Louder Than Hell: The Definitive Oral History of Metal
Katherine Turman and Jon Wiederhorn
(It Books · hardcover · $32.50)
Revolver Senior Editor Jon Wiederhorn and “Nights with Alice Cooper” producer Katherine Turman successfully coax the history of metal from hundreds of interviews with past and present luminaries of the genre in Louder Than Hell. Clocking in at 686 pages, the cast of characters consulted includes everyone from Gene Simmons to Courtney Love to Chino Moreno to Iggy Pop to Maynard James Keenan to Rob Halford to Jerry Cantrell, and so on. Painstakingly llustrated with full-color photo spreads, Louder Than Hell boldly takes on proto-metal, the British new wave, thrash, hardcore, industrial, nü-metal, death metal, black metal and metalcore. Bookended by essays from Anthrax’s Scott Ian and Judas Priest’s Rob Halford, this heavy tome is comprehensive, insightful and highly entertaining.
Moondog: The Viking of 6th Avenue
(Process Media · paperback · $22.95)
Originally published in 2007, a revised edition of authorized biography Moondog is again in print. Robert Scotto, a professor of literature, delves into the existence of enigmatic outsider artist Moondog. The inimitable New York-based blind and intentionally homeless composer, musician and inventor’s body of work inspired countless others, including Philip Glass, whose essay (“Remembering Moondog”) opens the text. This biography passionately explores the long and fruitful life of Moondog: childhood, the accident that rendered him blind, lifestyle, marriages, legal issues, touring, success and ideas. Appendix treats include Moondog’s Perpetual Calendar and poetry. Whether you’ve heard of the man or not, this chronicle of genius is worth your time. A carefully curated selection of recordings from Moondog’s extensive catalog is available as a download with purchase. Read this while rocking a Viking helmet.
Facing the Other Way: The Story of 4AD
(The Friday Project · hardcover, e-book, limited-edition hardback slipcase · Publishes Sept. 26)
This isn’t so much a review as it is a heads-up to fellow 4AD obsessives. In late-September, Facing the Other Way hits shelves; can you say “eeeeeeeee”? This chronicle of the iconic label waxes poetic about the 4AD roster, including: Bauhaus, Belly, The Birthday Party, Breeders, Cocteau Twins, Dead Can Dance, Lisa Germano, Kristin Hersh, Pixies, Red House Painters, This Mortal Coil and Thowing Muses. Based on the sample chapter, the book promises to illuminate the influential label’s inner workings and its philosophical and artistic ethos. Did y’all know that 4AD founder Ivo Watts-Russell lives in the City Different? Expect more in-depth coverage—including an interview with the author and perhaps even Watts-Russell, if I can track him down—as the publication date draws near.