A blog about Bloomsbury Academic's 33 1/3 series, our other books about music, and the world of sound in general.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Chicago - March 30 Roctober launch at Quimby's

Friend of Roctober (and author of the 33 1/3 on Aretha Franklin's Amazing Grace), Aaron Cohen will be on hand to read from his book to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Rocktober Magazine (and Aretha's 70th b-day) at Quimby's in Chicago on March 30 at 7pm.
Aaron has informed me that a disc of Aretha karaoke tunes has been purchased for the event. Sounds like a good time to me...

LA - Tom Waits Bus Tour in April

I know that April 21st seems like a long way off, but trust me, you will want to get your tickets for this sooner rather than later.

Once-A-Year L.A. Bus Tour Follows in Tom Waits' Youthful Footsteps

WHAT: 2012 edition of "Crawling Down Cahuenga: Tom Waits' Los Angeles" bus tour

WHEN: Saturday, April 21, noon-4pm

WHERE: Bus tour departs from The King Edward Saloon, 131 E 5th Street, Los Angeles 90013

COST: $63/person

MORE INFO: visit http://www.esotouric.com/waits or call 323-223-2767

LOS ANGELES- Fans of the legendary musician Tom Waits just don't get a lot of chances to get together. Last time he toured, fans in his old hometown of L.A. were out of luck—the closest show was in Phoenix, Arizona. So once each year, Esotouric, the bus adventure company whose offbeat tours expose LA's secret history, offers a bus tour celebrating the life and work of Waits, a rare opportunity for fans to scratch that gravelly voiced itch in good company.

CRAWLING DOWN CAHUENGA: TOM WAITS' LOS ANGELES is the definitive tour of Tom Waits' formative creative life and the people, places and late night pastries that shaped it.

Calling all rain dogs, gin-soaked boys and Gun Street girls! Climb aboard as your hosts David Smay (author of the acclaimed 33 1/3 series book on Tom Waits' "Swordfishtrombones" album) and Esotouric's Kim Cooper (a Zoetrope Studios intern who'll tell how she used teenage subterfuge to arrange a private concert by the man) lead you on a scrupulously researched ride through Waits' epic misdeeds and shenanigans, from the Trashing of the Troubadour to epic nights at the Tropicana.

And oh, there are such tales to tell, from food fights with L.A. Punks and smackdowns with L.A. police. We'll crawl through the Sewers of Paris, tattle on the Ivar Theater, and get the lowdown on Waits' legendary performances at the Wiltern and elsewhere. Before departing for points rural, Tom Waits left his mark all over L.A., from Francis Ford Coppola's Zoetrope Studios to Sunset Sound to Skid Row. We'll show you where he found his true love and collaborator, Kathleen Brennan, and how all the pieces came together to transform a drunken, desperate singer into the multi-faceted, multi-media artist he'd become.

Raised near San Diego, Tom Waits launched his musical career in L.A., signing with David Geffen's Asylum Records in 1972, living in a famously cluttered room in the raunchy Tropicana Hotel (where he sawed off the kitchen drain board so his piano would fit), and building a reputation as a songwriter willing to risk his own health and sanity to get inside the sad sack characters that peopled songs like "The Piano Has Been Drinking (Not Me)," "On The Nickel" and "Pasties And A G-string (At The Two O'clock Club)."

By 1980, Waits was 31 and starting to feel the effects of his hard living. While scoring the music to Francis Ford Coppola's "One From The Heart," he met Kathleen Brennan, whose influence would completely transform his life and his art. After a whirlwind courtship the pair married and began a 30-year creative and personal partnership, beginning with the revolutionary album "Swordfishtrombones," the subject of tour host David Smay's latest book.

Passengers gather in the historic King Edward Saloon, the last surviving Skid Row bar since the 2007 closure of Craby Joe's, before boarding Esotouric's luxury coach class bus, where the mood is set with vintage photos and live footage. CRAWLING DOWN CAHUENGA spans Tom's personal city, from The Nickel (aka Skid Row) to once-ratty West Hollywood, favorite strip clubs and midnight diners, recording studios, night clubs, record labels and film studios, before rolling back downtown for a last bottle of beer at the King Eddy.

ABOUT THE HOSTS: Longtime collaborators David Smay and Kim Cooper co-edited the books "Bubblegum Music is the Naked Truth" ("quite simply the most fun music book I have ever read." -Bucketfull of Brains) and "Lost in the Grooves: Scram's Capricious Guide to the Music You Missed" ("the perfect book for the advanced record collector" -Ear Candy) before penning their solo 33 1/3 series books on Tom Waits and Neutral Milk Hotel. Kim hosts Esotouric's true crime and occasional rock and roll history tours. David Smay lives in San Francisco, where he is working on a history of the Beats.

For more info on Esotouric, visit http://www.esotouric.com

Monday, March 19, 2012


We are accepting proposals for new volumes in the 33 1/3 series from today, March 19, 2012 through April 30, 2012.

More information can be found here, including many very useful questions and answers in the comments field.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Michael Fournier Hidden Wheel tour

Mike Fournier, author of the 33 1/3 on The Minutemen's Double Nickels on the Dime, will be hitting the west coast this week doing some readings in support of his novel Hidden Wheel.

Here are the dates:
3/9: Las Vegas, with Coastwest Unrest. Blackbird Studios. 7 pm.
3/12: Los Angeles, CA. Stories. 7-ish?
3/13: Santa Monica CA. Track 16 Gallery. 7:30 pm.
3/14: San Francisco CA. Sub-Mission Gallery. 7:00 pm.
3/15: San Francisco CA. Satellite 66 Gallery. 7:30 pm.
4/7: Easthampton, MA. Flywheel. W/Sam McPheeters (ex-Born Against, Men’s Recovery Project), others TBA.

And here are some recent reviews of the book, from The Noise (scroll all the way down), and New Artillery.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Still here!

While there hasn't been much in the way of new content on the blog in a couple of weeks, we should mention that the comments thread in the 33 1/3 Call For Proposals post has been very active and full of useful questions and answers for anyone interested in submitting a book proposal this time around. The window for submissions approaches! March 19-April 30.

Also worth noting: the 33 1/3 facebook page soldiers on with the videos of the day project, currently on volume #38, Guided By Voices' Bee Thousand.

And the 33 1/3 twitter features groundbreaking and crucial links, such as this one.

Also, for some reason the comments spam filter will occasionally catch a useful question about submitting a proposal while letting many many messages about flowers, sneakers, electronics, and handbags through the net. We sort everything out and purge and release every couple of days, so don't panic or think we're ignoring you if that's the case.