Michael Goldberg’s Freak Scene Dream Trilogy

  I completed the Freak Scene Dream trilogy earlier this year. The Freak Scene Dream Trilogy consists of “True Love Scars,” “Days of the Crazy-Wild” and “Beautiful Dying.” The trilogy is a rock ‘n’ roll/coming-of-age story set in the late ’60s and early ’70s. On one level, it’s about two young men, Michael Stein and Jim Costello, and the difficulties they face in their relationships … Continue reading Michael Goldberg’s Freak Scene Dream Trilogy

Enhanced Guralnick Bios

“Mr. Guralnick’s e-book project is a particularly ambitious example of what seems be a growing trend in the publishing world. As the technology for adding ‘enhanced content’ like music, video and documents to the electronic versions of books advances, publishers are incorporating more of that material into work about popular music, whether critical assessments like Mr. Guralnick’s or the autobiographies and memoirs written by musicians… … Continue reading Enhanced Guralnick Bios

Turn Around Bright Ears

Was planning to read Turn Around Bright Eyes (no, silly, not that Turn Around Bright Eyes, the one by Rob Sheffield) but for reasons too complicated to explain (it involves two Christmas gifts, one of which was embarrassingly last minute), I ended up not reading it but purchasing and listening, mostly in my car, to the audiobook version through iTunes instead (cashing out an iTunes … Continue reading Turn Around Bright Ears

Carl Wilson Talks About Love (Not the Arthur Lee-led outfit)

MT: After release the book took on a life of its own, in terms of publicity and reach. Did that surprise you? CW: People have been wonderfully nice. But that’s always the hope. I would call it more of a relief and a pleasure than a surprise – if nothing like that had happened, it would have been a disappointment. I think the surprise is … Continue reading Carl Wilson Talks About Love (Not the Arthur Lee-led outfit)

The Odd Critical Appeal of Steely Dan

Some extremely juicy thoughts on Steely Dan in Ian Penman’s lengthy review of Donald Fagen’s Eminent Hipsters (which I place near the top of the list of musician autobiographies I should read; granted, it’s an incredibly short list, maybe three or four tops which even interest me). I appreciate Penman’s placement of ’70s SD as an uneasy midpoint between Joni Mitchell and the Ramones (“pinup … Continue reading The Odd Critical Appeal of Steely Dan

There Goes Norman

“But cultural history — well, that’s a whole other kettle of white whales, you might say. From figuratively tussling with Hemingway’s ghost and literally arm-wrestling Muhammad Ali to playing bull in the arena to women’s lib, Mailer conflated the roles of spectator and set-upon gladiator in a way that made him, for a while, the literary world’s answer to Bob Dylan. That Mailer saw no … Continue reading There Goes Norman

John Schaefer’s ‘New Sounds’

I came across a used copy of this 1987 book a couple years ago, and it’s one of those music books in my collection which I treasure most. Partly because it seems like the sort of book that will become harder to find (there’s precious little information about it online), but moreso because it’s actually proven to be a useful guide, especially for someone like … Continue reading John Schaefer’s ‘New Sounds’

Loving A and Loving B

“My nephew went to Download Festival recently and saw Iron Maiden and also was in the D&B room, consuming all different types of music that were fast and loud and had no other links. “There isn’t that tribalism anymore, if you like ‘A’ you can’t listen to ‘B’. It doesn’t exist anymore and it’s a good thing. Things rubbing up against each other can be … Continue reading Loving A and Loving B

Wolcott Gets His Nuggets

“At some other show before then — CBGB maybe? — I remember [Wolcott] dismissively mentioning that publishers were already sounding him out about collecting his pieces. I have no idea why he apparently thought that was ridiculous; the green river of envy coursing through me had already knocked down houses and drowned cows. He wasn’t even thirty yet! If you want a measure of how … Continue reading Wolcott Gets His Nuggets

Pop Music’s “seldom-visited relatives”

“The early 50s are the seldom-visited relative of modern pop. There are swathes of No 1 and major stars that are all but forgotten: Guy Mitchell, Dickie Valentine, Eddies Fisher and Calvert, all of whom were once household names. Joe Meek certainly nabbed a lot of ideas from the early 50s — it pained me slightly to discover that John Leyton’s Johnny Remember Me wasn’t … Continue reading Pop Music’s “seldom-visited relatives”