May 24, 2017 · 11:16 am
My 2010 LA Weekly cover story on the Runaways drummer Sandy West is one of the articles included in Shake It Up: Great American Writing on Rock and Pop From Elvis to Jay Z, a Library of America collection edited by Jonathan Lethem and Kevin Dettmar. I’ll be reading from it alongside Jonathan and Kevin on May 31 at Rhino Records in Claremont. Flyer and press release below.
Authors Jonathan Lethem & Kevin Dettmar will be reading & signing copies of their new book “Shake It Up: Great American Writing on Rock and Pop From Elvis to Jay Z” At Rhino Records in Claremont Wednesday May 31st at 7pm. The book, edited by the two of them, is a six decade survey of superb writing on popular music assembled into one mighty volume. KSPC Radio Free Aftermath DJ’s Sam & Jojo will be spinning music from 1957-2017, and Evelyn McDonnell, one of the featured writers in the book, will be reading from her section in the book as well as signing copies of her book on The Runaways “Queens Of Noise”.
THE ESSENTIAL PLAYLIST OF GREAT WRITING ABOUT THE MUSIC THAT ROCKED AMERICA
Jonathan Lethem and Kevin Dettmar’s Shake It Up invites the reader into the tumult and excitement of the rock revolution through fifty landmark pieces by a supergroup of writers on rock in all its variety, from heavy metal to disco, punk to hip-hop. Stanley Booth describes a recording session with Otis Redding; Ellen Willis traces the meteoric career of Janis Joplin; Ellen Sander recalls the chaotic world of Led Zeppelin on tour; Nick Tosches etches a portrait of the young Jerry Lee Lewis; Eve Babitz remembers Jim Morrison. Alongside are Lenny Kaye on acapella and Greg Tate on hip-hop, Vince Aletti on disco and Gerald Early on Motown; Robert Christgau on Prince, Nelson George on Marvin Gaye, Luc Sante on Bob Dylan, Hilton Als on Michael Jackson, Anthony DeCurtis on the Rolling Stones, Kelefa Sanneh on Jay Z. The story this anthology tells is a ongoing one: -it’s too early, – editors Jonathan Lethem and Kevin Dettmar note, -for canon formation in a field so marvelously volatile–a volatility that mirrors, still, that of pop music itself, which remains smokestack lightning. The writing here attempts to catch some in a bottle.
NAT HENTOFF on BOB DYLAN
AMIRI BARAKA on R&B
LESTER BANGS on ELVIS PRESLEY
ROBERT CHRISTGAU on PRINCE
DEBRA RAE COHEN on DAVID BOWIE
EVE BABITZ on JIM MORRISON
ROBERT PALMER on SAM COOKE
CHUCK KLOSTERMAN on HEAVY METAL
JESSICA HOPPER on EMO
JOHN JEREMIAH SULLIVAN on AXL ROSE
ELIJAH WALD on THE BEATLES
GREIL MARCUS on CHRISTIAN MARCLAY.
About the Authors
JONATHAN LETHEM is the author of The Fortress of Solitude, The Gambler’s Anatomy and nine other novels; KEVIN DETTMAR is the author of Is Rock Dead? and editor of The Cambridge Companion to Bob Dylan.
This event is all ages & free to the public.
Link to The New York Times review of the book:
Feel free to drop a line with any inquiries to me at the address below.
