feminist. vegan. Simmons College B.A. Boston University M.S. in journalism. likes: indie film; documentaries, foreign films; art museums; tea; vegan cooking; literature; alternative music/goth/ Americana/ electro-pop/ folk.
The Black Keys announced their thirty-one-date arena tour of North America. The “Let’s Rock” Tour will hit cities including Chicago, Boston, Nashville, New York, Los Angeles, and Austin. Special guests Modest Mouse will provide support on all dates.
Dan Auerbach (guitar, vocals) and Patrick Carney (drums) formed The Black Keys in Akron, Ohio in 2001. The band has released eight studio albums: The Big Come Up (2002), Thickfreakness (2003), Rubber Factory (2004), Magic Potion (2006), Attack & Release (2008), Brothers (2010), El Camino (2011) and Turn Blue (2014).
Sep 21 /// Las Vegas, NV /// Life Is Beautiful+
Sep 23 /// Denver, CO /// Pepsi Center*
Sep 24 /// Kansas City, MO /// Sprint Center*
Sep 25 /// St. Louis, MO /// Enterprise Center*
Sep 27 /// Chicago, IL /// United Center*
Sep 28 /// Minneapolis, MN /// Target Center*
Sep 30 /// Cleveland, OH /// Quicken Loans Arena*
Oct 01 /// Nashville, TN /// Bridgestone Arena*
Oct 02 /// Columbus, OH /// Nationwide Arena*
Oct 04 /// Milwaukee, WI /// Fiserv Forum#
Oct 05 /// Detroit, MI /// Little Caesars Arena#
Oct 07 /// Pittsburgh, PA /// PPG Paints Arena#
Oct 08 /// Grand Rapids, MI /// Van Andel Arena#
Oct 09 /// Toronto, ON /// Scotiabank Arena#
Oct 11 /// Boston, MA /// TD Garden#
Oct 12 /// Washington, DC /// The Anthem#
Oct 14 /// Philadelphia, PA /// Wells Fargo Arena#
Oct 15 /// Brooklyn, NY /// Barclays Center#
Nov 05 /// Sunrise, FL /// BB&T Center^
Nov 06 /// Orlando, FL /// Amway Center^
Nov 08 /// Raleigh, NC /// PNC Arena^
Nov 09 /// Atlanta, GA /// State Farm Arena^
Nov 12 /// Houston, TX /// Toyota Center^
Nov 13 /// Austin, TX /// Frank Erwin Center^
Nov 14 /// Fort Worth, TX /// Dickies Arena^
Nov 16 /// Phoenix, AZ /// Talking Stick Resort Arena^
Nov 17 /// San Diego, CA /// Pechanga Arena^
Nov 19 /// Los Angeles, CA /// The Forum^
Nov 20 /// San Francisco, CA /// TBA^
Nov 22 /// Portland, OR /// Moda Center^
Nov 23 /// Tacoma, WA /// Tacoma Dome^
Nov 24 /// Vancouver, BC /// Pepsi Live at Rogers Arena^
*w/ Modest Mouse and *repeat repeat
# w/ Modest Mouse and Jessy Wilson
^ w/ Modest Mouse and Shannon & the Clams
Indie folk band The Head and the Heart will release its fourth album, Living Mirage, on May 17, 2019. The Seattle, Washington band recorded the songs in Mojave Desert’s Joshua Tree, Appleton, Wisconsin’s The Refuge Fox Cities, West Seattle, Omnisound in Nashville, and Barefoot Recordings in Los Angeles with the help of Tyler Johnson and Alex Salibian (Harry Styles, Sam Smith, Cam) and engineer Ryan Nasci.
The Head and the Heart is:
Josiah Johnson (vocals, guitar, percussion)
Jonathan Russell (vocals, guitar, percussion)
Charity Rose Thielen (violin, guitar, vocals)
Chris Zasche (bass)
Kenny Hensley (piano)
Tyler Williams (drums)
About the rousing new song “Missed Connection,” drummer Tyler Williams said: “A lot of the beats on that song are quicker, and there are high hats that were never in our music before.”
Living Mirage Tracklisting:
01. See You Through My Eyes
02. Missed Connection
03. People Need a Melody
06. Running Through Hell
07. Up Against The Wall
08. Saving Grace
09. I Found Out
10. Living Mirage
11. Glory of Music
Posted in Books on March 7, 2019
The Quintland Sisters by Shelley Wood. William Morrow| March 5, 2019| 384 pages | $15.99| ISBN: 978-0-06-283909-1
“Their similarity to one another is eerie, even with nothing but their tiny heads poking out of their blankets. All of them have black hair and long, dark eyelashes, too thick, it seems, for their sunken cheeks. The longer I watched them, the more I could see that each one of them has something distinct, something to tell her apart from her sisters. I took out my scribble book in the hopes of capturing them. The one that came first has one eyelid bigger than the other. The second has a tiny crinkle in the upper cusp of her right ear. The third has the smallest nose, and the fourth has the most hair, which seems to curl in the opposite direction from that of her sisters. The fifth and last—she has nothing that looks markedly different, but she is the only one with any wriggle in her.”
