#1
Hey there,

I've been wanting to read a good music related book now for a while, especially since my Kindle is going unused. I'm hoping to read something more culture or genre specific, such as history of rock or history of a specific era. I'm also open to Biography/Autobiography suggestions, so throw them in

Thanks!

-Bit
#4
I'm by no means a big Chilis fan but Scar Tissue by Anthony Kiedis was a great read.
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#6
Torn Apart: The Life of Ian Curtis.
Amazing book.
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as i walk through the chalet of the shadow of death
everything that you've come to expect


#7
Only music biography/book I own is Frank Zappa: The Negative Dialectics of Poodle Play and I stole it from Chapters.
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A SIGNATURE.
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#8
I can vouch for Scar Tissue. Walk This Way, the autobiography of Aerosmith, is also ****ing fantastic. Easily the best band autobiography I've read. It focuses mainly on the 70s (when they kicked ass) and it's raunchy and real as ****
#9
Clapton's autobiography is a pretty good read. Neil Peart's Ghost Rider doesn't really involve his music too much but it's also worth a flip through.
#10
once you've read one autobiography, you've read em all. I still might pick up the keith richards one though.

Anyhow, read "This is your brain on music" by Daniel J Levith. Incredibly interesting, no matter what genre you like, and gets into some interesting questions in psychology as well.
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'cause now we like to make
Weird Music
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#11
If you're willing to go into fiction, you might like Nick Hornby. He's done some very interesting novels, a few were even adapted into films. Check out High Fidelity...

He also co-wrote an album with Ben Folds called Lonely Avenue, and it was actually pretty good.

^This is Your Brain on Music was very interesting...
Last edited by wizards? at May 12, 2011,
#12
Quote by L2112Lif
Musicopilia is a good read by Oliver Sachs. Its about music-related oddities in the brain, very interesting stuff.

Oh God yes, I read this a few months ago because I heard it had information about synesthesia. Great read.
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#13
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The Real Frank Zappa Book is a great read. Even if you're not into his music, it's pretty funny.

+1, about 70 pages into it already.
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#18
If you're a Nirvana fan, Kurt Cobain's biography is phenomenal. Hell, even if you're not a fan, it's still a great story.
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PlayMadness - Jesus 2.0

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Society's doing great. There's a rise of people like PlayMadness. I feel pretty good about the way things are going.
#19
Quote by StewieSwan
20th Century Harmony by Vincent Persichetti

I didn't find that book to be useful at all. It seems so futile in its attempt to capture what is essentially a lawless land of modern music. It only needed to say one thing: use your imagination.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#20
watch you bleed: the saga of guns n roses is good. I havent read the slach autobiography but apparently its good. I didn't like scar tissue though.
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#21
Quote by Aussie_skater
watch you bleed: the saga of guns n roses is good. I havent read the slach autobiography but apparently its good. I didn't like scar tissue though.

scar tissue is a little disgusting.
#22
Rip It Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978-1984
Get the U.K. edition as it's bigger. Huge amount of info and history. It's split up into all the different scenes and such. It's really an eye opener and makes me appreciate the post-punk movement. It says punk music was the actual stumbling block in the grand scheme of musical progress. Like how punk was "no future", and how post-punk was totally opposite by taking all kinds of influence from electronic, funk, different ethnic music styles, etc... and taking music to the future.

Seriously, there's hundreds of books on punk music yet hardly any about what followed.
#24
Quote by Xiaoxi
I didn't find that book to be useful at all. It seems so futile in its attempt to capture what is essentially a lawless land of modern music. It only needed to say one thing: use your imagination.



Well for someone less versed in theory, I found it helpful to create sonorities that I didn't really know how to construct before. I have a terrible problem with hearing things perfectly in my head and being unable to translate them into music because I don't know exactly how to manifest the ideas into actual notes.
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#25
Heavier Than Heaven is great. Highly recommended.

Also, I know Scar Tissue has been brought up several times, but I think it's the only book about a musician I would recommend to non-fans. It's that good. It astounds me that any of those guys are still alive today.
#26
Quote by StewieSwan
Well for someone less versed in theory, I found it helpful to create sonorities that I didn't really know how to construct before. I have a terrible problem with hearing things perfectly in my head and being unable to translate them into music because I don't know exactly how to manifest the ideas into actual notes.

If it worked for you, that's perfectly fine. I just personally got nothing out of that book. To be fair I didn't actually own it or read it in depth, but that's because during the first weeks of class I realized the topics focused on very isolated excerpts which a good modern composer can derive through self generated logic. Unfortunately, it didn't really cover more important, overarching things in composition like how to form a coherent idea and carrying it through an entire piece in a modern context. I didn't think about it from a theory heavy point of view either. Functional harmony obviously doesn't apply here, so the only thing left to do is to create your own logic, regardless of whatever that may be. And I just didn't need a book to tell me how to do that.

