Music To Live By – Rich Zahradnik Oct22

Music To Live By – Rich Zahradnik

• “Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen. I was in high school from 1974 to 1978. The music was awful—disco and hair bands (Foreigner, Styx, Kansas). I discovered Springsteen and he saved me from all that. He mixed the DNA of an old-school rock and roll band with a new, powerful sound. And such great stories. As a writer, I’m drawn as much or more to the lyrics as I am to the music. It was only after setting the Coleridge Taylor series in the seventies that I realized I could have Taylor discover Springsteen and gravitate to him for somewhat similar reasons, though Taylor is older than I was at the time. At the same time, he got to discover...

Sam Wiebe On Music May02

Sam Wiebe On Music

Sam Wiebe‘s latest, INVISIBLE DEAD is out now! (In the US from Quercus) We’d like to thank Sam for this awesome essay. You can follow Sam on Twitter at @sam_wiebe Music is an age-old shorthand for who we are. It conveys culture, age, taste, values, even behavior. Music’s ability to reveal our deepest and truest character is absolutely ironclad—all Nickelback fans are morally suspect, while fans of Brahms and Dolly Parton tend to be pure of heart. Jazz fans are insufferable. Country fans are dumb. Do we believe that? I once heard Mark Billingham say that the “loner detective who listens to music” archetype goes all the way back...

GROWING UP WITH PRINCE Apr21

GROWING UP WITH PRINCE

You could say I sort of grew up with Prince. My mom and her sisters went to Saint Louis Park High School with members of the Revolution. Later on, my aunt took a position as Prince’s personal chef for a good number of years. She was often in Europe or Japan while he was on tour. That was pretty cool. When she would come home to stay with my grandma, she would have weird artifacts with her, like the official Gold Album for the single KISS, or an MTV Music Video Award. By the way, did you know the flag the moon man is holding is removable? I did. Aunt Rande would come visit from her adventures, often times with members of the Revolution in...

Epic Holiday tune: MR GRINCH by The  Whirling Derviches Dec06

Epic Holiday tune: MR GRINCH by The Whirling Dervi...

I have to confess, the yule tide rendition will forever have a warm spot in my heart because of my past history with the band. I chatted with the band members a number of times and, despite a historical love of the tube, dug their take.

Big and loud: My Favorite Writers by Frank De Blase Apr20

Big and loud: My Favorite Writers by Frank De Blas...

The other night I had the opportunity to speak as a special guest at a ladies monthly book club meeting. You know the deal; they all read the same book then get together to discuss its finer points. This month’s selection was my debut novel for Down & Out Books, PINE BOX FOR A PIN-UP. OK, look, I know what you’re thinking: a suburban hen party, plenty of merlot, and healthy snacks that no one touches as long as the chocolate/peanut clusters hold out, where they gossip about whoever didn’t show up and punctuate it all here and there with discussion of 50 shades of some Agatha Higgins cozy yawn. I was flattered yet wary and somewhat...