Long before Kate Plus Eight or the Octomom, there were the Dionne Quintuplets, the first quintuplets to survive their infancy. They were born in French-speaking, rural Canada in 1934. Their parents had five other children. They were shamed for it. People also sent money and fan mail. The government took custody of the girls, leading to many disputes over the years. A doctor and his crew of nurses took over care of the girls.
The Quintland Sisters tells the story of the first few years of the quintuplets lives from the perspective of a young woman, Emma Trimpany, who works as a nurse to the girls. Born with a large birthmark on her face, Emma is used to being overlooked and disregarded. “This is something I’ve managed to pull off my whole life, to make myself invisible and unremarkable—no mean task with a crimson stain covering half my face.” Her mother sends her over with the midwife the night that the quints are born, thinking it might be a suitable profession for her disfigured daughter.
Emma gets sent to nursing school so that she’s properly trained to assist in their care. She becomes attached to the girls and friendly with several nurses, particularly Yvonne Leroux (known to everyone as Ivy), who she remains friends with even after she leaves. Emma enjoys drawing and this turns into a side-gig as she sells pictures of the girls to advertisers. Someone suggests she apply to art school and it seems this smart and determined young woman will find contentment. The story unfolds through journal entries, letters and news reports.
“I am the one the girls turn to now. A stubbed toe, a puzzling toy, a masterpiece of finger painting that requires praise and admiration—it’s me they seek out. Nurse Noel is the game master who won’t take no for an answer, Miss Beaulieu is the instructor with strict rules and plastic smile. Nurse Sylvie Dubois is the latest practical nurse they’ve brought in to help with all the record-keeping and measurements—she has not yet earned the girls’ trust, let alone their affection, although she is cheery and pretty. Meanwhile Mme. Dionne has been scarce since the autumn, every since Nurse Nicolette’s departure, and I haven’t seen M. Dionne since that awful moment in the courtroom. How ridiculous, but also wonderful, that I, who have always insisted I was not cut out for motherhood, have ended up as a de facto mother of five.”
It’s fascinating to read about their care. Can you imagine caring for so many infants? It definitely takes a team. No one even believed they’d survive past the first week. It was humorous to read the doctor and some of the nurses commenting on the likelihood of the girls’ survival. They gave one of the girls rum to “stimulate” her heart. Before they received a shipment of breast milk, the girls were fed a mix of corn syrup, cow’s milk and boiled water. They kept records of everything.
The quintuplets generated income from visitors as well as through endorsements. It’s not a new Instagram era thing to earn money this way. There was a court case between several corn syrup companies to determine who would have exclusivity. [“The ridiculous thing is, we don’t even feed the babies corn syrup. Dr. Blatz believes sugar in any form is bad for children. I should tell that to the newspapers.”] Several films were made about them. There was a custom-built playground that allowed for spectators. There were 6,000 daily visitors! Celebrities such as Amelia Earhart visited. They sold souvenirs! It was a real money-making business. Unfortunately, not everyone cared for the girls and their future. Celebrity and money attract deceitful people wanting to take advantage of the situation. Many nefarious incidents occurred over the years.
It’s a meticulously researched novel and why I’m a fan of historical fiction. I love having a fictional character introduce me to real people and actual events. I really want to know what happened to the quintuplets as adults. What were their lives like at that time?I made myself not Google while reading. But I’m intrigued and need to investigate.
Posted in Books on March 6, 2019
Any Means Necessary by Jenny Rogneby. Other Press| February 2019| 442 pages | $16.99| ISBN: 978-1590518847
“I had my reasons for living like that. I had done it because I knew society doesn’t accept nonconformity. If you deviate from the cookie-cutter norm, you are left out in the cold. Worthless. From there on out, you’re on your own.”
When a terrorist survives a suicide bombing outside the Swedish Parliament building, he will only talk to police investigator Leona Lindberg. He’s insistent on it. She’s tasked to find out why the former member of the French Foreign Legion did it and if there will be other attacks throughout the city.
After work, Leona also gathers a bunch of criminals to teach them how to beat the system. She’s providing them with inside information on police tactics and the best tips to outwit them. To take minimal risks for maximum gains. She carefully selected them to participate in this program of sorts because she’s looking for a reliable crew to carry out a major theft.
