Recent Posts in books - Page 8

November 7, 2013

Tod Seelie

NYC photographer Tod Seelie has been taking pictures of New York City since 1999 (including some for BrooklynVegan), and he's now compiled selections from his 14 years of photographing the city into a new book, Bright Nights. In a piece on the new book, Animal New York writes:

[Tod] has been shooting iconic New York -- not your shiny postcard tourist New York, not your banal work-a-day New York. Seelie shoots sweaty basement DIY shows, firey tall-bike jousting Bike Kill, Swoon's Swimming Cities trash-art-rafts on the Hudson River, lawless block parties, artists, train-hoppers, anti-heroes -- our heroes. He's kayaked to abandoned hospitals on New York's lesser known islands, crawled down subway tunnels and climbed bridges. Name a place. He knows how to get there. I've asked him, "How?"

"If you see an island and there's water in the way, get a boat," he says, smiling. "Figure it out."


For two months, Seelie sifted through 14 years of New York photographs, film rolls and negative stacks, mating deliberate diptychs for the book. "That's at my ex-girlfriend at my old apartment in Bed-Stuy in 2003... That's my friend Porkchop in Staten Island on the train tracks in mid-2000s. It was like a playground out there."

Why now? "I'm trying not be an art handler anymore. I have to start having a career," he says. "There're all these hacks doing boring photography. I'm doing something wrong."

The book is being celebrated with a party in Brooklyn at Silent Barn tonight (11/7), which includes sets from local rock bands The So So Glos, Unstoppable Death Machines, Ken South Rock, Amour Obscur, and Japanther, whose Ian Vanek contributed an essay to the book. Advance tickets to tonight's show are off-sale but there may still be tickets at the door..

Tonight's party is about a week and a half ahead of Tod's book tour, which includes dates in Asbury Park and Philly but no other NYC dates at the moment. All dates (many venues still TBA) are listed below...

Continue reading "Tod Seelie released a NYC photography book, 'Bright Nights'; Silent Barn hosting book party tonight before tour (dates)"

November 4, 2013

by Bill Pearis

Morrissey on Morrissey

A couple Morrissey tidbits for your Monday. In a somewhat cryptic note on Moz mouthpiece site True to You, they note that the former Smiths singer was "discharged from Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles following treatment for concussion, whiplash and an arm injury." No information about how he sustained these injuries, but "Morrissey would like to thank the medical staff at Cedars-Sinai for their 'outstanding level of care and attention'." Feel better, Moz.

In other news, Penguin Classics UK has announced that the audiobook version of Morrissey's Autobiography will, sadly, not be read by the man himself. They have gotten, however, another Morrissey to read it: actor David Morrissey who you may know as "The Governor" on The Walking Dead or from the BBC series State of Play. He will certainly bring a gravitas to the proceedings the soft-spoken singer probably wouldn't have. We shall hear -- the audio version is out December 5 in the UK.

The US version of Autobiography is coming out through Penguin imprint G.P. Putnam's Sons and hits shelves in hardback (the UK version is a paperback-only) on December 3.

October 29, 2013

by Bill Pearis

Moz & Lou (via Morrissey-Solo)

It should come as no surprise that Morrissey was a big Lou Reed fan. He was one of the many musicians to eulogize Reed, who died on Sunday, offering up some nice words via Moz mouthpiece True to You, quoting Irish poet Patrick McGill:

'Oh Lou / why did you leave us this way?'

No words to express the sadness at the death of Lou Reed. He had been there all of my life. He will always be pressed to my heart. Thank God for those, like Lou, who move within their own laws, otherwise imagine how dull the world would be. I knew the Lou of recent years and he was always full of good heart. His music will outlive time itself.

We are all timebound, but today, with the loss of liberating Lou, life is a pigsty.

'7 glasses used to be
called for six good mates and me
now we only call for three'

-Patrick MacGill

In other news, you may be aware that Morrissey's Autobiography came out a couple weeks ago in the UK via Penguin Classics, and became the fastest-selling artist memoir since online sales records began in 1998, besting Keith Richards' Life which was the previous record-holder. Autobiography has now secured US distribution through G.P. Putnam's Sons, an imprint of Penguin Random House. Sorry, Moz, you may have written the lyrics to the "Greatest Album of All Time" but you're not a "classic" in America. No release date has been set yet for the American release.

