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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The Grey Album
On the Blackness of Blackness
Kevin Young
Taking its title from Danger Mouse's pioneering mashup of Jay-Z's The Black Album and the Beatles' The White Album, Kevin Young’s encyclopedic book combines essay, cultural criticism, and lyrical chorus to illustrate the African American tradition of...
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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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Patti Smith 1969-1976
Judy Linn
Before she was a world-renowned singer-songwriter and dubbed "The Godmother of Punk," Patti Smith was a struggling poet posing for the lens of photographer Judy Linn. In intimate portraits of an artist as a young woman, Linn captures Smith at her...
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The Cello Suites
J. S. Bach, Pablo Casals, and the Search for a Baroque Masterpiece
Eric Siblin
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Thelonious Monk
The Life and Times of an American Original
Robin D.G. Kelley
Thelonious Monk is the critically acclaimed, gripping saga of an artist's struggle to "make it" without compromising his musical vision. It is a story that, like its subject, reflects the tidal ebbs and flows of American history in the twentieth...
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Just Kids
Patti Smith
Winner of the National Book Award. Just Kids illuminates the impressive lover of literature that Patti Smith is. Her memoir will be of particular interest to City Lights enthusiasts as she is our quintessential reader, a fan of the Surrealists...
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Quadrivium
The Four Classical Liberal Arts of Number, Geometry, Music, & Cosmology
Anthony Ashton, Miranda Lundy, John Martineau,Dr. Jason Martineau, Daud Sutton
The quadrivium—the classical curriculum—comprises the four liberal arts of number, geometry, music, and cosmology. It was studied from antiquity to the Renaissance as a way of glimpsing the nature of reality. Geometry is number in space; music is...
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The Vulture
Gil Scott-Heron
Digging the rhythms of the street, where the biggest deal life has to offer is getting high, this hip, fast-moving thriller relates the strange story of the murder of a teenage boy called John Lee...
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Perfecting Sound Forever
An Aural History of Recorded Music
Greg Milner
In 1915, Thomas Edison proclaimed that he could record a live performance and reproduce it perfectly, shocking audiences who found themselves unable to tell whether what they were hearing was an Edison Diamond Disc or a flesh-and-blood musician...
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Delta Blues
The Life and Times of the Mississippi Masters Who Revolutionized American Music
Ted Gioia
“The essential history of this distinctly American genre.”—Atlanta Journal-Constitution In this “expertly researched, elegantly written, dispassionate yet thoughtful history” (Gary Giddins), award-winning author Ted Gioia gives us “the rare...
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DownBeat - The Great Jazz Interviews (A 75th Anniversary Anthology)
Various, Frank Alkyer, Ed Enright
Culled from the DownBeat archives - includes in-depth interviews with literally every great jazz artist and personality that ever lived! Features classic photos and magazine covers from DownBeat's vast archives. In honor of its 75th anniversary...
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Sun Ra
Interviews & Essays
John Sinclair
Composer, bandleader, pianist and space philosopher, Sun Ra was a unique individual and one of the most colorful and enduring of musical legacies, transcending time, place and culture. From the mid 1950s until his death in 1993, Sun Ra led The...
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The Rest Is Noise
Listening to the Twentieth Century
Alex Ross
In this sweeping and dramatic narrative, Alex Ross, music critic for The New Yorker, weaves together the histories of the twentieth century and its music, from Vienna before the First World War to Paris in the twenties...
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How Equal Temperament Ruined Harmony
(And Why You Should Care)
Ross W. Duffin
"A fascinating and genuinely accessible guide....Educating, enjoyable, and delightfully unscary."—Classical Music What if Bach and Mozart heard richer, more dramatic chords than we hear in music today? What sonorities and moods have we lost in playing...

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