Sometimes, the word insightful is overused to describe a book, but it’s justified in this case. Even hardcore Sonic Youth fans will learn something and we appreciated Kim’s honesty.
We’re back and ready for all the Fall and Winter titles we can handle. But, let’s start with some of the books you may have missed while we were away.
Jeremy Spencer co-founder and drummer of Five Finger Death Punch just released his incredible memoir Death Punch’D: Surviving Five Finger Death Punch’s Metal Mayhem. Alice Cooper called it “the best rock n roll addiction and redemption story since Nikki Sixx’s Heroin Diaries.”
The prolific Martin Popoff has done it again with The Big Book Of Hair Metal. The cover alone is amazing, but you’ll be handsomely rewarded if you dare to journey inside.
Turn Up The Radio!: Rock, Pop, and Roll in Los Angeles 1956-1972 is an incredible all-inclusive look at the dj’s, music, musicians, songwriters, producers and engineers that created that unforgettable time in history.
Can you ever know enough about Rush? Didn’t think so.
Here’s three books of interest. First, the new and incredible Rick James memoir Glow just hit the shelves. It’s a bit eerie to read a posthumously published memoir, but also incredible to relive James’ story in his own words. Read an excerpt here.
A book we’ve enjoyed lately is Diehards by Erin Feinberg, a cool collection of photos taken from the unique perspective of the fans. Some of the audiences included in the book are fans of U2, Metallica, Foo Fighters and The Flaming Lips. The book also features original essays from Bruce Springsteen and Neil Peart.
Finally, Lita Ford announced that her book Living Like A Runaway will be out on November 11th. Ford has made several recent appearances with Cherie Currie, so it will be interesting to see her take on her time in The Runaways. Find Lita on Facebook.
Mike “McBeardo” McPadden’s new book Heavy Metal Movies: Guitar Barbarians, Mutant Bimbos and Cult Zombies Amok In The 666 Most Ear-And-Eye-Ripping Big-Screen Films Ever! should live on every movie fan’s shelf. McPadden injects humor, passion and some giddy delight into sharing these curated treasures with the masses, and it’s infectious. A conversation with Alice Cooper, The Godfather of Heavy Metal Movies, helps set the tone at the beginning of the book and McPadden is more than capable of taking it from there.
While you’ll certainly debate the contents with friends (and possibly mortal enemies), you’ll keep turning the pages for more mayhem and hidden gems.
In this interview we talk about which movie came the closest to making McPadden puke, why werewolves can’t get the same love as vampires and zombies, and how Leonard Maltin’s’ “Bomb”s fueled his passions.
Andrew W.K.’s album I Get Wet gets the 33 1/3 series treatment thanks to Phillip Crandall. I Get Wet was originally dismissed by the influential music blog Pitchfork with a 0.6 rating but later was named to Pitchfork’s Top 200 Albums of the 2000’s with an 8.6 rating. As many have discovered, the genius of Andrew W.K sometimes takes a minute to capture you, but it will get you sooner or later.
Crandall lays the groundwork of the Andrew W.K. story with great insight into his early years. This part of the W.K. journey illuminates the development of his stage persona and how he went on to create this album. Then Crandall unfolds the story of the album in a way that allows the reader to absorb the details and analyze them on their own. He’s just a guide who gets out of the way and it’s much appreciated.
In this interview, we talk about Andrew vs. Andy Kaufman vs. Andy Warhol, the endlessly fascinating mystery of Steev Mike, why that guy from the Rembrandts got an album credit and Bronies.
D.X. Ferris has written the book on Slayer before with Reign In Blood for the 33 1/3 book series. This time, he had a few ideas in mind for a new Slayer book, but a series of unforeseen circumstances, including Jeff Hanneman’s untimely death, spun his book idea in a new direction and Slayer 66 2/3: The Jeff and Dave Years rose from the ashes. It’s a well done bio that although lengthy, general music fans can also enjoy, because Ferris dissects Slayer’s dynamics and personalities, allowing the reader to completely understand the band, it’s quirks, and history.
There’s a lot to talk about in this interview including Rick Rubin’s legacy now that Slayer has split with him for good, predictions for the upcoming Riot Fest performances of Reign In Blood, why the band could never “Metallica-It-Out” and defense of the argument that it’s Slayer’s world and we’re all just living in it.
Harley Loco came out last year and is now available in paperback from Viking/Penguin. Roundly praised for the raw, unfiltered voice of first time author Rayya Elias, Elias doesn’t just tell you about her world, she lets you inside it.
The story of a young girl from Syria immigrating to Detroit, who taught herself about music, started doing drugs, moved to New York City in her 20’s, cut hair, did more drugs, went to prison, died three times and ultimately redeemed herself has plenty to draw in the reader. But, there is something else living in the pages That intagible factor that makes you relate to Elias even if you’ve never come near any of her experiences.
In this interview, we talk about how writing a book with the encouragement of best-selling author Elizabeth Gilbert doesn’t suck, how to survive robbing a Colombian drug lord, how she learned English from an iconic soap star and so much more.
The excellent Mad World book is an oral history that tells the story of New Wave from 1979-1985 through the words of the artists who epitomized, changed and shaped the genre. Lori Majewski and Jonathan Bernstein are perfect co-authors and foils.
The book starts with an introduction by Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran. Then each chapter focuses on an artist and their seminal song. Bernstein and Majewski add their take, and the artist tells their story in a monologue style. Each chapter ends with a “then and now” update and finally, a mix tape list that guides you to other songs you might enjoy. 36 artists are included and you may think you know a lot about your favorites, but there are many surprises that unfold from the artists stories.
In this interview we highlight some of the artists in the book including Duran Duran, The Smiths and New Order, discuss the influence of New Wave on current artists and find out why a popular band fired their lead singer at the height of their popularity….and that’s just the beginning of that epic feud.