The repertoire has been and is so far, well chosen covers that span blues, soul and some rock'n'roll. The band has over the years played at a number of different festivals and clubs. Band has built up a faithful and growing crowd of followers which is not so strange, with a singer of absolutely highest class and a very experienced and competent band. The goal now is to release an album with their own material, the work has started. Lane passed away at the age of just 51 in , after suffering from multiple sclerosis for more than 20 years.
The group toured in a carnival type extravaganza called 'The Passing Show', and Lane also built his own recording facility, the Lane Mobile Studio. Townshend contributes the foreword. I nspired by the 17th and 18th century custom of the "Grand Tour", where young men and women travelled to broaden the mind, Big Big Train have made an album of songs set in distant lands and beyond. His military haircut was due to the very brief appearance he had in the movie 'The Virgin Soldiers'.
As with the "Spying Through A Keyhole" vinyl singles box set, the design of each single label is presented to reflect the way David sent many of his demos to publishers and record companies, featuring his own handwritten song titles on EMIDISC acetate labels. The singles themselves are all mono and play at 45 rpm.
F olkster Kaurna Cronin's latest works intertwine meaningful songs with a rich musical tapestry of folk, roots and indie rock, sewn together with grand imagery and tales of yesteryear. From ballads to boogies, Kaurna and his band's unique folk blend has provided thrilling musical and poetical journeys for audiences globally. This strictly limited deluxe edition of the 1 album "Egypt Station" will be a one time only pressing limited to 3 numbered cases.
You hear his name and immediately imagine a bandana clad rock gypsy who sings and plays heated, self righteous diatribes about politics and life in a justice challenged America. I wanted to fictionalize my life. Set for a May 3rd, , release, it largely dispenses with protest songs and revels in the rock, soul and r'n'b of his 60's youth. Van Zandt laughs. Van Zandt learned a hard lesson when he launched TeachRock, a rock history based education program for schools around the country. Van Zandt will be taking the "Summer Of Sorcery" songs on the road starting this summer through October.
The 3 CD edition of "Honk" includes 36 hits, plus an exclusive 3rd CD with 10 unreleased live recordings from the last 6 years. The run will be limited to just 2 units. The store is also stocking the other editions of the collection. My 1st EP took almost 2 weeks to record. This time, I really wanted to spend time in the studio, to experiment and develop.
In he is back with his 1st full length album. In the coming weeks, 3 singles will be released before the album reaches the listeners in May. After the last "Day Breaks" tour, Jones returned to the studio with the sole intent of following her muse down creative pathways without any expectations or boundaries. Jones got together with various friends for brief, largely improvised sessions to collaborate and experiment.
The movie now has a release date. It premiered at the Toronto Hot Docs Festival, where it was an official selection. Berra Karlsson is a much sought after pedal steel player in Sweden with a lot of performances and recordings on his credit list. Ever since its inception a half century ago, "Jazz Fest" has exuberantly expressed the unique confluence in New Orleans of Native American, African, Caribbean, European, Hispanic, and Asian communities.
Smithsonian Folkways, May 10th, I was messing around with step sequencers, drum machines, loops, anything to take me out of my usual way of writing and try to feel as though I was working on a compilation rather than more of the same. The lyrics are just a mirror of the dread, panic, mania, speculation, melancholy and ultimately shrugging abandonment that just might follow. The Dream Syndicate has a long and storied history.
But where are they right now? Right here. In "These Times". Anti- Records, May 3rd, The difference with this album is that at the outset, I had a more complete idea of how the album should sound, how it should flow, and the moods and vibes it should generate along the way.
It is exactly what I was trying to achieve and I am so thrilled with it. Having a team is so important, both in terms of production, and musicianship. It was an album John had wanted to make for decades. It was the encouragement of those involved that opened the door to performance, and more recording. Esoteric Recordings is proud to announce the release of a new re-mastered limited edition boxed set of the classic debut album by Van Der Graaf Generator, "The Aerosol Grey Machine".
The band signed to Mercury Records in May after the submission of a 2 track demo tape. By the autumn of the band had signed a management contract with Tony Stratton Smith and had recruited drummer Guy Evans and bassist Keith Ellis into the group. After several months of touring, including a support spot for the Jimi Hendrix Experience at the Royal Albert Hall, the band broke up after the theft of their equipment and on going contractual difficulties. A planned UK release by Mercury, which featured a different and lavish gatefold sleeve design, was shelved after a handful of test pressings were made.
T he Prince Estate and Legacy Recordings, a division of Sony Music Entertainment, are pleased to announce the next round of physical titles set for release as part of the ongoing and definitive Prince catalog project. The album came at a time when each member of Yes embarked on the recording of a solo album. The recording sessions began in Brazil and were completed in Switzerland and the finished results were an impressive blend of ethnic music, jazz and progressive rock. This Esoteric Recordings edition has been re-mastered under the supervision of Patrick Moraz and restores the original album artwork.
April 26th, A tale of the great grandmother she knew only as tiny and softspoken, a gentle soul who only spoke Japanese. Who would have guessed that once, in her youth, that same little old woman stabbed a man with a pair of barbershop shears? That tale became the torch to light a new journey. These she polished and kept safe, waiting until it was time to hold their colours up to the light once more. The project is a labour of love for Keri and her husband, Devin Latimer. Stories of lives that crept forward in boats acros the water, lunches packed in liquor store bags and battered suitcases bursting at their seams.
There is an openness on this record. There is space. It spans out like the vastness between stars. Whimsical melodies strike a stark contrast with unsettling imagery, all of it playing out in the mind like an old sepia toned movie. For Keri, who also scores for film, that flickering cinematic quality is intentional, it crystallizes the convergence of her composing life, her folk life, and the life of her family.
