What do evolutionary biology and its founding father, Charles Darwin, have to do with love songs? As it turns out, quite a lot. Enjoy this excerpt of Ted Gioia's Love Songs: The Hidden History, courtesy of Oxford University Press.
If Greta Van Fleet are that wonderful horrible thing called zeitgeisty, that zeitgeist is defined by desire to escape to a fantasized past where the battles were cleaner and the battle lines simpler than today's appear to be.
The Staple Singers' Stax recording, Come Go with Me, captures their transformation from the church-wrecking gospel highway to the soul-filling pop charts.
Historian Stephen Tow's London, Reign Over Me is an insightful, thorough, and welcoming exploration of '60s-era British rock.
The Curmudgeonly King of Noir Chronicled in 'Notes From the Velvet Underground: The Life of Lou Reed'
Howard Sounes' Notes From the Velvet Underground is a beautifully considered book, with enough detail about the life and career of Lou Reed for the geeks, enough context for the historians, and just enough juicy stuff for everyone else.
Although enjoyable in that sweeping big picture kind of way, there is nothing subversive to be found in Ted Gioia's Music: A Subversive History.
Kathy Iandoli's personable history, God Save the Queens, shows how women in rap face up to the battles.
Exploring the interplay of Irving Berlin's life with the life of New York City, noted biographer James Kaplan offers a visceral narrative of Berlin as self-made man and witty, wily, tough Jewish immigrant. Enjoy this excerpt of Kaplan's book, Irving Berlin: New York Genius.
For director Oliver Murray, music exists in the air, but the emotional archives of former Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman gives viewers a tactile experience of this band's story in The Quiet One.
In Solid State, acclaimed Beatles historian Kenneth Womack offers the most definitive account yet of the writing, recording, mixing, and reception of Abbey Road. (excerpt)
Music documentary Echo in the Canyon beautifully captures Jakob Dylan's search for the best lessons in collaboration from pioneering California Sound supergroups.
In her history of women in punk music, Revenge of the She-Punks, Vivien Goldman hefts the scene's virtues and the vices into one heap and concludes that some of it was necessary, some of it was fun, and some of it was evil.
John Corbett's writing is often poetic in Pick Up the Pieces: Excursions in Seventies Music, with each essay being a resonant reflection on the music, artists, scenes, and memories seemingly etched deeply in his being.
In this excerpt of '70s music, Pick up the Pieces, John Corbett puts his critique of Kraftwerk's Autobahn to poetry and pogos with his conflict for the Clash and their album, The Clash.
In this excerpt of a history of the UK music press, A Hidden Landscape Once a Week, Tony Stewart recalls his time as writer and deputy editor at NME (1971-85) — the strengths and pleasures of teamwork and the vital role of the visual in the energies of a rock paper.
Gina Arnold's research into rock festivals in the US, Half a Million Strong, reveals that it's about the music, yes, but it's also very much about you.
How do we measure the status of a performer's Holy Grail like the Apollo Theater in 2019? Ted Fox and James Otis Smith's beautifully realized, updated graphic history brings this rich history to life.
Ian Winwood's story of how punk rock music came to be so popular in the '90s is sewn together like a patchwork quilt of unlikely rises to fame and the ordinary people whose dedication made it possible.
Well before artists were their own entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs became rock stars, A&R pros improvised a blueprint for the workings of the modern music industry.
In Novel Sounds, scholar Florence Dore is interested in how a mass cultural phenomenon like rock 'n' roll can help illuminate realities about institutionalized high culture.
A Spy In The House of Loud works best on quiet stages, taking singular trips down clearly paved roads with definite endings.
'Black Cowboys' and 'The Best Country Blues You've Never Heard' Chart New Trails through Old-Time Music
Black music's past is a rabbit hole more than big enough for these two vastly different excursions into its secret riches.
This work serves as a preliminary resource, but it's certainly not the definitive history of electronic music.
Live Wires rips open the definition of 'electronic' to tell the story of the how those tapes and wires and transistors came to transform music into what we take for granted today.
Award-winning author Jonathan Keates whips up a brief but highly specialized work on why Handel's "Messiah" was so special from the start.
Will Friedwald writes subjectively in The Great Jazz and Pop Vocal Albums, and is not afraid to be cheeky when he thinks audiences have misunderstood an artist or a release.
If you haven't heard the 80th anniversary CD of Son House's first session, you have one of the most visceral, galvanizing musical experiences awaiting you.