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No Idea Records

Book Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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Graphic Underground: London 1977-1990
By Brian Lambert, 240 pgs.
By Rev. Norb

It is probably tiresome for the locals to hear this, yet probably bears immediate mention, that this is London Ontarioof which we speak.... This book was intended to serve as a companion piece to an art exhibit of London punk ephemera—flyers, zines, record covers.


Dungeons & Drag Queens
By MP Johnson, 133 pgs.
By Aphid Peewit

MP Johnson’s latest surrealist-baroque fantasy, entitledDungeons & Drag Queens, is a warty, little psychedelic dwarf of a book, and one tripping on horse tranquilizers at that....Within its pages is a mushroom- and tumor-dotted mythology, crudely similar to something one might come across in Joseph Campbell’s Hero with a Thousand Faces, just with more oozing orifices.




The Day the Country Died: A History of Anarcho Punk
1980-1984 By Ian Glasper, 471 pgs.
By Kevin Dunn

For The Day The Country Died: A History of Anarcho Punk 1980-1984, Glasper conducted hundreds of interviews with band members associated with those heady days, when British anarcho punks believed that they were engaged in a vital struggle against the country’s swerve to the political right, led by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher at the top and a growing gang of quasi-fascists in the streets. 


Cairo
By Louis Armand, 363 pgs.
By Sean Arenas

The novel follows five separate characters as they navigate the terrain of this farcical cyberpunk world. From the get-go, the reader is swamped with waytoo much information (latitude and longitude coordinates, invented lingo, and symbols, such as a plus, moon, and square, which designate the character for each chapter).


Anarchism and the City: Revolution and Counter-Revolution
in Barcelona, 1898-1937, By Chris Ealham, 284 pgs.
By Ollie Mikse

Ealham has made a very academic study in this book (which also makes Anarchism and the Cityread more like a long thesis than a book for the lay reader) and introduces a lot of verbiage and insists on using the original Catalan spelling which is distracting...


Tour Sucks
Edited by John A. Cahill, Emily Timm, Rick V., and Richard Wehrenberg Jr., 114 p
By Matt Seward

Tour Sucks is a book made from multiple authors’ recounts of their touring escapades. Recounts from Todd C, Ginger from One Reason/Good Luck, John from Fleshies/Street Eaters, Chris Clavin of Ghost Mice, Razorcake’s own Mike Faloon, and many others. Some stories are humorous and some are truly harrowing.


Thank You, Anarchy: Notes from the Occupy Apocalypse
By Nathan Schneider, 216 pgs.
By Jim Woster

Early in Thank You, Anarchy, his highly readable, from-its-beginnings book about Occupy Wall Street, Nathan Schneider settles the question, “Did Occupy Wall Street accomplish anything of note?”


Songs Only You Know: A Memoir
By Sean Madigan Hoen, 371 pgs.
By Craven Rock

The mark of a good writer or artist is what they can do with damage. How they reflect on it. How they calibrate the damage done to them by others, the damage they’ve done to others and the damage they’ve done to themselves.


My PrisonWalls
By GG Allin, 208 pgs.
By Aphid Peewit

There will probably always be questions about the honesty/genuineness of GG Allin, but I don’t think there can be any question about the honesty of Merle Allin. It’s refreshing to see someone as larger-than-life as GG Allin not hyperbolized into cartoonish black and white oversimplifications.


It’s Alright: A Truckface Anthology Volume One
By LB Briggs, 360 pgs.
By Sean Arenas

Each issue of Truckface is representative of a significant time in Briggs’ life. Issue seven documents low-wage drudgery, issue eight is her leaving her comfort zone and traveling abroad, and, finally, issue eleven finds Briggs’ slouching into adulthood through employment in public education.


Indie Spiritualist: A No Bullshit Exploration of Spirituality
By Chris Grosso, 242 pgs.
By Aphid Peewit

Grosso’s brand of “indie spirituality” is a syncretistic amalgam of mostly eastern traditions, but his emphasis is primarily a Ram Dass-influenced Bhakti Yoga.... and not the Americanized version of yoga that features various exotic calisthenics and women wearing Lululemon tights—a high priced article of clothing that, in truth, functions both as a status symbol and a sort of candy wrapper.


