Books

Radical publishers Verso Books and Zer0 Books will be hosting the book club for ATP The End Of An Era Part 1, with books selected by Primavera Sound (see below). They will be discussing The Death Of Cool on Saturday afternoon.

Adam Gnade who performs this week at the festival will also be doing a book reading from his second novel Caveworld (Pioneers Press). See your timecards at the event for time/location details!

Caveworld is a howl of desperation as its characters fight to find love and meaning in a society with which they feel out of step. Richly encyclopedic and set in the twin border towns of Tijuana and San Diego, the book tells two love stories separated by a gulf of twenty years. Caveworld is made up of the various events (both subtle and seismic) that change lives in an instant. Gnade covers a lot of ground: sex and pervasive loneliness in teenage bedrooms, life-shaping horror in the Vietnam jungle, birth, school, work, marriage, depression, crime, murder, mood-flushed road trips crossing the continent, exile (whether on Mexican rooftop or country estate), and living rooms smoky with the sad and oft-times devastating absurdity of "sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll." Equally influenced by Joan Didion's West Coast storytelling, Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha County, and James Joyce's early examinations of place, Gnade's Caveworld is an epic, sprawling saga of American life.


Books picked by Primavera Sound:



American Desperado
Evan Wright & Jon Roberts (2012)

American Desperado is possibly the most jaw-dropping, event-filled, adrenaline-soaked criminal autobiography ever written. Like a real-life Scarface Jon was born into the upper levels of the Gambino crime family and witnessed his first murder at age seven. He became a one-man juvenile crime wave before joining an assassination squad in Vietnam. He returned to New York at age 20 to become one of the city's top nightclub promoters, then journeyed to Miami where he became the de facto transportation chief of the Medellin Cartel, and along with a tech-wizard partner, created some of the most sophisticated smuggling technologies ever. With a hulking 6'6" bodyguard always at his side, and a rural fortress protected by mortars, tear-gas cannons, and a gold-fanged attack dog, Roberts was brutally effective at what he did. To law enforcement, he was known as the "Bearded Gringo," a spectre they could never touch. To United States senators and CIA officials, he was "the guy who can get things done". He eventually formed a clandestine alliance with the US government and in the end found personal late-life redemption.


Bill Graham Presents: My Life Inside Rock and Out
Bill Graham & Robert Greenfield (1992)

As a child, Bill Graham fled Europe to escape Hitler's armies. He grew up on the streets of New York and in the dining rooms of the hotels in the Catskills. After failing as an actor, he headed for San Francisco right before the Summer of Love where he founded the Fillmore and launched the rock icons of a generation- Janis Joplin, Otis Redding, Jefferson Airplane, Cream, the Grateful Dead, and more. He was a complex, caring, compassionate whirlwind of energy who rock stars either loved- or hated.In his own voice and those of the people who knew him- Jerry Garcia, Keith Richards, Grace Slick, Ken Kesey, Eric Clapton, Pete Townshend, and Carlos Santana- we hear Bill's story as well as the scoop on the major events in rock for more than three decades, ending with his tragic death in a 1991 helicopter crash. Gritty, moving, funny, and always fascinating, Bill Graham Presents is the inside story of the explosive and unforgettable man who created the business of rock.


The Death of Cool
Gavin McInnes (2013)

Gavin McInnes is more than just a rude lunatic who keeps getting beat up. He is an icon who personifies irreverence for an entire generation. This is his story, or, rather, stories—lots of them, and all gut-punchingly hilarious, from that first far reach into a girl’s tight jeans to turning forty with a cataclysmic party. In between you’ll read about acid trips, threesomes, Nazi skinheads, his band Anal Chinook (Inuit for “warm wind”), Martians in northern Canada, throwing pedophiles in jail, dinner with the Clash, what happens when you crash Bill Maher’s show wasted, and the true story of Vice magazine. A gifted writer and a born storyteller, McInnes has lived his life without apology. Learn from it.


Galveston
Nic Pizzolato (2010)

Recalling the moody violence of the early novels of Cormac McCarthy and Denis Johnson, a dark and visceral debut set along the seedy wastelands of Galveston by a young writer with a hard edge to his potent literary style. On the same day that Roy Cady is diagnosed with a terminal illness, he senses that his boss, a dangerous loan-sharking bar-owner, wants him dead. Known “without affection” to members of the boss’s crew as “Big Country” on account of his long hair, beard, and cowboy boots, Roy is alert to the possibility that a routine assignment could be a deathtrap. Which it is. Yet what the would-be killers do to Roy Cady is not the same as what he does to them, which is to say that after a smoking spasm of violence, they are mostly dead and he is mostly alive. Before Roy makes his getaway, he realizes there are two women in the apartment, one of them still breathing, and he sees something in her frightened, defiant eyes that causes a fateful decision. He takes her with him as he goes on the run from New Orleans to Galveston, Texas— an action as ill-advised as it is inescapable. Constructed with maximum tension and haunting aftereffect, written in darkly beautiful prose, Galveston announces the arrival of a major new literary talent.


