Book Musik 038 – It Came from Memphis by Robert Gordon

It Came from Memphis book coverTosh and Kimley are joined by author Robert Gordon to discuss his classic book It Came from Memphis newly revised for its 25th anniversary release. Many have made the convincing case that Memphis is the birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll. It is without a doubt a cultural hub on par with New York, Paris, and San Francisco and yet remains somewhat under the radar. Alex Chilton, Jim Dickinson, photographer William Eggleston and bluesman Furry Lewis are just a few of the prominent characters who make the scene in this riveting book. Gordon has a passionate attachment to his city’s history and culture and celebrates those on the edge and those creating the chaos that make life interesting.

Theme music: “Behind Our Efforts, Let There Be Found Our Efforts” by LG17


Book Musik 037 – Maybe the People Would Be the Times by Luc Sante

Maybe the People Would Be the Times by Luc SanteTosh and Kimley discuss Maybe the People Would Be the Times by Luc Sante. This collection of Sante’s essays, mostly from the last 15-20 years, covers a wide spectrum of his obsessive interests which include a heavy dose of music, photography, writers, filmmakers, New York City life and an assortment of oddities. While it’s a seemingly divergent field of topics, there is an aesthetic thread that connects them all. His writing pulses with life and pulls the reader into his world — dreamy, romantic, personal and always compelling.

Theme music: “Behind Our Efforts, Let There Be Found Our Efforts” by LG17


Book Musik 036 – Side by Side: Selected Lyrics by Robert Wyatt & Alfie Benge

Side by Side: Selected Lyrics by Robert Wyatt & Alfie Benge

Tosh and Kimley discuss Side by Side: Selected Lyrics by Robert Wyatt and Alfie Benge. Wyatt started his music career as a founding member of The Soft Machine in the 1960s and released his first solo album in the early 70s. Alfie, his wife, manager, and creative partner is an artist who has done all of his cover art as well as writing many of his lyrics. Robert and Alfie are former card-carrying members of the Communist Party of Great Britain and avid followers of ‘pataphysics – the science of imaginary solutions. The tension between serious and playful, political and dreamy is a key feature in their work. This collection of lyrics and artwork is a beautiful testament to their inspiring collaboration.

Theme music: “Behind Our Efforts, Let There Be Found Our Efforts” by LG17


Book Musik 035 – A Sound Mind discussion with author Paul Morley

"A Sound Mind" discussion with Paul MorleyTosh and Kimley are joined by writer Paul Morley to discuss his latest book A Sound Mind: How I Fell in Love with Classical Music (and Decided to Rewrite Its Entire History). Paul is a man after our own heart with wildly eclectic taste in music, an insatiable curiosity and a willingness to challenge his own assumptions. He is a well-established and highly respected pop/rock writer who’s been covering the scene since the 70s. In his 50s he realized that pop music wasn’t giving him the jolt it once did and decided to explore classical music. He discovered that its newness to himself made it as exciting if not more so than the latest pop phenomenon. It’s a fascinating adventure and the book is a passionate call to never stop expanding one’s horizons.

Theme music: “Behind Our Efforts, Let There Be Found Our Efforts” by LG17


Book Musik 034 – I’m Your Fan: The Songs of Leonard Cohen (33 1/3) by Ray Padgett

I'm Your Fan: The Songs of Leonard Cohen by Ray Padgett

Tosh and Kimley discuss I’m Your Fan: The Songs of Leonard Cohen (33 1/3) by Ray Padgett. Tribute albums are often derided and tend to elicit a love/hate reaction. When done right, they can illuminate a song and boost an artist’s career as did this one for Leonard Cohen. Padgett looks into not only the specifics of this Leonard Cohen tribute album but the history of the genre in general and some of the key players like producer Hal Willner and frequent contributor Juliana Hatfield. When one great artist covers another great artist it can be sublime. Or it could make your ears bleed. Art is always a gamble…

Theme music: “Behind Our Efforts, Let There Be Found Our Efforts” by LG17


Book Musik 033 – Recombo DNA-The Story of Devo or How the 60s Became the 80s by Kevin C. Smith

Recombo DNA-The Story of Devo or How the 60s Became the 80s by Kevin C. SmithTosh and Kimley discuss Recombo DNA-The Story of Devo or How the 60s Became the 80s by Kevin C. Smith. Smith takes a deep dive examining just what made Devo tick and twitch. From 1970 to 1979, he takes us through the background and influences of this Ohio band who experienced the Kent State shootings, discovered Dada, enjoyed manipulating the ideas of de-evolution, experimented with film and multimedia shows and ultimately became a band with top 40 appeal. They managed to find themselves in the company of the people best suited to further their cause from Toni Basil to Brian Eno to Neil Young. Talent and timing is everything.

