Don’t know how I managed to miss this, but last month my friends at R.E.M.H.Q. did a cool post about an interview with Peter Buck I did prior to the release of New Adventures In Hi-Fi, back in 1996.
And they included a nice plug for my novel, “True Love Scars.”
You can check out the post and read the interview with Peter Buck here.
Coming up this Friday, August 17, 2014 at the Make-Out Room in San Francisco is the momentous LitQuake “Rock ‘N’ Roll Circus: A Cavalcade of Stars,” an evening of music critics reading from their latest books.
The lineup: Gina Arnold (author of the book “Exile In Guyville”), former San Francisco Chronicle pop music critic Joel Selvin (“Here Comes the Night: The Dark Soul of Bert Berns and the Dirty Business of Rhythm and Blues”), Kerouac/Grateful Dead biographer Dennis McNally (“On Highway 61: Music, Race, and the Evolution of Cultural Freedom”), Addicted To Noise founder/former Rolling Stone Senior Writer Michael Goldberg (“True Love Scars”), musician Bruce Cockburn (“Rumours of Glory”), rock journalist and author Denise Sullivan (“Shaman’s Blues: The Art and Influences Behind Jim Morrison and the Doors”), rock historian and college teacher Richie Unterberger (“Jingle Jangle Morning: Folk-Rock in the 1960s”) and best-selling authors Keith and Kent Zimmerman (“Shining Star: Braving the Elements of Earth, Wind & Fire”).
Providing music will be Camper Van Beethoven cofounder Victor Krummenacher.
The evening starts at 7 pm and admission is a cheap $10.
And finally, for today and maybe Tuesday the Kindle version of “True Love Scars” is available for $2.99. A bargain at three times the price. Soon it will be again priced at $9.99, so get it on the cheap now.
[Rolling Stone has a great review of “True Love Scars” in a recent issue. Read it here. There’s info about True Love Scars here.]
At this year’s LitQuake festival, a who’s who of music writers including University of San Francisco professor/ former rock critic Gina Arnold (author of the book “Exile In Guyville”), former San Francisco Chronicle pop music critic Joel Selvin (“Here Comes the Night: The Dark Soul of Bert Berns and the Dirty Business of Rhythm and Blues”), Kerouac/Grateful Dead biographer Dennis McNally (“A Long Strange Trip: The Inside History of the Grateful Dead”) will read from their most recent books on Friday, October 17, 2014 at the Make-Out Room in San Francisco’s Mission district.
The high profile lineup also includes Addicted To Noise founder/former Rolling Stone Senior Writer Michael Goldberg (“True Love Scars”), musician Bruce Cockburn (“Rumours of Glory”), rock journalist and author Denise Sullivan (“Shaman’s Blues: The Art and Influences Behind Jim Morrison and the Doors”), rock historian and college teacher Richie Unterberger (“Jingle Jangle Morning: Folk-Rock in the 1960s”) and best-selling authors Keith and Kent Zimmerman (“Shining Star: Braving the Elements of Earth, Wind & Fire”).
Providing music will be Camper Van Beethoven cofounder Victor Krummenacher.
The evening will start at 7 pm and admission is a bargain at $10.
I think this will be a great evening. Kinda of like a greatest hits of recent music books. Each of us will read our best 7 minutes.
We’ll have our books for sale, and if you want a personal message written by the author, all you have to do is ask.
Meanwhile, I’ve got the Kindle version of my book. True Love Scars, on sale this week for $2.99. I can tell you it would be a bargain at twice the price.
The culture critic (and Bob Dylan expert) Greil Marcus has organized a stunning French-American “intellectual exchange” in the form of the six-day Festival Albertine which will take place from October 14 through October 19, 2014, at the new Albertine bookshop in New York.
All of the panels will be videotaped and made available online via the bookstore’s website, http://www.albertine.com, after the festival so that those who cannot attend can see them.
Marcus has always moved smoothly through highbrow and popular culture, and the festival reflects that. Novelists and graphic novelists, movie directors and TV show auteurs, economics professors and fashion designers, French and American historians and rock, book and film critics will take part in the festival.
The lineup for the six evenings includes: Novelists Mary Gaitskill (“Two Girls, Fat and Thin”) and Percival Everett (“Erasure”), director Olivier Assayas (“Après- Mai”), Joseph Stiglitz (“Freefall: America, Free Markets and the Sinking of the World Economy”), Marjane Satrapi (“Persepolis”), the mathematician John Nash, TV show creators Alexandra Clert (“Engrenages”) and Matthew Weiner (“Mad Men”), historians Françoise Mélonio and Arthur Goldhammer and others.
Although there is no panel devoted directly to rock music, a number of the panelists are or have been immersed in the music. In addition to Marcus, there is former New York Times chief rock critic John Rockwell, former Newsweek pop critic James Miller, “Streets of Fire” screenwriter Larry Gross, and Mary Davis (author of “Classic Chic: Music, Fashion and Modernism”).
Albertine opened its doors yesterday (September 27, 2014). The book store and the festival, named after Proust’s muse, Albertine, are the brainchild of French diplomat Antonin Baudry, cultural counselor of the French Embassy in the United States, and, using the pen name Abel Lanzac, co-author of the graphic novel “Quai d’Orsay.”
In an essay that explains why the need for Albertine, Baudry wrote:
“Her naissance is important because so many books were missing in New York, the very heart of the world, before she arrived. Her presence will matter because there are essential ideas to uncover and crucial debates to be had between the old Continent and the new. In the 21st Century, without considering perspectives from near and far, should we be so confident in our definitions of good, evil, beauty; fairness on the battlefield, justice; a good society, a good life, or even literature?
