The New Old Noise: A Review, of Sorts, of “The Other Night At Quinn’s,” by Mike Faloon

Say we’re in Ithaca, New York. Or in a bookstore basement in Cleveland, folding metal chairs arranged in a loose semi-circle around an institutional podium. Or even a Chicago Sunday matinee, chairs this time arranged in gunmetal rows. The trappings remain the same. So does the reception, the usual reliable in each town, former zine contributors, people in bands, friends from school. The odd reader who found one of our books and came out.

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Rebirth in an Unlikely Setting: A Review of D. Foy’s “Absolutely Golden”

Earlier this summer some friends invited me to see Converge and Neurosis play Boston. I demurred, because I knew what I’d be getting myself into. Granted, the friends included a guy I hadn’t been to a show with for years – it would have been nice to hang. But I remembered going to see a pre-allegations Swans show in Providence a few years back. Yes, it was heavy, intense, unbelievably brutal and crushing, all those adjectives that get attached to […]

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Inertia, Inner Lives, and Musical Immersion in Boston: A Review of Louie Cronin’s “Everyone Loves You Back”

This one’s a gusher, so you might want to keep in mind, as you read, that I’m totally the target audience/demographic for Louie Cronin’s debut novel. Her book is set in Boston, where I lived for ten years. The locales and characters throughout Everyone Loves You Back are immediately recognizable, whether Cronin is referring to specific spots (like the pretentious restaurant with the thick wood door) or, alternately, dealing in archetypes (like Riff, the jazz gormandizer who walks around this […]

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Slices of Life, From Punk Beginnings Onward: A Review of Ben Snakepit’s “Manor Threat”

Since 2001, Ben Snakepit has drawn an autobiographical three-panel comic strip every day. Initially he self-published these comics in zine format before they were anthologized in book form. At the start of his fifteen-year (and counting) run, Snakepit was less grounded/more aimless than he is now. Back then, he played in more bands, burned through apartments, smoked way more pot, drank himself sick. These elements are still present in Manor Threat – a hardcore pun on the Austin suburb he […]

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