Staff Picks by Tag

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A Little Devil in America: In Praise of Black Performance By Hanif Abdurraqib Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781984801203
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - March 8th, 2022

Abdurraqib masterly balances the informational and the personal in this exploration of black performance from the vaudevillian-turned-spy Josephine Baker to the vulnerability of Wu-Tang Clan to poem-like entries "On Times I Have Forced Myself to Dance." (Did you know, even after singing about wanting to dance with somebody, Whitney Houston couldn't really dance? Check out the 1988 Grammy's.) Anyway, check this out if you want a beautifully entertaining book on entertainment. 


Review by Emily

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Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to A Tribe Called Quest (American Music Series) By Hanif Abdurraqib Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781477316481
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: University of Texas Press - February 1st, 2019

I'll admit, before this book, I couldn't name one song by A Tribe Called Quest. Abdurraqib writes something and I read it, simple as that. Just like with his other work, he comes at Go Ahead in the Rain (a song by A Tribe Called Quest) wanting to geek out and back it up with a well-researched history. My favorite parts were, varied within the timeline of their illustrious career, Abdurraqib's personal letters to Q-Tip, Phife Dawg, and Ali that read equally like letters to friends and to great influences. The cover really says it all.


Review by Emily

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Serving the Servant: Remembering Kurt Cobain By Danny Goldberg Cover Image
$20.99
Unavailable at this time.
ISBN: 9780062861665
Published: Ecco - April 28th, 2020

Danny Goldberg was more than a band manager to Nirvana but a friend and confidant, especially to Kurt Cobain, at the height of their career. He is able to share the good and the bad, without idolizing or demonizing Cobain, in this look behind the music scene of the early nineties punk rock and grunge surge. So sit back, maybe unplug with Unplugged in the background, and enjoy.


Review by Emily

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The Butterfly Effect: How Kendrick Lamar Ignited the Soul of Black America By Marcus J. Moore Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781982107598
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Atria Books - October 5th, 2021

Initially skeptical to read a book about a young musician with just a couple albums out (who may not have even hit his creative peak yet), I quickly understood just why, in the year 2020, this book needed to come out. Using the framework of the 4 albums of Kendrick Lamar, Marcus J. Moore writes a "cultural biography" to explain the intersection of hip-hop and the Black Lives Matter movement today. This is a timely read about one of the great popular musical artists of today. 


Review by Kalani

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They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us: Expanded Edition By Hanif Abdurraqib, Jason Reynolds (Afterword by), Eve L. Ewing (Introduction by) Cover Image
By Hanif Abdurraqib, Jason Reynolds (Afterword by), Eve L. Ewing (Introduction by)
$18.95
ISBN: 9781953387448
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Two Dollar Radio - June 20th, 2023

This is a must read. Abdurraqib combines the experience of music and culture through such an engaging lens, it's hard to put it down. He can talk about Carly Rae Jepsen, Fall Out Boy, Bruce Springsteen, being black, being Muslim, living in contemporary America all in one breath with such ease and such a command for language. Seriously, even his Instagram captions are well-written (you should follow him). 

 


Review by Emily

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High School By Sara Quin, Tegan Quin Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781250758187
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 3-10 days
Published: Picador - November 17th, 2020

For every young creative who is just trying to find their place in the world. Reading this feels like you’re reading the diary of your best friend.


Review by Rosa

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Meet Me in the Bathroom: Rebirth and Rock and Roll in New York City 2001-2011 By Lizzy Goodman Cover Image
$22.99
ISBN: 9780062233103
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Dey Street Books - November 13th, 2018

For readers who remember what it is like to use the click-wheel on a first generation iPod, or watched Gideon Yago on MTV2, this book is for you. Exploring the rise and fall of the post-9/11 indie music scene that grew from the grimy grates of NYC and beyond, the oral history includes vibrant voices like Karen O of Yeah Yeah Yeahs, James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem, The Strokes, Interpol, and other bands that your cool older sister introduced to you back in middle school.


Review by Sarah C.

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