// Category Archive for: Book Reviews

The Stooges: Head On, By Brett Callwood

Published on December 5th, 2011 in: Book Reviews, Books, Dancing Ourselves Into The Tomb, Issues, Music, Reviews |

By Less Lee Moore

the stooges head on

The Stooges are legendary, but that word implies events from long ago, where the facts are less important than romantic myths. At this point in time, Iggy Pop is famous, while The Stooges have always been more infamous than anything else. But even if your mom has heard of Iggy Pop, she may not know much about The Stooges. Brett Callwood’s book, Head On, seeks to enlighten those who don’t know much about the untold history of this essential and influential Detroit band who came into being well before the so-called punk movement of the mid-1970s.


Halloween Nation: Behind The Scenes Of America’s Fright Night, By Lesley Bannatyne

Published on September 29th, 2011 in: Book Reviews, Books, Current Faves, Halloween, Holidays, Horror, Reviews |

By Danny R. Phillips

Halloween, for as long as I can remember, has been my favorite holiday. Christmas is too shiny, Thanksgiving is too anxiety fueled (I come from a large, loud family), and Valentine’s Day is a joke. But Halloween? That’s one I could get behind.

The darkness, the pranks, the unlimited imagination, the scary movies on TV, the candy . . . the perfect holiday. So, if you have the same feelings about the darkest night of celebration, then Halloween Nation: Behind The Scenes of America’s Fright Night is for you.

Horror Films Of The 1970s, By John Kenneth Muir

Published on September 29th, 2011 in: Book Reviews, Books, Halloween, Horror, Movies, Reviews |

By Less Lee Moore

horror films 1970s cover

As a film fan, I’m an unabashed lover of the 1970s. In the introduction to Horror Films of the 1970s, film and television critic John Kenneth Muir describes why in two words: “savage cinema.” There truly was something different about films of that decade, and horror films of the ’70s are no exception. In fact, sometimes lines between horror and non-horror were blurred so successfully that it’s difficult to define the exact genres of films like Deliverance or Straw Dogs, both of which are discussed in Muir’s book.

Part of what makes the “savage cinema” so unique and thrilling, claims Muir, is that it presented viewers with a universe in which there were no answers. Yet, he quotes documentary filmmaker Adam Simon, who says that horror can be “open to the traumas of the world” in a way which will “naturally convey truths.” This nexus between no answers and universal truths is precisely why horror films of the 1970s are so unique and so thrilling.


The Silver Metal Lover

Published on May 30th, 2011 in: Book Reviews, Books, Climb Onto The Nearest Star, Feminism, Issues, Science Fiction |

By Less Lee Moore

Robots have frequently played pivotal roles in science fiction. In Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, the False Maria robot is created to destroy. Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner features several replicants, or biorobotic androids, created as human soldiers and slaves. There is Pris, the “basic pleasure model” and Zhora, an assassin. Both have a predetermined lifecycle of about three years. When the end approaches, both Pris and Zhora turn deadly. There is also Rachael, an even more advanced replicant, who does not even realize she is a replicant.

And then there is Tanith Lee’s 1981 novel, The Silver Metal Lover, which intriguingly combines elements of Metropolis, Blade Runner, and even Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, to weave a spellbinding tale of the other part of the story: What happens when someone falls in love with a robot?


Life: Keith Richards with James Fox

Published on April 14th, 2011 in: Book Reviews, Books, Music, Reviews |

By Magda Underdown-DuBois

keith richards life

If one has ever heard Keith Richards interviewed, one knows his stories are amazingly well remembered for a man who was rumored to exist only through artificial means. The front flap of the dust jacket of Life explains this memoir of Keith Richards’ life completely and succinctly, “This is the Life. Believe it or not I haven’t forgotten any of it. Thanks and praises Keith Richards.”

Expected was a standard rambling account of drugs, sex, and rock & roll. Instead, what was delivered displayed a coherent story of Tolkien-inspired male friendship; awkward yet endearing fumbles through art, business, and parenting; a tribute to those who didn’t survive; and music of all genres soaking into the words, like the mixed odor of tobacco and whiskey.

I Slept With Joey Ramone: A Punk Rock Family Memoir

Published on March 31st, 2011 in: Book Reviews, Books, Culture Shock, Current Faves, Music, Reviews |

By Less Lee Moore

i slept with joey ramone book cover

The Ramones have infiltrated pop culture to the point where one can hardly imagine a world without them. Yet out of the original lineup, all have passed away except for Tommy. Dee Dee died in 2002; Johnny died in 2004. Joey died from lymphatic cancer in 2001. His brother Mickey Leigh started writing I Slept With Joey Ramone not long afterwards, with the help of longtime friend and punk writer Legs McNeil.

Beyond Twilight: Stephenie Meyer’s The Host

Published on March 30th, 2011 in: Back Off Man I'm A Feminist, Book Reviews, Books, Feminism, Issues, Movies, Science Fiction |

By Lisa Anderson

the host cover

Stephenie Meyer: Few writers have ever had their work loved and hated so deeply at the same time.

Her Twilight series, consisting of four novels and a novella, has sold over 100 million copies worldwide and been translated into 38 languages, as well as being adapted into a film saga that is set to conclude this year. Meyer has a wide variety of critics, from vampire purists who resent the liberties she has taken with the lore, to feminists who find the relationship between her romantic leads unhealthy. In all the hubbub, though, you hear almost nothing about Meyer’s other brain child: A science fiction novel called The Host which was released in 2008.

Destroy All Movies!!! The Complete Guide To Punks On Film

Published on January 30th, 2011 in: All You Need Is Now, Book Reviews, Books, Culture Shock, Current Faves, Issues, Movies, Music, Underground/Cult |

By Less Lee Moore

Any marginalized subculture bristles at being misinterpreted on film. Then again, the punk subculture is by now so fragmented and unrecognizable, one hesitates to even attempt to define it, much less depict it on the screen.

Yet best friends Zack Carlson and Bryan Connolly spent five years documenting each and every appearance of punks on film. They were inspired to undertake this monumental task after re-watching Penelope Spheeris’s quasi documentary Suburbia and then shortly thereafter, seeing Joysticks, a video arcade comedy from 1983, for the first time.

American Hardcore: A Tribal History, By Steven Blush

Published on January 25th, 2011 in: Book Reviews, Books, Music, Reviews, Underground/Cult, Upcoming Events |

By Danny R. Phillips

american hardcore cover

Over the five plus decades that rock & roll has been a force in American youth culture, many books have been written, most with futility, in an attempt to explain its history, its debauchery, its value, and the ebb & flow of the trends sprouting in all directions from its fruitful loins.

Steven Blush’s American Hardcore: A Tribal History not only explains a big part of the punk rock subculture but comes out swinging like a bloody knuckled little brother with something to prove.

Stewart Copeland, Strange Things Happen

Published on December 22nd, 2010 in: Book Reviews, Books, Music, Reviews |

By Laura L.

copeland strange things happen

Ever since I watched The Police’s episode of Behind The Music, I’ve had a thing for Stewart Copeland. (That would be the drummer of the Police for those of you who were born after 1984, when they broke up.) He’s an awesome drummer, he’s quick-witted, and—gosh, darn it!—he’s cute. Yes, a man my father’s age, cute! A man who’s a grandfather, cute! So when I went to my local library recently and found his autobiography, Strange Things Happen, on display, I had to check it out.