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Penny-Ante Book

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By John M. James · August 22nd, 2007 · Yeah Yeah Yeah
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With the school season upon us, the last opportunities to spend some time at the pool relaxing with a good book are slipping fast. I suggest beating the heat and soaking up some Vitamin D with two fresh Rock & Roll reads. Go easy on the Coppertone as not to smudge up the second edition of the Penny-Ante Book, a beautifully twisted art jam that feels like finding cryptic love letters at the foot of a high school locker, smudged with the tears and ball point-Bic teen angst of a Breakfast Club detention. Published by the Penny-Ante Press division of Gifted Children Records, its 288 pages are peppered with Rock flotsam and jetsam, from an essay about the real Darby Crash by Alice Bag to a tour diary by Smog's Bill Callahan. Other highlights include a short story by Lene Lovich, Bonnie Prince Billy poster artwork by Stacie Willoughby, a collage by Simeon Coxe of Silver Apples, a reflection on the Welsh band Man by Ptolemaic Terrascope founding editor Phil McMullen and six pages of art by Winston Smith, best known for his subversive cut-and-paste work for the Dead Kennedys. Wrapped up nicely with an evermore Mr. Nice Guy ending up on the top of his game as he crests into 60, I can't imagine anyone having lived a more entertaining connect-the-dots life than Alice Cooper. From the grandchild of an evangelist to the boogieman that slipped in the stream between Screaming Jay Hawkins and Marilyn Manson, the former hard-drinking shock rocker tells his true life story in Alice Cooper, Golf Monster, on the Crown imprint. Trading the bottle for a beautiful golf swing and a happy marriage as his buzz of choice, the book's interplaying lessons about life and golf make this the rockinest inspirational book yet. From the real truth about his chicken "execution" incident and hotel heroics with Janis Joplin to the Wild West days of the Sunset Strip and anecdotes about Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa, Liberace, Mae West and Vincent Price, Cooper's wild ride in the public eye is a humble, often sweet reflection from behind the mascara.

Television Alert
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno welcomes Suzanne Vega Wednesday and Stephen Stills Thursday. With the school season upon us, the last opportunities to spend some time at the pool relaxing with a good book are slipping fast. I suggest beating the heat and soaking up some Vitamin D with two fresh Rock & Roll reads. Go easy on the Coppertone as not to smudge up the second edition of the Penny-Ante Book, a beautifully twisted art jam that feels like finding cryptic love letters at the foot of a high school locker, smudged with the tears and ball point-Bic teen angst of a Breakfast Club detention. Published by the Penny-Ante Press division of Gifted Children Records, its 288 pages are peppered with Rock flotsam and jetsam, from an essay about the real Darby Crash by Alice Bag to a tour diary by Smog's Bill Callahan. Other highlights include a short story by Lene Lovich, Bonnie Prince Billy poster artwork by Stacie Willoughby, a collage by Simeon Coxe of Silver Apples, a reflection on the Welsh band Man by Ptolemaic Terrascope founding editor Phil McMullen and six pages of art by Winston Smith, best known for his subversive cut-and-paste work for the Dead Kennedys. ... Wrapped up nicely with an evermore Mr. Nice Guy ending up on the top of his game as he crests into 60, I can't imagine anyone having lived a more entertaining connect-the-dots life than Alice Cooper.

From the grandchild of an evangelist to the boogieman that slipped in the stream between Screaming Jay Hawkins and Marilyn Manson, the former hard-drinking shock rocker tells his true life story in Alice Cooper, Golf Monster, on the Crown imprint. Trading the bottle for a beautiful golf swing and a happy marriage as his buzz of choice, the book's interplaying lessons about life and golf make this the rockinest inspirational book yet. From the real truth about his chicken "execution" incident and hotel heroics with Janis Joplin to the Wild West days of the Sunset Strip and anecdotes about Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa, Liberace, Mae West and Vincent Price, Cooper's wild ride in the public eye is a humble, often sweet reflection from behind the mascara.

Television Alert
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno welcomes Suzanne Vega Wednesday and Stephen Stills Thursday. The Late Show with David Letterman boasts Velvet Revolver Wednesday and Feist Monday. Late Night with Conan O'Brien hosts Okkervil River Monday overnight. The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson snaps up The Clicks on Thursday. Last Call with Last Call with Carson Daly presents Black Light Burns Friday. And The Henry Rollins Show on IFC features musical guest Duke Spirit this Friday.

