12 Days of CanLit: Music


Have you been avoiding your calendar, in denial about the shrinking number of shopping days before Christmas? The holiday season is upon us, and whether you're looking for gifts to set under a tree or around a menorah or just for some non-denominational seasonal giving (or reading!), we've got 12 days of book recommendations coming your way. With 12 different categories, we've got books for everyone from foodies to fiction addicts to sports buffs missing their beloved hockey this winter. On the second day of CanLit we bring you three musical reads for the special someone in your life who loves to pump up the volume.

Waging Heavy Peace by Neil Young


No Canadian music lover's stocking would be complete without Neil Young's new memoir. There's sex, drugs and rock and roll, but there are also thoughtful meditations on Neil's health woes (polio as a child and a brain aneurysm in 2005), his beloved first car (a 1953 Buick Skylark) and his son Ben, born with cerebral palsy. As obsessive, eccentric and erratic as the man himself (in the best ways), Waging Heavy Peace offers detailed insight into the life and work of a man who has defined Canadian music for decades.

CBC Music's book club read Waging Heavy Peace in November.

Perfect Youth: The Birth of Canadian Punk by Sam Sutherland


Did you know that Canada had a thriving punk scene in the 1970s? If you did, well, then Perfect Youth is the book for you. And if you didn't, Perfect Youth is the perfect book to learn all about it! Sutherland offers more than a straightforward story about this once-thriving movement starring bands like the Subhumans and Teenage Head taking over music venues in places as diverse as Moncton, New Brunswick, and downtown Toronto. He also offers up an analysis of how punk changed Canadian cities, Canadian culture and even the Canadian music industry.

CBC Music read Perfect Youth for their book club in October.

True North: A Life Inside the Music Business by Bernie Finkelstein


If the business of Canadian music is more your giftee's style, pick up True North. Bernie Finkelstein has been on the CanCon scene since the 1960s, working as a producer, manager and record-label owner. He has 40 Junos, he discovered Bruce Cockburn and he ensured grant money for Sarah MacLachlan when she was starting out -- in short, his fingerprints are all over the Canadian songbook. This behind-the-scenes look at how Canadian music surged on the international scene and built an identity all its own is a must-have for any Canadian music fan.

Listen to Bernie Finkelstein discuss True North with Jian Ghomeshi.

!2 Days of CanLit