Published by Vagabondage Press, EXPERIENCED: Rock Music Tales of Fact & Fiction explores the topsy-turvy world of rock 'n' roll as only fine literature can. Its 16 compelling narratives relate the lives of touring musicians and touring fans, label signings gone awry, the evolution of life as a roadie, or (in one case) a DJ with a serial killer for a caller. While the stories are unique to each writer, you’ll discover within them an experience that is universal. Some are fiction and some non-fiction, but they’re all true.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

If a musician plays...

 and no one shows up to hear him...does he still make a sound?

Closing out EXPERIENCED is Carl Peel's poignant story, "If a Tree Falls," in which a singer/songwriter, jaded by decades of ups and downs and eking out a living in the music industry, meets tremendous disappointment performing an event that had a special meaning for him. The story really strikes a chord on that universal theme of following one's hopes and dreams, but acknowledging when it's time to perform the swan song, lest one ends up chasing those dreams over a cliff.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

New EXPERIENCED Review in Stereo Subversion

 You'll find a new review of EXPERIENCED up at Stereo Subversion.

Scott Elingburg writes: Rock music doesn’t like to be contained, so compiling a collection of short tales regarding the subject could end poorly.  Experienced: Rock Music Tales of Fact and Fiction pulls off the formula quite well, though, handling a handful of unyielding rock subjects with sly coolness.

You can read the review in its entirety here

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Holiday Shopping for Music Fans

When my brother and I first got in to rock music it made gift giving, for each other at least, a lot easier come Christmastime. My mom would drop us off at some mall to do our shopping and we'd soon migrate to the record store. There I'd suggest to my brother what album might look good wrapped under the tree, and he'd do likewise with me. Over the years the usual album occasionally became a ticket for an upcoming concert, including Grateful Dead New Year's Eve shows. Those were really good Christmases.

Since, I've found mix-tapes and CDs to be the perfect stocking stuffers. Many friends are into music to the same degree that I am, and always appreciate the gesture. This year, though, the perfect gift for diehard music fans is EXPERIENCED: Rock Music Tales of Fact & Fiction and I'm happy to have my name on the cover. Its compelling narratives are certain to be appreciated by music lovers of all stripes, while simultaneously cultivating their tastes in fine literature. The book makes a stronger lasting impression than a simple CD, and better yet, is more affordable than most albums you'll find in stores. Moreover, I think you'll find the books practically wrap themselves. By three and get one free at Amazon

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Connections: Flannery O'Connor Meets Sufjan Stevens

Indie rock darling Sufjan Stevens is among the most literary minded musicians you'll ever find. Before his music career soared to nearly universal praise, Stevens earned an MFA in creative writing from NYC's New School. Many contemporary musicians probably don't know who Saul Bellow was. Stevens, on the other hand, named a song after him.

Like the great short story writer Flannery O'Connor, Stevens often expresses and explores his Christian faith through his art. In fact, a couple songs on Stevens' album Seven Swans, "In the Devil's Territory" and "A Good Man Is Hard to Find," are based on an O'Connor essay and short story respectively. O'Connor's "Good Man" is a haunting tale of moral choice. It's one of the most famous stories of the 20th century and rightfully so. Steven's song addresses the work from the perspective of evil incarnate, the character called The Misfit.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Finding the Perfect Drummer

David Menconi's "Songs in the Key of E" provides EXPERIENCED with a humorous touch. In his story, sort of a rock 'n' roll version of "Who's on First?", two would-be rock stars contemplate which drummer might be the perfect fit for their future trio.

Their expectations don't always line up, and are beyond impractical (literally impossible to meet, at times, without reanimation). Nonetheless, the pair keep plugging away in hopes of one day playing MSG instead of their mothers' basements.