Ex-Hole Guitarist Claims Kurt Cobain Was Recording Solo Album

Kurt Cobain

Kurt Cobain

Eric Erlandson compares material to ‘The White Album’

In an interview with Fuse.tv, former Hole guitarist and co-founder Eric Erlandson claimed that Kurt Cobain was working on new material around the time of his death. Comparing the solo work to the Beatles’ classic White Album, Erlandson spoke about the direction of the rumored demos.

“That’s really what he was going towards, a solo album but working with different people,” said Erlandson. “I got to see him play it in front of me.”

Erlandson also mentioned a cover among the demos, admitting, “I won’t say what it is. I don’t own the stuff. I just hope that one day it will be released for fans.”

Although rare Nirvana demos have been released before, like 2004’s box set With the Lights Out, the existence of a possible Cobain solo album is unconfirmed outside Erlandson’s claim. Erlandson recently released the book Letters to Kurt, and he reunited with the original Hole lineup for a reunion show last week.

Nearly two decades after the 1994 suicide of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, Erlandson looks just as he did at the height of grunge: tall, thin, stringy blond hair to his shoulders. Letters to Kurt is his accounting of that turbulent time, looking back with rage and affection for an era of great creative successes and a crushing wave of heroin and death.

“We were in the middle of that creative energy that was happening,” Erlandson remembers. But at the same time, he tells Rolling Stone, “I was in the abyss. I quite literally had one foot in, one foot out. The one foot out was my anchor, which is my Buddhism. But sometimes I’d feel too clean and I’d want to get dirty. . . . There’s different forms of suicide. When you’re playing around with drugs, it’s a pretty clear suicide death wish.”

He saw the self-destruction and depression up close, not just of Cobain but also in Hole bassist Kristen Pfaff, who died two months after the Nirvana leader. She was Erlandson’s ex-girlfriend and he was the last person to see her before her heroin overdose soon after the release of Hole’s Live Through This.

“You know someone’s suicidal, you know someone’s playing with death, but you don’t know how to deal with it. You don’t really know what’s going on until somebody defines it for you in a clear way where you get it,” says Erlandson. “I admit, I made some stupid mistakes with some people, and people are dead because of my stupid mistakes. That’s what I want to say. And I want to use that, so that other people don’t make the same mistakes that I made, and other people start understanding. I get emotional about this. We’ve all lost people.”

There are other revelations from the opening pages of his book, including his romantic relationship with Hole leader Courtney Love – before her marriage to Cobain. Even other members of Hole were unaware of it until much later. “She buried it. She would never talk about it. She would always skip it,” he says. “She’s going to brush it off and say it didn’t happen. At a certain age, you grow up and you have to say this happened, I did this, I did that.”

The impact on his life continues, he says: “There was a relationship and it was very profound because it changed my life on so many levels. She gave me the darkness – crazy stories, drugs – but also the Buddhism. I still have a lot of confusion about my relationship with her. Obviously writing the book helped define it for me.”

When Love released a new album as Hole with an all-new band, Erlandson was shocked. He insists they had a contract barring either of them from using the Hole name without the other. “Obviously I haven’t sued her,” he says. “I’ve made mistakes, so I have to allow people to make what I feel is a big mistake.”

Even so, Erlandson doesn’t rule out a musical reunion with Love. “I never say never,” he says. “I don’t know what’s going to happen to her. I don’t know what’s going to happen to me. I like things to be open.”

When Love first put the band on hiatus, just as Hole was crossing over to a larger mainstream pop audience, Erlandson says he was frustrated and confused, but now has no regrets that it ended when it did at the end of the 90s.

“We could have survived that and it could have been fine,” he says. “But I think that happened for a reason – to forced me to grow up and go inward and stop doing what I was doing. A lot changed right after that. I’m grateful.”

He plans to write more on this period, and looks to the example of Patti Smith, who first published a small book of prose poems called The Coral Sea in 1996 that reflected on her relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. Only years later did she finish the more detailed autobiography in the form of Just Kids, winner of a National Book Award in 2010.

