Book Review

The Art of Asking: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help. By Amanda Palmer. Grand Central Publishing, 2014. 337 pages. Hardcover. Review by Francis DiMenno The world is just a little town/ Everybody putting everybody down–John Lennon Is Amanda Palmer a pretentious, shrieking cyberspace mooch, or an exceptionally talented artist and consensus-builder who has also mastered the ins and outs of social media marketing? Some have suggested she is a shameless narcissist, while others maintain that she’s … Read More >>

Book Review

BOOK REVIEW THE DECIBEL DIARIES A Journey Through Rock in 50 Concerts by Carter Alan review by T Max Most people can tell you a few good stories about great rock shows they remember though the haze of drugs and booze. I’ve seen it happen within a group where everyone tries to up the anti with a wild tale from their past rock ’n’ roll experiences. I can play that game as good as anyone with a list that ranges … Read More >>

Book Review

BOOK REVIEW The Paragraphs. By Rick Berlin. Cutlass Press, 2016. Paperback. 248 pages. Review by Francis DiMenno The memoir form is a strange and wondrous beast. It tends to be less comprehensive than an autobiography, and therefore also tends to be impressionistic rather than concrete; terse rather than prolix; luminous rather than opaque. Impressionistic, terse and luminous is largely what we are given here; this book is mostly sweet, sometimes tough, and never, ever stuffy. All the verbal fireworks are … Read More >>

Book Review

SMALL TOWN TALK Small Town Talk: Bob Dylan, The Band, Van Morrison, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix & Friends in the Wild Years of Woodstock. By Barney Hoskins. Da Capo Press, 2016. 402 pages, hardcover. Review by Francis DiMenno If you read this book expecting to get some interesting and previously obscure gossip about the characters listed in the title, you certainly won’t be disappointed. But one of the key names listing from that impressive title roster (along with Paul Butterfield, Todd … Read More >>

Book Review

BOOK REVIEW The Sun & The Moon & The Rolling Stones. By Rich Cohen. Spiegel & Grau, 2016. Hardcover. 381 pages. Review by Francis DiMenno Cohn has most of the serious credentials deemed necessary to write about “The Greatest Rock Band in the World.” In spite of having been born in 1968. (Which is actually good; it gives him a certain necessary generational distance to balance his overarching enthusiasm for the band.)  He has written for both Rolling Stone and … Read More >>

Book Review

A Review of Ghost in the Key of A: Pythagoras. By T. Katz. (Softcover; Lulu Press, 2014) Review by Francis DiMenno This is a children’s book which sets out to teach the fledgling musician a few of the more important musical terms, and to encourage them to put in the hard work of mastering a musical instrument by means of consistent and thoughtful practice. It succeeds in this aim, mostly by using the well-worn trope of creating a character, Priscilla, … Read More >>

Book Review

BOOK REVIEW The Art of Singing Onstage and in the Studio 182 page paperback published by Hal•Leonard Books by Jennifer Hamady Review by T Max The Art of Singing Onstage and In the Studio is a book everyone should read who is seriously interested in a career of singing. Part 1 sets the stage for the reader, covering a history of the voice and how far it has come from a one-on-one, real-time experience. Jennifer Hamady breaks down how speaking … Read More >>

Book Review

SINATRA: THE CHAIRMAN By James Kaplan. Hardcover. Doubleday. 992 pages. Review by Francis DiMenno. For the first time in over a year I have foregone sleep to finish reading a book – namely, Kaplan’s brand new three-pound Sinatra biography, spanning the years 1954 to 1998. (The compelling first half, covering the years up to 1954, is called Frank: The Voice, and came out in 2010.) Here is where most amateur reviewers might insert some anecdote of how deeply touched they were … Read More >>