Music
Books in this online selection represent only a sliver of what we offer in the store. If you've got a particular book in mind and want to check on its availability, call us at 415-362-8193.

   
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Improvisation
Its Nature and Practice in Music
Derek Bailey
Derek Bailey’s Improvisation, originally published in 1980, and here updated and extended with new interviews and photographs, is the first book to deal with the nature of improvisation in all its forms—Indian music, flamenco, baroque, organ music...
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Young Man with a Horn
A Novel
Dorothy Baker
Rick Martin loved music and the music loved him. He could pick up a tune so quickly that it didn't matter to the Cotton Club boss that he was underage, or to the guys in the band that he was just a white kid. He started out in the slums of LA with nothing, and he ended up on top of the game in the speakeasies and nightclubs of New York.
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Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung
The Work of a Legendary Critic: Rock'n'Roll as Literature and Literature as Rock'n'Roll
Lester Bangs
If you ask me, Lester Bangs was one of the great American writers to ever live and think about anything worth living and thinking about—-it just so happened he chose rock 'n roll magazines as a platform. These handpicked reviews, essays, and random thoughts were handpicked by Greil Marcus to showcase Lester's singular and often copied voice.
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S O S — Calling All Black People
A Black Arts Movement Reader
John H. Bracey Jr., Sonia Sanchez, James Smethurst
This volume brings together a broad range of key writings from the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and 1970s, among the most significant cultural movements in American history. The aesthetic counterpart of the Black Power movement, it burst onto the scene in the form of artists circles, writers workshops, drama groups, dance troupes...
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Can't Stop Won't Stop
A History of the Hip-Hop Generation
Jeff Chang, DJ Kool Herc
Many good books have been written about the history of hip-hop music and the generation that nurtured it. Can't Stop Won't Stop ranks among the best. Jeff Chang covers the music--from its Jamaican roots in the late 1960s to its birth in the Bronx...
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Traveling the Spaceways
Sun Ra, the Astro Black and other Solar Myths
John Corbett, Anthony Elms, Terri Kapsalis
Sun Ra (1914-93) - self-proclaimed visionary extraterrestrial of the "Angel Race," prophetic jazz band leader and composer, and lyrical proponent of Afro-futurism - was one of the most influential figures of twentieth-century music. Though many of his...
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R. Crumb's Heroes of Blues, Jazz, & Country
R. Crumb
Anyone who knows R. Crumb's work as an illustrator knows of his passion for music. And all those who collect his work prize the Heroes of the Blues, Early Jazz Greats, and Pioneers of Country Music trading card sets he created in the early to-...
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Lady Sings the Blues the 50th Anniversary Edition
William Dufty, Billie Holiday
Lady Sings the Blues is the fiercely honest, no-holds-barred autobiography of Billie Holiday, the legendary jazz, swing, and standards singing sensation. Taking the reader on a fast-moving journey from Holiday's rough-and-tumble Baltimore...
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Blues and the Poetic Spirit
Paul Garon
Paul Garon knows the blues, from the music itself to the poetry and psychology that are the impetus of its creation. The author of biographies of such blues icons as Peetie Wheatstraw and Memphis Minnie, Garon focuses on the social and political...
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Mingus Speaks
John F. Goodman
A sun speaks. At times promethean, hilarious, and vexing, this is Mingus as spontaneous combustion. The music is in his words.—Recommended by Scott, City Lights Books
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Searching for Robert Johnson
The Life and Legend of the "King of the Delta Blues Singers"
Peter Guralnick
Robert Johnson, while probably the most influential of all blues guitarists, is also one of the most obscure. Recognized as an influence on musicians like Eric Clapton and the Rolling Stones, Johnson was poisoned by a jealous husband in 1938--at the...
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Tom Waits on Tom Waits
Interviews and Encounters
Paul Maher Jr.
Tom Waits, even with his barnyard growl and urban hipster yawp, may just be what the Daily Telegraph calls him: "the greatest entertainer on Planet Earth." Over a span of almost four decades, he has transformed his music and persona, not to suit the...
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Gypsy Cante
Deep Song of the Caves
Will Kirkland
Over centuries, Andalusian Gypsies developed cante jondo, or deep song, which grew from the experience of exile and marginalization. Although flamenco music enjoys wide popularity today, the words of the songs are often lost in the passion of the...
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Where the Heart Beats
John Cage, Zen Buddhism, and the Inner Life of Artists
Kay Larson
In this stunning biography of John Cage, Larson investigates how Buddhist concepts shaped Cage's approach to art, and the influence it had on other artists of his era (ie. Merce Cunningham, Robert Rauschenberg, etc.). If you're a fan of Cage, you will...

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