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Books — Recently Added

XA special selection of disc guides and discographies, music history, record art books, graphic novels, and some nicely-priced remainders!


Duke University Press, 2018. New Copy
A beautiful book-length prose poem from David Grubbs – an artist that some know as a musician, some as a singer, and some as a writer for his previous essential volume on improvised music! The book is very narrative – and tells this dream-like story of a musician faced with the need to ... Book
Mike Reed, 2019. New Copy
A beautiful book on the Chicago jazz scene, and the things that make it really special – not the Windy City world of years back – when Ramsey Lewis and other big names were dominating things – but Chicago in more recent years, when the city has been a non-stop hotbed of continuous ... Book
Duke University Press, 2017. New Copy
An incredible look at the format of vinyl – put together by a guy who's got one of the hippest record collections we've ever seen! John Corbett's been writing about music, art, and other formats for decades – but his real labor of love is vinyl records – a format he continued to ... Book
Steidl (Germany), 2014. New Copy
John Cohen was a member of the famous folk group The New Lost City Ramblers, and also gained great fame as a photographer too – most notably for his High & Lonesome Sound book of images on Roscoe Holcomb and his community – but also here for a whole host of shots that document the ... Book
Faber & Faber (UK), 2015. New Copy
An incredibly dense book on the psychedelic scene of the 60s – a huge volume that not only looks at an impressive array of music, but also the wider trippy culture, too – but all with a level of text that goes far beyond most of the thinner volumes on the period! Many of the chapter ... Book
Chicago Review Press, 2012. New Copy
A stunning look at the great Mary Wells – one of Motown's first female acts of the 60s, and one of the decade's most important early soul figures as well! Mary's work on record is very well-known, but the story behind the music is completely different, and surprisingly dark at times – ... Book
Fantagraphics, 2013. New Copy
An amazing collection of 40s and 50s jazz drawings by Gene Deitch – the complete anthology of his work for legendary jazz magazine Record Changer! Gene was an amazing artist and cartoonist, whose work helped solidify the legacies of some of the most famous cartoon characters in the American ... Book
HoZac, 2018. New Copy
Chris Bell is one of the great mysterious figures in 70s underground rock – a key part of Big Star during that group's short run, a solo artist who produced some amazing music that was years ahead of its time, and a tragic figure who was taken from our planet all too soon! Like Gram Parsons, ... Book
HoZac, 2019. New Copy
Bob Bert is a lot more than just a drummer and this a lot more than a mere memoir, with tons of Bert's photographs from the early 80s NYC downtown scene, interviews and photos from his great 90s DIY zine BB Gun and lots more! Bert played in early era Sonic Youth, Pussy Galore, Chrome Cranks and ... Book

Adam Cooper & Nile Southern (editors)

Chicago 1968 – The Whole World Is Watching (hardcover)
Hat & Beard, 2018. New Copy
A beautiful expansion of a famous moment in creative journalism – the famous 1968 issue of Esquire magazine that featured William S Burroughs, Terry Southern, Allen Ginsberg, Jean Genet, and Abbie Hoffman at the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago! The results of that tumultuous event have ... Book
Primary Information, 2018. New Copy
One of the coolest discographies you'll ever see in your life – a special book devoted to ultra-rare records created by artists as well as musicians – first published in 1989, and filled with a wealth of obscure records from the 50s through the 80s! Musical styles run from avant jazz ... Book
Equinox (UK), 2018. New Copy
The story of Mark Murphy – one of our favorite jazz singers of all time – written by Peter Jones, also a jazz singer himself! Jones is London-based, and as such, does a really great job of capturing the ongoing enthusiasm and excitement about Murphy's career that was always a big part ... Book
Four Corners (UK), 2019. New Copy
One of the coolest record books we've ever seen – a smaller take on the album art format, but one that focuses exclusively on flexi discs – those thin little records which were usually given away free, and which are usually pretty hard-pressed to survive the passage of time! Yet author ... Book
Dark Entries, 2019. New Copy
A book that's very much what it's promised – the homoerotic journal of dance music and soundtrack composer Patrick Cowley – a key figure on the San Francisco scene before he left this planet in the early 80s! The book is pure sex, and nothing but – save, perhaps, for some essays ... Book

Jinx & Mr C (James O'Connor & Damen Corrado)

