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Rock Critic Law

Straight out of his beloved Twitter feed @RockCriticLaw, acclaimed rock journalist and author of the classic books Come As You Are: The Story of Nirvana and Our Band Could Be Your Life, Michael Azerrad turns his trenchant eye to the art of rock writing itself, hilariously skewering 101 of the genre's seemingly endless litany of hackneyed phrases and tropes.One of the finest music writers today, Michael Azerrad has catalogued the shortcuts, lazy metaphors and uninspired prose that so many of his beloved colleagues all too regularly rely on to fill column inches. In 2014, he began his wickedly droll Twitter feed @RockCriticLaw to expose and make fun of this word-hash. Now, he consolidates these "Laws" into one witty, comprehensive and fully illustrated volume.Rock Critic Law includes timeless gems such as:If a band pioneered something, you must say they are "seminal." That is the Seminal Law of Rock Criticism.If a recording features densely layered...
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The Band That Played On

Retail“They kept it up to the very end. Only the engulfing ocean had power to drown them into silence. The band was playing ‘Nearer, My God, to Thee.’ I could hear it distinctly. The end was very close.” —CHARLOTTE COLLYER, TITANIC SURVIVORThe movies, the documentaries, the museum exhibits. They often tell the same story about the “unsinkable” Titanic, her wealthy passengers, the families torn apart, and the unthinkable end. But never before has “that glorious band”—the group of eight musicians who played on as the Titanic slipped deeper and deeper into the Atlantic Ocean—been explored in such depth. Steve Turner’s extensive research reveals a fascinating story including dishonest agents, a clairvoyant, social climbers, and a fraudulent violin maker. Read what brought the band members together and how their music served as the haunting soundtrack for one of modern history’s most tragic maritime disasters.BOOK REVIEWSThe Band that Played On by Steve Turner is, surprisingly, the first book since the great ship went down to examine the lives of the eight musicians who were employed by the Titanic. What these men did―standing calmly on deck playing throughout the disaster―achieved global recognition. But their individual stories, until now, have been largely unknown. What Turner has uncovered is a narrow but unique slice of history―one more chapter of compelling Titanic lore.Turner, a music journalist, pursued living relatives of the band members and squeezed all that he could out of “inherited photographs, documents, and anecdotes” enabling him to sketch brief but poignant portraits of eight young (or at least youngish) men, all born in an optimistic era and all members of the rising middle class. To their parents, their girlfriends, and surely to themselves as well, the future must have seemed bright right up until the early morning hours of April 15, 1912…There is much that we do not know about the final hours of these men. Why did they make the decision to play on the deck that night? What was in their hearts and minds? …Even the Titanic survivors who witnessed their final performance quibbled over some details. Did the band march or did they kneel? Was their last number “Autumn” or was it “Nearer, My God, to Thee”? Did they stop playing during the final moments and pack their instruments away or were they still playing as the ship went down? All agreed, however, that all eight band members behaved with remarkable calm and courage. Within hours of the ship’s sinking, their story was circulating and they had already become heroes…For Turner, however, the undisputed hero of the book is Wallace Hartley, a fine musician with religious conviction and a powerful sense of duty who seems most likely to have been the force behind those final hours of heroism. In the last pages of the book, Turner reveals a surprising Hartley discovery―a turn of events which makes a fine ending for his worthy book, even as it leaves us hopeful that the Titanic may yet have a few mysteries she is willing to give up.—Marjorie Kehe, Book Editor, Christian Science Monitor. . . For those the least bit interested in the Titanic tale, this is another intriguing chapter in the legend.—Craig Wilson, USA TodayThis detailed and sympathetic portrait of the bandsmen will be appreciated by Titanic enthusiasts and casual readers alike. Steve Turner's new book admirably fills a gap in Titanic literature. There are few good books on the subject of Titanic and, until now, none on the band itself. Steve's impressive depth of research has allowed him to vividly flesh out the stories of each of the band members and he has set these narratives in a fascinating social, political, cultural and religious context. I only wish Steve's book had been around when I was researching Wallace Hartley for my role in James Cameron's movie!—Jonathan Evans-Jones, who played band leader Wallace Hartley in the film Titanic.Filling at last a historical gap, this isthe definitive account of those neglected and abused heroic bandsmen. Steve Turner has done a fine and exhaustive job of research on those splendid souls who did exactly what musicians, as service providers, do best: soothe and give succor. I wish I'd had this book at hand when I put together my recording of the White Star Orchestra's music: I could have made the thing a lot more accurate! A worthy, thrilling and moving book.—Ian Whitcomb, music advisor for the film Titanic, and producer of the Grammy Award winning CD, "Titanic--Music As Played On The Fateful Voyage" (Rhino Records, 1998.)
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The Beatles

There was rich praise for the original edition of The Beatles Stories Behind The Songs Book, including Steve Matteo in The Music Paper describing it as 'One of the most readable and illuminating books ever written about The Beatles' and in his autobiography, Many Years From Now, even Paul McCartney acknowledged Steve Turner's work. Where is Penny Lane? What was the inspiration for 'Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds"? Steve Turner shatters many well-worn myths and adds a new dimension to the Fab Four's rich legacy by investigating the events immortalised in The Beatles' music and now occupying a special niche in popular culture's collective imagination.
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Our Band Could Be Your Life

This is the never-before-told story of the musical revolution that happened right under the nose of the Reagan Eighties--when a small but sprawling network of bands, labels, fanzines, radio stations, and other subversives reenergized American rock with punk rock's do-it-yourself credo and created music that was deeply personal, often brilliant, always challenging, and immensely influential. This sweeping chronicle of music, politics, drugs, fear, loathing, and faith has been recognized as an indie rock classic in its own right. Among the bands profiled: Mission of Burma, Butthole Surfers, The Minutemen, Sonic Youth, Black Flag, Big Black, Hüsker Dü, Fugazi, Minor Threat, Mudhoney, The Replacements, Beat Happening, and Dinosaur Jr.
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The Man Called CASH

Johnny Cash is one of the most influential figures in music and American popular culture today. While he was an icon to people of all ages during his life, Cash's legacy continues after his death. His remarkable story is captured in this exclusive authorized biography, addressing the whole life of Johnny Cash-not just his unforgettable music but also his relationship with June Carter Cash and his faith in Christ. His authenticity, love for God and family, and unassuming persona are what Steve Turner captures with passion and focus in this inspiring book. Different from other books written about him, The Man Called CASH brings Cash's faith and love for God into the foreground and tells the story of a man redeemed, without watering-down or sugar-coating. The Man Called CASH will be a huge success with his millions of fans and will draw in many new fans with this inspiring story of faith and redemption.
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Come As You Are

Nirvana came out of nowhere in 1991 to sell nearly five million copies of their landmark album Nevermind, whose thunderous sound and indelible melodies embodied all the confusion, frustration, and passion of the emerging Generation X. Come As You Are is the close-up, intimate story of Nirvana -- the only book with exclusive in-depth interviews with bandmembers Kurt Cobain, Krist Noveselic, and Dave Grohl, as well as friends, relatives, former bandmembers, and associates -- now updated to include a new final chapter detailing the last year of Kurt Cobain's life, before his tragic suicide in April 1994.
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