Recent Posts in books

September 24, 2015

Morrissey List of the LostMorrissey List of the Lost

Morrissey's debut as a novelist, List of the Lost, is out today in the UK via paperback and ebook. Moz offered up this synopsis via True to You:

The theme is demonology ... the left-handed path of black magic. It is about a sports relay team in 1970s America who accidentally kill a wretch who, in esoteric language, might be known as a Fetch ... a discarnate entity in physical form. He appears, though, as an omen of the immediate deaths of each member of the relay team. He is a life force of a devil incarnate, yet in his astral shell he is one phase removed from life. The wretch begins a banishing ritual of the four main characters, and therefore his own death at the beginning of the book is illusory.
The Guardian has already reviewed it. The article's subhed states bluntly "it's not very good" and then goes on to say:
It's commonplace in this kind of article to tell you we're reading the book so you don't have to. It's a tease, usually. In the case of List of the Lost, however, it's absolutely true. Do not read this book; do not sully yourself with it, no matter how temptingly brief it seems. All those who shepherded it to print should hang their heads in shame, for it's hard to imagine anything this bad has been put between covers by anyone other than a vanity publisher. It is an unpolished turd of a book, the stale excrement of Morrissey's imagination.
Ouch! They also offer up this excerpt from a sex scene in the book:
Eliza and Ezra rolled together into the one giggling snowball of full-figured copulation, screaming and shouting as they playfully bit and pulled at each other in a dangerous and clamorous rollercoaster coil of sexually violent rotation with Eliza's breasts barrel-rolled across Ezra's howling mouth and the pained frenzy of his bulbous salutation extenuating his excitement as it smacked its way into every muscle of Eliza's body except for the otherwise central zone.
Oh my. Will you read it anyway?

September 18, 2015

by Klaus Kinski

So Anyway

By many estimations, British comedy legends Monty Python did for comedy what the Beatles did for music. Beginning with the first episode of "Monty Python's Flying Circus" back on October 5, 1969, a series which spanned 45 episodes over 4 series and ballooned into countless books, albums, touring stage shows, movies, and a Broadway musical, the Python fingerprint is all over such comedy staples as SNL, The Kids in the Hall, and Mr. Show with Bob and David. One of the most recognizable faces of the 6 person comedy machine is John Cleese. His post Python career has probably been the most robust of the 6 members, having appeared in nearly 60 films, 20 TV shows, 23 direct to video projects, video games and, of course, his masterwork television series Fawlty Towers, which ranks #1 on the BFI TV 100 list (beating out "Monty Python's Flying Circus" which landed a #5 spot).

Mr. Cleese has a few items on his plate that might be worth noting if you're a dyed-in-the-wool Monty Python super-fan like your man Klaus. Back on November 4, 2014, Cleese released, on hardcover, a book entitled "So, Anyway...." This memoir recounts Cleese's journey through his rise and mastery of the comic arts; from awkward small town lad (who was already 6 foot tall by his 12th birthday) through the 10 immediately-sold-out 2014 Python stadium shows at the 02 arena in London (to an audience of 16,000 people per night). It is an unbelievable look into one of the most prolific comedy careers of all time. A softcover version of the book is coming out on September 29. 2015. We're giving two copies away! Details on how to enter are below.

In honor of his recent memoir, John Cleese will be appearing live at the NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday, November 14 at 6:30pm. Celebrating stories from "So, Anyway...", the Cleese will regale the audience with tales of projects including "The Meaning of Life", "The Life of Brian", "The Holy Grail", "A Fish called Wanda", "Fawlty Towers" and more. Tickets are now on sale. There is also a VIP option that gets you a signed copy of the paperback and a photo-op with the man himself. Get em before they're gone!

John is also doing a small tour of the south with fellow python legend Eric Idle!