Compliments Of Chicagohoodz – Chicago Street Gang Art & Culture
Feral House, 2019. New Copy
A really amazing look at the secret art and language of gang culture in Chicago – the most detailed book we've ever seen to examine the words on the street during the 60s, 70s, and 80s! Chicago had a very special sort of language to communicate gang activity and culture during the heyday of ... Book
Hal Leonard, 2011. New Copy
A heavy-duty look at one of our favorite instruments of all time – the mighty Hammond Organ, a keyboard that forever changed the sound of jazz, soul, and even rock and roll on the US scene of the 50s, 60s, and 70s! The book is huge – a fully-illustrated history of the electric organ in ... Book
Fantagraphics, Late 40s/Early 50s. New Copy
Stunning work from one of the greatest artists to ever hit the comic book page – the mighty Bernard Krigstein, an artist who was decades ahead of his time – and had a huge influence on other artists for decades to come! The book was published in conjunction with the huge Fantagraphics ... Book
Backbeat Books, 2017. New Copy
Billy Vera's had a hell of a career in the music business – early years as both a performer and songwriter, then work behind the scenes as a producer and historian, a return to performing in the limelight – and lots of other surprising stops along the way! The book is told from Vera's ... Book
Pantheon, 2017. New Copy
One of the greatest writers on singers presents his essential collection of albums from the 20th century – all served up with the kind of loving detail that's always made the prose of Will Friedwald so great! Will's written the book on Frank Sinatra – literally – and on Tony ... Book
Harper (UK), 2014. New Copy
Lou Reed gave us some mighty fascinating music over his many years of recording – and the man himself also led an equally fascinating life – one that's covered here in very great detail, in a hefty biography that begins with Reed's troubled life as a child, to his early years moving ... Book
Liveright, 2015. New Copy
A hell of a memoir from Philip Glass – one that's breathtakingly open, and almost completely different than the man you'll know from his music! Glass is clearly a genius – we'd never dispute that fact – but despite the always-creative, always-perceptive mind that's transformed ... Book

Annie Cohen Solal/Paul Goldberger/Robert Gottlieb

New York Mid Century – Post War Capitol Of Culture 1945 to 1965 (hardcover)
Thames & Hudson (UK), 2014. New Copy
A stunningly vivid portrait of New York in the postwar years – a time when the city's already-strong hold on American culture was taken to its apex – as the city became home to some of the most important artists, actors, writers, and creative forces of the generation! The book is ... Book
Princeton Architectural Press, Late 60s/Early 70s/2015. New Copy
Not rare tapes by The Smiths – but a book of rare interviews conducted by journalist Howard Smith – an overlooked counterculture figure whose questions and commentary here go way past the usual fluff! The book features complete interviews conducted between 1966 and 1972 – key ... Book
Bis (Netherlands), 2011. New Copy
A book that's maybe not what you'd guess from the title – or maybe only partly from the title – as the whole thing is a love letter to the font style of Cooper Black, used on the front – served up in a fantastic array of images from the late 60s onward! The rounded font has been ... Book
Running Press, 2015. New Copy
A stunningly beautiful book on the 60s work of director Federico Fellini – one that's oversize, and overflowing with images that include film stills, publicity shots, candids, film posters, and other vivid representations of his cinematic imagination – all put together in a special ... Book

