Vicki Pettersson – City of Souls (Book)

City of Souls is the fourth book in the Zodiac series, and the title itself shows further evolution and explication by Pettersson of eir alternate reality. The title goes by quickly, the rich prose of Pettersson going down like the sweetest drink. The story line that is weaved through this title is fleshed out but does not feel unnecessarily dragged down or wishy-washy; events, characters, and actions taken by these characters all are understandable when put to real life.

For those readers that have not had the chance to delve into Pettersson’s realm before, City of Souls focuses around Joanna Archer. This individual struggles to defeat evil (established here as Shadow), despite having inside eir part of what makes eir home city (Las Vegas) so decrepit. Where previous works in this line really showcased the depths of Shadow in Las Vegas, a child comes upon the scene that may change the entire way Archer understands the world and looks to change it.

City of Souls is a title that does not require that readers have already familiarized themselves with the preceding titles, but gives those readers that have a tremendous amount of further insight into the storyline here. In much the same way, getting a chance to sit down with City of Souls will ensure that readers will be amped up for the next title in the Zodiac series, whenever it may be destined to be released. Where I have found myself moving away from these styles of novels in the last decade or so, I find my interested piqued dramatically by City of Souls. If you are in the same boat, plop down the $8 and see exactly what you have been missing.

Rating: 8.8/10

Vicki Pettersson – City of Souls (Book) / 2009 EOS Books / 352 Pages / http://www.eosbooks.com / http://www.vickipettersson.com

Wish You Were Here: An Essential Guide to Your favorite Music Scenes – From Punk to Indie and Everything In Between by Leslie Simon (Book)

Ever wondered exactly which Haagan Dazs Henry Rollins used to work at in D.C.? Or, how about what San Francisco collective local punk rockers can visit to take classes on underwear making? Neither have I, but thank God Leslie Simon has. In what has got to be the best guide book on punk rock… well ever, rock journalist Simon answers a slew of questions never asked about punk rock and indie scenes across the U.S. in her latest book Wish You Were Here. Simon, who coauthored Everybody Hurts: An Essential Guide to Emo Culture, brings back the same snarky tone that made her last guide such a fun read. Continue reading “Wish You Were Here: An Essential Guide to Your favorite Music Scenes – From Punk to Indie and Everything In Between by Leslie Simon (Book)”

Great American Hypocrites: Toppling the Big Myth of Republican Politics By Glenn Greenwald (Book)

None of the arguments put forth by Glenn Greenwald in his latest rant against the Right, “Great American Hypocrites,” is going to come as a shock to anyone who has ever made a donation to MoveOn.org. But, that’s not to say it’s not highly entertaining read full of great argument starters. Continue reading “Great American Hypocrites: Toppling the Big Myth of Republican Politics By Glenn Greenwald (Book)”

New Brunswick, New Jersey, Goodbye: Bands, Dirty Basement and the Search for Self by Ronen Kauffman (Book)

Those looking to Ronen Kauffman’s book “New Brunswick, New Jersey, Goodbye,” hoping to find a definitive history of New Jersey’s storied hardcore and punk rock scene are better served looking elsewhere. There are mentions and anecdotes of a slew of bands from the mid-90’s scene like the Bouncing Souls, Lifetime, The Degenerics and Endeavor, but the main focus is one man’s discovery and ultimately his passion for the world of underground punk rock music. Continue reading “New Brunswick, New Jersey, Goodbye: Bands, Dirty Basement and the Search for Self by Ronen Kauffman (Book)”

Rock Bottom by Michael Shilling / Black Dogs: The Possibly True Story of Classic Rock’s Greatest Robbery by Jason Buhrmester

Writing a great rock novel is a whole lot harder than it sounds. There have been countless attempts over the years and the result is usually a collection of boring tour urban legends and rejected VH1 Behind the Music scripts. It’s a pretty big feat then that both Michael Shilling and Jason Buhrmester have managed to turn in solid rock stories just months apart from each other. Shilling’s Rock Bottom revolves around a once-promising band playing their last shows of a European tour before imploding. Continue reading “Rock Bottom by Michael Shilling / Black Dogs: The Possibly True Story of Classic Rock’s Greatest Robbery by Jason Buhrmester”