Theme music: “Behind Our Efforts, Let There Be Found Our Efforts” by LG17


Book Musik 032 – Sweet Dreams: From Club Culture to Style Culture, the Story of the New Romantics by Dylan Jones

 "Sweet Dreams: From Club Culture to Style Culture, the Story of the New Romantics" by Dylan JonesTosh and Kimley discuss Sweet Dreams: From Club Culture to Style Culture, the Story of the New Romantics by Dylan Jones. The 80s are back! Whether or not this makes you cringe, it was nevertheless an interesting era of Thatcherism, gender fluidity, rampant consumerism, and a hugely creative group of young people looking to conquer the world. This book goes well beyond the superficial veneer of the big hair, the big shoulder pads, and the hyper-stylized MTV videos. Jones gives us a seriously in-depth look at the nucleus of the scene in England as well as contextualizing it in the broader social and political sphere, not just in England but throughout the world. No haircut is left unexamined!

Theme music: “Behind Our Efforts, Let There Be Found Our Efforts” by LG17


Book Musik 031 – Suicide’s Suicide (33 1/3) by Andi Coulter

Suicide's Suicide 33 1/3 book coverTosh and Kimley discuss Suicide’s Suicide by Andi Coulter from the 33 1/3 series. Suicide was a band comprised of Alan Vega on vocals and Martin Rev as the sole multi-instrumentalist. Spawned from the wreckage of 1970s New York, the band never seemed to find a wide audience but those in the know who were lucky enough to have seen them perform live were the participants in a show that surely would not be forgotten. Typically described as an assault to the senses with a strong vibe of imminent violence, most people didn’t quite know what to make of them. But as so often happens with cult artists, their influence casts a wide net and continues to do so to this day.

Theme music: “Behind Our Efforts, Let There Be Found Our Efforts” by LG17


Book Musik 030 – Wagnerism: Art and Politics in the Shadow of Music by Alex Ross

Wagnerism: Art and Politics in the Shadow of Music by Alex Ross Cover graphic

Tosh and Kimley discuss Wagnerism: Art and Politics in the Shadow of Music by Alex Ross. A famous quip goes “Wagner’s music is better than it sounds.” Whether you find Wagner’s music to be sublime or bombastic, this is an essential read. It is not a biography or an examination of his music but, more interestingly, it’s a very deep dive into the enormous cultural and political influence Richard Wagner has had on his contemporaries and everyone since, from writers to painters, dancers, philosophers, politicians, and filmmakers. The diversity of those who’ve come under the spell of Wagnerism is beyond compare. And this is despite Wagner’s well-known antisemitism and association with Hitler and the Nazi regime. Cancel culture hasn’t quite figured out what to do with Wagner but Ross leaves no stone unturned in this enormous and hugely satisfying read.

Theme music: “Behind Our Efforts, Let There Be Found Our Efforts” by LG17


Book Musik 029 – Judy Garland’s Judy at Carnegie Hall (33 1/3) by Manuel Betancourt

Judy Garland's Judy at Carnegie Hall 33 1/3 bookTosh and Kimley discuss Judy Garland’s Judy at Carnegie Hall by Manuel Betancourt from the 33 1/3 series. This live double album was a milestone in pop-culture history. Recorded in 1961, the album is an homage to the American songbook, was on the Billboard charts for over 70 weeks, won four Grammy Awards and has never been out of print. It was a highwater mark both in terms of Garland’s career and as part of the cultural and sociological zeitgeist of the 60s. Garland looms large as an old-Hollywood film icon and as one of the most celebrated gay icons. Her life was full of tragedy and triumph and this album is undoubtedly at the pinnacle of her many triumphs.

Theme music: “Behind Our Efforts, Let There Be Found Our Efforts” by LG17