Book Musik Episode 8: “A Voice of the Warm-The Life of Rod McKuen” by Barry Alfonso

 

Tosh and Kimley discuss A Voice of the Warm: The Life of Rod McKuen by Barry Alfonso. Rod McKuen was a bestselling poet (an oxymoron if ever there was one!) and singer-songwriter/recording artist. In the 1960s and 70s he was at the summit of the mainstream pop cultural zeitgeist. He was generally loathed by critics and the serious literary community and yet after discussing this book we have concluded that Rod McKuen is an essential cultural link to all that we hold dear.

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

Book Musik Episode 7: “Doctor Faustus” by Thomas Mann

Tosh & Kimley tackle a work of fiction on this episode – Doctor Faustus by Thomas Mann. A twentieth-century, German composer (very loosely based on Arnold Schoenberg) makes a devilish deal. We get into the esoteric weeds on this one and focus on the themes of what it means to be an artist in society and why the work of an artist is so mysterious and mythologized. A little Nietzschean nihilism, some blood, sweat and tears and a backdrop of warfare drive this conversation. This book is far too deep for us to cover in full, but we have fun scratching a bit of the surface.

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

Book Musik Episode 6: “Under the Big Black Sun: A Personal History of L.A. Punk” by John Doe with Tom DeSavia

 

Tosh & Kimley discuss Under the Big Black Sun: A Personal History of L.A. Punk by John Doe with Tom DeSavia and friends. Having both experienced the L.A. Punk scene firsthand, we found this to be a nostalgic and at times underwhelming look back at a scene that defied definition with bands ranging from the pure pop of the Go-Go’s to the hardcore thrashing of Black Flag. So what is L.A. Punk? We discuss both the Hollywood and Latin influences unique to the L.A. scene as well as the strong graphic visuals and DIY aesthetic that permeated all aspects of the scene. Contributors to the book include Exene Cervenka of X, Jane Wiedlin and Charlotte Caffey of the Go-Go’s, Mike Watt of the Minutemen, and Henry Rollins to name just a few.

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

Book Musik Episode 5: Charles Mingus – “Beneath the Underdog: His World as Composed by Mingus”

Tosh & Kimley discuss Beneath the Underdog: His World as Composed by Mingus, the memoir by iconic jazz musician and composer Charles Mingus. Mingus’s memoir is known for its picaresque telling of his childhood growing up in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles and his travels to the California Bay Area as well as his time in New York City. While the book doesn’t give a lot of detail on his musical work or his playing with all the greats of his era, it does give an illuminating perspective on race and growing up and living as a black man in America in the twentieth century. Not to mention his many escapades with pimps, prostitutes and assorted other riveting characters. This book swings like few others!

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

Book Musik Episode 4 – “Ennio Morricone: In His Own Words”

Tosh & Kimley discuss Ennio Morricone: In His Own Words (Ennio Morricone in conversation with Alessandro De Rosa.) The great Italian composer whose music everyone knows even if they don’t know his name has scored literally hundreds of films, first gaining fame for his scores for the spaghetti westerns of Sergio Leone (A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, The Good, the Bad & the Ugly) and then working with a who’s who of Italian directors (Pier Paolo Pasolini, Bernardo Bertolucci, Giuseppe Tornatore to name a few) and eventually getting noticed by Hollywood and beyond. Terrence Malick, Brian de Palma, Pedro Almodóvar, and Quentin Tarantino have all been lucky enough to have an Ennio Morricone score for their films. His IMDB page currently lists 519 composer credits! And that does not include his incredible output of “Absolute Music” and his work with the Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza where things get really interesting.

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