fill a beautiful, historic theater with his or her unamplified voice. But today, opera ranges far beyond these traditional quarters; it is everywhere, from movie theaters to public parks and offbeat performance spaces to our earbuds. A Mad Love is an essential book for anyone who wants to appreciate this living, evolving art form in all its richness.
By Barney Hoskyns
'An indispensable compendium for Steely Dan fans' The WireAt its core a creative marriage between Donald Fagen and Walter Becker, Steely Dan are one of the defining and bestselling American rock acts of the last half-century, recording several of the cleverest and best-produced albums of the '70s - from the breathlessly catchy Can't Buy a Thrill to the sleekly sinister Gaucho.In the '90s they returned to remind us of how sorely we had missed their elegance and erudition, subsequently recording Two Against Nature and Everything Must Go during the following decade. They have sold close to forty-five million albums.'A lot of people think of them as the epitome of boring '70s stuff,' novelist William Gibson said in 1993, when Becker and Fagen toured for the first time in nineteen years. 'They don't realize this is probably the most subversive material pop has ever thrown up.'Now fully embraced by the 'Yacht Rock' generation - semi-ironic devotees of '70s Southern-California slickness - Steely Dan no longer polarize lo-fi punks and studio geeks in the way they used to. In 2001 they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.Major Dudes collects some of the smartest and wittiest interviews Becker and Fagen have ever given, along with insightful reviews of - and commentary on - their extraordinary songs. Compiled by Rock's Backpages editor Barney Hoskyns, the book's contributors include Charles Shaar Murray, Robert Palmer, Ian MacDonald, Bud Scoppa, Penny Valentine, Fred Schruers, Sylvie Simmons and Michael Watts.
By Keith Morris, Jim Ruland
Keith Morris is a true punk icon. No one else embodies the sound of Southern Californian hardcore the way he does. With his waist-length dreadlocks and snarling vocals, Morris is known the world over for his take-no-prisoners approach on the stage and his integrity off of it. Over the course of his forty-year career with Black Flag, the Circle Jerks, and OFF!, he's battled diabetes, drug and alcohol addiction, and the record industry...and he's still going strong.My Damage is more than a book about the highs and lows of a punk rock legend. It's a story from the perspective of someone who has shared the stage with just about every major figure in the music industry and has appeared in cult films like The Decline of Western Civilization and Repo Man. A true Hollywood tale from an L.A. native, My Damage reveals the story of Morris's streets, his scene, and his music--as only he can tell it.
More Songwriters on Songwriting
By Paul Zollo
Twenty-five years after publishing his original ground-breaking collection of insight and advice from the greatest songwriters to ever grace the airwaves, Paul Zollo releases the much-anticipated follow-up volume. The sequel to the bestselling Songwriters on Songwriting features new, revealing interviews with Leiber & Stoller, James Taylor, Aimee Mann, Stephen Stills, Paul Simon, Elvis Costello, Rickie Lee Jones, Randy Newman, Brian Wilson, and dozens of other music legends. Once again crossing genres to cover the breadth of popular music over the past decade and a half, Songwriters on Songwriting, Volume 2 is a rare look inside the music industry an invaluable resource to musicians, songwriters, and students and an entertaining and important record of a quarter-century of music.
The Musician's Notebook
By Matthew Teacher
Whether on the go or composing at home, The Musician's Notebook is a necessary and unique tool for every musician. Within this beautiful, updated package, are the standard staffs, guitar chord boxes, and tablature. Along with these are quotes by some of the biggest names in music, like Lorde, Beck, and Adele, speaking about inspiration, creativity, and performance. This is a must have for any budding or established musician.
The Mammoth Book of the Rolling Stones
By Sean Egan
'The greatest rock 'n' roll band in the world!' This vainglorious introduction given to The Rolling Stones on stage by an excitable roadie was almost immediately accepted as a simple statement of fact. It was already evident that Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Co. were, as their first manager Andrew Loog Oldham had claimed, 'a way of life'.The Stones' defiance of convention made them the figureheads of a questioning new generation, and drove the Establishment to imprison them. This enduring rebel aura and the unmistakeable craft evident in classic records such as Satisfaction, Honky Tonk Women and Brown Sugar ensured subsequent generations of diehard fans, establishing the band as the biggest box office attraction the world has ever seen.The Mammoth Book of The Rolling Stones provides a comprehensive collection of reviews, analysis, interviews and exposés - both archive and contemporary, favourable and critical, concise and epic - of these extraordinary cultural icons as they pass the astonishing milestone of 50 years as rock's pre-eminent band.
Musician's Notebook Deluxe Ed.
By Matthew Teacher
A deluxe interactive workbook for songwriters, featuring approximately 70 spreads on which to compose 70 songs. The book is a sturdy hardcover (no jacket) with a lay-flat binding for use on music stands and flat surfaces. Also includes printed chord stickers to make the songwriting process easier and more legible, plus a removable poster that shows approximately 48 of the most popular chords for reference.
