Any Man by Amber Tamblyn. Harper Perennial| June 2018| 304 pages | $15.99| ISBN: 0978-0-06-268892-7
“But more than any of that, as you know, I loathe feminists. It’s by no small miracle that all feminists in America haven’t been stoned to death by now. I’m just telling you the truth. Feminists are pollution, taking a stance, against what exactly, no one in their right mind knows. They are angry, bitter, saggy chauvinists masquerading as supportive, loving sisters.”
If you’re looking for an intense, intelligent and engulfing feminist thriller, you must read ANY MAN. Author Amber Tamblyn challenges rape culture and the problematic treatment of victims and glorification of violence and misogyny through this thriller about a female serial rapist. The novel follows six men: an English teacher, a struggling standup comedian, a bi-racial web designer, a high school student, an alt-right media personality and a transgender man. A uniquely irreverent and impressively original novel, social commentary and crime thriller meld with insightful, sharp prose and diverse writing styles. She weaves in tweets, poetry, internet chat room, a radio talk show. She also flips everything one expects in thriller. [As a companion read, I recommend Dead Girls by Alice Bolin– an essay collection addressing society’s infatuation with violence against women]. Whether she’s using tweets or poetry or an internet chat room or journal entries, it grabs you from the first page and is impossible to put down. If you’re a woman who has been attacked on social media or elsewhere for expressing her opinion, you’ll really get it. Tamblyn wrote an opinion piece for The New York Times, “I’m Done with Not Being Believed,” which cemented her place among influential feminists who are changing the narrative around trauma and victimization. I found myself nodding and smiling and cringing and marking passages while proclaiming Tamblyn’s genius and reading as fast as possible.
Amber Tamblyn will be at Harvard Bookstore on July 24, 2018.
–review by Amy Steele
if you’re looking to rock out this holiday weekend, indie punk trio Screaming Females will be playing in Somerville in support of their seventh studio album, All at Once, which came out earlier this year. The New Jersey band worked with producer Matt Bayles (Pearl Jam, Mastodon) and modeled the album after a salon-style gallery show. They wanted the new album to capture the spontaneity and energy of one of their live shows.
Drummer Jarrett Dogherty said: “When you’ve been a band for 12 or 13 years, the resources can dry up and you just go back to what feels comfortable. The other option is that you develop stuff that a younger band would not have been able to do.”
$15, Saturday, July 7, 8:30 p.m., ONCE Lounge and Ballroom, 160 Highland Avenue, Somerville, https://www.oncesomerville.com/.
Phantastic Ferniture, “Gap Year”
heavy indie guitar propels this captivating song with vox that sound like Juliana Hatfield.
Sydney, Australia solo artists Julia Jacklin, Elizabeth Hughes and Ryan Brennan decided it might be fun to form a band while celebrating Jacklin’s 24th birthday.
Jacklin said: “Ryan never played drums in bands, Liz had never been a lead guitarist, Tom didn’t play bass and I’d never just sung before.”
Hughes added: “We wanted a low level of expertise, because a lot of good music comes from people whose passion exceeds their skill.”
Phantastic Ferniture’s self-titled debut album will be out July 27, 2018 on Transgressive.
Isla Craig , “Love Song”
–a gorgeous, meditative song with ethereal vocals and varied instrumentation with organ, saxophone, bass and synth. It’s a dreamy eclectic soundscape, a genuine auditory treat. I’m looking forward to hearing the entire album from the Toronto-based multi-dimensional vocalist and songwriter.
The Becoming, the third album from Isla Craig, will be released on June 22, 2018 on Pleasence Records.
- The Becoming
- Out Of A Dream
- Love Song
- I’m Lost
- Faraway Blue
- Who Am I
- The Becoming (reprise)
- Bird Of Paradise
- There Is A Hole
- Messages (garden Edition)
If you’re in the mood for some moody indie rock, check this out.
Singer/songwriter Salim Nourallah will be releasing a double-album, Somewhere South of Sane, this fall on Palo Santo Records. Nourallah calls it “the work of a functional crazy person.” The Dallas, Texas-based musician plans to put out four pre-album “bundles” that will include tracks from the album as well as previously recorded but unreleased material or acoustic re-workings of tracks from past albums. Each bundle will be accompanied by new online video content.
Bundle one, entitled North and set for release on June 1, 2018, will include a track from Somewhere South of Sane (“Relief”) as well as a re-recording of 2015’s “The Bullies Are Back” and the devastatingly beautiful “Totally Lost.”
Bundle two, entitled West, is set for release on June 29, 2018. Included on this release are two tracks that will also appear on Somewhere South of Sane – “Moving Man” and “Going Through The Motions,” as well as a bonus track from the album sessions called “We Were Made to Fall Apart.” The video accompanying this bundle is a clip for the song “Moving Man,” shot entirely by Nourallah’s 8-year-old and 14-year-old kids. It will premiere the week of June 25th.
“I took my sweet time making Somewhere South of Sane,” Nourallah says, “so I figured why not continue the trend and methodically enjoy the pre-release months? I also had almost an entire extra album’s worth of tracks I left off because a triple record felt excessive. I will be releasing that bonus material in each of the pre-album bundles we roll out.”
–a wonderful happy/sad song with cool bouncy beat and wistful vocals. The Brooklyn band’s new album, Sun Machine, will be out August 24, 2018.
Kalmia Traver – lead vocals/baritone saxophone
Alex Toth – trumpet/vox
Dandy McDowell – bass
Maddie Rice – guitar
Adam Dotson – trombone
Jenn Champion, “Time to Regulate”
–a beautiful collision of sweet vocals and deep beats from the Seattle indie pop artist. She said: “Sometimes you are sad and you just want to dance about it.” The full-length album Single Rider,will be released Friday, July 13, 2018.