“I do want to write the prose book that tells the stories in another way,” Erlandson explains. “Courtney will have her version of it. I’ll have my version. Everyone is behind their own camera. They’re all valid perspectives.”

At his loft, he keeps an elegant Buddhist altar, and scattered nearby are several disassembled female mannequins, being prepared for a performance art project. On the wall is a brief list of his morning routine, beginning with “chant.” Further down are “Write” and “Guitar.”

He also keeps a manual typewriter, which he’d originally planned on using to write Letters to Kurt, but it was too clumsy for his fingers and he ended up writing the book by hand. He used the literary device of a one-sided correspondence with Cobain to get the stories out.

“I’m writing these letters to him, tapping something deep inside myself, but am I really talking to him? No,” he says. “At the same time, I think he would really like this book. He had a really dark sense of humor and he loved wordplay. Look at his lyrics. He would know what I am talking about.”

Erlandson put out an accompanying book of oblique photographs called “Cock Soup,” which came with Letters to Kurt exclusively to readers who pre-ordered the book. Inside are 52 pictures of artifacts and ephemera from his life, including a rejection letter Warner Bros. Records sent to Hole in 1990: “We feel your work does not meet our needs and requirements.”

Erlandson will read from the book this evening at the Basilica Hudson, the huge art and performance space owned by former Hole bassist Melissa Auf der Maur in upstate New York. There will also be a screening of Hit So Hard, the documentary on Hole drummer Patty Schemel. The three of them will then perform together for the first time since 1997.

In an email to Rolling Stone, Auf der Maur called the book and the documentary “two remarkable tales of survival. I am personally so moved by both of them and how far they have come in their commitment to healing and reflection on what was a very dark and chaotic time.”

Eric Erlandson Talks About ‘Letters to Kurt’

Hole guitarist takes account of a dark and turbulent period

Nearly two decades after the 1994 suicide of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, Erlandson looks just as he did at the height of grunge: tall, thin, stringy blond hair to his shoulders. Letters to Kurt is his accounting of that turbulent time, looking back with rage and affection for an era of great creative successes and a crushing wave of heroin and death.

“We were in the middle of that creative energy that was happening,” Erlandson remembers. But at the same time, he tells Rolling Stone, “I was in the abyss. I quite literally had one foot in, one foot out. The one foot out was my anchor, which is my Buddhism. But sometimes I’d feel too clean and I’d want to get dirty. . . . There’s different forms of suicide. When you’re playing around with drugs, it’s a pretty clear suicide death wish.”

He saw the self-destruction and depression up close, not just of Cobain but also in Hole bassist Kristen Pfaff, who died two months after the Nirvana leader. She was Erlandson’s ex-girlfriend and he was the last person to see her before her heroin overdose soon after the release of Hole’s Live Through This.

“You know someone’s suicidal, you know someone’s playing with death, but you don’t know how to deal with it. You don’t really know what’s going on until somebody defines it for you in a clear way where you get it,” says Erlandson. “I admit, I made some stupid mistakes with some people, and people are dead because of my stupid mistakes. That’s what I want to say. And I want to use that, so that other people don’t make the same mistakes that I made, and other people start understanding. I get emotional about this. We’ve all lost people.”

There are other revelations from the opening pages of his book, including his romantic relationship with Hole leader Courtney Love – before her marriage to Cobain. Even other members of Hole were unaware of it until much later. “She buried it. She would never talk about it. She would always skip it,” he says. “She’s going to brush it off and say it didn’t happen. At a certain age, you grow up and you have to say this happened, I did this, I did that.”

The impact on his life continues, he says: “There was a relationship and it was very profound because it changed my life on so many levels. She gave me the darkness – crazy stories, drugs – but also the Buddhism. I still have a lot of confusion about my relationship with her. Obviously writing the book helped define it for me.”

When Love released a new album as Hole with an all-new band, Erlandson was shocked. He insists they had a contract barring either of them from using the Hole name without the other. “Obviously I haven’t sued her,” he says. “I’ve made mistakes, so I have to allow people to make what I feel is a big mistake.”