Britain's living legends of comedy, John Cleese and Eric Idle perform in their must-see new show, John Cleese & Eric Idle: Together Again At Last...For The Very First Time. The British icons will perform unforgettable sit-down comedy, blending scripted and improvised bits with storytelling, musical numbers, exclusive footage, aquatic juggling and an extended audience Q&A to craft a unique comedic experience with every performance. No two shows will be quite the same, thus ensuring that every audience feels like they're seeing Together Again At Last... For The Very First Time, for the very first time. And now you know why the show is called that, don't you?
I am not kidding when I say I would kill to see one of these performances. Why there isn't a single show in the greatest of all cities, NEW YORK f'in CITY, vexes me to the point of tears. I mean, I guess I could drive to Maryland. But who wants to drive to Maryland. Gross. Anyway, tour dates are listed .


In other Python news, back on November 11, 2014, Eagle Rock Entertainment released Monty Python Live (mostly) : One Down, Five To Go on BluRay, DVD, and digital.

Filmed live on July 20th on the final night of the run of ten sold out performances at The O2 in London, "Monty Python Live (mostly) - One Down Five to Go" sees the five surviving members - John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin - together with Carol Cleveland, perform many of their classic sketches and much-loved songs. The show also encompasses film inserts from Monty Python's Flying Circus, Terry Gilliam's iconic animations, outrageous dance routines by an ensemble of twenty and a fantastic live orchestra. The show cements the Python's reputation as the most influential comedy group of all time and, more importantly, still one of the funniest. "Monty Python Live (mostly) - One Down Five to Go" is the ultimate Monty Python show.
While you're at Amazon or wherever ordering that, you should, as the Python completist you are, pre-order the "Monty Python and the Holy Grail Limited Edition Castle Catapult BluRay Gift Set which will be released on October 27, 2015. This doozy of a release features deluxe packaging complete with catapult and little animals you can hurl at your enemies, letters from Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam about the film, commentary from the 5 remaining Pythons, footage of the Pythons being interviewed by John Oliver at the Tribeca Film Festival, outtakes, lost animations, and more. I'd insert a "Holy Grail" pun here, but I know better.... Watch a video of this thing getting unwrapped with other videos and tour dates and stuff below...

Continue reading "Monty Python's John Cleese wrote a book (win one!), appearing live, touring with Eric Idle (dates), and stuff"

September 10, 2015

Thurston Moore

Thurston Moore has a new book called Stereo Sanctity, which is "a large and personal selection of Thurston Moore's poems and lyrics, both with Sonic Youth and as a solo artist, written between 1981 and 2014 and appearing in published form in 2015 for the first time."

It's out now and he'll be celebrating it with readings/Q&As at various Rough Trade locations: the one in NYC on September 22, Nottingham on October 13 and London on October 14. You have to purchase a copy of the book from Rough Trade to get in. More appearances are reportedly TBA.

August 31, 2015

Carrie Brownstein

Carrie Brownstein's memoir, Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl, is out October 27 and the Sleater-Kinney singer/guitarist and Portlandia star will start her book tour that day, with a reading and Q&A at Brooklyn's Saint Vitus (10/27) and Questlove will be in conversation with her at that one. Tickets are on sale and include a copy of the book.

The next night (10/28) Brownstein will give a reading at Barnes & Noble in Union Square which is free though there's priority seating for those who buy the book at B&N. No special guests have been announced for the B&N appearance but most of the dates of Brownstein's book tour are "in conversation" with someone of note. SNL's Aidy Bryant in Philadelphia, Amy Poehler in Los Angeles, and Dave Eggers in San Francisco. All dates and special guests are listed below....

Continue reading "Carrie Brownstein adds Brooklyn reading/Q&A w/ Questlove to book tour; other dates w/ Amy Poehler, Dave Eggers, more"

August 26, 2015

Morrissey List of the Lost

As mentioned, Morrissey has written his first novel, List of the Lost. We still don't know what it's about, but it will be out via Penguin on paperback only on September 24 in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. No word on a U.S. release, but that's the cover art above, looking very much like a classic Smiths single (or a box of Wheaties).

August 24, 2015

List of the Lost Morrissey novel

Coming two years after his Autobiography, Morrissey will release his first novel this fall. Titled List of the Lost, it will be published by Penguin Books in the UK at the end of September. The publisher hasn't given an exact release date yet, or a synopsis.

In other news, you can now watch the entire Morrissey Larry King Now, below...

