Book Review: Pretty Hate Machine by Daphne Carr

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Pretty Hate Machine
By Daphne Carr
Published by Continuum Books
Review by David Chiu

At a time when hair metal and the pop music of George Michael, Fine Young Cannibals and others were the rage, Nine Inch Nails’ Pretty Hate Machine, which was first released in 1989, filled a musical and personal void, especially for young white men growing up in the Midwest. That album’s honesty and unrelenting brutality mirrored the sometimes difficult lives of those young men who were either growing up in areas that were economically-depressed and/or living in rough personal situations. For them, Pretty Hate Machine was their voice of their frustrations, and in turn it provided them solace. Continue reading “Book Review: Pretty Hate Machine by Daphne Carr”

Book Review: Becoming Elektra

Becoming Elektra: The True Story of Jac Holzman’s Visionary Record Label
By Mick Houghton
Jawbone Press
Review by David Chiu

Sixty years ago, a St. John’s College student named Jac Holzman founded a record label called Elektra and the rest as they say is history. Along with Columbia and Atlantic, Elektra would forge an amazing path of musical artistry spanning from the label’s folk beginnings in the ‘50s and early ‘60s through today’s artists like Cee-Lo and Bruno Mars. Elektra’s legendary career is the subject of this fascinating book by music journalist Mick Houghton. Continue reading “Book Review: Becoming Elektra”

Book Review: Joy Division

Joy Division
By Kevin Cummins
Rizzoli International Publications
Review by David Chiu

Just as Manchester band Joy Division were about to embark on their first American tour, singer Ian Curtis hung himself on May 18, 1980 the age of 23. Thirty years later, his short life and that of the band’s still continues to resonate in music, film and now this wonderful photo book by Kevin Cummins. Continue reading “Book Review: Joy Division”

Book Review: Phish: The Biography

Phish: The Biography
By Parke Puterbaugh
Review by David Chiu

Not being a fan of the famous Vermont band, I originally thought when I heard about this book: Why a biography about Phish? The band members never struck me as the types of band who led a glamorous rock and roll lifestyle, which is usually the reason why such books exist. To me, Phish is a band that was known for its trippy music, live performances and huge following. They were never flamboyant—maybe except to their rabid fans—and were more loose and cerebral musically than their peers.

Obviously author Parke Puterbaugh and Phish’s loyal fans knew something that I obviously didn’t through this book: Phish’s life story is quite fascinating. Continue reading “Book Review: Phish: The Biography”

Book Review: Trust: Photographs By Jim Marshall

Trust: Photographs of Jim Marshall
Published by Omnibus Press
Review by David Chiu

“Whenever anyone asks me how I got the photographs I did,/why I was often the only photographer present or got such unique access/ I reply simply Trust.” Those were the words of photographer Jim Marshall in the introduction of his recent photo book Trust. He knew what he was talking about because that approach resulted in a legendary body of rock and roll photography that has spanned four decades.

Trust is now more poignant than ever now that Marshall passed away last week at age 74, so it serves as a fitting tribute to a true artiste. Continue reading “Book Review: Trust: Photographs By Jim Marshall”