Impossible book to put down. In fact, I'm going to read it again. Kind of based on Joe Brainard's famous and great "I Remember' but different in that...moreImpossible book to put down. In fact, I'm going to read it again. Kind of based on Joe Brainard's famous and great "I Remember' but different in that Perec didn't read that book, but he heard about it from his friend the writer Harry Mathews. While Brainard's book is more personal and deals with his own observations, Perec's take on "I Remember" is more of the collective memory of the French from a certain time, mostly from the post-war years. So what he remembers here are a lot of French figures from the cinema, music and pop cultural world of Paris 1950s to the 60s - and I think beyond. My favorite, of course, is "I remember that Boris Vian died while coming out of a showing of a film adapted from his book 'I Spit on Your Graves'" A lot of jazz references as well. Excellent book.(less)
Inspired by the great Georges Perec's "A Void" the novel without "e," illustrator Kartja Spitzer and writer Sebastian Gievert's "Quodlibet" is a book...moreInspired by the great Georges Perec's "A Void" the novel without "e," illustrator Kartja Spitzer and writer Sebastian Gievert's "Quodlibet" is a book that deals with the letter "Q." Yes everything from James Bond's Q to Mary QUANT is covered in this beautiful and witty book. A very Quick read! (less)
Well-written, witty, but overall not that interesting of a book for me. First of all, I read this because I was curious not about his subject matter -...moreWell-written, witty, but overall not that interesting of a book for me. First of all, I read this because I was curious not about his subject matter - which is contemporary classical music ( this book was written in the 30s) but more to the fact that he's the father of Kit Lambert, the manager of The Who. On the other hand you do get the flavor of intellectual life of the Boho London set of the time. Not on a street level, but due to Lambert's opinions on composers like Hindemith and Stravinsky. It seems he has mixed feelings about a lot of his contemporary composers. But I did listen to some of Lambert's music. It's OK, but.... not my thing. (less)
I first heard of Jacques Mesrine’s memoir “The Death Instinct” when I published and read Guy Debord’s “Considerations on the Assassination of Gérard L...moreI first heard of Jacques Mesrine’s memoir “The Death Instinct” when I published and read Guy Debord’s “Considerations on the Assassination of Gérard Lebovici.” The Mesrine memoir had a huge effect on Lebovici and Debord, due to the fact that Lebovici was the publisher for Mesrine’s book when he was public enemy number one. Ever since then I knew I had to publish an English edition of this book - and it took ten years to get done, due to the fact that the book was out-of-print for many years in France. What we have here is a masterpiece. Mesrine is a superb story-teller, and it is all tales of robbing banks, kidnapping, murder, and numerous escapes from jails and prisons. It is like a Jean-Pierre Melville gangster film, but all true. What you get here are first-person accounts of a murder, and various plans for heists, that almost all, were quite successful. Well… he did end up in prison two or three times, but don’t worry, he made successful daring escapes from these institutions. Mesrine is not exactly a fan of the five day work week or the 9 to 5, plus lunch schedule. He chose the life of crime because he saw the hypocrisy of the straight life. If nothing else, this is a brilliant observation on the code of the criminal, and how they interact with others in that same field. One can be weary of reading a "review" from the publisher, but I feel "The Death Instinct" is an amazing memoir. It works as a critique of society, but also exposes the inner- life of a criminal on the run, and one who was not afraid to express himself, either through violence or getting attention from the media. Also a fantastic translation from the author Catherine Texier (Breakup: The Endof a Love Story) and Robert Greene (48 Laws of Power). Greene also wrote a powerful and informative introduction to this book as well. (less)
A small book that took ten years to finish. "A Ring Around The Collar" is a multi-media product that concerns itself with a man's dirty white stained...moreA small book that took ten years to finish. "A Ring Around The Collar" is a multi-media product that concerns itself with a man's dirty white stained collar, and what it means to pop as well as industrial/corporate culture. Since people try to hide the dirty collar, Lun*na decides to expose it, through the medium of paintings, music, and wearable art - for instance she has made blouses, dresses, tea cups, motorcycle helmet, bed, and almost every other object on this planet -except all were made my recycled men's dirty white collars. It's a brilliant concept and beautifully designed by book by Amore, with an introduction by Leslie Dick, and an afterword from Lun*na. Includes a two-song flex-disk as well. (less)
I'm not a fan of Led Zeppelin, yet I admire the brilliance of Jimmy Page's guitar work and especially his talent as an arranger (along with John Paul...moreI'm not a fan of Led Zeppelin, yet I admire the brilliance of Jimmy Page's guitar work and especially his talent as an arranger (along with John Paul Jones), but it is neither here or there for me with respect to their albums. Nevertheless they are always fascinating as a subject matter for a book, and Barney Hoskyns did a fantastic job in putting together an oral history of this horror show of a band. My only suggestion would have been to edit the last 50 pages, because in reality do we really care what happened after Zeppelin broke up due to their drummer's death? But that is a little thing, what you get here is a series of snapshots of life as a Zeppelin, and its not a pretty world or site. They treated a lot of people badly, and Jimmy Page doesn't come off that good of a man. At times a gentleman, but with a very dark streak or a stormy cloud over him. On that subject matter I wished he would do more music, like he did for Kenneth Anger. He seems to be in a rut where he just wants to re-invent Led Zeppelin, either by re-mastering the albums or starting groups in the 80's that were pale imitation of the mighty Zepp. Recently I heard his version of a Chopin piece that was really lovely. One would hope that he would do an instrumental album - but .... There is this book, and its ugly and fascinating at the same time. (less)
I'm not a Rolling Stones fan, but more of a Brian Jones obsessive fan. And i do like some Stones recordings after he left/died, but overall when he wa...moreI'm not a Rolling Stones fan, but more of a Brian Jones obsessive fan. And i do like some Stones recordings after he left/died, but overall when he was in the band, that is when the Stones were super special. First things first, my father knew Brian, and therefore I did an interview for this book, but beyond that this is a very much needed book to balance out the crap being said about Brian Jones over the years, especially by those in the Stones camp. We know the stories because they're told over and over again (mostly by Mick and Keith) that Brian was out-of-it, and therefore not really that important to the band's make-up, etc. Which I think is total bullshit. Brian not only added musical touches to make the songs more magical, but also more likely wore pieces that were credited to Jagger/Richard(s). "Ruby Tuesday" comes to mind. Nevertheless it is not only the music, but the image of the Stones is pretty much in two words: Brian. Jones. Without him there would be no Stones, and second, he gave them that sense of dirty magic funky satanic, etc. and etc. that feeds into the Stones image. Paul Trynka who wrote superb biographies on David Bowie and Iggy Pop, did Brian Jones and his fans a great service. The sad thing is that he died. I for one would have loved to hear a Brian Jones solo album, and the one soundtrack he did, is so frustrating, because one can only hear it in a bit here and there. And yes he has his flaws, but for god sake he's Brian Jones!
Oh, and I read a galley and this book is coming out in October. (less)