Monday, February 20, 2017

Music heroes come alive on the printed page

Fans of power pop and progressive rock as well as "Deadheads" all have some choice titles to check out.

Title: Play On! Power Pop Heroes: Volume No. 4
Author: Ken Sharp
Publisher: Jetfighter
Softcover: 528 pages
Tell me more: Play On! Power Pop Heroes: Volume 4 marks the fourth installment of author-musician Ken Sharp's ambitious series celebrating the legacy of the power pop genre. This volume features a number of artists who scored enduring commercial and/or cult success with melodic rock in the 1980s and '90s. This volume allows some of the genre's best (and best-known) architects to tell their story via their own words courtesy of insightful interviews conducted by Sharp and exclusive to Play On! Power Pop Heroes: Volume 4. There are also specific albums highlighted, where the artists provide a track-by-track overview of the songs. Several of this writer's favorites – The Bangles' All Over the Place and Matthew Sweet's Girlfriend  are among the classics featured. What's more, the hefty title is adorned with rare photographs and images of handwritten lyrics ("Blood and Roses" by The Smithereens' Pat DiNizio and  "Warren in the '60s" by Tommy Keene immediately come to mind). Among the other greats featured in the essential volume are Crowded House, the Go-Go'sMichael Penn, Teenage Fanclub and The Three O'Clock. Other memorable artists profiled in the book include the dB's, the Producers, and Redd Kross. The book is available for a limited time only and available exclusively at:

Title: Close to the Edge: How Yes's Masterpiece Defined Prog Rock
Author: Will Romano
Publisher: Backbeat Books
Softcover: 304 pages
Tell me more: With Yes finally set to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 7, 2017, now is a perfect time to catch up on the British band's history with a read of the enthralling tale of the progressive rock troupe's seminal 1972 masterwork Close to the Edge. Author (and well-known music journalist) Will Romano takes a look back at the events 45 years ago that shaped the creation of the London-spawned ensemble's fifth studio album, using both archival and original interviews with guitarist Steve Howe, singer Jon Anderson, bassist Chris Squire and other key players to provide rich insight into the album's creation. Romano's well-written book not only gets inside the creation of the album, but really provides insight into each of the players and their own far-flung backgrounds that ultimately provided the necessary ingredients for Close to the Edge. Information:

Title: Gratefully Deadicated Pin Art Coloring Book
Authors: Art by Gary Kroman with Leslie D. Kippel
Publisher: Backbeat Books
Softcover: 96 pages
Tell me more: When it comes to the Gratefully Deadicated Pin Art Coloring Book, the proof is in the pages. With an introduction about artist and a short history of "cloisonné pin art," Leslie D. Kippel gets things off to a quick start before music fans will get to delve in and complete the forty-six Gary Kroman illustrations featured in the book. The images (including many of the late great singer-guitarist Jerry Garcia) are featured on single-sided printing on high-quality paper to reduce the chance of bleed-through. Information:

Title: Fifty Years of Deadhead Art
Authors: Art by Gary Kroman with Leslie D. Kippel
Publisher: Backbeat Books
Softcover: 96 pages
Tell me more: The Fifty Years of Deadhead Art coloring book is the perfect companion to the aforementioned Gratefully Deadicated Pin Art Coloring Book. This volume features some amazing images created by artist Gary Kroman that capture the legacy and imagery associated with the '60s and '70s counterculture embraced by the Grateful Dead and their dedicated fans. A brief introduction by Leslie D. Kippel (the long-time editor of the Grateful Dead fan publication Dead Relix) provides insight into the psychedelic stylings featured in the book. Information:

Robert Kinsler

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