Even so, Erlandson doesn’t rule out a musical reunion with Love. “I never say never,” he says. “I don’t know what’s going to happen to her. I don’t know what’s going to happen to me. I like things to be open.”

When Love first put the band on hiatus, just as Hole was crossing over to a larger mainstream pop audience, Erlandson says he was frustrated and confused, but now has no regrets that it ended when it did at the end of the 90s.

“We could have survived that and it could have been fine,” he says. “But I think that happened for a reason – to forced me to grow up and go inward and stop doing what I was doing. A lot changed right after that. I’m grateful.”

He plans to write more on this period, and looks to the example of Patti Smith, who first published a small book of prose poems called The Coral Sea in 1996 that reflected on her relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. Only years later did she finish the more detailed autobiography in the form of Just Kids, winner of a National Book Award in 2010.

“I do want to write the prose book that tells the stories in another way,” Erlandson explains. “Courtney will have her version of it. I’ll have my version. Everyone is behind their own camera. They’re all valid perspectives.”

At his loft, he keeps an elegant Buddhist altar, and scattered nearby are several disassembled female mannequins, being prepared for a performance art project. On the wall is a brief list of his morning routine, beginning with “chant.” Further down are “Write” and “Guitar.”

He also keeps a manual typewriter, which he’d originally planned on using to write Letters to Kurt, but it was too clumsy for his fingers and he ended up writing the book by hand. He used the literary device of a one-sided correspondence with Cobain to get the stories out.

“I’m writing these letters to him, tapping something deep inside myself, but am I really talking to him? No,” he says. “At the same time, I think he would really like this book. He had a really dark sense of humor and he loved wordplay. Look at his lyrics. He would know what I am talking about.”

Erlandson put out an accompanying book of oblique photographs called “Cock Soup,” which came with Letters to Kurt exclusively to readers who pre-ordered the book. Inside are 52 pictures of artifacts and ephemera from his life, including a rejection letter Warner Bros. Records sent to Hole in 1990: “We feel your work does not meet our needs and requirements.”

Erlandson will read from the book this evening at the Basilica Hudson, the huge art and performance space owned by former Hole bassist Melissa Auf der Maur in upstate New York. There will also be a screening of Hit So Hard, the documentary on Hole drummer Patty Schemel. The three of them will then perform together for the first time since 1997.

In an email to Rolling Stone, Auf der Maur called the book and the documentary “two remarkable tales of survival. I am personally so moved by both of them and how far they have come in their commitment to healing and reflection on what was a very dark and chaotic time.”

Eric Erlandson Book Tour:

April 8th, 6 p.m., Basilica Hudson, 110 Front Street. Hudson, New York (Includes reading, live music and screening of Hit So Hard)

April 10th, 7 p.m., Books on the Square, 471 Angell Street, Providence, RI

April 11th, 7 p.m., Clinton Book Shop 12 E. Main Street, Clinton, NJ

April 16th, 6 p.m. Newbury Comics, Harvard Square 36 JFK St., Cambridge, MA

April 21st, 11:30 a.m.-noon, Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, USC Campus booth #84, Los Angeles; 4 p.m.-4:45 p.m., booth #176

April 23rd, 8 p.m., Largo at the Coronet, 366 North La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles

April 25th, 7:30 p.m., Moe’s, 2476 Telegraph Rd., Berkeley, CA (Includes live acoustic music performance)

April 26th, 7 p.m., City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave., San Francisco

Via Rolling Stone Magazine

Dream Brother: The Lives & Music of Jeff And Tim Buckley

The Buckleys’ motives were the antithesis of a record business built on verifiable goals. Their music was a journey without a destination. No wonder its allure endures.

Two singers who died young and relatively unknown — Jeff Buckley and his estranged father, Tim Buckley — are the subjects of a new book and are cited by countless performers as inspirations. Tim Buckley’s career is chronicled comprehensively for the first time on a new two-CD anthology, while the keepers of Jeff Buckley’s estate have more than doubled his recorded output since his 1997 death.