Rhino Records/Mad Platter/Video Paradiso
909-626-7774 X 104
235 Yale Ave
Claremont, CA 91711
Filed under Events, Queens of Noise, Uncategorized
Tagged as Claremont, Jonathan Lethem, Kevin Dettmar, LA Weekly, Library of America, Rhino Records, sandy west, Shake It Up, The Runaways
May 8, 2014 · 3:07 pm
There’s nothing like playing a batch of your favorite records to set your head right. Thanks McAllister and Cass Monster for allowing me to take over She Rocks KXLU last night. Here’s what I played:
Bratmobile- Cherry Bomb
The Runaways– Yesterdays Kids
The Runaways- American Nights
Joan Jett- Bad Reputation
Suzi Quatro- 48 Crash
The Bags- We will bury you
Tribe 8- Manipulate
Fifth Column- Donna
Hole– Softer Softer
Suture- Pretty Is
Jayne Cortez – Sacred Trees
Nina Hagen- Future Is Now
Filed under Queens of Noise
Tagged as "Cherry Bomb", Bjork, bratmobile, Fifth Column, Hole, Jayne Cortez, Joan Jett, KXLU, L7, Nina Hagen, runaways, sandy west, She Rocks, Suture, Suzi Quatro, The Bats, Tribe 8
March 24, 2014 · 10:01 am
There are two new podcasts you can add to your iTunes or streaming pleasure. One is the Bullseye With Jesse Thorn that aired on NPR stations this weekend:
The other is the debut podcast by David Kukoff, author of the new novel Children of the Canyon:
Filed under Press, Queens of Noise, Uncategorized
Tagged as Bullseye, cherie currie, David Kukoff, Evelyn McDonnell, Jackie Fox, Jesse Thorn, Joan Jett, Kim Fowley, lita ford, Live in Japan, NPR, podcast, Queens of Noise, sandy west, The Runaways
March 19, 2014 · 11:24 am
The public radio program Bullseye with Jesse Thorn does a regular feature where critics talk about their favorite underrated albums. On this week’s broadcast, I advocate for The Runaways Live in Japan. You can hear me on a bunch of stations, including the following:
WNYC – New York City – 93.9 FM – Sunday March 23 at 6pm
KPCC – Los Angeles – 89.3 FM – Saturday March 22 at 3pm
WNJY – New Jersey – 89.3 FM – Sat March 22 at 10am, Sun March 23 at 6pm
WHYY- Philadelphia – 90.9 FM – Friday March 21 at 9pm
KUHF – Houston 88.7 FM – Thursday March 20 at 8pm
KALW – San Francisco – 91.7 FM – Sunday March 23 at 4pm
The complete list is below:
Bullseye Broadcast List (updated 2-25-14)
(If you miss it, I’ll post the link to the online podcast later.)
Filed under Press, Queens of Noise
Tagged as Bullseye, cherie currie, Jackie Fox, Jesse Thorn, Joan Jett, Kim Fowley, lita ford, Live in Japan, sandy west, The Runaways, Wild Thing
March 17, 2014 · 9:30 am
Tammy Faye Starlite and me, by Shell Sheddy
The last two weeks have been a swirl: friendships forged and renewed, mother-son bonding, bright lights and big city, desert island and the deep sea, public performances, private connections, music and nature and ideas and activity. I spent five days revisiting my proto-Sex and the City life in New York and three days on Catalina Island with 31 fifth graders. Both experiences were deeply gratifying, and I’m immensely grateful to the friends, and family, who enrich my life.
First, New York. For my spring “break” from teaching, I finally made it to the center of the universe to do some promotion for Queens of Noise: The Real Story of the Runaways. I wound up with three gigs in as many days: a Women’s History Month Keynote speech at Bergen Community College March 6; a rock’n’roll show that night at the Cutting Room, featuring the Runaways tribute band the Stay-At-Homes; and a book signing and reading at Bluestockings in the Good Ol’ Lower East Side March 8. Each event was different, productive in its own way, and worth the trip all by itself.
Continue reading →
Filed under Going Mobile, Queens of Noise
Tagged as cherie currie, Heidi Lieb, Jackie Fox, Joan Jett, Karyn Kuhl, Linda Pitmon, lita ford, Me'Shelel Ndegeocello, Miss Guy, New York, Queens of Noise, sandy west, Steve Wynn, Tammy Faye Starlite, the Miracle 3, The Runaways, the Stay-at-Homes
February 28, 2014 · 5:23 pm
Like a good – and female – drag queen, Tammy Faye Starlite doesn’t impersonate great women; she invokes them. She’s most famous for her Nico act, Chelsea Madchen, which is smart, funny, tragic, and lovely. While aptly pointing out the anti-Semitic Velvet Underground singer’s numerous faults, she also made me appreciate her talent. I haven’t seen Tammy’s Blondie tribute band the Pretty Babies or her Runaways manqué the Stay-At-Homes. But from the way she talks about learning to portray Debbie Harry and Cherie Currie, I know she gets it.
