An environmentally and politically minded memoir of Clan Dyken, a touring folk-rock band that’s dedicated to environmental activism.
Muniz effectively blends history, biography, and Navajo cultural traditions as she traces the evolution of a musical group that brothers (and credited co-authors) Mark Dyken and Bear Dyken formed in the late 1970s, at the height of anti-nuclear activism in the United States. “The band’s core mission is to help people create a better world through music and nonviolent activism,” she writes. At the center of the story is Muniz’s trip with the band on their annual Beauty Way Tour, during which they delivered food and firewood to Navajo families resisting forced relocation from their homes in Big Mountain, Arizona. The Navajo-Hopi Land Settlement Act had forced displacement and relocation of many Navajo people; however, many families, including a contingent of protesting grandmothers, have refused to go. The people must contend with poverty, destruction of natural resources, and a lack of electricity because there’s “no infrastructure, no grid” on the land. Big Mountain is located next to the world’s largest coal strip mine, which has drained the land’s aquifer and killed natural vegetation, Muniz writes, causing Navajo and Hopi people to suffer from environmental devastation. In intimate detail, the author narrates the history that’s shaped the Navajo people and culture of Big Mountain. Along the way, she also offers an essential account of Clan Dyken, which became politically engaged after an anti-nuclear talk at the University of California, Davis, in the early 1980s. With their solar-powered sound system, the band has taken their music on the road, playing festivals all over the country and protesting at nuclear testing and waste sites in Nevada and California. Other tours have included tree-logging protests, and the band travels annually to Bear Mountain in support of Navajo families. Over the course of this book, Muniz movingly relates how those families have continued to refuse displacement, spurring a creative movement.
An engaging look at a band’s artistic activism and Navajo people’s resistance.
Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.
Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").
Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)