The Accountant’s Story: Inside the Violent World of the Medellin Cartel

Once you get past the fact that Roberto Escobar sees his brother more as a Columbian Robin Hood rather than one of the most barbaric, nefarious drug lords… well, ever, The Accountant’s Story is actually a pretty fascinating read that’s incredibly difficult to put down once you’ve started reading. Continue reading “The Accountant’s Story: Inside the Violent World of the Medellin Cartel”

Things I’ve Learned From Women Who’ve Dumped Me

An anthology about relationships written by guys sounds about as appealing as…well talking about relationships with guys. But thanks to a stellar list of authors – heavy on comedians like Jon Stewart, Patton Oswalt, Stephen Colbert and Will Forte – and the comedy-prone topic of getting dumped, makes the task that much more compelling. The essays are offered as lessons of sorts, far from practical, but extremely funny nonetheless. Continue reading “Things I’ve Learned From Women Who’ve Dumped Me”

Is It Just Me or Is Everything Shit?: Insanely Annoying Modern Things

British comedic writers Steve Lowe and Brendan McArthur have made a career of sorts bitching about ‘modern conveniences’ through a collection of books. The best bits have been sandwiched into Is It Me or Is Everything Shit? with additional observations added in by Daily Show writer/American Brendan Hay. For the most, the book has some pretty hilarious, astute observations. Like their straight to the point take on Hare Krishnas: “Hare, hare Krishna/Hare hare/hare Bullshit/Bullshit/Bullshit Krishna/Hare bullshit/Bullshit hare/(Repeat).” Continue reading “Is It Just Me or Is Everything Shit?: Insanely Annoying Modern Things”

I Hate New Music: The Classic Rock Manifesto

Dave Thompson is the Andy Rooney of music criticism.

Bushy eyebrows aside, Thompson puts his stake in the ground early on in his latest manifesto, I Hate New Music, with the outrageous claim that rock music stopped being good sometime around 1978. Seriously. Like the aforementioned 60 Minutes alum Rooney rambling on about not getting as much coffee in the can as he did in the good old days, Thompson rant dismisses everyone from The Clash to Nirvana, choosing rather to dwell on bands like Boston and Grand Funk Railroad. Continue reading “I Hate New Music: The Classic Rock Manifesto”

Revolution On Canvas

Revolution On Canvas / $12.95 / 224M / 1:30 / http://www.twbookmark.com / 

Poetry usually bores the hell out of me. Bands that have individuals that feel that they are set on this Earth to do anything but create music after making it big annoy me as well. However, this first volume of Revolution on Canvas is something I can get into. Note; this book is purely poetry (well, purely with the exception of a few different drawings from other band mates). If individuals are not big fans of poetry, then this book is something that they could easily miss out on. There is nothing in the way of layout changes between the poems in this book. Rich Balling, the editor, kept the poems as they were originally provided to eir. As far as I know, there is no rhyme or reason to the poems; they are not put in the book by any sort of alphabetical order or anything. However, the one plus is that the poems are grouped together by the writer.

Thus, all the poems done by Fat Mike are put together in a few pages of the book. Another solid organizational facet of the book is the fact that the table of contents is extensive, allowing for individuals to easily go through and locate the works by individuals that they like. While the bulk of individuals writing for this book are from emo acts, a few notable exceptions are present. These include Joseph Karam (The Locust), Tim McIlrath (Rise Against) and Jason Cruz (Strung Out). The poems in this work are not just the melodramatic collage of emo kids, but some really stand out as solid works. Bob Nanna (Hey Mercedes) has more of a prose style to eir poetry, which allows eir to create more of a story than was in anything else in this volume of Revolution on Canvas.

I would like to read other volumes of Revolution on Canvas, but hopefully each subsequent volume covers something different that musicians have created. The Spartan style of this volume should be a hallmark of future volumes. Perhaps the issue per copy of the book could come down to under $10, as the book goes pretty quickly. An hour and a half or two hours and individuals are all poetried out, without anything else to slake their thirsts from material from their favorite acts. Still, there are a few gems in the magazine that make up for some of the higher cost.

Rating: 6.2/10