“One can answer each of these questions on his or her own, but to collectively attack them and examine each of their nuances—and from points of view illuminated by the insight of foreign lights—will lead us further. The world is in rapid flux. As new powers emerge or re-emerge on the political, economic and intellectual realms, their presence inspires us to reinforce deep existing friendships. For friendship is always more valuable, precious and rare in complex and dangerous times than during periods of calm and certainty.”
The book store currently contains 14,000 books including, according to the Albertine website, “contemporary and classic titles from 30 French-speaking countries in genres including novels, non-fiction, art, comic, or children’s books.” Visitors are welcome to find a comfortable chair and read any of them.
To get the French-American debate — what he calls the “French-American intellectual exchange” — underway, Baudry decided to kick things off with a festival and enlisted Marcus to curate the week-long event.
“Antonin read [Marcus’ landmark books] ‘The Shape of Things to Come’– as ‘L’Amerique et ses prophètes,’ the French title — and ‘Lipstick Traces,'” Marcus said when asked how he came to curate the festival. “I’d never been asked to do something like it, unless you count co-editing ‘A New Literary History of America.'”
In his essay explaining the need for the bookstore and festival, Baudry detailed why he chose Greil Marcus to curate it:
Our first question was, Who should curate and shape this debate? We made two decisions concerning this choice—decisions that mirror the entire vision of the Albertine experience. Firstly, the curator must be an American, and secondly, it must be Greil Marcus. Why an American—and not a French person—to curate a French festival at the French Embassy? Because that is the essence of a true dialogue. For Festival Albertine’s to be fruitful in America, speakers must be selected by American ears, eyes and intelligence. And these ears, eyes and this intelligence had to be Greil’s.
Greil Marcus’ masterful work defines him as one of the most relevant and stimulating living thinkers of America. Greil touches the foundational issues of society. Along with many of his books, The Shape of Things to Come: Prophecy and the American Voice addresses questions and issues so fundamental
to America that it perfectly sets the stage for deep analysis of our cultures in comparison. Greil’s texts deliver the intellectual keys to unlock channels of transatlantic dialogue, discussion, and compelling debate.
Moreover, Greil is the founder of a true analytic method. He offers both a broader and more precise conception of history in Lipstick Traces when he writes, “and what is history, anyway? Is history simply a matter of events that leave behind those things that can be weighed and measured – new institutions, new maps, new rulers, new winners and losers–or is it also the result of moments that seem to leave nothing behind, nothing but the mystery of spectral connections between people long separated by place and time, but somehow speaking the same language?”
Albertine is housed in the official landmark Payne Whitney mansion in Manhattan. In 1902, former Standard Oil Company treasurer Oliver Hazard Payne commissioned the Italian Renaissance mansion as a wedding gift to his nephew Payne Whitney. Between 1902 and 1906, Stanford White, the famed architect of the Washington Square Arch, designed and oversaw construction of the mansion. Since 1952, the mansion has housed the Cultural Services of the French Embassy. The bookshop within the mansion was born in 2014, and its interiors were created by celebrated French designer Jacques Garcia (Chateau du Champ de Bataille in Normandy, France and The NoMad Hotel in New York City)… in the model of a grand private French library. The two-floor space includes a reading room and inviting nooks furnished with lush sofas and armchairs.
I asked Marcus what ten books he would suggest someone planning to attend the festival or watch the videos should read.
Olivier Assayas, “A Post-May Adolescence”
Joseph Stiglitz, “Freefall: America, Free Markets and the Sinking of the World Economy”
James Miller, “The Passion of Michel Foucault”
May Davis, “Classic Chic: Music, Fashion and Modernism”
Marjane Satrapi, “Persepolis”
Antonin Baudry aka Abel Lanzac, “Weapons of Mass Diplomacy”
Emmanuel Carrère, “The Moustache” and “Limonov”
Mary Gaitskill, “Two Girls, Fat and Thin”
Percival Everett, “Erasure”
[Note: I just published my rock ‘n’ roll novel, True Love Scars.” Rolling Stone has a great review of my book in the new issue. Read it here. There’s info about True Love Scars here.]
The contest, which is part of the Louder Than Words literary festival, is named after the acclaimed British guitarist Wilko Johnson, best known as a member of Dr. Feelgood in the ‘70s; early this year Johnson’s collaboration with Roger Daltry of The Who, Going Back Home, charted at No. 3 in the U.K.
“It’s named after Johnson because it is a competition for young writers and Wilko Johnson was a teacher – he has an English degree from Newcastle Univeristy,” explained Louder Than Words co-curator, Simon Warner, author of “Text and Drugs and Rock’n’Roll: The Beats and Rock Culture.”
“In addition, he [Johnson] is a capable and committed wordsmith in his own right,” Warner said. “Beyond that, too, he is a respected, avid and obsessive reader – appreciationg words associated with music and in books and journalism, national and international.”
The winner will be chosen by a “panel of high calibre judges drawn from related industries – writing, the academy, the music business,” Warner said.
The winner will be announced on Wednesday, November 5, 2014 and the award will be presented at the festival on Sunday, November 16, 2014.
The winner will receive: a full weekend festival pass, a complete set of 100 titles from Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 album series, and will be published on the Rock’s Back Pages website.
Louder Than Words will take place November 14-16, 2014 at The Palace hotel in Manchester, England.
As described on the Louder Than Words website, the festival includes “’in conversation with’ sessions, panel discussions, interviews, workshops, performances and casual opportunities for engaging with performaners, authors, editors, publicists, reviewers, press, artists and aficionados.”
[I just published my rock ‘n’ roll novel, True Love Scars.” Rolling Stone has a great review of my book in the new issue. Read it here. There’s info about True Love Scars here.]