1971 – Never a Dull Moment: Rock’s Golden Year by David Hepworth
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The story of the ascent of rock music is lovingly told by the author, who turned 21 that year. The context behind many of the classic rock artists and albums is vividly described. Well researched with detailed accounts, the reading enjoyment is enhanced by a Spotify playlist of course!
… still there’s more …
300+ paged book on Green Arrow? You have got to hand it to writer Richard Gray and publisher Sequart Organization for investing the time and effort into this unlikely character study.
Continue reading “GEEK OUT!!! | COMIC BOOKS : MOVING TARGET – THE HISTORY AND EVOLUTION OF GREEN ARROW”
Not quite sure what to make of this. Basically with Norse Mythology, Neil Gaiman “reaches back through time to the original source stories in a thrilling and vivid rendition of the great Norse tales” – as the press release informs us. So is it something like an album of covers? And why is it so short (304 pages)?
Continue reading “GEEK OUT! NEIL GAIMAN – NORSE MYTHOLOGY”
Like most artists that emerged during the post-punk/new wave era, Elvis Costello suffers from the same dilemma, that is, of being perpetually branded as a product of the 80s music scene.
Continue reading “ROCK HISTORY : ELVIS COSTELLO – UNFAITHFUL MUSIC & DISAPPEARING INK”
Considering that rock legend Bruce Springsteen is famous for his lyrical genius, the very idea of a Springsteen memoir is exciting and intriguing. Would an autobiography match up to the cinematic lyrics found in classics like “Born in the USA”, “The Promised Land” and of course, “Born to Run”?
Continue reading “ROCK HISTORY : BORN TO RUN BY BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN”
As the title of his autobiography Not Dead Yet suggests, singer/drummer/producer/actor/film composer Phil Collins is a bit of a joker. This 400-page book is written in a breezy style and it would not be too difficult to finish it all off in a couple of days.
Continue reading “ROCK HISTORY: NOT DEAD YET BY PHIL COLLINS”
Robbie Robertson (real name: Jaime Royal Robertson) is perhaps best known for being the guitarist/principal songwriter of The Band, a highly influential group that were active mainly from 1968 to 1977. Robertson has also a solid reputation as a solo artist, film composer and producer.
Continue reading “ROCK HISTORY: TESTIMONY BY ROBBIE ROBERTSON”
2016 is almost done with. And what have we learnt from modern pop culture? That rock ’n’ roll is dead? That nostalgia & fan service in movies trumps originality? That real life is slowly but surely upstaging science fiction for sheer bizarreness?
Continue reading “POPINIONS: REMAKE, REMODEL. REPEAT.”
The Kinks is a band that deserve more recognition than they have received. Although never quite valued in the same manner as many of their 60s peers, in many ways, The Kinks contributed as much to the development of rock music as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who & Pink Floyd.
Continue reading “ROCK HISTORY – RAY DAVIES: A COMPLICATED LIFE BY JOHNNY ROGAN”
Manchester, 2025. Local mechanic Sol steals old vehicles to meet the demand for spares. But when Sol’s partner impulsively jacks a luxury model, Sol finds himself caught up in a nightmarish trans-dimensional human trafficking conspiracy.
Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: GRAFT BY MATT HILL (ANGRY ROBOT BOOKS)”
I have been a fan of the Canadian singer-songwriter since the early 80s when a friend of mine (who was then studying in Canada) gave me a mixtape of his music and that was that, I was sold!
Continue reading “KEVIN SAYS …”
Based on all-new interviews and including 72 rare photos, Trouble Boys: The True Story of The Replacements is the definitive biography of one of the last great rock ‘n’ roll bands of the twentieth century.
Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: TROUBLE BOYS – THE TRUE STORY OF THE REPLACEMENTS (BY BOB MEHR)”
Decades ago, Japan won the Second World War. Americans worship their infallible Emperor, and nobody believes that Japan’s conduct in the war was anything but exemplary. Nobody, that is, except the George Washingtons – a shadowy group of rebels fighting for freedom. Their latest subversive tactic is to distribute an illegal video game that asks players to imagine what the world might be like if the United States had won the war instead.
Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: UNITED STATES OF JAPAN (BY PETER TIERYAS)”
To be absolutely honest, Chrissie Hynde was one of the first female rock ’n’ rollers I seriously got into at the very beginning of the 1980s. Considering the times, she represented something very different in rock ’n’ roll for a female performer and fronted an amazing band in Pretenders.
Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: CHRISSIE HYNDE – RECKLESS”
Superficially, If Then, English author Matthew De Abaitua’s 2nd novel, appears to be about the singularity. In scifi lore, that subject revolves around the hypothetical future creation of superintelligent machines. Examples of which have been found in stories like Harlan Ellison’s I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream and movies like Terminator and Matrix.
Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: IF THEN (BY MATTHEW DE ABAITUA)”
Published in 2011, Ernest Cline’s story about a teen’s quest to win the ultimate prize in a virtual reality universe has caught the imagination of geeks worldwide, winning an Alex Award from the Young Adult Library Services Association division of the American Library Association and the 2012 Prometheus Award.
Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: READY PLAYER ONE (BY ERNEST CLINE)”
2015 is the 50th anniversary of many critical events – as we are often reminded. However, as a fan of mind-bending science fiction, I would also like to point out that 1965 was the year Philip K Dick’s novel, The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch was published. Along with other Dick classics like Ubik & Time Out of Joint, The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch questions the very nature of reality itself with the story revolving around the use & experience of simulated reality by its key characters.