“I really love Cherie’s voice – it’s husky and she imbues each song with both attitude and subtlety, similar to the way Debbie Harry does, although their sounds are so different,” Faye said in a recent email. “Cherie is so much fun to play onstage – she has certain signature moves – the single knee-bend, the arm flap, the squat/crouch, the Bowie-esque mime. She was definitely in command as frontwoman, which I love. I also love the L.A. inflections in her voice and her slightly Liza Minnelli-style ‘s.’ She’s a very physical performer – she bodily punctuates the beat and is full of kinetic energy. Debbie Harry is also physical, but to me she seems much cooler, much more ‘come to me’ as opposed to beseeching the audience to come to her. Nico barely moved at all – I love doing her almost catatonic stance, but it’s hard for me, in a way, because I’m inherently a spazzy freak and cliched ‘entertainer.’ (Must be my Jewish upbringing.) As Cherie, I get to be my teenage self, who jumped in front of the mirror with a hairbrush and did interpretive dances to ‘Honky Tonk Women.’ (Also, shamefully, to Billy Joel’s ‘My Life,’ but we’ll keep that to ourselves.)
“Speaking of Judaism (were we?), I think my favorite song to do is either ‘American Nights’ – it’s so gloriously anthemic – or Lou Reed’s ‘Rock and Roll’ (even though my husband pointed out that the Runaways do the Mitch Ryder version). It must be the New Yorker in me – I have to stop myself from saying, ‘She stawted dee-ancin…’ I don’t always succeed in that endeavor.” Continue reading →
Filed under Queens of Noise, Uncategorized
Tagged as All Hail the Queens of Noise, Blondie, Chelsea Madchen, cherie currie, Debbie Harry, Jackie Fox, Joan Jett, Karyn Kuhl, lita ford, Miss Guy, Nico, Queens of Noise, sandy west, Tammy Faye Starlite, the Cutting Room, The Runaways, Velvet Underground
January 27, 2014 · 7:39 pm
ALL HAIL THE QUEENS OF NOISE!
EVELYN MCDONNELL READS FROM HER ‘RUNAWAYS’ BEST SELLER,
THE STAY-AT-HOMES CHANNEL CHERIE, JOAN, JACKIE, LITA AND SANDY AT THE CUTTING ROOM ON THURSDAY MARCH 6
“They had something that cannot be manufactured, no matter how cunning your maverick manager is: a spark of explosive creative chemistry, the primal energy that Iggy Pop calls ‘raw power.’ The Runaways could play like the boys, but without once pretending they weren’t girls.” – Evelyn McDonnell/ Queens of Noise
Evelyn McDonnell, author of Mamarama: A Memoir of Sex, Kids and Rock ‘n’ Roll, former pop music critic for the Miami Herald and Village Voice senior editor, and journalism professor at Loyola Marymount University, will be joined by The Stay-At-Homes, the much- celebrated Runaways replicant band, for a multi-tiered evening of performance events at New York’s Cutting Room. The renowned journalist will bring Queens of Noise, her critically acclaimed biography of The Runaways, the legendary ’70’s SoCal all-girl band, to glam-rock life at the Cutting Room on Thursday, March 6th at 10pm.
Bask in the California paradise that was the ’70s Sunset Strip with the author as she reads excerpts from her groundbreaking book and rock out with the premiere Runaways tribute band, The Stay-At-Homes. Their take-no-prisoners lineup includes downtown performance chanteuse/provacateuse Tammy Faye Starlite (just named by Time Out New York as one of the top ten cabaret artists of 2013 for her role as Nico in Chelsea Mädchen) in the role of Cherie Currie; Jill Richmond (the Aquanettas) as Joan Jett; Linda Pitmon (the Baseball Project, Steve Wynn’s Miracle 3) as Sandy West; Heidi Lieb (Sit ‘N’ Spin) as Lita Ford, and Monica Falcone (Sit ‘N’ Spin) as Jackie Fox. With special guests Miss Guy (Toilet Boys) and Karyn Kuhl (Gutbank) on vocals and Theo Kogan (Lunachicks) on Armour Beauty lip gloss.
Relive the sunshine-and-neon era of Lurex, leather and jailbait juvies! Be sure to wear your feather earrings and satin shorts, wing your hair and climb into those platform boots! ‘Ludes optional but recommended.
The Cutting Room is at 44 East 32nd Street, New York. Tickets will be $15 in advance, $20 at the door. Show time is 10 p.m. http://ow.ly/t0NC8
>>Part of the proceeds will benefit the Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls<<
Filed under Queens of Noise, Uncategorized
Tagged as cherie currie, Cutting Room, Jackie Fox, Joan Jett, lita ford, New York, Queens of Noise, sandy west, Stay-at-Homes, Tammy Faye Starlite