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Showing posts from November, 2012

Almost there...

And so it is complete. The book cover is done and it looks fucking beautiful, if you pardon my French. Joe Game did one hell of a job with the cover. He even took a nice picture of my ugly mug. I've submitted the book to Lulu. I've ordered a copy that hopefully will be here early next week. The book has been uploaded to Amazon and now we just wait until it is ready for downloads. Tuesday may be right around the corner, but I'm full of excitement. In 2008 my movie, King's Highway, finally found a home on DVD. I was so proud and couldn't wait for the world to see it. However, no matter how much I call it "my" movie, I know that a team of people worked with me in front of and behind the camera to make it a sweet little picture. A couple years ago I wrote a comic book that my writing partner and I released. We'd hoped that there would be an entire series. Unfortunately everything stalled when our artists got too busy. Again, I'm so proud of that comic

The Book Cover

Behold the front cover of BASEMENT SONGS. This was the third of three ideas for the cover, and certainly the best. It was designed by a talented artist based in Los Angeles named Joe Game. I've know Joe a little over a year now; our friendship began based on a mutual appreciation for the Gaslight Anthem. If you don't know that band, check them out today! When I was tossing around my ideas for the cover Joe offered to help out. My original plan was to place my beloved Emerson boombox (below) on the cover, a concept that Joe began working with while the family and I were in Florida for our Make-A-Wish trip to Disney World. However, when I returned he'd been inspired in a completely different direction. Joe's idea of making my mix tape of Basement Songs look like and actual mix tape blew me away. Not only did he capture the heart of the book, but he gave it a unique appearance. The cassette featured on the cover is actually the very first mix tape I made for Julie, back in

The cover.... page!

And now the cover.... page! The front cover to the book should be completed tomorrow! Until then, Here's a look at the cover page on the inside of the book, which hints at the cool design being done by Joe Game aka Chogrin Art . Let me know what you think!

Porcupine Tree/chapter preview

Today I'm previewing a chapter from the book. Last year, the day after Thanksgiving was the final time I got to see Seann. I wanted to pay tribute to him and wrote this for Popdose in January. I've also included it as the final chapter of the book. PORCUPINE TREE   "Trains" I could sense a presence at the foot of my bed; someone standing there, waiting for me to wake up.   Raising my head, my eyes fought their way through the haze caused by the alcohol and turkey I’d consumed the night before.   It was my brother-in-law, Seann, dressed in his motorcycle jacket and his backpack hanging over one shoulder.   His mouth curled into the cocksure smile that never seemed to leave his face. The night before, Thanksgiving, he’d joined us for a feast at my brother’s house.   We hadn’t seen Seann in a while, and it was a pleasure to catch up.   All in attendance came from Karyn’s side of the family yet I always found it beautiful that Seann could effortlessly fit in with them.  

2 week countdown

2 weeks until the book is released. Are you excited? I am. It was around this time in 1987 that the Whomobile, the car I drove throughout high school, gave out and died in the middle of Lorain Road in North Olmsted. In honor of that noble beast (I think my memory is a little cloudy), here are the Who and one of the greatest rock songs of all time.

Mom & Dad

My parents were in town this weekend for the first ever Malchus clambake. It's hard not to get nostalgic whenever my folks are around. Although they moved to Tucson over 10 years ago, and Julie and I have been in Southern California for nearly 19 years, I still consider the house I grew up in my "home." The fact that I'm always back in North Olmsted (where Julie's parents moved) reenforces this feeling.

Nail biting...

Now the nail biting begins. Next week I'm supposed to record a podcast with my Popdose co-horts, Matt Wardlaw and Jeff Giles . I sent them the book on Friday night and they're the first two people to read the final draft.  Logically, I should be thinking, "Hey, these guys already like the column, what am I worried about?" However, there is still that side of me - the writer side - that fears rejection. It can't be as bad as the reactions to "King's Highway" can it? I mean, some people HATED that movie (I shouldn't publicize that, should I. What I meant to say is that some people just didn't GET the movie. Yeah, that's it). I think I'm more nervous that two people I highly respect are reading the book and I really hope they like it. Not that I don't want everyone to like it. Because I do. I'm a writer, see, and we're neurotic messes. Aloha

Happy Birthday, Jake!