The Kid Stays In The Picture
Robert Evans (1994)

Robert Evans' The Kid Stays in the Picture is universally recognized as the greatest, most outrageous, and most unforgettable show business memoir ever written. The basis of an award-winning documentary film, it remains the gold standard of Hollywood storytelling. An extraordinary raconteur, Evans spares no one, least of all himself. Filled with starring roles for everyone from Ava Gardner to Marlon Brando to Sharon Stone, The Kid Stays in the Picture: A Notorious Life is sharp, witty, and self-aggrandizing, and self-lacerating in equal measure.


Present Shock
Douglas Rushkoff (2013)

Living in a world of perpetually updated Internet news bulletins and cell phones primed for the latest text messages from friends and family, many of us feel pressured to keep up with all the latest gossip and information trends. Our past and future have become less important than staying current with whatever is happening now, an attitude toward time that philosophers call presentism. Using Future Shock, Alvin Toffler’s classic study of runaway technological growth, as a jumping-off place, prolific author and media expert Rushkoff cites presentism as one of the dominant fixations of our era. With abundant fodder from reality-TV shows, Twitter, blogs, and the Home Shopping Network, the information glut, Rushkoff points out, includes a mash-up of past, present, and future references that’s both confusing and misleading. Rushkoff highlights several areas of social dis-ease, including our obsessive need to be everywhere and do everything at once, and a curious predilection for apocalyptic entertainment. A sobering wake-up call to collectively reexamine our relationship with time before we’re blindsided by an unwelcome future.


Pulphead
John Jeremiah Sullivan (2011)

In Pulphead, John Jeremiah Sullivan takes us on an exhilarating tour of our popular, unpopular, and at times completely forgotten culture. Simultaneously channeling the gonzo energy of Hunter S. Thompson and the wit and insight of Joan Didion, Sullivan shows us—with a laidback, erudite Southern charm that’s all his own—how we really (no, really) live now. In his native Kentucky, Sullivan introduces us to Constantine Rafinesque, a nineteenth-century polymath genius who concocted a dense, fantastical prehistory of the New World. Back in modern times, Sullivan takes us to the Ozarks for a Christian rock festival; to Florida to meet the alumni and straggling refugees of MTV’s Real World, who’ve generated their own self-perpetuating economy of minor celebrity; and all across the South on the trail of the blues. He takes us to Indiana to investigate the formative years of Michael Jackson and Axl Rose and then to the Gulf Coast in the wake of Katrina—and back again as its residents confront the BP oil spill. Gradually, a unifying narrative emerges, a story about this country that we’ve never heard told this way. It’s like a fun-house hall-of-mirrors tour: Sullivan shows us who we are in ways we’ve never imagined to be true. Of course we don’t know whether to laugh or cry when faced with this reflection—it’s our inevitable sob-guffaws that attest to the power of Sullivan’s work.


Supernatural Strategies for Making a Rock 'n' Roll Group
Ian F. Svenonius (2013)

Ian F. Svenonius's experience as an iconic underground rock musician- playing in such highly influential and revolutionary outfits as The Make-Up and The Nation of Ulysses- gives him special insight on techniques for not only starting but also surviving a rock 'n' roll group. Therefore, he's written an instructional guide, which doubles as a warning device, a philosophical text, an exercise in terror, an aerobics manual, and a coloring book. This volume features essays (and black-and-white illustrations) on everything the would-be star should know to get started, such as Sex, Drugs, Sound, Group Photo, The Van, and Manufacturing Nostalgia. Supernatural Strategies will serve as an indispensable guide for a new generation just aching to boogie.


What's Not To Love? The Adventures of a Mildly Perverted Young Writer
Jonathan Ames (2001)

Perhaps all of Jonathan Ames' problems-and the genesis of this hilarious book- can be traced back to the late onset of his puberty. After all it can't be easy to be sixteen with a hairless "undistinguishable from that of a five year old's." This wonderfully entertaining memoir is a touching and humorous look at life in New York City. But this is life for an author who can proclaim "my first sexual experience was rather old-fashioned: it was with a prostitute"- an author who can talk about his desire to be a model for the Hair Club for Men and about meeting his son for the first time. Often insightful, sometimes tender, always witty and self-deprecating, What's Not to Love? is an engaging memoir from one of our most funny, most daring writers.


You Can't Win
Jack Black (1926)

The favorite book of William Burroughs. A journey into the hobo underworld, freight hopping around the still Wild West, becoming a highwayman and member of the yegg (criminal) brotherhood, getting hooked on opium, doing stints in jail or escaping, often with the assistance of crooked cops or judges. Our lost history revived.