A hard, sobering look at what it really takes to bring live music to the fans.

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ROCKIN' A HARD PLACE

FLATS, SHARPS & OTHER NOTES FROM A MISFIT MUSIC CLUB OWNER

Musical memoir from the owner of venerable Greenville, S.C., music venue The Handlebar.

Ex-journalist turned club promoter Jeter assures readers that all the hard work, sacrifice, frustration and disappointment that went into building and sustaining his dream “Listening Room” has been worth it. Played mostly in minor keys, The Handlebar’s history is rife with tour managers constantly demanding too much, patrons expecting too much and city inspectors withholding too much. The admittedly naïve author explains how he found himself frequently holed up inside his closet-sized office breaking down over that night’s dismal receipts. It all started out so gloriously, of course, in the early 1990s, when Jeter and his brother decided to throw caution to the wind and rent out space inside a largely abandoned textile factory on the outskirts of town. Although they had absolutely no experience booking performers or running a music venue, they were convinced that they could make it work. What they didn’t count on, however, was a cavalcade of obnoxious tour managers, boorish artists and impossible city officials constantly getting in their way. While these encounters are mostly sketchy, the fallout is heartbreakingly real and begs the question, why? The money never seems to have been there (at least not enough of it), and for every transcendental night with Joan Baez or John Mayer, there appears to have been 10 hellacious nights with snotty eccentrics demanding costumed hamsters in their contract riders. Jeter’s brother eventually decided to leave the business, but the author, with Herculean help from his wife, hung in there, and The Handlebar is still rocking.

A hard, sobering look at what it really takes to bring live music to the fans.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1891885-99-0

Page Count: 200

Publisher: Hub City Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 7, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2012

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Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

SEVERAL SHORT SENTENCES ABOUT WRITING

New York Times columnist and editorial board member delivers a slim book for aspiring writers, offering saws and sense, wisdom and waggery, biases and biting sarcasm.

Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. (Note: He despises abuses of the word as, as he continually reminds readers.) In the early sections, the author ignores traditional paragraphing so that the text resembles a long free-verse poem. He urges readers to use short, clear sentences and to make sure each one is healthy before moving on; notes that it’s acceptable to start sentences with and and but; sees benefits in diagramming sentences; stresses that all writing is revision; periodically blasts the formulaic writing that many (most?) students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. The final fifth of the text includes some passages from writers he admires (McPhee, Oates, Cheever) and some of his students’ awkward sentences, which he treats analytically but sometimes with a surprising sarcasm that veers near meanness. He includes examples of students’ dangling modifiers, malapropisms, errors of pronoun agreement, wordiness and other mistakes.

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-26634-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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MOMOFUKU MILK BAR

With this detailed, versatile cookbook, readers can finally make Momofuku Milk Bar’s inventive, decadent desserts at home, or see what they’ve been missing.

In this successor to the Momofuku cookbook, Momofuku Milk Bar’s pastry chef hands over the keys to the restaurant group’s snack-food–based treats, which have had people lining up outside the door of the Manhattan bakery since it opened. The James Beard Award–nominated Tosi spares no detail, providing origin stories for her popular cookies, pies and ice-cream flavors. The recipes are meticulously outlined, with added tips on how to experiment with their format. After “understanding how we laid out this cookbook…you will be one of us,” writes the author. Still, it’s a bit more sophisticated than the typical Betty Crocker fare. In addition to a healthy stock of pretzels, cornflakes and, of course, milk powder, some recipes require readers to have feuilletine and citric acid handy, to perfect the art of quenelling. Acolytes should invest in a scale, thanks to Tosi’s preference of grams (“freedom measurements,” as the friendlier cups and spoons are called, are provided, but heavily frowned upon)—though it’s hard to be too pretentious when one of your main ingredients is Fruity Pebbles. A refreshing, youthful cookbook that will have readers happily indulging in a rising pastry-chef star’s widely appealing treats.    

 

Pub Date: Oct. 25, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-307-72049-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Clarkson Potter

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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