Tim Buckley and his son Jeff Buckley

Tim Buckley and his son Jeff Buckley

The Buckleys have never been more popular, their artistry as singers and songwriters never more respected. What’s going on here? Is this another case of death as the ultimate career-enhancing move, another sorry example of tragedy creating its own cult of hero worship, as was the case with pop-culture icons from the Doors’ Jim Morrison to rapper Tupac Shakur?

Not quite. Unlike Shakur, Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Elvis Presley and others who have been milked for nostalgia and revenue long after their premature deaths, the Buckleys were not established stars when they died. They were intensely introspective lyricists and gifted singers, blessed with multi-octave ranges that held more than a hint of feminine delicacy and otherworldly power. They also were boyishly handsome, broodingly intense human beings who performed as though they were channeling their innermost secrets, doubts and desires without shame or censorship. Both appeared enraptured when on stage, in the grip of something or someone outside themselves, empowered to attempt the impossible even if it meant looking foolish, or worse.

In his most famous song, “Song to the Siren,” Tim Buckley anguished over a desire so deep it could drive a man to his death: “Now my foolish boat is leaning/Broken lovelorn on your rocks.” The imagery in that line was echoed in an interview with his son more than two decades later. “I want to be ripped apart by music,” Jeff Buckley said in 1994.

“I want it to be something that feeds and replenishes, or that totally sucks the life out of you. I want to be dashed against the rocks.”

Tim and Jeff Buckley both crashed before they had an opportunity to fulfill their promise. Tim Buckley died in 1975 of a heroin overdose; he was 28 and had recorded nine albums, none of which had spent any significant time on the pop charts. He wasn’t even deemed worthy of a review in the leading rock publication of the era, Rolling Stone magazine, until his last album. Jeff Buckley was 30 in 1997 when he drowned in the Mississippi River near Memphis while preparing to record what would have been only his second album. His first album, “Grace,” released in 1994, was a modest cult favorite, selling 180,000 copies — about an average week’s work for ‘N Sync — and leaving him millions of dollars in debt to his Columbia Records label for recording, video, promotional and touring costs.

Yet more than a decade ago, three of Tim Buckley’s songs were covered on albums by the ultra-hip chamber-pop ensemble This Mortal Coil, introducing him to a new generation of listeners. Now it’s possible to trace a straight line from Tim’s searching brand of folk-soul through the work of Patti Smith, U2, Radiohead and the Verve’s former singer Richard Ashcroft, whose latest album (“Alone With Everybody”) is rife with Buckley-isms.

Since his death, Jeff Buckley has directly inspired songs or entire albums by a bevy of artists, among them Hole’s Courtney Love (“Boys on the Radio”), former Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell (“Wave Goodbye”), Juliana Hatfield (“Trying Not to Think About It”), Aimee Mann (“Just Like Anyone”) and Duncan Sheik (“A Body Goes Down”).

U2 closed many of its 1997 stadium concerts by dedicating songs to Buckley, and Jimmy Page and Robert Plant have sung his praises, recognizing in Buckley’s soft-to-loud blend of acoustic pastoralism and electric shriekback echoes of their own work in Led Zeppelin.

But it’s on a legion of younger performers that Jeff Buckley has had the most profound impact. Philadelphia boho-rock trio Maggi, Pierce and E.J. dedicates their fourth album, “For” (EMP Records), to “the life and music of Jeff Buckley,” and Canadian-Portuguese singer Nelly Furtado says it was “Grace” that inspired her free-flowing vocals on her acclaimed debut album, “Whoah, Nelly!” (Dreamworks).

Singer-songwriter James Gnecco and his band Ours, a recent signing by high-profile talent scout Michael Goldstone (Rage Against the Machine), is indebted to Jeff Buckley’s sound on its debut album, “Distorted Lullabies” (Dreamworks). And a batch of new British bands suggests more than passing interest in the late singer’s career; Coldplay’s “Shiver,” with its swooping vocals, sounds like a lost track from Buckley’s final sessions.