An Index of Around Me
By Gary Llama, 218 pgs.
By Kurt Morris

This is a series of very short essays (most are just three to five pages in the 3” x 5” book) on a number of topics of importance to the author, Gary Llama. They originally appeared in his zines, on his website, and some are entirely new. The author has some good stories to share and, perhaps, he also has some good insights into the world around us. But I felt I was shorted on both ends.


Fastcore Photos
By Will Butler, 128 pgs.
By Matt Average

This book collects the first three issues of its namesake. The primary concern of the zine was to document the punk scene, local and non-local, as it happened in and around North Carolina... with photos of bands like Coke Bust, Bear Trap, Dropdead, Thou, Negative Approach, and the sort.


Dreadnaught: King of Afropunk
By D.H. Peligro, 280 pgs.
By Jim Woster

Buried within this memoir is the most stunning account of addiction I’ve ever read.... And I now understand what’s at the root of serial relapsing: ego. Ego, ego, ego


Direct Struggle against Capital: A Peter Kropotkin Anthology
By Pyotr Kropotkin and Iain Mckay, 680 pgs.
By Guest Contributor

Direct Struggle against Capital is a hefty, enlightening, and pretty thorough collection that not just helps us understand Kropotkin and anarchism, but also the world we live in, and perhaps the world we might live in one day.


As You Were: A Punk Comix Anthology: #3
Edited by Mitch Clem, 112 pgs.
By Sean Arenas

Issue three of this anthology series is centered around the theme of “Big, Big Changes.” The topic is approached from every angle by a slew of frank, self-deprecating, anxious, resilient, and hilarious voices rarely found in this medium.


As You Were: Punk Comix Anthology: #3
Compiled by Mitch Clem, 112 pgs.
By Keith Rosson

Third issue of this punk comic anthology, this time based around the theme of “Big, Big Changes.”Like any compilation or anthology, content and voice varies greatly, but generally it’s all pretty impressive in scope and application.


Woman Rebel: The Margaret Sanger Story
By Peter Bagge, 104 pgs.
By Billups Allen

After the seminal slacker comic Hate was essentially wrapped up, comic artist Peter Bagge began releasing Hate Annual, a fun magazine with only a few pages dedicated to following Hate’s main character Buddy Bradley as he stumbles through life.


Wages So Low You’ll Freak ( a.k.a Pudd’nhead #6)
By Mike Pudd’nhead, 197 pgs.
By Craven Rock

It’s his tone, simultaneously self-deprecating, slightly cocky, and always humorous, that makes this tale rise above a dull, alienating, play-by-play with the powers that be.


Under the Radar: Notes from the Wild Mushroom Trade
By Olivier Matthon
By Kristen K.

A seasoned picker of various edibles, Matthon infiltrates a rag tag society of affectionately termed, “circuit pickers”ramblin folk who wind their way through the Pacific Northwest following the rain clouds and growth of well coveted shrooms.




Slash They Ass Up: A Black Punk Manifesto
By Yumii Thecato, 100 pgs.
By Sean Arenas

Race and ethnicity are uncomfortable subjects, even for the punk community. It’s often assumed that racism is dead, or that discussing race is like unearthing bones better left buried. Thecato says fuck that noise. He provides context, reassurance, and matter-of-fact solutions to the problems that plague the black community, but his arguments can be applied to all people of color.


League, The
By Billups Allen, 192 pgs.
By Kurt Morris

The League is a quick-moving story about Martin Selby, a twenty-something who has recently moved from the East Coast to a California college town in the desert. Trying to overcome social anxiety, obesity, and a shitty job, he eventually finds some relief in sumo wrestling.


Fractalcosm
By Jeffrey LaPrade, 180 pgs.
By Craven Rock

It was unpretentious, rough around the edges but pleasant, and I’d even say a bit life-affirming once you get into the groove of it. I could see the right audience really digging it. The problem lies how it would find its audience.




Communiqué from an Ex-Cop
By Christopher Jordan Dorner, 85 pgs.
By Kristen K.

New York Year Zero puts together the defense packet Chris Dorner was looking for. The shorter version of his so-called manifesto is published, dense with researched footnotes, shining a light on the rigged system of Internal Affairs investigations and its impotent appeal process.


Alone Forever: The Singles Collection
By Liz Prince, 104 pgs.
By Candice Tobin

Liz’s tales of rejection, self-deprecation, and nights alone with her cats hit a tender spot in my heart. She copes the way I cope, with boldness and sarcasm. Those methods don’t always work out for us, but at least Liz got a great book out of it.


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