A Alyce Claerbaut/David Schlesinger

Strayhorn – An Illustrated Life (hardcover)
Bolden, 2015. New Copy
A beautiful tribute to one of the greatest composers of the 20th Century – Duke Ellington's longtime musical partner, the mighty Billy Strayhorn! The book presents Billy's life and music in a really great format – using songs as sidebars amidst the larger text – which is then ... Book
Octopus Books (UK), 2017. New Copy
A day-by-day list of important dates in hip hop – starting in 1973, and running all the way up to the present! Given that Chuck D's the man in charge, the set focuses most strongly on the 80s and early 90s – with very strong chapters on 1984 through 1995 – where date after date ... Book
Flatiron Books, 2017. New Copy
The amazing story of the Wu-Tang's one-copy, million dollar album – a record that may be one of the greatest hoaxes in modern music, or a true marriage of hip hop and the art world! The record is hardly canonical material from the group, but it does represent a fascinating 21st Century ... Book
Hat & Beard, 2019. New Copy
A beautiful complement to the groundbreaking Big Ears music festival in Knoxville – an annual event that keeps on pushing the boundaries of listening, with a challenging roster of sonic activity that just keeps on getting better and better over the years! In the introduction, Ben Ratliff ... Book
Vocalion (UK), 2018. New Copy
Maybe the best book we've ever seen on the secret world of sound library music – those non-commercial recordings that are made away from the public, then lent out for later use in radio, film, and TV! Over the years, crate-diggers have brought a new sort of appreciation to sound library ... Book
University Of Chicago, 2017. New Copy
A much-needed look at the genius of The Art Ensemble Of Chicago – one of the coolest, most compelling groups to emerge in the great wave of avant jazz in the late 60s – and one who continued to give the world a lifetime legacy of groundbreaking music! There's been plenty written on the ... Book
Tortoise Books, 2019. New Copy
A beautiful little book from one of the more inspired creative talents on the Chicago scene – writer/artist Dmitry Samarov, who's always got a talent for getting to the heart of the city – and for being very open about what matters, and why! This book is Dmitry's love letter to the ... Book
University Of Chicago, 2019. New Copy
Writer John Corbett has given us words on a huge variety of musical styles over the years – a fair bit of them left field and avant – but this time around, he's tackling the full range of 70s rock, pop, and soul music – in a huge book that's unlike anything he's ever written ... Book
University Of Chicago, 2019. New Copy
A tremendous achievement from music writer Aaron Cohen – a book that finally gets at the deeper, richer story of Chicago soul – the spirit of empowerment and pride that have always made us so honored to be part of the Windy City legacy! Cohen picks up where other soul writers have left ... Book
Yale University Press, 2015. New Copy
Coney Island is a hell of a place – a refuge for New Yorkers for over 100 years, and still pretty amazing today – with a surprisingly strong legacy that also includes the park's influence on more serious artists over the decades, a legacy that's presented beautifully in this oversize ... Book
Prestel (Germany), 2015. New Copy
A treasure trove of beautiful objects designed at mid-century – all creations of designer Peter Muller Munk – German by birth, and part of the wave of creative talent to come to America during wartime – which meant that we got to reap all the benefits of Peter's genius! Famous ... Book
Thames & Hudson, 2009. New Copy
A beautiful book of design – one that traces the emergence of dozens of retro styles in today's contemporary work – presented in posters, packaging, publishing, and other formats too! The book begins with a large section at the start that unpacks graphic styles from the 20th Century, ... Book
Canongate (UK), 2017. New Copy
A mighty tribute to the legendary Jann Wenner – a humble editor by trade, but one who forever shaped the world of rock music and journalism with his magazine Rolling Stone! Wenner came along at just the right time to be able to provide just the right platform for a new sort of writer, and ... Book
Thames & Hudson, 2012. New Copy
A very cool book that goes deep into the world of some of the greatest cartoonists of the modern age – a lavish, full-color volume that presents unseen art from the private sketchbooks of some of the modern greats – including Joost Swarte, Seth, Gary Panter, Charles Burns, R Crumb, Kim ... Book
Dey St, 2016. New Copy
George Jones is one of the most amazing talents in country music – and he was also one of the most messed-up cats on the Nashville scene – with a lifestyle and legend that maybe tops the decadence of some of the bigger rock stars of the 70s! Writer Rich Kienzle clearly loves Jones' ... Book
Penguin Books, 2015. New Copy
A wonderfully-written autobiography from Elvis Costello – a book that's not only completely illuminating for any fan of his music, but which stands quite strongly on his own, even if you're not a longtime fan of the man himself! The volume almost sets a new standard for musician ... Book
Doubleday, 2015. New Copy
The legendary Iceberg Slim has given us plenty of his own story over the years – but this book is the first to look at the man behind the man – writer Robert Beck, who started as a pimp and became a surprisingly successful author – as well as an underground figure who inspired a ... Book
Duke University Press, 2019. New Copy
A fantastic look at the music of Henry Cow – that important British band of the 70s, and a key bridge between the worlds of art, experimentation, politics, and improvisation at the time! Henry Cow trafficked in ideas that were fairly intellectual, but the group had a way of bringing them ... Book
Pomegranate, 2008. New Copy
A beautiful book that really follows up the image on the cover – offering up dozens of full color illustrations of contemporary ceramic work with a very vintage vibe – all tiles created by the Motawi Tileworks company in Ann Arbor, Michigan! The book is full color – and although ... Book
Quantuck Lane, 2004. New Copy
A hefty volume that's way more than the usual art book – partly because the artist is way more than the usual collage-maker too! John Evans lived in the east village neighborhood of New York in the 60s, 70s, and 80s – and in 1964, he began the process of creating one new artwork every ... Book

Peter Williams

English Seaside
English Heritage (UK), 2012. New Copy
A lovely look at the British seaside – the coastal resorts that have provided a crucial respite to city-dwellers for many years – and which have evolved into special spots all their own! We all know the parodies of these places from Fawlty Towers and Quadrophenia – but the ... Book
Lawrence Hill Books, 2011. New Copy
A well-done look at one of the most legendary gangs in our city of Chicago – a group that began on south side street corners, rose to community organizing by the end of the 60s, then get embroiled in global politics with ties to the terrorist rein of Muammar Qaddafi! The Almighty Black P ... Book

John Leighton Chase, Margaret Crawford, & John Kaliski, eds

Everyday Urbanism – Expanded Edition
Monacelli, 2008. New Copy
A fresh update of this classic book – originally published in 1999, and a beautiful combination of city images and writings on the urban condition! The interior is even more striking than the cover – and the editors add to the core text, which focused mostly on "urban ... Book
Library Of America, 2017. New Copy
Jonathan Lethem has given us plenty of great writing on his own – and here, he teams up with Kevin Dettmar to co-edit a volume of seminal writing on rock, pop, and soul music of the past 50 years! This isn't one of those "best of the year" books, with content that will seem dated ... Book
John Hopkins University Press, 2007. New Copy
A very hefty look at the early years of television – a time when the format was trying to really set itself apart from other American media, especially radio – and was brimming over with new ideas and fresh opportunities! The author writes from a deeply historical perspective – ... Book
 
Updated November 22, 2019


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