To those who never saw the Buckleys perform, the level of worship might seem out of whack with the music they left behind. “Morning Glory: The Tim Buckley Anthology” (Rhino), a new two-CD retrospective, tries to make sense of the singer’s career, but it’s a thankless task. Buckley never stayed in one place for long, the restlessness of his artistic muse leading him from quaint folk ditties that sound almost Elizabethan in their formality to howling, sadomasochistic R&B fantasies. In between these sometimes embarrassing extremes, Buckley found his most profound voice in a stripped-down acoustic-jazz setting akin to Van Morrison’s “Astral Weeks.” Like Morrison, Buckley discovered in the elasticity of these arrangements a perfect complement to the rollercoaster emotions contained in his voice, which deepens on a live version of “Phantasmagoria in Two” and breaks into joyous scatting and near-yodeling on live takes for “I’ve Been Out Walking” and “Troubadour.”

Concert performances brought out the best — and worst — in Jeff Buckley, though unlike his father (who worked with such accomplished musicians as the guitarist John Underwood and bassists John Miller and John Balkin) the younger singer never found a band versatile enough to do his vision justice. Jeff Buckley was never more persuasive than when accompanied only by his electric guitar at the Uncommon Ground coffee shop in Wrigleyville on a winter’s night in 1994. His voice breaking into androgynous squeals and erotic moans, Buckley brought a hymn-like beauty to songs associated with Edith Piaf and Leonard Cohen.

A few months later, Buckley was melting down on stage at the Green Mill, after a drinking binge precipitated by a quarrel with his record company. The incident is examined in David Browne’s meticulously researched dual biography, “Dream Brother: The Lives & Music of Jeff & Tim Buckley” (Harper Collins; $25), which ties together the lives of two men who barely knew each other but who suffered much the same fate at the hands of an uncomprehending record industry.

Jeff Buckley typically avoided talking about his estranged father (Tim Buckley was divorced from his Jeff’s mother, Mary Guibert, when Jeff was still an infant). But “Dream Brother” suggests that he began to empathize with Tim Buckley’s relentless record-company struggles as similar pressures came to bear in Jeff’s life. Tim Buckley was never in the good graces of record executives for very long, in part because he never settled on an immediately accessible direction for his career, preferring to see his art not in terms of a linear path but as an ever-changing kaleidoscope of colors and possibilities.

Jeff Buckley’s sole studio release, “Grace,” suggests that he shared at least some of that philosophy; its ecstatic eclecticism points his career in a half-dozen directions at once. But by mid-1997, Buckley had already aborted sessions for a follow-up album and was struggling to find a new direction; his band had just flown into Memphis to work on the singer’s demo tapes when he drowned. The unfinished music from that period has since been released as “Sketches for My Sweetheart the Drunk” (Columbia), and it’s a difficult listen for the uninitiated, like overhearing one of the voices in an intensely private phone conversation — powerful, self-indulgent and, with a few exceptions, lacking in the immediacy that distinguished “Grace.”

Judged purely on the studio recordings they left behind, Jeff and Tim Buckley were works in progress, artists still searching for their identity in a music-business not known for indulging the whims of mavericks. But their best music has a rapturousness lacking in much of today’s product-pushing industry, a sense of risk that flirts with melodrama while chasing transcendence, and a soul-baring beauty that makes even their most abject failures seem somehow noble. The Buckleys’ motives were the antithesis of a record business built on verifiable goals. Their music was a journey without a destination. No wonder its allure endures.

Rock the Mullahs – Can heavy metal music help transform the Middle East?

Pink Floyd’s album The Wall takes on a whole new meaning when brought to life by an Arab metal band in Lebanon. Imagine 100,000 teens—Sunni, Shiite, Christian, Druze—headbanging in sync, pumping their fists in unison, screaming, “Hey, teacher, leave those kids alone!” even as another civil war, waged by their parents, threatens to tear their country apart yet again.

Welcome to the new Middle East, a region where, by some estimates, nearly half of the population is under the age of 25. This is a highly literate, politically sophisticated, technologically savvy, and globally plugged-in generation. It speaks English; it knows its way around the Internet; and, according to historian and part-time metal head Mark LeVine, it wants to rock.

