The Quietus presents a new book about hip hop’s relation to reality TV, 'Who Got the Camera? A History of Rap and Reality' by Eric Harvey. "Harvey’s central idea, borrowed from French philosopher Jean Baudrillard, that reality rap be understood as a 'hyper-reality'. By this phrase Baudrillard had in mind a world where spectacle and reality become indivisible, where media presentations of the Gulf War or of King’s beating, for instance, overwhelm any actual event. It’s an idea that serves Harvey’s understanding of the King tape, rap music, and reality TV, insofar as all amount to instances where reality and its representation become more or less indiscernible".

Some interesting thoughts by The Roots' drummer Questlove about history in his new book 'Music Is History': "I can relate the history dispassionately. That’s something to practice. It’s important. If you let all your emotions in all the time when you’re giving historical accounts, you may find yourself too often overcome by sorrow, rage, and wonder... At the same time that it’s worth being honest about the importance of personalizing history, it’s vital not to limit ourselves to personal points of entry... Understanding history begins with learning history, and learning history begins with being able to see both inside yourself and outside yourself". Rolling Stone brings the excerpt.

"In a postmodern pop cultural moment, when notions of purism and authenticity seem irredeemably old-fashioned, it may seem like an odd time to write a book that is not only a history of popular music’s defining categories – rock, R&B, country, punk, hip-hop, dance and pop – but an unapologetic defence of them" - Guardian writes in a review of a new book 'Major Labels' by Kelefa Sanneh, about music’s top categories. The G concludes that "devotion to a sound, whether hip-hop or hardcore, is essentially about community and belonging; a way to signify our togetherness and signal our difference, often through allegiance to one style at the expense of all others".

Journalist Ciaran Thapar's debut book 'Cut Short: Youth Violence, Loss and Hope in the City' follows the story of four individuals to observe how youth violence, policing, gentrification and the media have affected their lives. The book is based on Thapar’s research, interviews and the relationships he’s formed as a youth worker. Each chapter title of 'Cut Short' is named in reference to a song lyric - which is the basis of The Face interview with Thapar.

Exploring British youth culture of the time, 'Scorcha!: Skins, Suedes and Style From The Streets 1967 -1973' is "a hefty book by Paul Anderson and Mark Baxter. Covering the rise of first the suedeheads and then the skinheads on British streets, it is a fascinating, lovingly compiled piece tracking in detail the fade from the musicality of the modish, ska-loving suedeheads – who were bravely swimming against the prevailing hippy tide in 1967 – into the more brutish skinheads. The attention to interview detail and mountains of picture research is monumental" - The New Cue recommends a new book.

"Jazz has somehow rediscovered its roots as populist music, embarking on a new and unscripted dialogue with mainstream culture. To some extent, jazz has even turned into a kind of talisman for forward-looking sounds in commercial music" - jazz music writer Ted Gioia writes in the third edition of his great book 'The History of Jazz', out now. "Artists as different from each other as Kamasi Washington, Esperanza Spalding, Shabaka Hutchings, and Robert Glasper have shown that they can draw on the full range of current-day song styles without losing their jazz roots, and attract a young crossover audience who are energized and excited by this give-and-take".

A paper thorn
August 12, 2021

Dolly Parton to release her first novel

Dolly Parton has teamed up with author James Patterson for her debut novel 'Run, Rose, Run', People reports. The 448-page book - out March 7th, 2022 - is country star's first work of literary fiction and it “combines my love of storytelling and books". Parton also announced she has "a new album to go along with the book. All new songs were written based on the characters and situations in the book".

Former Maccabees guitarist and current member of Tailender podcast team, Felix White has written a memoir 'Always Summer Somewhere' about his band's breakup, about being the inspiration of an entire Florence Welch album, and his obsession with cricket. "It’s a brilliant book, funny, reflective, sad, funny again, dealing with the worst things life can throw at you with a real lightness of touch" - The New Cue gives its verdict. They also talked to the guy. White said that "some of the hardest stuff to write, that I really wasn't sure that I should or not, was the stuff about being a nice guy in a band but knowing that I'm being a nice guy in a band, because it was from a position of power".

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