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But this is not only a personal record. Every family has stories of people who crossed oceans, who survived, who struggled and tried. People who knew injustice. And though some of those stories now fade into the haze of time, the truth of them remains vivid. Today, that kind of horror still threatens. Hate still festers, and power still tries to push human lives into the divide. But there is hope. Every day, we carry that dream forward in the stories we are heir to and the wisdom they hold, and every day, we have a chance to let those tales shine.
Power and money have become a mental illness. Reed and Lofgren wound up talking long after the Redskins won in a nailbiter. Lofgren wound up giving him a tape of 13 songs in various stages of gestation. I love your tape. Lofgren jumped out of bed, put a pot of coffee on the stove and began furiously transcribing down the lyrics to every one of his songs.
When Reed died in , Lofgren began thinking that it might be time to let the world hear them. They recorded the album live at his home studio in Phoenix, Arizona, with Lofgren and his wife Amy serving as co-producers. The band lived at their home during the sessions and spent their days tracking live, keeping overdubs to an absolute minimum, and eating meals prepared by Amy, who has a background as a professional chef. I didn't intend to write a song about him. It just came out during the process of putting this record together and I wanted to share it".
Also, my brother is a joy to work with. The setlist will focus on songs from "Blue With Lou" along with selections from his long solo career and his days in Grin. In the clubs, you walk out and or so people are almost on top of you. The only place to go for safety is to get in the music and get out of your own mind. You have to let your musical spirit just go.
D espite his 50 year presence at the forefront of folk rock, Iain Matthews still remains a criminally underrated artist. E ager to trade a rooted, restless life at home for new horizons, indie folk songwriter BR Lively decided to hit the road in the summer of , for good. Leaving town in a renovated Winnebago named Joanie, he began making his way across the country, playing shows during his nightly pit stops.
It was a new way of Life, a whirlwind of blue skies, campsites, national parks, state routes, driveways, and mile markers, with different crowds every night and new landscapes flashing by the windshield at highway speed. Lively felt transfixed, transformed, inspired. He'd literally unplugged himself from his world back home, now living in a cozy, Wood paneled vehicle equipped with solar paneled electricity. Along the way, he finished writing songs for his first solo album, " Into The Blue ".
There are sweeping string arrangements, folk anthems, Motown inspired rhythms, Nick Drake worthy acoustic guitars, and slow, stripped down ballads. At the center of the mix is Lively himself, a self-taught singer and multi instrumentalist who isn't afraid to shine a light on the lessons learned during his physical and spiritual journey. It started with a shatter. Cracks spread and splintered, heartbreak crumbling the hardened walls of ego. Rather than empty, this left him feeling open, buoyant, as though his insides had been cleared of long standing debris. With openness came expansion.
His heart, mind, entire consciousness seemed to have been awaiting room to grow and his still tender soul proved fertile. This album chronicles that journey, it is an awakening and an invitation. No longer is he simply concerned with playing an instrument, Lively is learning to become one.
Lively launched his career as a teenager in Dallas, TX, cutting his teeth with a string of club gigs in Deep Ellum. He headed east after graduation, settling in Athens, GA, to attend college and broaden his horizons. The most electric, nuanced project of his career, "Into The Blue" turns Lively's experiences, both at home and on the road, into what he calls a sonic journey of spirit. Suffering can be a catalyst for change, and for me, getting my heart broken gave me the opportunity to deepen the relationship with myself and explore the openness of a renewed and transformed mind within my music and my life".
The result is an album that's both intimately personal and widely universal. Released independently, "Into The Blue" marks a new chapter in a story that's still unfolding, offering up melodic plot twists, sympathetic characters, and a narrator who doubles as one of the folk scene's most promising up and comers. Lively lives on the road, traveling the country, to share what is his most pure, heartfelt creation to date. He attempts, through his music and lifestyle, to connect not with our surface selves, but with our often silenced and forgotten souls.
The album, which will be available as an 18 track CD or digital edition, a 50 track 3 CD set and a 6 LP vinyl collection, coming out a bit later, on June 28th, The new album deals with universal themes of renewal, reconciliation, reckoning, compassion and, most profoundly, healing. A fter 10 years, 3 albums and many European tours with the heavy rock band Doctor Cyclops, singer and guitar player Christian Draghi brings forth a brand new release inspired by vintage British atmosphere of artists like Beatles, David Bowie, Jethro Tull and Eric Clapton.
He cooked an intense mixture of different emotional moments. There are some Beatle-like harmonies crossbred with some Jethro Tull taste. A new life, a new path, with an old fashioned soul. Written and created in Paris, France, with a band of brothers, new friends and old, more than 24 musicians collaborating on the album. I was finding new ways into the existing songs and we were improvising new ideas every day. When you surround yourself with great musicians and do your best to keep up, stay loose, give little direction, and allow everyone to bring what they bring, something transformative may happen.
This collection of songs is mainly made up of those that came through while improvising and following the melodic lines and threads. Sometimes when you take a small musical fragment and you care for it, follow it, and build it up slowly, it can become a thing of wonder. I want to thank all these great musicians for coming and giving these songs their best. All a song wants is to be heard. I hope something in this music can be of use to you. Anti- Records, April 12th, The tune became an enduring hit for the Stone Poneys featuring Linda Ronstadt in , establishing Nesmith outside of The Monkees.
W ords by Hal David. Mixing traditional American folk styles with more modern influences they quickly amassed a cult following travelling through Sweden playing their original material for evergrowing crowds. Rhino Music Videos, March 29th, D ana Gillespie 1st made her name as a teenage singer and songwriter in the 's, with a string of memorable singles and albums for Pye and Decca. The title track, for example, wouldn't have sounded out of place on "Dusty In Memphis", while Dana's twist on Bowie's "Andy Warhol", the song had actually been written for her, was unique.
