Monday, July 7, 2014

ROCK AND ROLL BOOK CLUB: Supernatural Strategies for Making a Rock 'n' Roll Group

Ian Svenonius is one of my favorite musicians. Over the years, I always have enjoyed his many incarnations...Nation of Ulysses, the Makeup, Weird War, Scene Creamers, Chain and the Gang, Felt Letters, and more that I am either forgetting or don't even know about.

I was first introduced to the Makeup from the 1999 record Save Yourself. 

He also is also involved in other projects.

Another one of those projects is writing books. In 2006, he published The Psychic Soviet,  a collection of essays. I have not gotten around to reading that one yet. In 2013, he published Supernatural Strategies for Making a Rock and Roll Group and the title alone made me  purchase it immediately.

As luck would have it, shortly after, Mr. Sevenonius went on a small tour, in which he talked about his new book, and then would later perform at a nighttime venue in the same city.

I was able to catch him in Lexington.

He signed my book.

I went back to Louisville after the book reading so that I could do my show ROCK SEXY, but the encounter made me think of my encounter with him in Louisville several years before. 

In 2009, he performed in Louisville at Skull Alley with his band Chain and the Gang. They were cool. I had not yet heard of this project and didn't realize it was Ian Svenonius and when I overheard one of my friends saying "the guy from the Makeup" and I interjected-"You mean Ian Svenonuis is here?" After the show, I talked to him and me and a few of my friends were trying to get him to come party at my house. He never did, but he did call us to let me know that they were leaving town and he couldn't come hang out. My boyfriend at the time made me delete Ian's phone number out of my contacts list after that.

 Anyway, as far as the book goes, it's an account of a seance Ian, a medium and friends performed, in which they communicate with rock and roll performers-dead and alive-through various means, including using wet spaghetti to spell out letters on a wall. Some of the spirits did use their voice, and at his book talk, he played those voices he recorded on one of those this little old school hand held cassette tape players. It just sounded like fuzz to the normal human ear but the medium was able to decipher the advice and philosophies being shared by the spirits. Which lead to the second portion of the book, an actual manual on starting a rock and roll group, from the mouths of those who have been in rock and roll groups, transcribed by the medium and Ian and the other participants in the seance. Where else could you get better advice?

I highly recommend this book, whether or not you are starting a rock and roll group because if you are not planning on starting a rock and roll group, this book will not change your mind, and if you are already in a rock and roll group or in the stages of planning one, this book offers some things to think about as you attempt to conquer the music industry. Of course, as Ian Svenonius puts it, this book is an "indispensable guide" for anyone trying to create a rock and roll group.

Stay tuned for the next Rock and Roll Book Club entry...Sweet Soul Music by Peter Guralnick.

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