Continue reading “GEEK OUT! PHILIP K DICK’S THE THREE STIGMATA OF PALMER ELDRITCH REMAINS RELEVANT 50 YEARS AFTER PUBLICATION”
I must confess that the only prose I read nowadays are rock bios. Even back when I did read fiction, it was science-fiction that I preferred (and still do). What to do? I am a serial escapist after all (as this webzine aptly proves).
Of late, I have been lecturing on the Art of Story – breaking down the elements of story-telling to 17 and 18 year olds who mostly do not read books, and whose main exposure to stories is via computer games, film/TV and even comic books.
Well, in the course of this module, I’ve had had to read short stories by several Singaporean writers (like Alfian Sa’at and Daren Shiau) and whilst the writing is good, I found sometimes the focus and range to be too narrow (although that is probably the intent) and the emphasis on nostalgia at times claustrophobic.
Continue reading “THE WORD: MINISTRY OF MORAL PANIC – SINGAPORE STORIES FOR THE MILLENIALS”
Writer Ken Sharp’s new book Play On!: Power Pop Heroes Volume One is available for pre-orders for 1 month with a cut off sale date of October 28th.
In the first installment of a three-volume series, Ken Sharp honors the musical innovators who built the genre’s foundation. Featuring a foreword by Eric Carmen of Raspberries, the 480-page book culls exclusive extended interviews with 20 artists that defined the genre, including members of the Beatles, the Who, the Kinks, the Beach Boys, the Byrds, the Hollies, the Dave Clark Five, the Zombies, Bee Gees, the Turtles, the Left Banke, Small Faces, the Move, Jeff Lynne and others. Also covered in this volume are representatives of the first generation of dedicated acolytes who followed the progenitors’ trail: Badfinger, Raspberries, Big Star and Emitt Rhodes.
Available exclusively from http://www.ken-sharp.com/power_pop/index.html
Writer Mike Baron makes an interesting point about how marginalized the Jazz Rock ‘genre’ has become since its heyday in the 70s in his introduction to this book.
“The number of classic bands who have inspired youngsters continues to grow. Beatles imitators are legion. The Beach Boys have a growing and powerful following spearheaded by Explorers Club. Grateful Dead jam-type bands cover the hills. The Quarter After worship the Byrds. But one group is conspicuously missing. Where are the new jazz rock bands?”
Baron doesn’t really answer this pertinent question so much as to suggest that perhaps Jazz Rock as a ‘genre’ lost ground once the post-punk / new wave of the 80s arrived to drive many of these original Jazz Rockers to seek greater commercial attention by moving their music to the Middle of the Road (like Chicago).
Continue reading “A BRIEF HISTORY OF JAZZ ROCK BY MIKE BARON”
Violinist Eileen Chai recently launched her book Teach A Life For Life and we caught up with her to find out a little bit more about the words and the music.
Why did you decide to write a book?
Teach a Life, for Life contains life lessons learnt in my journey through sports and music. It was written because I wanted to tell my story so that people could reflect on my life lessons learnt, which might help people self-explore, discover and find their own paths, and learn from their past to make good for the present and future.
Secondly, I wanted to share with people, family and friends who have helped me in my life journey through sports and music. In a way, to give thanks to my family, teachers, coaches and friends.
Continue reading “POWER OF POP INTERVIEW: EILEEN CHAI”
Those of you who follow Power of Pop will know the name Eileen Chai as belonging to the violinist of my backing band, The Groovy People. But there’s definitely more to Eileen than that! Not only is she an accomplished musician in her own right but she was an athlete that represented Singapore in three different sports viz gymnastics, diving and track & field! Now add author to her list of gifts! Eileen has penned a book chronicling her life journey in sports and music, called “Teach A Life, For Life” which represents her personal philosophy in life. Concurrently, Eileen will be releasing her three-track EP, Spread Your Wings, which includes a track co-written with yours truly (the title track).
Eileen will launch her book this Saturday (14th June) from 6pm – 8pm at Balaclava @ ION where she will perform the three songs from her EP as well as autograph her new book for you. If you haven’t got a copy yet, you can do so at http://www.eileenchai.com/buy-the-book.html.
When does nature become unnatural? That is the question posed by author Jeff Vandermeer in Annihilation, the first installment of a proposed trilogy (entitled Southern Reach), all three parts to be published in 2014. In brief, the story involves a team of four (a biologist, an anthropologist, a psychologist, and a surveyor) who set out into an area known as Area X. The area is abandoned and cut off from the rest of civilization. They are the 12th expedition. The other expeditions have been fraught with disappearances, suicides, aggressive cancers, and mental trauma.
Continue reading “THE WORD: ANNIHILATION”
A book about superheroes from one of the most iconoclastic of comic book writers, Grant Morrison. To sum it up, Morrison provides an analysis of over 70 years of the superhero mythos whilst at the same time dovetailing the subject matter into some kind of meta-autobiography.
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MAGIC WORDS: THE EXTRAORDINARY LIFE OF ALAN MOORE (by Lance Parkin)
It’s difficult for me to be objective about the writer Alan Moore. After all, the man had been responsible for many of my favourite all-time comic book stories viz. Watchmen, From Hell, Marvelman/Miracleman, V for Vendetta, Top Ten, Saga of the Swamp Thing and so on. Apart from Philip K Dick, Alan Moore is my favourite writer. Period.
Continue reading “GEEK OUT!”