Both these album highlights were issued as singles. The recordings were bluesier in places than on its predecessor, but still equally impressive. The LP was promoted by a single, "Really Love The Man", but there after Dana parted ways with MainMan before building an enviable reputation as a blues singer of some renown. Many album tracks make their debut on CD and have been joined by a raft of rarities and previously unissued material. Also present is the semi mythical, previously unheard original demo of "Andy Warhol" featuring backing vocals from Bowie, and the rare Libido single, issued on Mooncrest in , plus sessions from late for what would have been Dana's 3rd album for RCA and MainMan.
Housed in a plush digipak with lengthy sleeve notes by David Wells within a 24 page booklet also boasting an embarrassment of photographic riches, "What Memories We Make" is a long overdue tribute to a rare British singer. Cherry Red Records, March 29th, T rying to pinpoint exactly who Dan Krikorian is can be a bit of a challenge. An acclaimed songwriter, a championship winning college basketball coach, a thought provoking professor, and the curator and host of the burgeoning and increasingly popular podcast series, 'The Beautiful Work Podcast', are just the beginning.
Krikorian does not exist in one realm, but finds himself constantly jump roping between long nights in a studio, early mornings in a basketball gym, afternoons in a classroom, and podcast interviews sprinkled throughout. On March 20th, , John and Yoko were married in a civil service in Gibraltar and to celebrate the event, in lieu of a conventional honeymoon, the newlyweds spent a week in bed at the Hilton Hotel in Amsterdam, inviting members of the press into their room for interviews and photo sessions, and using their fame and the publicity generated by their bed-in to call attention to their campaign for world peace.
With "Wedding Album", they created a snapshot of this pop cultural moment which is remembered as much for its innovative packaging as the experimental, emblematic recordings. Set in post war Berlin, the film is a comedy of fascinating and eccentric characters, the story of a war hero Bowie returning home from the front. The soundtrack features an exclusive contribution from Bowie, who composed and recorded the 'The Revolutionary Song' between scenes, playing most of the instruments. Amazingly, despite Bowie's involvement, the accompanying soundtrack album has never been reissued on CD, until now.
Cherry Red Records, March 15th, The recording will take place in May, with release dates presumably to be announced at a later time. The article did not address whether the re-do will include return appearances from any of the guests that helped out the first time around. Several are still active, while others have since passed away, retired from music or are estranged from Crosby. Nice and enjoyable album. E lias Elena Krel l is a trans genre multilingual singer songwriter who combines eclectic life experiences with a musical style that rides the line between folk conventions and queer pop quirkiness.
I used an old Pioneer hi-fi spring reverb, and made a little record the way I used to make demos in my early days in a dimly lit and damp basement apartment in New York City. This is a handpicked selection for Aquarium Drunkard from that collection. That track was penned by Lakeland Cale, and it was the first song she and her late husband recorded as part of a four piece combo in L ush modern folk americana stories of imperfection and magic, wrapped in banjo, mandolin, acoustic guitar, upright bass, the occasional fiddle or piano, and lots of harmonies.
R alph Waldo Emerson. Morning glories. AM radio. These all influence Iowa acoustic roots trio The Feralings, as do the gently sloping landscapes of the Iowa countryside and the sound of tornado sirens squealing and the rumble of trucks on I To be able to go out and give music to the fans is one of the greatest treasures in my life. The latest volume in Legacy's monumental Van Morrison catalog reissue project, "The Healing Game : Deluxe Edition" is a 3 disc collection chronicling the sessions, collaborations and live performances surrounding Van's mid-career masterpiece, originally released in March The 1st disc, "The Original Album Plus A much sought after concert performance, Van Morrison's "Live At Montreux" recording is officially available for the 1st time.
G ordon Lightfoot is a genre unto himself. And this uncompromising stance has not only made him a legend, particularly in his native Canada, where he is a full fledged icon, but also, somewhat paradoxically, brought him huge commercial success, which, ironically, has in turn caused some to discount his prodigious songwriting talent. For Gordon Lightfoot never set out to be a popular singer songwriter.
Remastered by Mike Milchner at SonicVision, with additional mastering and tape vetting by Aaron Kannowski, and annotated by folk rock guru Richie Unterberger, "The Complete Singles - " represents a key addition to Gordon Lightfoot canon and is just a wonderful listen from start to finish. Real Gone Music, March 1st, Their newest collection offers a perfect balance between a more modern production style and the musical influences that have made them a household name over the years. Everything got attention in the collective space, so I think we feel a different kind of ownership over these songs.
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Even though the lyrics typically stem from the individual members, there are still overarching themes connecting the different cuts and presenting a unified vision. Some of the songs explore relationships with family and friends, sometimes through a lens of love and others through one of struggle. The music, the album, and the trio, all are greater than the sum of their individual parts.
The group recorded the album in late at the famed Wally Heider Studios in L. For their new remaster, Esoteric has also included an illustrated book of liner notes and fully restored artwork. February 22nd, Thankfully, this set is being made available on both vinyl and CD. B eatles. Beach Boys. Kylie Minogue. Kate Bush. EMI was one of the big 4 record companies, with some of the biggest names in the history of recorded music on its roster.
Dominating the music industry for over years, by EMI Group had reported massive pre tax losses. The group was divided up and sold in How could one of the greatest recording companies of the 20th century have ended like this? With interviews from insiders and music industry experts, Eamonn Forde pieces together the tragic end to a financial juggernaut and a cultural institution in forensic detail.
Omnibus Press, February 21st, That and playing the drums or whatever. That's how we got in to making songs and exploring the world of country music. And that is kind of the story we want to tell besides the obvious main story of how important it is to take care of the ones you love in this cold harsh world. But also based on stuff lead singer Rickard Beurling has been through. C anadian singer songwriting legend Gordon Lightfoot, a man whose songs have been covered by Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Elvis Presley, Barbra Streisand and many, many more, is working on his 1st new album in 15 years.
