Geek Rock: An Exploration of Music and Subculture, the new essay collection edited by Alex DiBlasi and Victoria Willis, succeeds on only one half of its title. It explores the geeky aspects of music, but as far as being a collection of essay about a rock subculture, it fails abjectly.
The blurb on the book’s back cover explains geek rock as “forms of popular music that celebrate all things campy, kitschy, and quirky,” but the editors then present a procession of essays wherein the musical approach is geeky or the lyrical obsession is geeky — it seems that the essay authors, despite the desire to make geek rock a thing and name-checking in the introduction artists like Weezer, Jonathan Coulton, and Frank Black, chose instead to reframe the discussion in a way that reflects their particular interests.
Anybody have $45 they want to lend give me? Soundscreen Design‘s latest book, Touchable Sound is an in-depth analysis of the last 25 years of 7-inch packaging and design. From the press release:
“Curated by Brian Roettinger, Mike Treff, and Diego Hadis, Touchable Sound features over 300 records and 600 bands, with an introduction from the always insightful Henry H. Owings, and essay contributions from Simple Machine’s founder Kristin Thomson, Amphetamine Reptile founder Tom Hazelmyer, Three One G founder Justin Pearson, and many more.”
You can take a look at sample pages and buy the book in the Soundscreen Design webstore. If you want a seriously limited edition package, make your way to Atlanta’s 40 Watt Club on November 5, where you can see Man or Astro-Man? play the book’s release party. There will be an exclusive Man or Astro-Man? single and book package available only at that show, making it collectible as all hell. There will be a panel discussion with the book’s editor, Mike Treff and author Henry H. Owings the next day, November 6, at Atlanta’s Criminal Record, as well.