New Releases Coming Tuesday
Aesop Rock - None Shall Pass (Definitive Jux) with guests El-P, Cage, Rob Sonic and the Mountain Goats' John Darnielle; Paul Anka ­ Classic Songs, My Way (Decca) covers collections, putting his smooth spin on Bob Seger's "Against The Wind," Foreigner's "Waiting For A Girl Like You" and Duran Duran's "Ordinary World"; Avagami ­ Metagami (Lens Records) infectiously sly, theatric Weirdo-Rock with a kinky, Nu Wave beat that would have made Salvador Dali proud; Collective Soul ­ Afterwords (El Music Group) selling whatever soul they had in this exclusive retail arrangement with Target; Cro-Mags ­ Final Quarrel: Live at CBGB 2001 (MVD Visual) DVD of the band's last show, with a bonus tour of the club by bassist Harley Flannigan; Dexter ­ music from the television series (Milan) Latin and Cuban grooves from the Showtime serial killer thriller; Ecomiast ­ Ecomiast (Lens Records) six new, icy cold experimental drones from the "dark ambient" duo from Boulder, Col.; Fior Fiero - The Satellite (Auger Down) four-song CD EP from former members of Dark Side of the Cop; Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals ­ Lifeline (Capitol) recorded recently in one week in Paris; The Holloways - So This Is Great Britain? (TVT) bouncy UK quartet with nods to Madness and the Undertones; HORSE the band ­ A Natural Death (Koch) hot off tour with Wes Borland's Black Light Burns, the disc's cover art is from an original 6-foot-long wooden composition by Los Angeles artist Billygoat; The Howling Hex ­ XI (Drag City); Evelyn "Champagne" King ­ Open Book (Jaggo) all new from the Disco diva; Kula Shaker ­ StrangeFolk (StrangeFolk) their first new music in six years; The Last Goodnight ­ Poison Kiss (Virgin) radio-friendly major label debut of sweeping Pop, featuring the single "Pictures of You"; Liars ­ Liars (Mute) also available on white vinyl LP; Lyle Lovett and His Large Band ­ It's Not Big It's Large (Lost Highway) also available in a Deluxe Edition with a bonus DVD; Lene Lovich ­ Live From New York at Studio 54 (MVD Visual) DVD filmed in 1981, featuring Thomas Dolby on synthesizer; The Modern Lovers ­ The Modern Lovers (Castle) expanded reissue of this Beserkley Records release from 1976 with eight bonus tracks and new liner notes; New Young Pony Club ­ Fantastic Playrooms (Modular) domestic release of this UK hit recently nominated for the Mercury Prize; Northern State - Can I Keep This Pen? (Ipecac) with two tracks produced by Adrock of the Beastie Boys and guest Kaki King's lap steel guitar on "Fall Apart," my pick of the week is the third album from NYC's sassy, strutting trio of funky femmes, dropping suckas left and right; Prinzhorn Dance School - Prinzhorn Dance School (DFA/Astralwerks) boy/girl duo from England; The Real Tuesday Weld ­ The London Book of the Dead (Six Degrees) cabaret cool, incorporating elements of poetry by William Blake and Cole Porter's "I Get a Kick Out of You"; Scorpions ­ Humanity ­ Hour 1 (New Door) with guest vocalist Billy Corgan on the track "The Cross"; Brandi Shearer - Close to Dark (Amoeba) featuring a cover of Jeannie C. Riley's "Oh, Singer" from 1971; Sly & The Family Stone ­ Greatest Hits (Epic Legacy) wrapping up the label's recent 40th anniversary reissue campaign of each of the band's albums as expanded digipaks; Super Furry Animals ­ Hey Venus (Rough Trade) coinciding with the album's worldwide digital release, this special vinyl LP edition is an early gift to purists, as the CD won't be out until January; housed in commissioned artwork by Keiichi Tanaami; Tangerine Dream ­ Madcap's Flaming Duty (MVD Audio) all new, in dedication to Pink Floyd's Syd Barrett; Jacky Terrasson ­ Mirror (Blue Note) new solo piano originals, standards and a cover of Carole King's "You've Got a Friend"; Johnny Thunders ­ Who's Been Talking? (MVD Visual) DVD filmed in Japan in 1991 with the Odd Balls; VHS or Beta - Bring On the Comets (Astralwerks); Wattstax ­ original motion picture soundtrack (Stax) expanded reissue of this concert film from 1971, featuring Isaac Hayes, Albert King, Richard Pryor and more; Kathryn Williams - Leave To Remain (Cheap Lullaby) quiet, rainy-day Folk gently waking up with the dew, lifted by a mini-orchestra of woodwinds and strings; Various Artists ­ Guilt By Association (Engine Room Recordings) crazy tribute compilation featuring Luna covering Paula Abdul, The Mooney Suzuki slipping into some Cher and Superchunk releasing their inner Destiny's Child; Various Artists ­ Home Schooled: The ABCs of Kid Soul (Numero Group) 17 rare tracks of pure Soul from the 1970s, as aspiring youngsters dreamed of becoming the next Michael or, heck, even Tito; Various Artists - World Hits (Putumayo) featuring Youssou N'Dour & Neneh Cherry's "7 Seconds" and the Peter Tosh & Mick Jagger duet cover of The Temptations' "(You Gotta Walk) Don't Look Back."

 
 
 
 

 

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