LeVine, a professor at University of California, Irvine, has spent the last few years headbanging his way from Morocco to Pakistan and almost everywhere in between. The premise of his book about the Middle East’s underground music scene, Heavy Metal Islam, is simple. “To understand the peoples, cultures, and politics of the Muslim world today, especially the young people who are the majority of the citizens,” LeVine writes, “we need to follow the musicians and their fans as much as the mullahs and their followers.”

Follow them he does, and with all the dogged determination of a seasoned Grateful Dead fan. In Cairo, he rocks with Hate Suffocation, “the best death-metal band in Egypt, if not the Middle East and North Africa,” dancing along with a gaggle of screaming girls dressed in tight jeans, torn Iron Maiden T-shirts, and Islamic headscarves: Muhajababes, LeVine calls them. In Beirut, still “one of the world’s cutting-edge locations for dance music, hip-hop, and alternative rock,” he jams onstage with perhaps the biggest hard-rock band in the Middle East, The Kordz, as they rip through a set in front of thousands of Lebanese kids still reeling from the assassination of Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. In Iran, he watches a gang of teenagers gathered illegally at a park for an impromptu rap battle in Persian, the beats echoing through someone’s mobile phone. When the dreaded basij, or morality police, show up, everyone scatters.

The danger of arrest, even execution, is real for these young metal heads, and not just in Iran. In Egypt, more than 100 people were arrested when pictures surfaced of a heavy metal concert where fans seemed to be carrying an upside-down cross. “Devil worship!” the Egyptian police cried, rounding up kids as young as 13 and throwing them in prison. In 2003, Moroccan authorities arrested 14 heavy metal musicians and fans and charged them with “shaking the foundations of Islam” and “attempting to convert a Muslim to another faith” with their music, as though heavy metal were a religion.

Yet these musicians and their fans continue to thrive in such authoritarian societies precisely because, as LeVine notes, this is the first generation to arise in the Middle East that has managed to tap into the promise of globalization. For example, when the pioneering Iranian heavy metal band O-Hum (Illusion), which blends hard rock and traditional Persian melodies with lyrics swiped from the famed 14th-century Sufi poet Hafez, released its first album, the album was, predictably, rejected by Iran’s Ministry of Culture. Iran’s draconian censorship laws allow the government to ban any music it deems offensive or un-Islamic. If a song has “too many riffs on electrical guitar” or if the musicians display “excessive stage movements,” then the CD is confiscated and the band prohibited from any public performances. But rather than surrender their album to the Ministry of Culture, O-Hum uploaded their songs on to the Internet and allowed fans—not just in Iran but throughout the world—to listen to the album for free.

The mullahs rightly fear the heavy metal scene in Iran because it reflects the mood of a volcanic youth culture fed up with religion and desperate for alternative ways of expressing itself. A member of Iran’s most popular metal band, Tarantist, tells LeVine, “Metal is in our blood. It’s not entertainment, it’s our pain, and also an antidote to the hypocrisy of religion that is injected into all of us from the moment we’re born.” One of the patriarchs of Morocco’s heavy metal scene, Reda Zine, puts it this way: “We play heavy metal because our lives are heavy metal.”

But can music contribute to cultural and political transformation in the region? It’s hardly the first time the question has arisen. Where Tom Stoppard, looking back at Eastern Europe’s revolt against Communism in Rock ‘n’ Roll, answered yes, LeVine is not so sure. The problem, as he sees it, is the failure of the politically active heavy metal scene and the more progressive yet entrenched Islamist opposition groups like the Muslim Brotherhood to make common cause. Indeed, the two are more often in competition with each other, with the Islamists, many of whom have struggled for decades against their authoritarian regimes, fiercely antagonistic toward the young, politically minded metal heads who seem to enjoy a level of freedom that the Islamists could only dream of. A band like Hoba Hoba Spirit, Morocco’s insanely popular rock/reggae/African/post-punk rockers, can draw 100,000 kids to one of their concerts, whereas members of Morocco’s chief Islamist opposition party, the Justice and Spirituality Association, are prohibited by law from congregating in groups of more than three people. While Egypt’s most famous political prisoner, Ayman Nour, rots in a prison cell for his work promoting democracy, his teenage sons, Shady and Noor, are free to preach a watered-down version of their father’s message to thousands of Egyptians through their popular metal band, Bliss.