Today was this guy's birthday: In honor of Jacob's birthday, here is one of his songs. Enjoy!

Once more with feeling

Tonight I completed my final pass at the book. I hope it's up to the standards that readers are used to. I've done my best, having read and re-read the book six times and had two people proofread the manuscript. If I don't stop now I could be revising the book forever. In fact, I rewrote the introduction of a chapter on  the train ride home tonight. It's done. I have to move forward and trust that I've done my best and the people will appreciate all the hard work that has gone into self-publishing the book. Now I will spend the next two weeks finalizing the details, like completing the cover, building the master PDF that will become the book (a painstaking but necessary process) and figuring out how to upload and create the Kind version of the book. That last one seems easy, but I'm always suspicious when things appear too easy. For all of you who are following the progress of the book, I'll be filling in more of the details about it in the coming weeks. Fo

A little Journey for your Tuesday

What, you didn't think Journey would get some love in the book? Here's a great way to get through Tuesday. "Still They Ride," from ESCAPE. And in case you haven't figured it out, yes, I am trying to post all of the songs mentioned in BASEMENT SONGS.


December 4, 2012. As I typed this date to announce the day the book will go on sale, I realized the significance of it. I must admit that I chose it because I thought it would give people enough time to make their purchase and get a copy before the holidays. It's the first Tuesday of December and all new books usually hit shelves on Tuesdays. But seeing December 4 typed out in front of me... it's a day away from the one year marker of my brother-in-law Seann's tragic death. One f'n year As I wrote in the book, BASEMENT SONGS wouldn't have happened if I wasn't inspired by Seann and the way he embraced 21st Century methods of releasing his art to the world. He wanted to get his music heard and it wasn't about sales so much as it was about sharing. Now I don't believe it was a random selection of December 4th, and whatever fears I have about not completing it on time or not figuring out the technology are abated. I have someone watching over me and he's

Heavenly Day, no matter what

After the degree of rancor we've lived through these past six months, I think it's time to take a deep breath and remind ourselves that we live in a country that allows people to express their opinions and practice democracy. No matter which way you voted, I think we all must agree that Patty Griffin has one of the most heavenly voices in music. Here's a song to get you through the day. BTW- in this video, she's singing with Emmylou Harris, Buddy Miller and Shawn Colvin. Man, I wish I could have seen that tour! Aloha

One step closer

Today I received my ISBN number in the email. It's funny how little things like a series of numbers can excite you, but these numbers, the barcode you find on the back of every book, make the whole project feel more legitimate. All that's left now is to complete the cover, including taking a photo of myself -  blech - and piecing together the final PDF. It's the first week of November and I'm confident that the book will be ready in a month, just in time for the holidays. Can you think of a better way to spend your Christmas day than sitting around the fire, glass of wine (or beer, or Scotch) in hand, feet propped up and a copy of BASEMENT SONGS to comfort you into the wee hours of the morning? Aloha

The No-brainer of the Book Sales

This was a no-brainer, so I don't know why it's taken me so long to post the news. All profits from the sale of the book will be donated to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation . I could say something cute like "Hey, not only are you getting a book of essays that will ROCK your world, but you're also helping a great cause," but I won't (even though I kind of just did). The truth is, the people who are going to buy BASEMENT SONGS are already fans and I want them to know that they're helping out our family and thousands of others. If that inspires more people to give the book a chance, then that's icing on the cake. Aloha

The first appearance by Mr. Springsteen

Bruce gets plenty of mention in BASEMENT SONGS. "The Rising" has been an important song for our family and it seems appropriate considering all that's happening on the east coast. Stay safe, everyone, and lend a hand if you're able.

A brief message from our editor

As some people know, I initially only had a Facebook page for the book. Then I got good advice to start a webpage, as well. So these early entries are re-postings of comments I made on the FB page. Starting tomorrow, the two will correspond. Thus, my non-Facebook readers will get the same information. We all good? Awesome. Thanks!

Cover underway

The cover is underway. Pretty excited about it. Meanwhile, as I complete my final polish before I hand the book off for a final proofread, I'll share this video. Witness the insanity of the B-52's performing one of the songs featured in BASEMENT SONGS. It's "Rock Lobster." PS- First three people to make it through the entire video get a free copy of "King's Highway." Good luck!