Friday, August 19, 2011

On My Bookshelf, Music, and More

Perhaps this is more of a wishlist than a to-be-read list, since I currently have half a dozen projects going. Here's the cover for the latest: I'm really excited about this one. I ought to be able to give details on Sunday, and am planning to release as early as the end of next week.
Whenever it feels like I have a ton of projects going on, I use my TBR pile as motivation. But these books are especially maddening, since I've been waiting for some of them for a very long time. They tempt and taunt me throughout my crazy days. I'm working like mad so that I can have a chance to actually sit down and read. In the meantime, here are some of the things I'm listening to and looking at.

On my bookshelf:

 Music in the air:
The band Lauderdale is part of the explosive music scene pouring out of my hometown of Muscle Shoals, Al right now. Like a lot of people who grew up in small towns, I couldn't wait to leave. But now there's a serious musical Renaissance afoot, garnering international attention. Just yesterday I came across the term "Alabamacana" in a French article about these guys. In the 70s megastars like Dylan and Percy Sledge came to my town to record; "When a Man Loves a Woman" was born here. There was a scene then, and apparently it's been reborn by: The Drive By Truckers, Dylan LeBlanc, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, The Civil Wars, and more. It figures this wouldn't happen until after I moved away. Lauderdale is one of the area's newest offerings.
I love the cover art for their cd. It features the Grant Hotel, a run down establishment that held vestiges of 1920's decor- a compelling mixture I like to call Decaying Deco. In high school we used to dare each other to run in and ask the clerk how much it would cost to rent a room by the hour. We timed each other to see who managed to chat him up the longest before being tossed or chickening out. Ah, the things we do out of entertainment desperation. I was saddened to hear that The Grant burned, but thrilled to see it so beautifully rendered. And oh yes, they don't rent rooms by the hour. Poor desk clerk.

All these albums are available on the innovative Indie record label This Is American Music (TIAM), home of the $5 record. Check it out here.

Pretty Things:

Standard Deluxe is eighteen kinds of awesome. Where else can you find great t-shirts, fine art like The Quilt's of Gee's Bend logo to our right (a nationally touring exhibit, incld. The Smithsonian), the moleskine notebooks I can't live without, live outdoor music, and barbecue? It's magic, I tell you. It has to be.