I found Leona to be extremely compelling. She’s an outsider, she’s smart and she’s rogue. Leona’s in that gray zone. She’s a fairly good person doing bad things. She’s had it rough over the past few years. She lost custody of her daughter to her ex-husband. Rogneby definitely makes readers see both sides of the situation. Even if you don’t like Leona, you’ll empathize with her. Why is she doing what she’s doing? Will she be caught? How will it affect her career in the police department?
There’s definitely a slow burn with this novel. The Nordic setting makes it uber appealing. I don’t read a lot of thrillers but this one appealed to me because author Jenny Rogneby brings a unique perspective through her experience as an investigator with the Stockholm City Police Department.
–review by Amy Steele
FTC Disclosure: I received this book for review from Other Press.
Posted in Music on March 4, 2019
Los Angeles singer/songwriter Fiona Grey explained the new song: “There is a lot about living in a pop culture centered world that we deem as ‘normal behavior’. I hope that the music can remind the listener that this follower-centric, alternate persona universe we live in is all temporary happiness.” She has a beautiful voice and the song makes a powerful statement. The EP Cult Classic is out now.
About The Drums dreamy and contemplative new pop song, Jonny Pierce said: “I’m a big believer in making yourself vulnerable in personal relationships, and keeping your guard down. This song talks about how I sometimes make myself fully emotionally available to people who can’t reciprocate because of their own insecurities, and the frustration that ensues … This song is my tongue-in-cheek exploration of those ideas – being kind, not taking shit from anyone, and learning to hold people accountable for their own choices, while still holding some empathy for them.” The Drums fifth album Brutalism is out April 5, 2019. They’re on tour this spring.
The Drums TOUR DATES:
4/24/19 – Tustin, CA @ Marty’s On Newport
4/26/19 – El Paso, TX @ Lowbrow Palace
4/27/19 – San Antonio, TX @ Paper Tiger
4/29/19 – Omaha, NE @ The Waiting Room
4/30/19 – St. Paul, MN @ Turf Club
5/01/19 – Chicago, IL @ Metro
5/02/19 – Toronto, ON @ Phoenix Concert Theater
5/04/19 – Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club
5/07/19 – New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge
5/08/19 – Asbury Park, NJ @ Asbury Lanes
5/09/19 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Foundry at The Fillmore
5/10/19 – Brooklyn, NY @ Warsaw
5/11/19 – Washington, D.C. @ The Black Cat
5/13/19 – Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle
5/14/19 – Nashville, TN @ Exit/In
5/15/19 – Atlanta, GA @ Terminal West
5/16/19 – Orlando, FL @ The Beacham Theater
5/17/19 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL @ Revolution Live
5/18/19 – Tampa Bay, FL @ The Orpheum
5/20/19 – Pensacola, FL @ Vinyl Music Hall
5/21/19 – Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall (Downstairs)
5/22/19 – Dallas, TX @ Granada Theater
5/23/19 – Austin, TX @ Emo’s
7/25/19 – San Francisco, CA @ August Hall
7/26/19 – San Francisco, CA @ August Hall
7/27/19 – Los Angeles, CA @ Palladium
7/30/19 – San Diego, CA @ North Park
7/31/19 – Las Vegas, NV @ Brooklyn Bowl
8/01/19 – Phoenix, AZ @ Van Buren
8/02/19 – Albuquerque, NM @ Sunshine Theater
8/03/19 – Denver, CO @ Bluebird
8/06/19 – Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom
8/07/19 – Vancouver, BC @ Imperial
8/08/19 – Seattle, WA @ The Showbox
Posted in Music on February 27, 2019
Foals will release a new album, Everything Will Be Saved Part 1 on March 8, 2019. There’s a video for the super-charged new single “On the Luna:”
Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost – Part 1 tracklisting:
3. White Onions
4. In Degrees
6. On The Luna
7. Cafe D’Athens
8. Surf Pt.1
10. I’m Done With The World (& It’s Done With Me)
April 12 /// Brooklyn, NY /// Brooklyn Steel^
April 13 /// Brooklyn, NY /// Brooklyn Steel ^ SOLD OUT
April 14 /// Brooklyn, NY /// Brooklyn Steel^ SOLD OUT
April 16 /// Washington, D.C. /// 9:30 Club^ SOLD OUT
April 18 /// Washington, D.C. /// 9:30 Club^
April 19 /// Boston, MA /// House of Blues^
April 20 /// Philadelphia, PA /// The Fillmore^
April 22 /// Toronto, ON /// Rebel^
April 23 /// Columbus, OH /// Newport Music Hall
April 24 /// St. Louis, MO /// The Pageant^
April 26 /// Detroit, MI /// Saint Andrews Hall^
April 27 /// Chicago, IL /// Riviera Theatre^
April 28 /// Milwaukee, WI /// The Rave^
April 30 /// Minneapolis, MN /// First Avenue^
May 2 /// Kansas City, MO /// Midland Theatre+
May 4 /// Atlanta, GA /// Shaky Knees Festival 2019#
* with Bear Hands & Kiev
^ with Preoccupations & Omni
# Festival Date
+ Supporting Interpol
Posted in Books on February 6, 2019
When it’s done well, historical fiction transports you to a particular time, place and setting through the eyes of its characters. The best historical fiction makes me want to learn more about the period or the characters. I try to refrain from googling while reading a book but if I’m itching to look something up, I know the author succeeded in transporting me to another time. That’s one of my favorite genres. Two compelling novels came out recently which center around independent and unconventional women, one real and one fictional.