The animosity between the Islamists and the metal heads is partly a result of a generational divide and partly a matter of their differing political and cultural agendas. (The metal heads are hardly interested in building an Islamic state.) But the truth is that these two dissident groups who seem to occupy opposite ends of the political spectrum have more in common than one would think: Both have similar aspirations to build a freer, more democratic society, and both have had their political views shaped by the same sense of despair and lack of opportunity that exists throughout the region.

And yet there seems little chance of a convergence between the two, though not because of an inherent conflict between religion and rock ‘n’ roll. As a Muslim sheikh in Lebanon proudly declares, “We’re doing heavy metal, too.” Rather, it is because the Islamists seem not yet ready to expand their political ideals to include activist kids who prefer Ozzy to Osama, while the metal heads are not yet willing to apply their music (and, more importantly, their credibility with the youth) to help the Islamists challenge their governments.

That is too bad. Because as we learned in Eastern Europe, music has the power to express ideas (especially subversive ideas) in a manner that mere words cannot; it can serve as a net to gather disparate elements together under a single identity and with a single purpose. LeVine imagines a day when the mutual mistrust between the metal heads and the Islamists will transform into cooperation, when they will fight the power together as one united oppositional force. But reading Heavy Metal Islam, one cannot help feeling that day is far away.

HEAVY METAL ISLAM

The Art of Singing – Discovering and Developing Your True Voice (Vocal Instruction) [Paperback]

Only 8 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.

Author: Jennifer Hamady

Description
The Art of Singing: Discovering and Developing Your True Voice is a new, groundbreaking book about the psychology of singing. Using the voice as a medium, author Jennifer Hamady explores how fear, poor learning habits, preconceived notions, and an unhealthy mindset can and do often get in the way of optimal musical and personal performance. With practical advice for releasing mental and physical tensions, establishing confidence and vocal strength, and embracing personal and musical optimism and wonder, Jennifer offers musicians and non-musicians alike a path toward truly joyful self-expression. The book includes a chapter dedicated to vocal technique, as well as a CD, narrated by Jennifer herself, with exercises, tips, and suggestions for optimal vocal development.

To order from Amazon click HERE

Hello Sunshine [Hardcover] – Ryan Adams (Author)

Editorial Reviews
From Publishers Weekly
Ryan Adams is among his generation’s most gifted and important singer/songwriters. Just into his 30s, Adams has already released a dozen albums jammed with soul-stirring songs and frighteningly precise lyrics about love, loss, and youthful wildness. Unfortunately, these distinctions and qualities do not translate to his poetry, which seems to be more a kind of performative journaling than an attempt at high art. But perhaps that’s a kind of poetry too. If so, it’s poetry in the manner of late Charles Bukowski—alternately ecstatic, drunken, droll, bewildered, jokey—and will appeal to a similar audience: teenagers looking for a guide through the confusing maze of adolescence. Adams’s many rabid fans will find much to enjoy in this second collection, following right on the heels of his poetry debut, Infinity Blues (2009). Adams takes his readers through his crazy days, high on adrenaline (bicyclemad/ born dizzy/ i am/ flying off the cliff of panic hill), praising the beloved (i love her/ my bug/ she knows…) and finding the symbolism in the everyday: the sky…/…just got back from the grocery store, smiling/ new particles to add to the table of contents/ in some lunar book/ written in wishes. (Dec.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author
Ryan Adams is an alt-country/rock singer-songwriter best known for his song “New York, New York.” In addition to releasing 5 solo albums, Adams has also produced an album by Willie Nelson and contributed to albums by Toots and the Maytals, Beth Orton, The Wallflowers, Minnie Driver, Counting Crows, and Cowboy Junkies. Also appeared on CMT’s Crossroads with Elton John.

