Rock and Roll

10 posts

The Story of AC/DC by Susan Masino

Rock biographies, particularly of bands, are an odd subgenre. With an individual singer or instrumentalist, the narrative may take any of the traditional “hero” arcs (rags to riches, unappreciated innovator’s ultimate triumph, temptation/fall and — usually — redemption, etc.), but the story of a hydra-headed rock band must adopt a more amorphous approach.

Art Review: Kurt, at the Seattle Art Museum, Explores Kurt Cobain’s Influence on Contemporary Artists

Nearby, Jeffry Mitchell’s portrait as Kurt is arguably the hidden gem of the exhibit. Self-Portrait as Kurt Cobain in the Style of Jay Steensma features a skull wearing a blond wig amongst a thickly painted sea of grey. (Steensma was a “mystic” artist famous for his paintings of grey, Northwestern landscapes).

Movie Review: The Runaways

“It’s not about women’s lib, kitties, it’s about women’s libido!” manager Kim Fowley (Michael Shannon) screams to his young charges. The same could be said about the movie itself. It commences with blood when Currie (Dakota Fanning) gets her first period, and snowballs from there, touching on every aspect of sexual awakening—female sexual awakening, to be precise. Self-gratification and experimentation with both women and men occurs in the film, building an undercurrent of sexual energy that seems to buffet the band as they rise to international stardom. Coming-of-age stories for girls rarely touch so explicitly on feminine libido, and it’s a welcome change.

I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead: The Dirty Life and Times of Warren Zevon by Crystal Zevon

I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead is sort of an extended wake for its subject. There’s very little biographical narrative per se; instead, the book compiles a massive array of anecdotes, memories, and opinions from dozens upon dozens of the people who knew him, from engineers, girlfriends, and backing musicians to a fairly astounding variety of celebrities who spent time with Zevon.