I write all my own arrangements for my band". And it was stuff that I recorded a year before I became ill", he says. And the guys then overdubbed all their parts on the very last album. I wasn't actually able to complete that album in a professional way. The songs were good, but the production was not up to radio standard". So the 80 year old member of the Songwriters Hall Of Fame, who will hit the road March 4th in Sacramento, CA, is eager to share new material with the world. Asked when the new album will be ready he says, "It's gonna take a year. It's there, but it will happen for sure because I already have the material".
After the illness last time though he is understandably cautious. If I'm still walking around we'll finish it", he says laughing at the last part. He has a regular exercise regime he has kept up since He credits that with a great part of his longevity. It's gonna be fun, it's gonna be an album where negativity is at the minimum and positivity prevails. I'm just trying to relate to your personal experience", he says.
And you relate it to your songs. This time I'm just going positive".
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In addition to his fitness he credits his family with his outlook. In fact, Lightfoot chuckles at how much his songwriting has changed over the years. I have to laugh when I think about it", he says. It's a little bit more advanced. My thinking has broadened out a little bit now. The love 'em and leave 'em is done. I'm much more serious. I have a very extended family. The 3rd disc in the set will be made up of previously unreleased material from the TV special. This album has now been expanded with newly discovered audio, fully remastered and pressed onto gm vinyl.
Rhino promises a plethora of physical and digital titles on the way. In , the group went on hiatus. In , Marty Balin, founding member of Jefferson Airplane, joined the group. Henriksson holds nothing back from us here, calmly dispensing one cathartic verse after another, all the while staying in the background behind her boldly crafted music. Nothing in this song is rushed or crammed together, the meticulousness of the master mix allows for us to really appreciate every element of sound going into the final product, and moreover analyze components that other singles often bury beneath layers of post production sonic stitching.
Isolated from the instrumentation, on their own the verses are rather patient and virtuous for how simplistically constructed a song this really is, but at the same time Henriksson appears to go out of her way to avoid the pitfalls of inserting egotism into her prose. Overindulgence has become the bane of modern music, but this is one artist who clearly takes the threat it presents to evolution seriously enough to trim all the fat from her material. This new 5 CD set is available in limited quantities and will come packaged in an embossed tin box that resembles a New York City manhole cover.
It also contains a replica ticket from one of the shows and a 60 page book. CD 1 features the main album in its original vinyl mix, newly remastered by Bob Ludwig in and available for the 1st time since its debut. These represent every composition that was played during the concerts, and the best alternate performances of every tune that Zappa picked for the original album, all newly mixed in Every one of those albums features a song by Pamela Polland. Recorded in San Francisco and Nashville, the album featured Pamela on piano.
Her songs, which concern love in all its passionate permutations, are just right for her'. Davis gave the green light for a follow-up. Before the LP could be scheduled for release, however, Clive Davis was let go from Columbia in a flurry of controversy. Pamela Polland has since moved to Hawaii, established herself as a vocal coach, ukulele teacher, and environmental activist. Now, the roots of her solo artistry can be appreciated anew. Well, anyway, it did mine.
Ceridwen Dovey brings the receipts. Speaking of self-medicating, British ish brand Calpol has pulled a sort of reverse Munchausen, soothing parents by helping them soothe their kids. A Calpol booklet offering an immunisation guide for parents depicts a blissed-out baby asleep with her arms outstretched and a smile on her face. Taking down The Second Mountain , which seems to be a book-length mixed metaphor, is like shooting monkeys in a barrel of worms. Or something. Angela Garbes is a Seattle-based writer. Go see her speak, and bring all your questions about the astounding, wonderful, and strange biology — and sociology — of pregnancy.
I'm in early research mode for my next project, a book of essays about bodies, so I'm reading widely, sometimes superficially, getting lost in ideas, pulling on threads, and thinking a lot about craft. Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good — a collection of essays, annotated works, and interviews by adrienne maree brown — has been at the top of my stack for a while because I am enjoying it as much as I am struggling to move through it! I feel like I'll just be happily living with this book for a while.
I'd been wanting to shake up my relationship to my devices and social media for a while, and Odell's words and ideas were exactly what I needed to make that change. Since reading it, among other things, I've put a dozen plants in the ground, spent more time dancing and rolling on the carpet with my daughters, connected with friends IRL, and started leaving my phone at home when I run errands or go on walks.
Also I go on more walks. Shoutout to SPL's Peak Picks , which made it possible for me to pick it up at the library yesterday — no holds, no wait!! My guest post-it chooser for May was my littlest sister, the only family member not yet pressed into service thus far. I appreciated her decisive style, so unlike my own. I feel it is possible she should be in charge of many things. My intended ritual was initially sporadic; many nights went undocumented. I also dabbled in the impossible, using impractically ephemeral materials like faint pencil, privately writing captions or dates on the back where no one could see.
My now ex wife also poses a lurking risk in all the early years—exposing that familiar closeness feels so unseemly now, little relics like time bombs, our failed openness too naked to look at. I was still in grad school, where practicalities were tacitly treated as a bit shameful, small-time.
An ideal artist has no limits. But museums have not come calling for us, so here I am, telling you what I wrote on the back. In retrospect, it appears broken heating was a real feature of life in England. In early post-its I kept repeating the same kinds of treehouses I made obsessively as a kid, suddenly figured out why I love drawing so much. Carefully build my own safe world, logic is only darkly laughable, and the whole thing fits in the palm of my hand. The TV lesbians were on an otherwise unremarkable drama about finding missing persons.
I felt a shocked elation as the missing lesbian, unlike most missing characters on the show, actually escaped death—the usual fate of our dramatized queer brethren. But can we go back to Stockard Channing for a minute? This month I harbored fantasies of brevity, but let us instead swoon languorously over Stockard Channing. View this post on Instagram View this post on Instagram 5. View this post on Instagram 8. One of the Seattle authors who was MeToo-ed last year seems to be angling for a comeback.
