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Category: Music (1-10 of 40)

On The Books: Flea from Red Hot Chili Peppers has a memoir (This is not a Fool's joke)

Calling all RHCP fans: Flea has penned a memoir! A publication date hasn’t been set, but sometime soon you will be able to peek inside the mind of the bassist for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who has probably seen more in his 51 years than anyone alive. Born Michael Balzary, Flea is originally from the suburbs of New York, but he moved to Los Angeles as a kid to live with his bohemian step-father. In high school he met Anthony Kiedis and the rest is history. He said that the memoir will cover his young, rebellious life on the streets of LA, founding the Red Hot Chili Peppers with Kiedis and two other high school friends; details about his sometimes complex friendship and collaboration with Kiedis; his myriad experiences with hard drugs; and, of course, the tumultuous creative journey of the legendary Red Hot Chili Peppers through its various incarnations over the last 30 years. Sounds like an epic.

I hope you’re all watching your back today because April Fool’s Day can be dangerous — especially for gullible types like me. Here’s an easy (but funny) one: Penguin announced a new imprint today called Penguin Now! In order to appeal to Millennials with their internet-speak and emojis and ADHD, Penguin will (fake) publish a series of classic novels replacing all full-stop periods with exclamation points! The publisher gleefully announed, “By using exclamation marks over and over again, the reader is reminded of the urgency of the story at the end of every sentence. It’s a great way of preventing potentially inattentive readers from tuning out, putting the book down and wandering off, without altering the original text too much.” My favorite example: Thomas Hardy (who is pretty much the anti-exclamation) gets an attitude adjustment in Jude the Obscure: “But no one came! Because no one ever does!” Or Albert Camus (another Sour Sally) in L’Etranger: “Mother died today! Or yesterday, I don’t know!” …kinda wish they would actually print some of these. [Penguin]

Not a joke – Jane Goodall has finally addressed accusations that she plagiarized passages of her book, Seeds of Hope, from various web sources. Jane is an amazing scientist and advocate who deserves a break on this at 79 years old. “I don’t think anybody who knows me would accuse me of deliberate plagiarism,” she says and I don’t know her, but I would bet that is true. She’s no Stephen Glass. Although I do think it’s a bit strange that she says her note-taking isn’t very methodical…isn’t that like rule number one for a scientist? [Mosaic]

Here’s an April Fool’s quiz for you. How well do you know your literary hoaxes and frauds? (Apparently I know very little…)

Demi Lovato: 'If people really knew how dark my struggles got...'

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In 2010, former Disney star and current X Factor judge Demi Lovato hit bottom amid reports of bipolar disorder, cutting, and drug use. Now 21, Lovato makes good use of the struggles she experienced in her new book Staying Strong (out today), a book of daily inspirational thoughts. Lovato stopped by the EW offices to give a no-holds-barred interview about her book, Taylor Swift, and the advice she’d give Miley Cyrus. READ FULL STORY

'Rolling Stone' writer Anthony DeCurtis working on Lou Reed biography

Longtime music writer and Rolling Stone critic Anthony DeCurtis is writing a biography of Lou Reed.

Little, Brown and Co. announced Thursday that it had acquired a book by DeCurtis. The writer interviewed Reed numerous times and wrote the liner notes for an anthology of songs by the group Reed led in the 1960s, the Velvet Underground.

Little, Brown bills the biography as offering “the inside story” of the brilliant and contentious artist. The book is currently untitled and doesn’t yet have a release date.

Reed, one of the most influential musicians of the past 50 years, died Oct. 27 at age 71. He was known for such songs as “Walk on the Wild Side,” ”Heroin” and “Pale Blue Eyes.”

'What Does the Fox Say?' children's book on the way

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You’ve probably seen that YouTube video about what the fox says. Soon you’ll get to read about it.

Simon & Schuster’s Children’s Publishing has acquired a picture book based on the online sensation devised by the Norwegian comedy team Ylvis. The publisher announced Monday that the upcoming release, What Does the Fox Say?, will come out Dec. 10.

Ylvis, alias for brothers Vegard and Bard Ylvisaker, have scored more than 200 million YouTube hits since September of them prancing in fox suits singing: “Ring-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding! Gering-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding!”

Watch the video below:
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Demi Lovato signs multi-book deal, including memoir

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Demi Lovato’s next stage will be on the page.

The singer-actress has agreed to a multi-book deal with Feiwel and Friends. The publisher, an imprint of Macmillan, announced the deal Monday.