The Mammoth Book of Bob Dylan
By Sean Egan
Bob Dylan's impact on popular music has been incalculable. Having transformed staid folk music into a vehicle for coruscating social commentary, he then swept away the romantic platitudes of rock 'n' roll with his searing intellect.From the zeitgeist-encapsulating protest of 'Blowin' in the Wind' to the streetwise venom of 'Like a Rolling Stone', and from the stunning mid-sixties trilogy of albums - Bringing It All Back Home, Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde on Blonde - to Time Out of Mind, his stunning if world-weary comeback at the age of 56, Dylan's genius has endured, underpinned by the dazzling turn of phrase that has made him the pre-eminent poet of popular music.Because Dylan's achievements have no equal, his career is the most chronicled in rock history. Here, Sean Egan presents a selection of the best writing on Dylan, both praise and criticism. Interviews, essays, features and reviews from Dylan intimates and scholars such as John Bauldie, Michael Gray, Nat Hentoff and Jules Siegel are interspersed with new narrative and reviews of every single album to create a comprehensive picture of the artist whose chimes of freedom still resound.
The Marriage Of Figaro (Book And CDs)
By Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
The Black Dog Opera Library is the best, easiest and most informative and budget-friendly way to enjoy four of the greatest operas of all time. Finally available again, and packaged with gorgeous new covers, each book in the library includes the complete opera on 2 CDs, featuring world-class performances and orchestras; the complete libretto, plus its English translation; an exciting history of the opera; a biography of the composer; a synopsis of the story, broken down by act and scene; and dozens of photographs and drawings depicting performances, singers, sets, costumes, and more.The Marriage of Figaro features Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Heather Harper, Judith Blegen, Geraint Evans, Teresa Berganza, and Birgit Finnil?, with Daniel Barenboim conducting the English Chamber Orchestra.Also available:La Boh?me featuring Nicolai Gedda and Mirella Freni, with Thomas Schippers conducting the Orchestro e Coro del Teatro dell'Opera di Roma;?Carmen featuring Grace Bumbry, Jon Vickers, Mirella Freni, and Kostas Paskalis, with Rafael Fru?beck de Burgos conducting the Orchestra of the Th??tre National de l'Op?ra. La Traviata featuring Beverly Sills, Nicolai Gedda, and Rolando Panerai, with Aldo Ceccato conducting the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.Listen. Enjoy. Learn.
The Mammoth Book of Sex, Drugs & Rock 'n' Roll
By Jim Driver
Over 60 gripping accounts tracking the dark side of rock 'n' roll from the early days of the drugs-and-drink culture, and the birth of rock 'n' roll, through The Beatles, Stones, Sex Pistols, Madonna, Kurt Cobain and Oasis, to Amy Winehouse, Pete Doherty and other stars of the current rock-music scene.From trashed hotel rooms to cars in swimming pools, all rock 'n' roll's excesses are here, including murder and sexual deviancy, surprising brushes with the law that the stars thought they'd kept quiet, early and tragic deaths, drug overdoses, robbery, mis-marriages and groupies by the truckload
The Mammoth Book of the Beatles
By Sean Egan
Moanin' at Midnight
By James Segrest, Mark Hoffman
One of the greatest artists the blues ever produced, Howlin' Wolf was a musical giant in every way. He stood six foot three, weighed almost three hundred pounds, wore size sixteen shoes, and poured out his darkest sorrows onstage in a voice that captured all the pain of growing up black and poor in Jim Crow Mississippi. Half a century after his first hits, his sound still terrifies and inspires. Wolf began his career singing with the first Delta blues stars, was present at the birth of rock'n' roll in Memphis, and vied with rival Muddy Waters for the title of king of Chicago blues. This new and revised edition is full of harrowing anecdotes about his early years, entertaining stories about his decades at the top, and never-before-seen photographs of the artist onstage. An essential volume for Wolf's legions of fans, lovers of blues, and anyone interested in the history of American music.
Mercy, Mercy Me
By Michael Eric Dyson
The best-selling Motown artist of all time, Marvin Gaye defined the hopes and shattered dreams of an entire generation. Twenty years after his tragic death-he was shot by his father-his relevance persists because of the indelible mark his outsized talent left on American culture. A transcendent performer whose career spanned the history of rhythm and blues, from doo-wop to the sultriest of soul music, Gaye's artistic scope and emotional range set the soundtrack for America's tumultuous coming of age in the 1970s. Michael Eric Dyson's searching narrative illuminates Marvin Gaye's stellar ascendance-from a black church in Washington, D.C., to the artistic peak of What's Going On?-and charts his sobering personal decline. Dyson draws from interviews with those closest to Gaye to paint an intimate portrait of the tensions and themes that shaped contemporary urban America: racism, drug abuse, economic adversity, and the long legacy of hardship. Gaye's stormy relationships with women, including duet partner Tammi Terrell and wives Anna Gordy and Janis Hunter, are examined in light of the sexual revolution of the 1960s and 1970s. Dyson also considers family violence in the larger context of the African-American life and how that heartbreaking legacy resulted in Gaye's murder. Mercy, Mercy, Me is an unforgettable portrait of a beloved black genius whose art is reflected in the dynamism of contemporary urban America.