But I am curious about how thoughtful and deliberate it all seems. Cienna, do you think that shitty men can improve themselves? Has any man done a good job of responding to MeToo? Is it even possible? Or is fame a privilege that, once you abuse it by abusing women in not-illegal-but-not-right ways, you deserve to have taken from you forever?
Whenever a human girlfriend invites me to her wedding, I like to take a voodoo doll of the groom as my date. This accomplishes two things: first, I am able to get fresh hair clippings and once a tooth! It's the least I can do to counter the ceaseless waves of shit women endure. I won't get into the blah blah blahs of it because anyone reading this column is familiar with them, except to say that the metoo movement has shown that this isn't an issue of a couple of rapey apples, just as the anti-abortion movement isn't about preserving life.
In that respect, can we blame men for treating us how they've been taught? The answer is yes. Yes we can. And we can demand more than public apologies and rehab. We should expect sincere, personal apologies to victims, not blanket statements that try to deflect, explain, or minimize abhorrent behavior.
We should expect to see these men ask pivotal questions like, "what can I do to begin to make amends for my actions? Where do I start? I don't think fame can be revoked at will, and even if it was, I don't think it would be as satisfying as it sounds. But we should expect that shitty men want to improve themselves for the sake of being better people although I haven't seen convincing evidence of it yet.
It would be a shocking but welcome evolution, like watching a whale shit out chic polar fleeces from all the plastic she's ingested. Seattle author Angela Garbes discusses her popular book about the biology and culture of mothering, which is now out in paperback. Every month, Olivia Waite pulls back the covers, revealing the very best in new, and classic, romance. We're extending a hand to you. Won't you take it? And if you're still not sated, there's always the archives.
Two characters sit at a table, chatting—when suddenly, the bomb beneath the table goes off! Suspense is what you get when, first, the director shows you the anarchist planting the bomb beneath the table, then lets you bite your nails watching those same two people chatting in blithe ignorance of the threat, while the clock slowly ticks down explosion-ward. The characters themselves are still surprised, in the second scenario. But the viewer has more information, and a fuller sense of what is actually going on in the story.
In romance, what we have is people. Hearts and hands and a few stickier bits. Expectation is an end point. Romance characters exist to be thwarted, poor souls. They almost never get what they say they want at the start of the book. How many times do we see heroes state that they just want a string of casual partners, so as not to interfere with the safe, predictable course of their lives? Better people, better partners, better citizens of whatever world they inhabit.
We require that happy ending. We demand it as a right. Reading tons of romances, over the course of years or decades, fine-tunes expectations even further. The genre, like any genre, rewards repeat engagement—you start to notice narrative conventions and trends, and the kind of moments that look like nothing special to an outsider, but which to authors and frequent readers might as well be stages with spotlights burning down upon them.
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For instance: first kisses. The first kiss in the first romance you read is a singular experience. The first kiss in the fiftieth romance you read? You start to recognize the machinery of the story. And you start to select for the mechanisms that gives you, personally, the most satisfying result. Literary fiction is the genre of surprise.
Like a stage magician, pledging to pull a rabbit out of an empty hat. The story is a fiction, but what you feel is real. Like Alex, our American hero, this book has heard about this thing called subtlety and wants absolutely nothing to do with it. Alex is a mesmerizing combination of discipline and impulsiveness. Henry, our royal prince, is by turns perfectly dry and deeply vulnerable, a tweedy type whose formality masks a wicked sense of humor and poetry. Their connection is electric, and irresistible, and unfolds with a remarkable view of the dizzy, dazzling hedonism of youth. If I could attend any one of the parties in this book I could die a happy woman.
So I liked it a great deal, even if parts of it made me wince a little when they poked my own particular sore spots. Others definitely are different! We all find hope in different things! I am very interested to see where the author goes next! The skin is soft, probably exfoliated and moisturized daily by some royal manicurist.
The camera snaps nearby. His eyes are big and soft and blue, and he desperately needs to be punched in one of them. Pride and Prejudice retellings are never out of style in Romancelandia—see below—but despite some awkward moments this one is significantly more rewarding than most. I am resisting the temptation to write you a full essay on exactly what changes Jalaluddin made to the original story and how brilliant her overall vision is.
I mean, placing a story about hasty judgments and self-knowledge in the context of present-day Islamophobia and misogyny and how those systems intersect is already Full Galaxy Brain, but there are so many more aspects of this book that made me gasp and stop and scribble notes about parallels and contrasts. For example: our less-than-impressive rejected suitor, Mr. Darcy is possibly the most well-trod territory in all of romance, but traditional and devout Muslim Khalid is the sharpest take on Darcy I have ever seen.
What happens when your heart comes into conflict with your beliefs and traditions? Wickham figures often come off as merely inappropriately sexy, rather than actively predatory. Modern retellings like The Lizzie Bennet Diaries and now Ayesha at Last translate this successfully by making the Wickham figure not merely a romantic rival, but also someone who trafficks in the worst aspects of online sexuality: revenge porn, coerced nudes, exploitative and misogynist sex sites.
This book really puts the ick back in Wickham and gives us the proper emotional zing for the storyline. Ayesha walked Khalid to the door, and he took his time putting on his shoes. When he stood up, she noticed he had flour in his beard, and she reached out and absently brushed it away. His beard was soft, like spun cotton, and her hand lingered.
He clasped her wrist to stop her, and their eyes met—hers wide in sudden realization, his steady. Ayesha blushed bright red, embarrassed at violating their unspoken no-touch rule. He looked at her for a long moment, then gently, reluctantly, dropped her hand. We have a brash chemist heroine, a golden-boy hero, and a great many female characters on the side, all chipping away at the foundations of the patriarchy.
We know how that goes, in Romancelandia. She opened her mouth to protest, but stopped. Everybody does. Harvard people have a way of working it into conversation. It makes for a lovely change of pace. Trisha is definitely a genius and devoted to her medical work even if she struggles with her bedside manner, her politically ambitious family, and pedestrian tasks like remembering to eat. Her lax approach to dining is one of the many ways she outrages DJ Caine, our British expat hero, an accomplished chef who worked his way up from nothing to a Michelin star—and whose sister needs a life-saving operation only Trisha can provide.
