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Adam Lipman is a gifted musician who has been recording lo-fi tunes for the past 5 years. His 2009 album, From Your Mouth to God's Ear, is a lovely and captivating record that feels deeply personal and, at times, quite haunting. Lipman has been compared to artists like Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, The Mountain Goats, and Leonard Cohen, among others. Hard at work on a new recording, Lipman was kind enough to take some time to recommend 5 book and music pairs for your enjoyment.
Adam's Top 5
1. Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America by Rick Perlstein - Paranoid by Black Sabbath.
The paranoia and political brilliance of Nixon are captured wonderfully in this biography of, not so much Nixon, as of the era in which he was at his most powerful and most paranoid. Black Sabbath's best and most commercially successful record is rife with delusions and paranoia, made vivid with the brilliance of Tony Iommi's furious and intensely melodic guitar.
2. Stayin' Alive: The 1970s and the Last Days of the Working Class by Jefferson Cowie - Mermaid Avenue. Vol. II by Billy Bragg and Wilco
When did Labor become a scapegoat for politicians and big business to blame economic woes on? And why is there now a war between the private sector and the public sector workers as to why there are no jobs or bad paying jobs? Has the public sector put too much emphasis on worker's benefits, or has the private sector taken too much out of the worker's pockets? Woody Guthrie's lyrics and the music of the collaborators Billy Bragg and Wilco give a fine interpretation of the strength and the reason behind the working man's need for labor support.
A magnificent study of African-American men's street corner lives and the struggle to live and work in the early 60's. Set in Washington D.C., it is an eye-opening encounter with the psychological hardships of being a black worker in America. Black Saint and the Sinner Lady is the genius of an aggrieved soul, struggling against the same winds as those men on Tally's corner.
Wilson was once described by Dana Gould (ex-writer for The Simpsons) as a man too brilliant for his own good; a man smart enough to talk himself out of dealing with his own problems, until, at the end, he learns to shut up. Billy Joel's The Stranger is an amazing record, dealing with the vicissitudes and expectations of a life that keeps making strange turns in a world that is built to be unexpected. I can't but see Wilson in it, as well.
Both works are dark portrayals of youth disturbed by an overly aggressive and unhealthy adult world. Rogers's focus is on children and goes for a solution by way of Lacan-Freud. Reed's focus is on the woman/mother/wife and simply keeps the listener in the downward spiral.
Adam Lipman Fall Tour
Adam Lipman will be touring the West Coast this fall (dates listed below). Keep your ears and eyes peeled for a soon-to-be-announced San Francisco show. And, of course, check the catalog for Adam's new album, to be released next year.
- 18 October: Seattle, WA – Cafe Racer
- 19 October: Olympia, WA - Le Voyeur
- 20 October: Portland, OR - In Other Words (early evening show)
- 22 October: Arcata, CA – Blondies
- 23 October: Chico, CA – Cafe Flo
- 24 October: Davis, CA – Robot Rocket Residence
Karen Choy enjoys book soundtrack suggestions!