Learning to See focuses on Dorothea Lange and her photography in the 1930s. I’m familiar with Dorothea Lange’s Dust Bowl photographs but not much else. In this thoroughly researched novel, author Elise Hooper brings readers into Lange’s world. Told from Lange’s point-of-view, the novel follows her burgeoning career as a photographer at a time when women weren’t pursuing careers, they were focusing on raising children. After moving to San Francisco with a friend, Lange finds work at a photography shop. She soon opens her own portrait studio and amasses clients. She’s friends with a group of photographers and artists which includes Ansel Adams. She marries rather volatile artist Maynard Dixon. They travel to Arizona so that Dixon can work on some painting. Lange notes: “Our first few days were spent examining the terrain, so different from everything I’d ever known: wide sweeps of empty desert, soaring sky, endless clouds. It felt timeless, nothing like the city. The simple geometry of the landscape’s lines and bold shouts of color left me awed. During each sunrise and sunset, under a sky bruised with purples and rippling with flames, the desert was reborn. The air thrummed with possibility.” Lange is an independent, strong woman determined to use her skills to benefit others in a deeper manner than merely taking pretty portraits. Navigating her way as a working mother, wife and professional photographer, Lange faces many challenges including her husband’s alcoholism and affairs. When her marriage and the nation’s economy begin to decline, she decides to take a position with the government taking pictures of the country’s disenfranchised, the photographs she’s known for today. She photographs migrant workers and Japanese Americans in camps during World War II. Hooper effectively allows readers the opportunity to see the time period through Lange’s lens.
Learning to See by Elise Hooper. William Morrow| January 22, 2019| 384 pages | $15.99| ISBN: 978-0-06-291035-6
This wasn’t on my radar but the title and cover intrigued me so I started reading it one day and became completely absorbed by it. After immigrating to the United States from Ireland, three siblings forge their path in antebellum Cincinnati in The Eulogist. James establishes a successful candle-making business, free spirit Erasmus becomes a traveling preacher and independent, open-minded Olivia challenges a conventional life. These dissimilar siblings function like the id (Erasmus), ego (Olivia) and superego (James). I became completely charmed by Olivia, by her loyalty, curiosity and determination. She attends lectures by feminists and abolitionists and questions women’s expected roles during that time: “That summer of 1829, culture and curiosity came over the city like the quickening of a maiden’s heart. Cincinnati was overrun by fanatics and intellectuals trying to make their case: Caldwell’s discourse on phrenology; Miss Fanny Wright on slavery and marriage; Dr. Alexander Campbell and Robert Owen battling the fundamental relationship between godliness and goodliness.” She’s not particularly interested in marriage [“I have never been one to pine for marriage, nor did motherhood enchant me. As I saw it, marriage was a function of economic dependence, and wrongly, too, since women rarely had money of their own.”] or starting a family. She does end up marrying a doctor who she falls in love with after spending time with him performing autopsies and doing research on corpses. When he dies, Olivia returns with his body to Kentucky to find her brother-in-law heavily involved in slavery. She’s determined to save a young black woman who has been living fairly free in Ohio from being returned as her brother-in-law’s property. She enlists the assistance of both her brothers. Through detailed descriptions and strong character development, I found myself completely engrossed. Taking place in the decades preceding the Civil War, slavery was illegal in Ohio, the first state created from the Northwest Ordinance of 1787. Ohio was active in the Underground Railroad. I recently found a family tree my grandmother created which traces several generations in Ohio and I’d like to conduct research someday to see if any of my ancestors had any involvement in the Underground Railroad.
The Eulogist by Terry Gamble. William Morrow| January 22, 2019| 320 pages | $26.99| ISBN: 978-0-06-283991-6
–review by Amy Steele