It means this book has some heavier angles that readers ought to know going in. But in the expert hands of Sonali Dev, all the angst and anguish is worth it. Also, my god, I could listen to DJ rhapsodize about food and flavor all damn day. Trisha Raje was without a doubt the most insufferable snob DJ had ever come across in his entire bloody life. But it had never bothered him. Not like this. Our heroine Polly Gowan is no debutante: she spends her days organizing strikes and supporting workers at a 19th-century Glasgow cotton mill.
There are pub jaunts, and football games in the mud, and clashes with the tyrannical power of the law. And while we all love a good historical gown description some of us have even written whole romances about that, in fact! The people on the ground, doing the actual labor, turning the great wheels of history one working day at a time.
They—we—deserve happy endings at least as much as the nobs do. Rumors started spreading earlier this week that the adult imprint of DC Comics, Vertigo, was finally being shuttered. If you've only been reading comics for ten years or less, you might not think this is a big deal.
But for people like me, who've been reading comics since the early s or before, this news carries with it a certain kind of wistfulness. It's hard to explain now how important Vertigo was in a lot of comics nerds' lives. It's the only big-name comics publisher that would have given full support to Y the Last Man. A lot of the books that are now considered canonical came from Vertigo. But Vertigo had not produced a lot of work worth reading in recent years. Or rather, Vertigo couldn't be trusted to consistently publish excellent work.
The imprint's track record became erratic, and then it basically disappeared from view. So what was Vertigo's secret? Why did the imprint succeed so well for so long? Yes, talent had a lot to do with it. And so did a creative environment at DC that allowed creative teams to patiently build their worlds out without fear of immediate cancellation.
But I think Vertigo's secret weapon was in its editors. Karen Berger founded the line, of course, and her stewardship was likely the single most important reason for Vertigo's early success. Berger made space for other editors, like Tom Peyer and Stuart Moore, to follow their own dreams. And she allowed some exciting young editors, like Axel Alonso, to shepherd new and exciting projects through the imprint. Most people — hell, I'd be willing to bet that most comics readers — don't know what comic book editors do. It's especially tricky because a lot of comics editors don't do their jobs.
But a good comic book editor is as much a part of the collaboration process as a colorist or artist or letterer or writer. A good comics editor will help define a book, and ensure that the writer keeps to those themes throughout the book's lifespan. They will fight for the best ideas, and kill the worst ideas before they can fly out of control and endanger the whole project. They'll help every member of the team do their best work possible.
And when a good editor leaves, you can tell by the rapid decline in quality. These are books that are adult without being pornographic or overly violent.
- The Playhouse Theatre, Derry/Londonderry!
- from the Editor.
- Climate and Land Use Change Effects on Ecological Resources in Three Watersheds: A Synthesis Report.
- Microbial Translocation Across the GI Tract (Annual Review of Immunology Book 30).
They aspire to literature, while still remembering what makes comics so damn fun in the first place. They tell stories about characters and not just plot points. They make room for what's great in comics, in a package that doesn't insult the reader's intelligence. I refuse to believe that this is an endangered market. There will be more Vertigos out there sometime soon.
If you're reading it like literary fiction, the "character" we learn the most about in The Mueller Report is Robert Mueller himself. His character is throughout the book: intensely literal, a devout believer in the letter of the law, and an unquestioning devotee of the American experiment. As the world saw in his quietly outraged public appearance last month, Mueller has a profound sense of right and wrong, but even his G-Man morality is nothing compared to his devotion to the law. Mueller announced that he could not indict a sitting president, and that he would have cleared the president of indictable offenses if he could.
The inference, of course, is that President Trump committed indictable offenses, but Mueller is bound by duty to not say that out loud. The big question is if Mueller made the right call by sticking to protocol. Is it possible that our times are extraordinary enough that the lantern-jawed advocate of fair play should have broken character and spoken frankly about his findings?
Is Donald Trump enough of an existential threat to the country that Mueller should have dropped the coyness and sounded the alarm? Only time can answer that question. It is a legal document, one which walks the reader — deliberately and with great detail — through the Trump campaign's connections with foreign agents and President Trump's attempts to kill the investigation into those dealings.
It's not a page-turner, nor is it exceptionally accessible. But it is important. Even though there aren't many new facts in the book, seeing all the details laid out in order, written in dry legal prose, is simply stunning. Nobody — not even Attorney General Barr — could read this report and come to the conclusion that Donald Trump is as innocent as a newborn child.
Members of last night's book club had plenty of questions that The Mueller Report could never answer — about Russian money being funneled into social media, about whether Trump would be indicted on leaving office, about whether the country could ever recover from the damage that Trump's destructive policies are unleashing.
The conversation repeatedly leaned toward darkness. But I found it heartening that the conversation always came back to facts. What does Mueller say? What doesn't he say? When did this event happen? Can we even prove that this event ever happened? People kept trying to find solid ground on which they could stand. For all his real estate deals, solid ground is the one thing that Donald Trump and his cronies will never be able to buy. When you build a kingdom on lies, you're destined to spend the rest of your days trying to avert disasters.
Every day, the chaos president sinks a little bit deeper into a trap of his own making. The best way to keep from drowning in lies is to only build on truth, and we have a lot more truth about Donald Trump this month than we did six months ago. Some good news about the state of independent bookselling from Publishers Weekly :. Cheatham wrote the poem that became Hi Blue Sky for himself, but he decided that he wanted to share it with children, to help them through the grieving process.
