Fend off March chills and April showers with these riveting reads for music obsessives, from a Nirvana oral history to memoirs by Willie Nelson and Scarface.
Beale Street Dynasty by Preston Laute...
Beale Street Dynasty by Preston Lauterbach (W.W. Norton & Co., March 30) Memphis’ Beale Street is now known for tourist traps, but this book takes it back to the days of “whorehouses and bullet holes.” Some will be disappointed the story ends before Elvis, but Dynasty makes the case that Beale’s early years are the key period.
Billie Holiday: The Musician And The ...
Billie Holiday: The Musician And The Myth by John Szwed (Viking, March 31) The late singer’s 100th birthday (April 7) brings a bio by the author of acclaimed books about Miles Davis and Alan Lomax. Szwed unveils tales that didn’t make Lady Sings the Blues, her classic memoir, including flings with actors Orson Welles and Charles Laughton.
I Found My Friends: The Oral History ...
I Found My Friends: The Oral History of Nirvana by Nick Soulsby (St. Martin’s/Griffin, March 31) Soulsby takes a unique approach: an oral history of Nirvana without the voices of the band. Nonetheless, this is a rich account of the tight-knit Seattle/Olympia, Wash., music scene and how the pressures of fame unraveled Kurt Cobain.
Diary Of A Madman by Scarface, with B...
Diary Of A Madman by Scarface, with Benjamin Meadows-Ingram (HarperCollins, April 21) The former Geto Boy, one of Southern rap’s founding fathers, reflects on life before and after his ascent to hip-hop icon: Suicide attempts, drugs and depression are just a few of the tribulations described in grave, unflinching detail.
Anger Is An Energy: My Life Uncensore...
Anger Is An Energy: My Life Uncensored by John Lydon (Dey Street Books, April 28) This is a companion to Lydon’s 1994 memoir, Rotten. His life is rich enough to warrant another -- the dance records, the reality show appearances, the Sex Pistols and Public Image Ltd. reunions -- and he’s a gifted enough writer to make it a fun read.
So Many Roads: The Life And Times Of ...
So Many Roads: The Life And Times Of The Grateful Dead by David Browne (Da Capo Press, April 28) Expect a flood of books for the Dead’s 50th anniversary, but this one stands out thanks to new interviews and access to the band’s extensive archives that shed light on its origins, heyday and struggles after Jerry Garcia’s 1995 death.
The Underground Is Massive: How Elect...
The Underground Is Massive: How Electronic Dance Music Conquered America by Michaelangelo Matos (Dey St., April 28) Drawing early comparisons to Please Kill Me, the definitive oral history of punk, this anticipated tome argues that EDM is the last great outlaw musical subculture, with detours into everything from drugs to Daft Punk.
It’s A Long Story: My Life by W...
It’s A Long Story: My Life by Willie Nelson, with David Ritz (Little, Brown, May 5) The 81-year-old legend goes all the way back, from his rocky early years in Nashville to his 1990s bankruptcy. There should be enough new tales here to satisfy fans, even if some, like toking in the White House, have the familiar feel of an old folk song.