Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Sights and Sounds: Billie Eilish, Allen Ginsberg, the Avett Brothers

Here is a roundup of some of the most notable music-minded updates released today...

Billie Eilish to release personal photo-filled book titled "BILLIE EILISH" out worldwide on May 11, 2021


Grand Central Publishing (GCP), a division of Hachette Book Group, and Wren & Rook (W&R), an imprint of Hachette UK, are excited to announce the release of BILLIE EILISH, a stunning photo-filled book curated by iconic recording artist, Billie Eilish.
BILLIE EILISH will be published in hardcover and e-book, with an audio companion on May 11, 2021 and is available for pre-order now: billieeilish.com/book 
Billie Eilish is a 21st century global pop-phenomenon. Uncompromising and unapologetic, between her record-breaking, award-winning music and artistry, it's no surprise that she has become one of the biggest and most loved artists of her generation. 

Now in her first book -- a stunning visual narrative journey through her life -- Billie is ready to share more with her devoted audience for the first time, including hundreds of never-before-seen photos. This gorgeous book will capture the essence of Billie inside and out, offering readers personal glimpses into her childhood, her life on tour, and more.  It will be a must-have for every fan.
Published simultaneously with the book, Hachette will release a standalone audiobook of exclusive, unique content in which Billie reflects on her life. Including never-before-told stories and recollections from her personal life and career, from the early years to her breakout success and including memories shared by her parents, this is an audiobook like no other – providing a truly intimate window into her journey, in Billie’s own words.
Of her first book, Billie Eilish said, “I spent many hours over many months pouring through my family albums and archives, handpicking all of the photos in this book. I hope you love it as much as I do.”
Gretchen Young said, “I am absolutely thrilled to be working on the first book by iconic singer and songwriter Billie Eilish.  Her unique combination of sophisticated artistic vision and tenacious creative energy shines through on every page, and the vibrant visual nature of how she has chosen to share herself and her truth captures perfectly the unassailable authenticity for which she is so beloved by her ever-growing legions of fans.”
Laura Horsley said: “We are beyond excited to be publishing Billie Eilish. Rebellious, smart, innovative, and authentic, Billie is a global phenomenon and an inspiration to so many. This much-anticipated book will give us a glimpse at the person beyond the icon. Fans around the globe will devour it.”
Hachette will publish English Language editions simultaneously around the globe.
Billie Eilish has become one of the biggest stars to emerge since the release of her debut single “Ocean Eyes” in 2015 and continues to shatter the ceiling of music with her genre-defying sound. Fast forward from her humble breakout to 2019 when Billie’s album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in the U.S as well as 17 additional countries and was the most streamed album of the year.  When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? was written, produced and recorded entirely by Billie Eilish and brother Finneas in their childhood home in Los Angeles.  Billie Eilish went on to make history as the youngest artist to receive nominations and win in all the major categories at the 62nd Grammy Awards receiving an award for Best New Artist, Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Pop Vocal Album.  Billie Eilish is also the youngest artist to write and record an official James Bond theme song, “No Time To Die.”

You can pre-order the book at Barnes & Noble HERE.
About Grand Central Publishing:
Grand Central Publishing, a division of Hachette Book Group, reaches a diverse audience through hardcover, trade paperback and mass market books and e-books that cater to every kind of reader. Our imprints are GCP Balance, Twelve, Forever and Forever Yours.
About Hachette Book Group:
Hachette Book Group is a leading trade publisher based in New York and a division of Hachette Livre (a Lagardère company), the third-largest trade and educational publisher in the world. HBG is made up of seven publishing groups: Little, Brown and Company; Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; Grand Central Publishing; Perseus Books; Orbit; Hachette Nashville; and Hachette Audio.
About Hachette UK:
Hachette UK is a leading UK publishing group based in London and is the second-largest British publishing group. Our publishers Headline, Hodder & Stoughton, John Murray Press, Quercus, Bookouture, Little, Brown and Orion publish award-winning fiction and non-fiction; Hachette Children’s Group publishes a wide and vibrant range of books for children across many age ranges. Octopus publishes a distinctive array of illustrated books, and Hodder Education is a market leader in resources for schools. Wren & Rook is an imprint of Hachette Children’s Group. 

'Allen Ginsberg at Reed College  The First Recorded Reading of Howl and Other Poems' to be released on Omnivore Recordings on April 2, 2021 on CD, digital and LP

From the liner notes: "One of the most important documents in the history of American literature in the second half of the 20th century."  Dr. Pancho Savery, Reed College