Cheatham has brought the book to a number of young readers to make sure that Hi Blue Sky worked on its target audience. It could be a story for kids who lose a friend who moves away. On June 12th, Cheatham is celebrating the launch of Hi Blue Sky with a family-friendly happy hour reading at The Station coffee shop on Beacon Hill from 5 pm to to 8 pm , with pizza and chocolate. I lost my job. I had to move. I lost my car. And then a friend took him to The Station for the first time. I love them all to death. And once I was there, the owners embraced me as a part of their community and they allowed me to create.
Last week, when Special Counsel Robert Mueller talked for less than ten minutes about the criminal accusations surrounding President Trump, the world reacted with shock and surprise. Which, really, is pretty damn weird considering Mueller offered no new information that couldn't already be found in the bestselling report that bears his name.
It's been right there in his book this whole time. But even if you haven't read the book, you should join us for our conversation about the Report and what it all means. And I'm also taking this opportunity to announce a contest for attendees tomorrow night: if your copy of the Mueller Report is more beaten than mine but still somehow readable, I promise to buy you a drink.
View this post on Instagram My copy of the Mueller Report was in my backpack when I got caught in a rainstorm and now I have the most metal copy of the Mueller Report on the planet. It's free and you don't have to have read the entirety of the book to take part in the discussion. Join us! Show up for the series, and you'll get a tasting menu of what's current in verse.
The question of whether poetry matters is a tired old argument. Poetry is endlessly adaptable to the needs of whatever time we're in. Poets adapt endlessly, and serve up language with infinite variety. And SAL has a lens on it all. Check out the full list of names for this year's Poetry Series on our sponsor feature page , then reserve your seats today.
I find it shocking how few people know that Neal Stephenson is a Seattle-area author — particularly since his books are very obviously influenced by the nature and culture of the Pacific Northwest. His latest book, Fall, or Dodge in Hell , a stealth sequel to his thriller Reamde , is a book that imagines what the Singularity might mean for our concepts of life and death. Town Hall Seattle, 8th Ave. Orlando de Lange, a plant molecular biologist at UW, will discuss 26 "plants, people and places that define the green landscape and history of our city.
Plus: Drinks! Fred Wildlife Refuge, Belmont Ave. A native of the seaside town of Limbe, Cameroon, Imbolo Mbue is the author of the bestselling debut Behold the Dreamers, the story of a young Cameroonian couple whose new lives in New York are upended by the Great Recession. A large and fun panel of cultural landscape specialists, historians, drag queens, and small business owners will discuss what it means for a traditionally gay neighborhood to face gentrification and massive construction.
How do we preserve important places while still allowing new people to move in? Seattle Public Library, 4th Ave. First, there was the Intruder comic magazine, a free tabloid-sized comics newspaper that was delivered to comics shops and other cool locales around town. Intruder closed up shop and was followed by a similar publication called Thick as Thieves. Given so much of the editorial staff is overseeing the transition from Thick as Thieves to Hair Flip , you probably won't see too much of a difference in this new first issue.
And in fact, casual readers likely might not even be able to spot a negligible difference between Intruder and Hair Flip. That's okay. These new identities and frequent reinventions are part of what makes our local comics scene so vibrant. Print media is something different now than it used to be — it's simultaneously less valuable to advertisers but more valuable to readers.
If you can't make something new, bring a new attitude to a print publication, why aren't you just running a fucking blog or something?
Better to keep things new and interesting, to keep handing the vision off to a new group every few years. Comics in this town have the energy and excitement of a thriving rock scene right now — best to harness that kind of energy with an of-the-moment magazine that might not exist a few years from now because it's too busy evolving into something else. That's how the really great scenes keep alive. Kudos to all of them for treating Bezos, as much as possible, as just another novelist.
The Elliott Bay Book Company hosted a reading of Ms Bezos' second novel in — and Mr [Rick] Simonson recalls some people questioning why an independent book shop would want to host a book associated with Amazon. However, he says: "I felt you can invite the other side in - and she's a legitimate writer who deserved a fair reading".
Glenn Nelson expertly eviscerates David Shields's new documentary screening at SIFF , which returns to the ham-handed examination of race and sports Shields last attempted in his also eviscerated Black Planet. You can read this article in much less time and with much greater pleasure than either Shields's book or Shields's movie. It builds on the time-honored colonialist tradition of the white man or, sometimes, woman feeling uniquely qualified i.
Yancy Strickler isn't the first to worry about what happens when the good guys exit social media stage right. Is social media a dark forest that needs heroes to tame it? Or is it the tiresome party we'll all be happy to leave? Do we get to choose? Imagine a dark forest at night.
Nothing moves. Nothing stirs. This could lead one to assume that the forest is devoid of life. The dark forest is full of life. To survive, the animals stay silent This is also what the internet is becoming: a dark forest. This story, Stephanie Montgomery's story, includes a description of her sexual assault. It also includes a description of how, when her employer and the justice system both failed to stand up for her, Stephanie took matters into her own mighty hands , painting a billboard that calls out every part of the system that failed her.
Nothing was going to happen. No justice, just another rape, the world moved on. The MeToo movement had opened up the conversation, sure, and it had also spurred men into hyperdefensiveness and aggression, but when the smoke cleared, had anything really changed? Where were the arrests, the convictions? An idea began to take hold. She was going to paint something, something huge. Knox Gardner is a poet and photographer, as well as publisher and editor-in-chief of the unique and wonderful local press Entre Rios Books — a press that focuses on collaborations between poets and artists.
He's the author of two collaborations: Twelve Saints , with Nia Michaels, and the brand-new release Woodland , with musician Aaron Otheim. Gardner will be appearing twice in the near future in support of Woodland : Sunday, June 2nd, at Open Books see our Event of the Week column for more details , and the official book launch for Woodland , Monday June 13th at Hugo House , where he will be joined by Otheim.
It seemed appropriate being in NYC and in our new gilded age, and over the last few weeks with all the new restrictive abortion laws subjugating women, perhaps more so. I feel like I must have read Age of Innocence in college, but I am not sure. I almost always end up reading the end of books first, so I know this is going to be a tragedy, but what I was not expecting is how funny and bitchy Wharton can be.
