IDoes your uncle still talk about all the concerts he went to growing up? Do your nieces and nephews make you feel old because you don’t know the music they love? And is your cousin a bit of a music snob? Well, instead of destroying yourself trying to decide which record to buy (which they may or may not think is cool), there is plenty of great reading about the music industry and the players involved that can be just as exciting than a new album.
If you need help picking out a book for the musician in your life, here are some options for outings from 2021 that you can find downtown at Dudley’s Bookshop and Cafe.
“Hip-Hop and other things” by Shea Serrano
The Ringer’s Shea Serrano is no stranger to writing great books. Following the release of this year’s âHip-Hop and Stuffâ Serrano is officially a quadruple. New York Times Best-selling author, the first Mexican author to achieve such a feat. His books contain a ton of knowledge and research, all told with a touch of humor and a personal perspective you only get from Serrano. His works are also crafted with special illustrations by Arturo Torres, who manages to bring Serrano’s wild and vivid shots to life even more. “Hip-Hop and Other Things” is made up of 32 chapters that answer only the most important questions in hip-hop history, for example, who was the most perfect duo in rap history? Is Action Bronson a good travel partner? Has anyone had a better 2018 than Cardi B? In short, if you like hip-hop, this book is for you. And it looks great on your coffee table.
“The eraser of Nina Simone” by Warren Ellis
Yes. This book is about a piece of gum. A piece of chewing gum that belonged to the late Dr Nina Simone. The gum story begins in 1999, when Simone performed at Nick Cave’s Meltdown Festival. Group member and Cave collaborator Warren Ellis was so stunned by his performance that he took the stage after the show and scooped up Simone’s chewing gum in a napkin and put it in a Tower bag. Records. Ellis then kept the gum for 20 years before deciding to put it in Cave’s Stranger Than Kindness exhibit. Preparing the chewing gum for the exhibit sent Ellis on a journey of reconnecting and examining attachments to other physical objects. The book emphasizes the meaning that different things can have in our life, no matter how simple. Like chewing gum. It was right in the mouth of one of the most prolific voices in the history of music and a fervent civil rights activist.
“John Prine from John Prine” by Erin Osmon
This episode of the 33 1/3 book series takes a look at the self-titled debut album by John Prine, which is now 50 years old. If you’re unfamiliar with the 33 1/3 series, each book takes a look at an individual artist and album, delving into their history and influences, as well as what attracted each author to that particular body of work. In “John Prine’s John Prine” Erin Osmon tells the stories of the people and places that helped and inspired Prine’s debut album and how it evolved through those early moments of his music career. With new interviews and insights, it’s a great way to unbox the first works of one of the best songwriters the world has ever seen.
Michelle Zauner’s “Crying In H Mart”
Michelle Zauner is best known for her musical project Japanese Breakfast. Her first book, “Crying In H Mart”, is presented as a memoir detailing loss and grief, growing up as a Korean American, finding an identity and more. When Zauner’s mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer, she found herself trying to reconnect more with her story, as Zauner’s mother was once the biggest connection to her Korean roots. One of the ways that Zauner and his mother would connect is through the art of cooking and eating food, a practice that the book shares the beauty of. It’s an interesting and personal look at one of the biggest names in alternative music over the past five years – and it’s a look we rarely get to see. From Zauner who grew up in Eugene, Oregon, to his coming of age on the East Coast, readers will not only learn about the spirit behind Japanese breakfast, but possibly even be thinking more about their own family ties.
The Dudley Bookstore and Cafe are located at 135 NW Minnesota Ave in Bend. You can also order books online at dudleysbookshopcafe.com.