The first book features tweets she had written about her life. It’s called Staying Strong: 365 Days a Year and comes out in November.

Lovato also plans a memoir. The 21-year-old superstar has openly struggled with drug addiction and other personal troubles, some of which she has described on Twitter.

She will be seen this fall on several episodes of Glee and is in her second year as a mentor on The X Factor.

Author-critic Albert Murray dead at 97

Albert Murray, the influential novelist and critic who celebrated black culture, scorned black separatism, and was once praised by Duke Ellington as the “unsquarest man I know,” died Sunday. He was 97.

Murray died at home in his sleep, according to Lewis Jones, a family friend and Murray’s guardian.

Few authors so forcefully bridged the worlds of words and music. Like his old friend and intellectual ally Ralph Ellison, Murray believed that blues and jazz were not primitive sounds, but sophisticated art, finding kinships among Ellington and Louis Armstrong and novelists such as Thomas Mann and Ernest Hemingway.

He argued his case in a series of autobiographical novels, a nonfiction narrative (South to a Very Old Place), an acclaimed history of music (Stomping the Blues) and several books of criticism. Although slowed by back trouble, Murray continued to write well into his 80s, and also helped Wynton Marsalis and others stage the acclaimed Jazz at Lincoln Center concerts. Millions of television viewers came to know him as a featured commentator in Ken Burns’ documentary series Jazz.
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'The Fifth Beatle': Brian Epstein gets his moment in new graphic novel -- EXCLUSIVE

The Fab Four wouldn’t have been the Fab Four without the genius of the man Paul McCartney called the “fifth Beatle” — Brian Epstein. Epstein discovered the Beatles and guided them through their path to fame with a mix of marketing madness, business savvy, and inspiration. He died at age 32, just as the band was seeing the height of their success, but he’s getting his due (finally!) in a graphic novel that will debut at Comic-Con. Titled (fittingly), The Fifth Beatle, the story follows Epstein and the band through their early days in Liverpool, their first record deal, and Epstein’s epic 1961 proclamation that “The Beatles will be bigger than Elvis!” The novel also focuses on Epstein’s life apart from the band and his personal struggle with being gay in a time when homosexuality was still a crime in England.

Check out an exclusive trailer for the graphic novel below, complete with ’60s fashion homages and a dreamy score by record producer David Kahne.
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Lil Wayne's and Birdman's daughters in spotlight as new authors

The teenage daughters of rappers Lil Wayne and Birdman were in New Orleans with their dads this weekend, but it was the girls who greeted fans and signed autographs at the Essence Festival.

Reginae Carter is the 14-year-old daughter of Lil Wayne, whose real name is Dwayne Carter. She collaborated with 16-year-old Bria Williams, daughter of Bryan “Birdman” Williams on a teen novel, Paparazzi Princesses. It’s based on stories and characters inspired by their own life experiences.

“It’s about the ups and downs of having celebrity parents,” Reginae Carter said. “It’s about how we go through everyday drama like everybody else.”

They hope their book will inspire more teens to read.

“Every book is not everybody’s choice,” Carter said, adding that she likes the idea of book clubs, where teens can get together and read the same thing. “We hope they’ll read ours.”
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Clive Davis on Whitney Houston, Janis Joplin, Barry Manilow, others -- EXCLUSIVE AUDIO

Clive Davis’ revealing memoir about his long life and career in the music industry has incited much discussion: first on his bisexuality, and then, much more interestingly, there’s been the back and forth between Davis and Kelly Clarkson about creative differences. But in an exclusive clip from the audio verison of The Soundtrack of My Life, Davis remembers less tumultuous relationships with artists, including with Janis Joplin, Barry Manilow, and Whitney Houston. When reflecting on these artists, he can’t choose which one had the most influence on him. “It’s like really asking a parent which child you’ve had the most special relationship with,” he says. It’s no surprise that he doesn’t mention a certain artist in this clip. READ FULL STORY

Legendary music biz executive Clive Davis opens up about Whitney Houston, Kelly Clarkson, and his own bisexuality in new memoir

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It is almost easier to list the artists legendary music business executive Clive Davis hasn’t worked with than the ones he has during his half century-long career. Suffice it to say that the founder of Arista and J Records and the current chief creative officer of Sony Music Entertainment has overseen releases by everyone from voice-of-his-generation Bob Dylan to Milli Vanilli who, as it turned out, weren’t even the voices of themselves.

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