My book is all marked up with zippy one-liners for my inner queen. Seriously, all queens should be reading Wharton. Oh Miss Bart is going to make some bad choices! I had the good fortune to find in a used book store on the same trip, Drift by Caroline Bergvall. This is a deep, profound work by both the writer and book designer — truly a collaboration in design much like Don Mee Choi's impressive Hardly War with Wave Books. Our publicist has been encouraging me to start taking our press in a more national direction — and to publish work like this, well yes, I would.
This book peers in to the despair of the refugee crisis, into our deep past, to create something so startling and immediate. One brutal thing since starting the press is how much less time I have for reading and yet how many more books are piling up around the house. These are the books currently at the top of my list:. But I tend to read until I fall asleep on the couch, and then I wake up to the sound of Mayte chowing down on the fifth chapter of whatever sleazy erotic historical novel I happen to be in the middle of at any given moment. You are wise to realize that some bad habits are impossible to break — for instance, my bad habit of buying memorial plaques dedicated to people I dislike and bolting them to park dumpsters.
Instead of changing her behavior, change yours. Try buying Mayte a couple of books to chew on while you read. Battlefield Earth by L. Ron Hubbard and Infinite Jest by whatshisface are both very long, terrible books that would give Mayte's geriatric jaw a healthy workout. You should be able to find deeply discounted copies of them at your local used book store. If you do move in with your girlfriend, I suggest investing in a lawyer's bookcase they have glass doors.
If you choose your sleazy historical erotica with care, it could help set the mood. If you've never stumbled on a bad link or fat-fingered a URL here at the SRoB you may not know that we feature art from Christine's Reading Animals series on our page. We thought it was about time to give these amazing portraits the resolvable URL they deserve, so we're going to run them as an occasional series, starting today, with this amazing beaver. For as much as incel-driven conservative comics groups love to whine about "social justice warrior" movements in comics, the truth is that comics are currently in a relatively apolitical period.
Of course superhero comics are full of cheerleading for inclusion, and you can find a ton of easy Trump parodies in all the usual places. But aside from a few smart books like Black and Young Terrorists both of which were originally published by Black Mask Studios , for whatever that's worth you don't see many contemporary comics taking on uncomfortable political discussions. Goodnight Paradise is a deeply political book. The description of Goodnight Paradise sounds like pretty much any sunbaked noir: a young woman is killed and one man, an outsider named Eddie, investigates the mysterious circumstances of her death.
The trail leads him to the seat of power in his city. But the particulars of this noir are unlike any I've seen before: Eddie is a homeless man struggling with mental disorders and addiction, and his city is Venice Beach, California, which is the home base of Snapchat. Thanks to a tight, clever script by Joshua Dysart, Goodnight Paradise hums along while giving us enough atmosphere to appreciate the dynamics of Venice Beach: the homeless people sit on benches and in run-down RVs, sneering at the young and affluent Snap employees wandering past with their hired security forces.
The beach itself is a kind of no man's land where everyone gathers, but every situation is fraught with class distinctions and seething hatred. Alberto Ponticelli is the perfect artist for a hard-boiled detective comic: he understands the importance of characters who look the same on the 5th page of the fifth issue as they did on the third page of the first issue. Their world has to be rock-solid, and readers have to be able to understand where everyone and everything is in relation to everything else.
Without a solid sense of worldbuilding and character consistency, the mystery would feel airy and insubstantial. Ponticelli keeps everything grounded and makes us care deeply for Eddie as a character. Colorist Giulia Brusco contributes more than just a beach-y spray of color to the book: part of the backdrop of Venice Beach is the smoke and smoggy orange-smeared sky caused by nearby forest fires. The fires get earlier every year, and they contribute to Eddie's claustrophobia. When his mania gets out of hand he sees fires everywhere: on people's heads, on buildings, in palm trees.
The whole world is burning. Though Goodnight Paradise is set in California, it could almost as easily be set in the Seattle of , where tech overlords try not to stare directly into the eyes of homeless people and where the skies turn orange and belch smoke every summer. We Seattleites intimately know the rhythms of income inequality and of climate insecurity that drive the waltz of Goodnight Paradise.
Mirrors are like that, sometimes. I keep thinking about this Reason magazine article which argues that Robert Crumb is in danger of being "canceled" by PC culture run amok or whatever the so-called "woke" kids are doing these days. Crumb was not in attendance at the event. And then someone else makes a judgment against Crumb by citing some panels of a Crumb strip featuring a caricature of Crumb sexually violating a drunken young woman. Those are pretty much the only examples of cancel culture in the story. Robert Crumb was and is a significant figure in the history of comics.
He's one of the most gifted cartoonists in history. He made a lot of interesting work. His stories with Harvey Pekar were some of the best collaborative comics in history. And he also made a lot of dumb, derivative, pseudo-shocking work that hasn't aged well. It's okay to like Robert Crumb. I own several of his books. You can own all of them. You can wear t-shirts of his drawings.
You're allowed to give his books as gifts. You can donate them to libraries. You can put displays of them up at bookstores. You can do whatever you want with them! Nobody is punishing you for any of that. But it's also okay to not like Crumb's work. You can say that his treatment of race was far too facile, and that the treatment of women in his work is abhorrent.
You can choose to not own any Robert Crumb books. You can make speeches about how much you dislike Robert Crumb. If you're a big Crumb fan and you're talking about Crumb in public, someone might want to talk to you about Crumb's racial or sexual politics. That's their right.
All Languages. More filters. Sort order. Lilly marked it as to-read Apr 03, Tricia marked it as to-read Mar 14, Kim marked it as to-read Apr 22, There are no discussion topics on this book yet. About Jason Shields. Jason Shields. Books by Jason Shields. No trivia or quizzes yet. Welcome back. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account.
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