Reviews for Autobiography have been mixed. Saint Etienne's Bob Stanley (a former music journalist) reviewed the book for Faber Social:

"Anything is forgiven of anyone who makes us laugh" says Morrissey, quite aware of his own, often well-deployed, comic talent. Yet Autobiography feels as if it were written in two, or possibly three, different sittings, and the laughs come hard the longer it goes on. It's hard to believe that the man who sees the giddy daftness of accidentally starting an LA riot by singing You're the One For Me Fatty - "hardly an Altamont rallying cry to the social underbelly" - would expend any energy on trying to take down "little pinched Irish madam" Henry Kelly. Yes, that Henry Kelly, the one from Going For Gold and Classic FM. The schizophrenic nature of the book prevents it from being the classic he presumably thinks it is. - [Faber Social]
Someone once said "it takes strength to be gentle and kind." I picked up an import copy of the book but haven't had time to read it yet. Have you?

October 24, 2013


Not only is the book real, it's selling really well:

Morrissey's memoir has outsold the latest Bridget Jones novel to top the best seller charts in its first week.

The paperback, called Autobiography and published by Penguin Classics, sold just short of 35,000 copies according to sales figures in trade magazine The Bookseller after its release on Thursday.

Helen Fielding's new Bridget Jones novel, Mad About the Boy, sold around 32,000 copies. [Belfast Telegraph]

Content in the book (not to mention all the lyrics on the first Smiths album) has left some wondering if Morrissey is homosexual. Morrissey, master of coy semantics, has since clarified via a statement that reads: "Unfortunately, I am not homosexual. In technical fact, I am humasexual. I am attracted to humans. But, of course ... not many".

Is Morrissey's autobiography any good? Amy Lamé, Tim Lott and Jon Snow try to decide in the video below...

Continue reading "Morrissey's diary outsells Bridget Jones' diary"

October 10, 2013


Daniel Johnston: here is an in-depth photographic study of legendary singer-songwriter and visual artist Daniel Johnston by New York City Based documentary and portrait photographer Jung Kim. the culmination of an intimate five-year collaboration and friendship, Daniel Johnston: here captures rare and beautiful moving moments of one of the most compelling artists today. The photographs not only chronicle Johnston's life on the road during his worldwide tours, but also his prolific life at home in Waller, Texas. An exhibition will launch in conjunction with this first0ever photography book on Johnston. The photographs are a selection from thousands of photographs captured on film from 2008 to present.
There will be a photo book and exhibition of Daniel Johnston: here tonight at Williamsburg's 7 Dunham gallery from 7 - 10 PM. On view will be 16 photographs from the book and there will be live performances from Glen Hasnard, Sean Bones and J. Spaceman (who soon plays with Spiritualized for Mexican Summer 5th Anniversary).

The event is free but you do need to RSVP by sending an email to

The book was funded via Kickstarter and you can watch the video from that below.

Continue reading "J Spaceman, Glen Hansard, Sean Bones performing at Daniel Johnston book event in NYC tonight"

"breaking news! i really like david bowie! (well, that's not news, but...)" - James Murphy

David BowieJames Murphy

James Murphy, who just collaborated with David Bowie on the new Arcade Fire song and might have picked up a thing or two from him while writing LCD Soundsystem songs, has now continued his love affair for Bowie by offering up a 10+ minute remix of "Love Is Lost," which will appear on the expanded version of Bowie's Mercury Prize-nominated 2013 album, The Next Day (due out 11/4). You can listen to the new remix below.

In related news, Open Book Toronto recently published a list of David Bowie's 100 favorite books (via FACT). Geoffrey Marsh, curator of the exhibit at Art Gallery of Ontario that Bowie is featured in, "describes Bowie as 'a voracious reader' who is reputed to read as much as 'a book a day'." He also spoke about "Bowie's interest in the life of the mind and its power to transcend the rigid class barriers of postwar England, the era where Bowie honed the early versions of his musical and cultural persona." You can browse the full list below.

In NYC this Saturday (10/12), Le Poisson Rouge hosts BowieBall 2013 which features a number of artists paying homage to the artist. Tickets for that are on sale now.

That same day, James Murphy DJs the free Times Square show as part of CBGB Fest with Grizzly Bear, My Morning Jacket, Divine Fits, and The Wallflowers.

Remix stream and Bowie's list of books below...

Continue reading "James Murphy remixed David Bowie who listed his favorite books"

October 3, 2013

Moz biog

The biggest literary mystery of the year -- Who, If Anyone, Is Publishing Morrissey's Memoirs and When? -- has been solved, according to Moz mouthpiece True to You. Whether he actually had a deal with them before or not, the site reports that Morrissey's Autobiography will be released in the UK via Penguin Classics on October 17.