Myself Among Others
By George Wein, Nate Chinen
No one has had a better seat in the house than George Wein. The legendary impresario has known the most celebrated figures of music in general and jazz in particular- from Duke Ellington to Ella Fitzgerald to Miles Davis to Frank Sinatra. As a founder of the Newport Jazz Festival, the Newport Folk Festival, and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Wein has brought a dazzling spectrum of musicians to millions of fans, forever changing the musical landscape.In this highly praised memoir, Wein looks back on his life and career, describing his unforgettable relationships- sometimes smooth, sometimes tempestuous- with the great musicians he has known. From what really happened when Charlie Mingus visited the White House...to how Miles Davis and the ensemble that would eventually record the greatest jazz album of all time- Kind of Blue - came together at Wein's Storyville nightclub...to the day at Newport when Bob Dylan first "went electric," here are the personalities and forces that have shaped the past half-century of popular music.
Music Of The Earth
By Ron L. Morton
A lively introduction to the basic principles of geology and other earth sciences.
The Masters Of Bebop
By Ira Gitler
Back in the early 1940s, late at night in the clubs of Harlem, a handful of jazz musicians began to experiment with a style that no one had ever heard before. The music was fast, complicated, impossible to play for many of the older musicians,but it soon became the lingua franca of jazz music. They called it bebop, and as the years went by, it became even more popular. Today it reigns as perhaps the best-loved style of jazz ever created. Ira Gitler conveys the excitement of this musical birth as only someone who was there can. In The Masters of Bebop, Gitler traces the advent of what was a revolution in sound. He profiles the leading players,Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillepie, Max Roach,but also studies the style and music of the first disciples, such as Dexter Gordon and J. J. Johnson, to reveal bebop's pervasive influence throughout American culture. Revised with an updated discography,and with a new chapter covering bebop right up through the end of the twentieth century, The Masters of Bebop is the essential listener's handbook.
By Gunther Schuller
Musings gathers together the essays, speeches, liner notes, dictionary entries, and magazine articles of Gunther Schuller, one of the most important musical figures of the century. The writings in this collection cover such artists as Paul Whiteman, Duke Ellington, Cecil Taylor, Ornette Coleman, Sonny Rollins, Sarah Vaughan, Gil Evans. Schuller also writes about such topics as the "Third Stream," the art of conducting, the future of opera, and the need for broadening the audience for quality music. A marvellous introduction to the man and his experience, taste and erudition, Musings is essential reading for anyone interested in twentieth-century music.
The Magic Of Opera
By J. Merrill Knapp
Among the many introductions to opera, this is perhaps the best. J. Merrill Knapp, Professor Emeritus at Princeton University, divides his subject into two parts: In the first, he discusses the structure, production, theatrical conventions, and esthetics of opera in the second, he features biographies of the major composers and cogent analyses of exemplary qualities in their works. "Opera should have a wide appeal," says Knapp in his Preface. "In the past too many sensible people have associated it with diamond tiaras, exclusive theatre boxes, opening night social snobbery, and haughty prima donnas. For more understanding and knowledge are needed to get rid of these past impressions and to prove that opera is both within the comprehension of the ordinary person and worthy of high aspiration and serious study." This book will open ears and change minds. It is the ideal foundation for anyone curious about,or already in love with,the magical world of opera.
By Brian Priestley
It would be no exaggeration to call Charles Mingus the greatest bass player in the history of jazz indeed, some might even regard it as understatement, for the hurricane power of his work as a composer, teacher, band leader, and iconoclast reached far beyond jazz while remaining true to its heritage in the music of Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, and Thelonious Monk. In this new biography Brian Priestley has written a masterly study of Mingus's dynamic career from the early years in Swing, to the escapades of the Bebop era, through his musical maturity in the '50s when he directed a band that redefined collective improvisation in jazz. Woven in with exacting assessments of Mingus's artistic legacy is the story of his volatile, unpredictable, sometimes dangerous personality. The book views Mingus as a black artist increasingly politicized by his situation, but also unreliable as a witness to his own persecution. Capturing him in all his furious contradictions,passionate, cool, revolutionary but with a keen sense of tradition,Brian Priestley has produced what can be called, again without exaggeration, the best biography of a jazz musician we have ever seen.
Music At Your Fingertips
By Ruth Slenczynska
Intended for the aspiring artist as well as the enthusiastic amateur, this invaluable guide to piano practice and performance covers every major aspect of pianistic technique. Drawing from more than forty years experience as a teacher and highly acclaimed performer,as well as from her studies with Rachmaninoff, Schnabel, and Cortot,Slenczynska clearly demonstrates such basics as the proper use of hand positions, fingering, pedaling, ornamentation, various fingering touches, and counting. She also gives detailed instructions on the art of program building, carefully analyzing the concert programs of Horowitz, Rubinstein, and Serkin and pointing out the strengths and weaknesses of their program construction. She includes repertoire lists for performance at various levels of ability, a complete chart of ornament interpretation, and authoritative advice on posture, sight-reading, rhythm, note-learning, and memorization. Her book is essential reading for all who enjoy in the piano-beginners, serious students, teachers, and listeners.