AMAZON book details

Infinity Blues [Paperback]- Ryan Adams (Author)

Book Description
Publication Date: April 1, 2009

“Ryan Adams, one of America’s most consistently interesting singer/songwriters, has written a passionate, arresting, and entertaining book of verse. Fans are going to love it, and newcomers will be pleased and startled by his intensity and originality. The images are vivid and the voice is honest and powerful.” —Stephen King, author of Duma Key

“Infinity Blues is Ryan Adams at his personal, unforgettable best. Strong and beautiful and funny and pure. Like all his work, it’s soul poetry of the highest order.”—Cameron Crowe, filmmaker

“This is much better than reading a friend’s journal. It’s more like watching somebody you love in the bathtub talking to himself. You’re like, wow, he’s even good at taking a bath. After reading Infinity Blues (which I think is a great title), I give Ryan Adams the best compliment I ever got—and the only reason for reading anyone’s poetry. Ryan, I really like your mind.” —Eileen Myles, author of Cool for You

“Ryan Adams writes with equal parts precision and recklessness; the blood he draws from the text is easily as unnerving as its unapologetic tenderness. He is proof that poetry will find its writer.” —Mary-Louise Parker, actress

Brilliant book for anyone who loves how Ryan Adams writes his songs May 16, 2009
By James Blevins
I think this move to books was a flawless move for Ryan Adams. This book is an enchanting journey through the many worlds that Ryan is able to create with his words. His songs are merely a slight glimpse into a world that he can describe beautifully in this book. I read the whole book in one day and found myself coming back to phrases or lines coined in some of the poems and thinking how apt and revealing they are. Ryan is such a master at hitting the mark and writing that are so close to the bone. Some songs for me are too close that I couldn’t even listen to them after a break up. Just too much. This book is very much like that in that so much has seemed to happen to this guy and so much was said, it’s hard to grasp it all in the first read. Many multiple readings are required to really fully grasp how much is revealed in this debut. I can only say bravo! I look forward to more releases such as this.

Journal Entries As Poetry? August 28, 2009
By Michael W. Smith
I have been a big Ryan Adams fan since the Whiskeytown days, and Heartbreaker is a classic album. I was really excited when I heard this book was coming out. Sorry, but I think Ryan should have kept this one to himself. I know he had a serious drug and alcohol problem, and the text reads like a drunken/stoned rant about some girl(s) he’s trying to connect with but is failing. I heard that he got cleaned up, but maybe he hadn’t yet when he decided to go ahead and publish this book. Maybe with a clearer head, he would have thought otherwise. It’s as if he gathered up all of his journal entries into a pile and threw them at the feet of his publisher. Who knows? Maybe Ryan felt he needed to publish this mammoth volume to purge himself of all his demons. If that’s the case, I understand, but he does a better job at singing his pain through song.

No big deal. I’m sure some readers will get a kick out of some of the passages. The book definitely has its moments and does provide an almost painfully naked glimpse into his psyche. Maybe if it was edited and pared down a bit, it might have retained a more cohesive shape. An almost 300 page book of poetry is usually an anthology of some better poet’s work, not a first collection, and Leaves of Grass this ain’t.

Introduction (From Wikipedia)
Infinity Blues is a book of free verse poetry by singer-songwriter Ryan Adams, published by Akashic Books. The book was set for its official release April 1, 2009. However, it became available in some markets on February 20, 2009. According to Adams, it contains five chapters about “how one person found himself, by losing himself”.

Ryan Adams may be known primarily for acclaimed albums such as Cardinology, Heartbreaker, Gold (which includes the popular hit songs “When the Stars Go Blue” and “New York, New York”), Love Is Hell, Cold Roses, Jacksonville City Nights, and Easy Tiger, but the world renowned singer/songwriter has always been a poet and fiction writer at heart. With the release of Infinity Blues, his nonmusical writing is for the first time ever unveiled in book form. Mr. Adams’s work rings of an emotional authenticity that provides perhaps an even deeper insight into the man than is revealed through the songs that have resonated with his hundreds of thousands of fans the world over.

Amazon book details