Continue reading "Morrissey releasing first novel, 'List of the Lost,' in September ++ watch the whole interview with Larry King"

August 17, 2015

Elvis Costello

Elvis Costello will release a memoir this year, titled Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink and due out October 13 via Penguin (pre-order). Here's more, via Penguin's description:

"Unfaithful Music" describes how Costello's career has somehow endured for almost four decades through a combination of dumb luck and animal cunning, even managing the occasional absurd episode of pop stardom.

The memoir, written entirely by Costello himself, offers his unique view of his unlikely and sometimes comical rise to international success, with diversions through the previously undocumented emotional foundations of some of his best known songs and the hits of tomorrow. The book contains many stories and observations about his renowned co-writers and co-conspirators, though Costello also pauses along the way for considerations on the less appealing side of infamy.

Elvis will be in NYC to celebrate it on October 13 at Barnes & Noble Union Square and November 10 at BAM, where he'll be in conversation with Rosanne Cash. Tickets for BAM are on sale now. To get in to Barnes & Noble, you have to pick the book from a B&N location. More info here.

Speaking of musicians with book events in NYC, here are a few more. Sleater-Kinney/Portlandia's Carrie Brownstein will celebrate Hunger Makes Me A Modern Girl on October 28 at Barne's & Noble Union Square. You have to pick up the book from a B&N location to get in. More info here. S-K are also touring, including five NYC shows in December.

The Mountain Goats frontman John Darnielle will be here for a discussion/signing of last year's Wolf In White Van book, which was recently released on paperback. It happens September 1 at Strand, and to get in you have to pick up the book or a $15 gift card from Strand. More info here. He'll also introduce a screening of Pier Paolo Pasolini's Medea on August 31 at Lincoln Center, followed by a book discussion and signing (tickets). Mountain Goats are also touring again later this year. No NYC shows, but all dates are listed here.

New York's St. Joseph's College is hosting a series of "literary presentations and discussions" this fall semester that includes a couple musician-authors. One is the previously discussed appearance by Patti Smith (one of three NYC dates on her book tour), and the other is Throwing Muses' Kirstin Hersh in support of Don't Suck, Don't Die: Giving Up Vic Chesnutt, her book about her friendship and past tours with Vic Chesnutt. That one takes place October 21, and Kristin will be in conversation with author/music journalist Amanda Petrusich (NY Times, Pitchfork, etc). Full schedule and tickets for all shows here.

Punk legend Richard Hell makes an appearance supporting his Massive Pissed Love essay collection on October 14 at Strand. More info here. He'll also be at Book Court on October 27. Details coming soon.

Amanda Palmer, who is about to have a child, is making one more NYC appearance before then at the New York Public Library on Thursday (8/20) at 6 PM. It actually takes place outside the library, it's free, and will include a children's book drive as well as a performance from Amanda. She writes:

PLEASE bring a children's book (or more than one!) to donate to the NYPL's early literacy program. the performance is in part a book-drive to get books to kids (and their parents) who don't have access. please make sure the books are new (they can't accept used books due to mold, etc).

***FOLLOW THE TWITTER & FACEBOOK FEEDS if IT RAINS! we will need to come up with some alternative space***

More info here.

August 11, 2015

Slice HarvesterSlice Harvester

Colin Atrophy Hagendorf started the blog Slice Harvester in 2009 with a goal of reviewing every slice joint in Manhattan. Two-and-a-half years and 362 pizza places under his belt later, he achieved that goal. (You can watch him on a 2012 FOX 5 'Good Day NY' segment.) He has since parlayed that into a book, titled Slice Harvester: A Memoir in Pizza, which is out today (8/11) via Simon & Schuster. A punk who has published zines since he was 14, Hagendorf celebrates the book's release tonight at Silent Barn, with live performances from Downtown Boys and In School, plus "hopefully" UNISEX as DJs. Says Colin:

There's gonna be 69 pizzas. Come eat them. Come watch bands. Come watch me mouth along to "Deja Vu (Uptown Baby)" by Lord Tariq & Peter Gunz, specifically when Gunz says "neighbors on the block call me Lex cause I push a Lex and I rock a Rolex and I lounge on Lex and I love sex" and when Tariq says "don't talk shit when I'm around you, I'M FROM SOUNDVIEW" or "I'm from the Bronx wipe ya feet when you step in my house," because I get kinda hype at those lines, tbh.
The show starts at 8 PM as is free before 10 PM and $5 after that. Books will be available at the show.

