RSSAll Entries in the "Book Reviews" Category

bird

THE BIRD: THE LIFE AND LEGACY OF MARK FIDRYCH by Doug Wilson; Thomas Dunne Books, 2013

On a sticky August night in 1976, my father and I gathered with 52,000 others to watch the sixth place California Angels play the fourth place Detroit Tigers in the fabled Tiger Stadium. Right-hander Mark Fidrych went into the game as debatably the most gripping phenom to ever grace baseball, a gangly kid with floppy […]

californiaking

CALIFORNIA KING by Heather Cox; Anabasis Publishing, 2012

What goes on in the creative mind of a former mortician, model and production designer? In the case of author Heather Cox, the answer is a dialog-driven, swerving tale of addiction, darkness, and obsessive love. California King is her first novel, and despite all its creaky planks and rough edges, it’s an interesting untamed piece […]

mckaganbook

IT’S SO EASY: AND OTHER LIES by Duff McKagan; Touchstone, 2011

Veteran journalist Ed Quillen once pointed out that “Ray Charles did his most brilliant work during the year he was addicted to heroin” and that the magnificent Stone’s LP Exile on Main Street “has more great loud and dirty rock and roll on it than any dozen recordings by people who could pass blood tests.” […]

Everybody-Loves-Our-Town

EVERYBODY LOVES OUR TOWN: AN ORAL HISTORY OF GRUNGE by Mark Yarm; Crown Archetype, 2011

It was the age of needy validation in music, fueled by MTV and massive major label deals that sprung from the newfound oasis of money that was the CD. Seattle became ground zero for expense account excess from industry players, and eventually the town became part of the problem rather than part of the solution. […]

huskerdu.earlsbook

HÜSKER DÜ: THE STORY OF THE NOISE-POP PIONEERS WHO LAUNCHED MODERN ROCK by Andrew Earles; Voyageur Press, 2010

There’s been a plentitude of reading opportunities for anybody interested in digging into Our Precious Hardcore Punk Rock Heritage recently.  Your browser is set to this url so you know the deal: the Touch and Go archives in book form, Why Be Something You’re Not, etc. Andrew Earles has made an invaluable contribution with this […]

cheetahchrom.book

CHEETAH CHROME: A DEAD BOY’S TALE FROM THE FRONT LINES OF PUNK ROCK by Cheetah Chrome; Voyageur Press, 2010

Cheetah Chrome’s saga includes his many identities: a dumbass, a loser, a hooligan, a loveable lug, a rock hero, and finally, a family man. Or does he clumsily wrap all of those characters into one loveable punk? A Dead Boy’s Tale, Chrome’s humorous, anecdote-jammed autobiography, is also his self-deprecating journey through Cleveland’s flats into NYC’s […]

seanyseult.intheband

I’M IN THE BAND: BACKSTAGE NOTES FROM THE CHICK IN WHITE ZOMBIE by Sean Yseult; Soft Skull Press, 2010

Goddamn I loved Soul Crusher.  I bought it for the cover alone, this miasma of psychoglo paint and fleecy-headed rockers with hot Crayola lettering—thinking magenta?—and inside was wax worthy of anything coming forth at the time.  White Zombie was on the map, first releasing Crusher on its own and then getting picked up by Caroline. […]

punchingout

PUNCHING OUT: ONE YEAR IN A CLOSING AUTO PLANT by Paul Clemens; Doubleday, 2011

In mid-January, TV funnyman Stephen Colbert joined an ages-old tradition with a shot at Detroit. “What if we turned Detroit into a bombing range?” Colbert pondered.  “Would anybody notice?” As one who has spent most of his life in these environs, thanks. Punching Out is a tale of a factory turned into…well, what looks like […]

whybesomething

PUNK ROCK PRATTLE: Is Talk Cheap?

WHY BE SOMETHING THAT YOU’RE NOT: DETROIT HARDCORE 1979-1985 by Tony Rettman; Revelation, 2010 AMERICAN HARDCORE: A Tribal History (Second Edition) By Steven Blush; Feral House, 2010 To begin with, it’s hard to believe that the people who built the house of punk rock are part of history. Weren’t we ageless warriors who could defy […]

sexstupiditygreed

SEX, STUPIDITY AND GREED: INSIDE THE AMERICAN MOVIE INDUSTRY By Ian Grey; Juno Books, 1997

Former Hollywood insider Ian Grey turns a critical eye on his former stomping grounds in search of crass over-commercialism, clichés, unscrupulous practices, insipid scripts, an overall standard of homogenous, formulaic, unimaginative product and—Shazam!—he finds it! Along the way, Ian offers up some revealing, often hilarious tales of self-obsession in the movie industry. The conclusions he […]