You should check out Intro to Post Tonal Theory by Joseph Strauss. It's also isolated (in serial set theory), but this is useful because it does address very specific but widely used techniques in serialism. And even if you don't like serial/atonal 12 tone music, I think this provides more revolutionary ways to organize whatever music you come up with than anything in the Persichetti book.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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Last edited by Xiaoxi at May 13, 2011,
#27
Quote by Xiaoxi
If it worked for you, that's perfectly fine. I just personally got nothing out of that book. To be fair I didn't actually own it or read it in depth, but that's because during the first weeks of class I realized the topics focused on very isolated excerpts which a good modern composer can derive through self generated logic. Unfortunately, it didn't really cover more important, overarching things in composition like how to form a coherent idea and carrying it through an entire piece in a modern context. I didn't think about it from a theory heavy point of view either. Functional harmony obviously doesn't apply here, so the only thing left to do is to create your own logic, regardless of whatever that may be. And I just didn't need a book to tell me how to do that.

You should check out Intro to Post Tonal Theory by Joseph Strauss. It's also isolated (in serial set theory), but this is useful because it does address very specific but widely used techniques in serialism. And even if you don't like serial/atonal 12 tone music, I think this provides more revolutionary ways to organize whatever music you come up with than anything in the Persichetti book.



Thanks for the recommendation. I'll check it out.
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#28
Quote by StewieSwan
Thanks for the recommendation. I'll check it out.

Don't get discouraged when the numbers start frying your brain >.>

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#29
If I were you, I'd stay away from biographies. Seriously, there are a million and a half biographies on people like John Lennon, Kurt Cobain, and they in no way capture the emotion or even factual information that a autobiography does.

For example, I'm reading "Miles", Miles Davis' autobiography right now and the very first sentence of the book is as such:
"Listen. The greatest feeling I ever had in my life-with my clothes on-was when I first heard Diz and Bird together in St. Louis, Missouri, back in 1944. I was eighteen years old and had just graduated from Lincoln High School."

You can't have those sort of intimate, personal feelings in biographies, which in my opinion are what makes autobiographies so great in the first placed.

Also, Diz and Bird are Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker, respectively.
Bands I've seen live:

Def Leppard
Journey
Tool
Testament
Megadeth
Slayer
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Deftones
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Rodrigo y Gabriela
Last edited by British Josh at May 13, 2011,
#30
Quote by British Josh
If I were you, I'd stay away from biographies. Seriously, there are a million and a half biographies on people like John Lennon, Kurt Cobain, and they in no way capture the emotion or even factual information that a autobiography does.

Uh... Actually, autobiographies tend to contain many exaggerations and lies for the sake of reputation and publicity. They are less reliable than good biographies.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#31
The Heroin Diaries by Nikki Sixx
Dirt by Motley Crue
The PRS book
Metal Deviation (history of progressive metal)
#32
Quote by Xiaoxi
Uh... Actually, autobiographies tend to contain many exaggerations and lies for the sake of reputation and publicity. They are less reliable than good biographies.


Show me a definitive example of "exaggerations and lies" in any autobiography and I'll introduce you to my stable of thoroughbred unicorns ridden by leprechaun jockeys.
Bands I've seen live:

Def Leppard
Journey
Tool
Testament
Megadeth
Slayer
Mastodon
Deftones
Alice in Chains
Foo Fighters
Rodrigo y Gabriela
#33
Thanks for all the suggestions guys. I've already read Heavier than Heaven, infact it was one of the first things my GF bought for me years ago :P

I started Scar Tissue last night, and I'm already halfway through, it's great Kiedis was really ****ed up at some points in his life, I wasn't aware the band were such scumbags :P
#34
I read the thread title as 'Good Music related boobs'

OT: I think slash made a book and called it 'Slash'.
What a creative name
#35
The Rest Is Noise by Alex Ross.

It's about all of 20th century music. All of it.
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#36
The only music books i've read are Scar tissue and the real Frank Zappa book. Really enjoied both of them, highly recommended.
you are what you is
#37
Quote by British Josh
Show me a definitive example of "exaggerations and lies" in any autobiography and I'll introduce you to my stable of thoroughbred unicorns ridden by leprechaun jockeys.



Umm...


Ronald Reagan's autobiography wasn't even written by him. I'd call that a lie. It was ghostwritten, and then sold as an autobiography.
#38
Quote by L2112Lif
Umm...


Ronald Reagan's autobiography wasn't even written by him. I'd call that a lie. It was ghostwritten, and then sold as an autobiography.


Most Autobiographers hire a ghost writer to write their memoirs. It's nothing new really.
#39
Not sure if this has been said before, I don't feel like reading through the thread. But How Music Works by John Powell (The British film composer) is a great read. Goes into, well, how music works. Has some physics in it, but just discusses what makes music. It's written to be very easy to read and has some funny bits in it at times. Not saying it's hilarious, but it's made me smile.
#40
If you like the Beatles, 'Revolution in the Head' is fantastic

'Our Band Could Be Your Life' is a brilliant profile of the 80's alternative rock scene in the US