There will also be a free Slice Harvester event at WORD Brooklyn on August 19. In addition to Colin, there will be pizza-themed readings from Pilot Viruet, Scott Weiner, Suzy Exposito, Lola Pelligrino, and Deenah Vollmer. Vol. 1's Jason Diamond will host, and there will be free pizza and beer.

Continue reading "Downtown Boys and In School playing 'Slice Harvester' book release party tonight at Silent Barn"

August 6, 2015

Patti Smith

Patti Smith is playing her timeless debut album, Horses, in full for its 40th anniversary in her hometown on November 10, and it turns out that show is right in the middle of a tour. Not a music tour though, a book tour.

Patti will follow her 2010 book, Just Kids, with M Train on October 6 via Knopf. The book description reads:

M Train is a journey through eighteen "stations." It begins in the tiny Greenwich Village café where Smith goes every morning for black coffee, ruminates on the world as it is and the world as it was, and writes in her notebook. We then travel, through prose that shifts fluidly between dreams and reality, past and present, across a landscape of creative aspirations and inspirations: from Frida Kahlo's Casa Azul in Mexico, to a meeting of an Arctic explorer's society in Berlin; from the ramshackle seaside bungalow in New York's Far Rockaway that Smith buys just before Hurricane Sandy hits, to the graves of Genet, Plath, Rimbaud, and Mishima. Woven throughout are reflections on the writer's craft and on artistic creation, alongside signature memories including her life in Michigan with her husband, guitarist Fred Sonic Smith, whose untimely death was an irremediable loss. For it is loss, as well as the consolation we might salvage from it, that lies at the heart of this exquisitely told memoir, one augmented by stunning black-and-white Polaroids taken by Smith herself.
The book tour begins with three NYC appearances: OCtober 6 at New York Public Library, October 7 at Barnes & Noble Union Square and October 8 at St. Joseph's College. Tickets (including a copy of the book) are on sale now for St. Joseph's College. Check NYPL and B&N websites for updated info on those.

Patti will also release Collected Lyrics: 1970-2015 on October 27 via HarperCollins in celebration of Horses' 40th anniversary.

All dates on her book tour are listed below...

Continue reading "Patti Smith going on book tour for her upcoming 'M Train'"

August 5, 2015

photo: Greg Graffin w/ Bad Religion in Chicago in June (more by James Richards IV)
Greg Graffin

In addition to fronting Bad Religion for over 30 years, Greg Graffin is an author and he's got a new book coming out on September 15. It's called Population Wars and the description reads:

Life on Earth has been defined by war from the beginning, with war between populations seen as an inevitable part of the evolutionary process. The popular understanding of "the survival of the fittest" explains and often excuses these actions. In Population Wars, Greg Graffin argues that this use of evolutionary theory is wrong, and that mistake has allowed us to justify wars even when other, less violent solutions may be available. Through tales of mass extinctions, developing immune systems, human warfare, the American industrial heartland, and our degrading modern environment, Graffin demonstrates how an over-simplified idea of war, with its victorious winners and vanquished losers, prevents us from responding to the real problems we face.
You can pre-order it at Kigns Road, and there's also a bundle that comes with a four-song 7" featuring Greg's acoustic recordings of Bad Religion songs that inspired this book.

Greg is also playing some solo shows around the time of the release, including one in NYC. That happens September 20 at Gramercy Theatre. Tickets for that show are currently on Live Nation/Music Geeks presale. General on-sale starts Friday (8/7) at 10 AM.

Bad Religion also play It's Not Dead Fest in California in October. All dates are listed, with a video of Greg playing "Sorrow" acoustic, below...

Continue reading "Bad Religion's Greg Graffin releasing a new book & acoustic 7", playing solo shows (dates)"