Staff Pick

As a longtime fan of Jessica Hopper’s vigilant, fearless music criticism, Night Moves is the book I’ve been pining for. A series of vignettes about her coming of age in the Chicago music scene, the pieces are as shaky with youth as a Ferlinghetti poem, and they come together to form one jagged love poem to a city and a way of life. There’s something markedly elegiac about the life Hopper describes, a roiling, breathing cityscape where the escape from the robotic crawl of gentrification seemed still possible. Can young adults still live like this in a city? Riding bikes through electric summer nights? God, I hope so. Night Moves made me feel very young and very old at the same time: a painful, singular elation.

Night Moves Cover Image
ISBN: 9781477317884
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: University of Texas Press - September 18th, 2018

Staff Pick

We are The Clash tells a complex story of a band that was a key player in the original wave of British punk rock. Thoroughly researched account of the band’s last years, their struggle to stay true to their ideals and the political climate in both UK and US with the rise of a right-wing power. It’s a biography of “The Only Band That Matters” as much as a political history of the late seventies and early eighties. Andersen and Heibutzki remind us that the greatness of The Clash lay in their willingness to push the envelope on all levels and that their music and their message together made them a band that truly mattered.

We Are the Clash: Reagan, Thatcher, and the Last Stand of a Band That Mattered Cover Image
ISBN: 9781617752933
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Akashic Books - July 3rd, 2018

Staff Pick

“Nothing great can be achieved in art without enthusiasm.” That is one of the many insights in Robert Schumann’s Advice to Young Musicians (Chicago, $18) “revisited” by cellist Steven Isserlis. It is an ideal gift for all music lovers and students—whether adult concert goers or Suzuki beginners. Mr. Isserlis is a world-renowned cellist, and has also written books about composers for children. He calls Schumann a “genius…far ahead of his time” both as a composer and as an educator. In Advice to Young Musicians (first published in 1850), Schumann’s “poetic words of wisdom” are retranslated, and arranged into four themes by Isserlis, who adds his own explanations and witty updates for a modern age. Isserlis ends with a chapter of his own “bits of advice.” I’ll end with words from Isserlis, then Schumann: “…vow never to lose your love for the music itself.” And “relieve the severity of your musical studies by reading poetry. Take lots of walks!”

Robert Schumann's Advice to Young Musicians: Revisited by Steven Isserlis Cover Image
By Robert Schumann, Steven Isserlis (Editor), Steven Isserlis (Commentaries by)
ISBN: 9780226482743
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: University of Chicago Press - October 23rd, 2017