PORTLAND, Ore. — Allen Ginsberg’s first public reading of his epic poem “Howl” took place at San Francisco’s famous Six Gallery in October of 1955. Along with Ginsberg, the evening included readings by Gary Snyder, Philip Whalen, Philip Lamantia, and Michael McClure. Poet and anthologist Kenneth Rexroth was the emcee, and Jack Kerouac, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and Neal Cassady were in attendance. Unfortunately for literary history, no one recorded the Six Gallery reading, and it was long-thought that the first recording of “Howl” was from a reading at Berkeley in March 1956. Before visiting Berkeley, however, Ginsberg had traveled to Reed College in Portland, Oregon, with Gary Snyder to give a series of readings. Snyder and Philip Whalen had been students at Reed and had studied under the legendary calligrapher Lloyd Reynolds. Other attendees of Reed have included Steve Jobs, James Beard, Barry Hansen (Dr. Demento), Barbara Ehrenreich, Ry Cooder, Mary Barnard, Lee Blessing, Del Hymes, Arlene Blum, Eric Overmyer, and Max Gordon (founder of the Village Vanguard jazz club in NYC).
On February 13 and 14, 1956, Snyder and Ginsberg read at Reed, with the Valentine’s Day performance recorded then forgotten about until author John Suiter, researching Snyder at Reed’s Hauser Memorial Library, found the tape in a box in 2007. Suiter immediately recognized the significance of the recording. Its discovery made headlines after it was verified in 2008, but the recording itself was never made widely accessible until Reed named its 16th president, Dr. Audrey Bilger in 2019; it happens that Bilger’s wife, Cheryl Pawelski, is a Grammy Award-winning record producer and co-founder of Omnivore Recordings who has long been interested in Ginsberg’s writing and performances.
In collaboration with the Ginsberg Estate, Omnivore Recordings had previously released two Ginsberg projects, The Complete Songs of Innocence and Experience (2017) and The Last Word on First Blues (2016). Excited by the prospect of making the historic recording of “Howl” available on Omnivore, Pawelski obtained permission from the Ginsberg Estate to release the recording and the original tape was sent to Grammy Award-winning engineer, Michael Graves, for transfer, restoration, and mastering.
The recording will be made available a little over 65 years from its original reading, April 2, 2021, on Allen Ginsberg at Reed College — The First Recorded Reading of Howl and Other Poems; formats include CD, Digital and LP, with a special Limited Edition color variant — “Reed Red” vinyl — available only from the Omnivore Recordings web store and the Reed College Bookstore (while supplies last).

To reflect the distinctive culture of Reed College, Pawelski tapped Reed Professor of English and Humanities, Dr. Pancho Savery, to write the liner notes and Gregory MacNaughton of the Calligraphy Initiative in Honor of Lloyd J. Reynolds to create the cover in the style of what a poster for the event might have looked like hanging on the Reed campus in 1956. Savery’s notes trace the poem's history and inspiration and highlight differences in this early, work-in-progress version to the final published text. The liner notes are extraordinarily insightful and would be worth purchasing on their own.
Reading “Howl” out loud in front of an audience is an exhausting and emotional experience, so Ginsberg warmed up by reading several shorter poems first. The Reed recording includes these shorter selections and most of Part I of “Howl.” The restored recording is crystal clear; you can not only hear Ginsberg turning the pages, but taking breaths after each long line. The audience is pin-drop quiet except for a few places in the reading, for instance, one moment when someone in the audience says something that can’t be heard that elicits laughter, to which Ginsberg responds, “I don’t want to corrupt the youth.” Other lines generate laughter, but the audience is attentive and respectful, allowing for a present-day fly-on-the-wall listening experience. In testimony to how emotionally draining it was to read the poem two nights in a row, as Ginsberg launches into Part II, he stops after four lines saying, “I don’t really feel like reading any more, I haven’t got any kind of steam. So I’d like to cut, do you mind?” Thus ends the first known recording of “Howl” . . . and now begins its 21st century access for all to hear
Variety broke the story: http://bit.ly/2LNhdhy 

Watch the Allen Ginsberg trailer: https://youtu.be/kEqhNozN5Xk 

The Avett Brothers share live version of "I Go To My Heart" - new digital single out now

Three-time GRAMMY Award nominees The Avett Brothers have released a new live digital single, “I Go To My Heart” -- stream/download it HERE. To mark the release, the band gave a stunning performance of the track on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon last week, filmed in their hometown of Charlotte, NC at the beautiful Belk Theater; watch it here.  The original studio version of “I Go To My Heart” is featured on the band’s latest acclaimed album, The Third Gleam, out now via American Recordings/ Loma Vista Recordings (purchase/ stream here).

The centerpiece of The Third Gleam, “I Go To My Heart” represents the themes of love and redemption heard throughout the new record. The elegant and stripped-back song is at the heart of their latest effort, compelling the band to gift fans with this new live recording as a hopeful musical offering to kick off 2021. 

The Avett Brothers ended 2020 on a high note. Their New Year’s Eve livestream concert, also filmed at North Carolina’s Belk Theater, featured a sonically arresting, full-band performance spanning the band’s extensive catalogue, with host Dax Shepard and an impressive lineup of guests including Willie Nelson, Brandi Carlile, Norah Jones, Mickey Raphael, Taylor Goldsmith, Ben Bridwell, Jessica Lea Mayfield, Nicole Atkins, Alela Diane, Jimmie Johnson, Jim Avett, David Childers, Paleface, Joseph The Spouse, Langhorne Slim, Clem Snide, Judd Apatow, Pete Holmes, Asleep at the Wheel, Loudon Wainwright III, G. Love and Mandolin Orange. The show was the band’s 17th annual New Year's Eve performance keeping their long-standing annual tradition alive, with a whopping estimated 150,000 fans watching virtually via various platforms. SiriusXM’s The Spectrum also featured an interview and exclusive performance with the band on December 31st in conjunction with highlights from the special, while outlets including The New York Times, Rolling Stone, USA Today, Billboard, Variety and more featured the event in their notable shows to stream on New Year’s Eve.

The Third Gleam vinyl debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Vinyl Albums Chart and debuted at #5 on Billboard’s Top Current Album Chart, with “Victory" from the album peaking at #1 on the Americana radio single chart. Following the album release in August, the band stayed connected with fans playing two drive-in shows at The Charlotte Motor Speedway in the span of three months (August and October). They also released a moving new rendition of the Woody Guthrie classic, “This Land Is Your Land,” along with its striking music video directed by the Emmy-winning Samuel Bayer watch it here. Gracing the cover of Relix Magazine December issue, their latest music has been lauded by the likes of Paste, NPR, Esquire, American Songwriter, Rolling Stone Country and CMT.com among others. 

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