UPDATE (10/5): It's real. It's on Penguin's site and there is an Amazon UK preorder page now, too. That may or may not be is the actual artwork above. No word on a North American release.


Ray Davies most recent album was 2010's collaborative See All My Friends. No follow-up has been announced, but Ray does have a new book, Americana: The Kinks, the Riff, the Road: The Story, which will be out October 15. From the jacket:

As a boy in post-War England, legendary Kinks' singer/songwriter Ray Davies fell in love with America--its movies and music, its culture of freedom, fed his imagination. Then, as part of the British Invasion, he toured the US with the Kinks during one of the most tumultuous eras in recent history--until the Kinks group was banned from performing there from 1965-69. Many tours and trips later, while living in New Orleans, he experienced a transformative event: the shooting (a result of a botched robbery) that nearly took his life. In Americana, Davies tries to make sense of his long love-hate relationship with the country that both inspired and frustrated him. From his quintessentially English perspective as a Kink, Davies--with candor, humor, and wit--takes us on a very personal road trip through his life and storied career as a rock star, and reveals what music, fame, and America really mean to him.
Americana is Ray's third book, having published his "unauthorized biography," X-Ray, in 1995 and then the Waterloo Sunset series of short stories in 1997. You can watch a short promotional video about the book and video of Ray being interviewed about it on BBC Breakfast, below.

Those in NYC can see Ray Davies in person this month as he'll be at Barnes & Noble Union Square on October 25 at 7 PM. Not many details but it is free. Maybe someone will ask him what he thinks the odds of a Kinks reunion in 2014 are?

Speaking of, Ray's brother Dave will be in NYC shortly after that, playing City Winery on November 11. Tickets to that show are still available.

Videos below...

Continue reading "Ray Davies releasing new book, 'Americana,' will be in NYC this month to promote it"

September 26, 2013

Andrew WK

If there is a word that is synonymous with Andrew WK, it is "party." It's in his signature song, it's in the name of the NYC venue he owns (where Joan Jett is playing soon), it is woven throughout the very fibre of his white-wearing being. If you've ever tried to party as hard as Andrew WK and failed, he is now here to help via his first book, The Party Bible. Says AWK:

This book is the culmination of my entire career as a professional partier. In fact, this book is the culmination of my entire life. Everything that has ever and never happened has led to me being in the perfect position to receive the contents of The Party Bible and write it down, once and for all. This is a powerful and dangerous feeling, but it is definitely meant to happen. I'm grateful to all my party friends for requesting this book. This is our book.
How did Andrew come to write this book? Who can really say, but a video dramatization (some might call it promotional material) is in this post.

Andrew WK, who played Riot Fest Chicago recently, is currently finishing up his "Party Messiah" solo tour. The Party Bible, which will come with a soundtrack CD, will be published by Simon & Schuster, date TBA.

Tour dates are listed, along with video, below...

Continue reading "Andrew WK writing 'The Party Bible'"

September 19, 2013


If you were to ask Danny Bland what being a junkie musician in early '90s Seattle was all about, you'd probably get an earful. Having logged time as the bassist of Cat Butt and the Dwarves, as well as countless miles road-managing the likes of Dave Alvin, Greg Dulli, and Mark Lanegan, one can assume Bland has more than a few personal accounts of rock-'n'-roll neurosis to share. So when I finished perusing the jacket notes and figured out his literary debut was a novel, In Case We Die (Fantagraphics, 240 pages, $26.99), I was deeply curious and slightly annoyed. Fiction? Why? - [Willamette Week]
Danny Bland's In Case We Die is fictional but comes from real, hard life experience. The book was published by Fantagraphics and the audio book is rather special, with chapters read by an amazing group of musicians, actors and comedians, including Aimee Mann, Steve Earle, Greg Dulli, Mudhoney's Mark Arm, Marc Maron, Memphis Three survivor Damien Echols, actor Donal Logue, and more. You can preview some of the audio book below.

Bland is currently on a book tour which includes two appearances in NYC: September 26 at East Village bar Manitoba's and October 1 at Bookcourt in Brooklyn. The book tour dates also promise "surprise guests from the audiobook" at "select cities." All dates are listed below.

Continue reading "Seattle scene vet Danny Bland wrote a novel, touring; audiobook read by Marc Maron, Aimee Mann & more; tour has 2 NYC stops"