Blog Archives

Harvey Kubernik on Thrasher’s Wheat Radio Show!

Harvey Kubernik, author of Neil Young: Heart of Gold was a guest on Thrasher’s Wheat Radio Show on Neil Young’s Birthday, November 12. They spoke about some pivotal moments that really inform and shape the book and what Harvey Kubernik learned while writing it! Listen below and let us know what you think!


00138576Just in time for Young’s 70th birthday last week, veteran music writer and pop culture historian Harvey Kubernik, explores every aspect of Young’s remarkable life and career in Neil Young: Heart of Gold. Kubernik’s exclusive interviews with fellow musicians, record producers, engineers, music journalists, film directors, and loyal fans combine with a wealth of photographs, many previously unpublished, to create a unique tribute to a true rock legend.

Among those featured are musicians Graham Nash, Nils Lofgren, and Richie Furay; filmmaker Jim Jarmusch; photographer Henry Diltz; and many more.

With a retrospective commentary on Neil Young’s studio and live albums, a complete discography, and photographs and memorabilia from throughout his career, Neil Young: Heart of Gold places Young’s musical achievements within the context of his life – an essential and timely celebration.

Michael Beinhorn on Recording Studio Rockstars!

Michael Beinhorn, author of Unlocking Creativity was a guest on the Recording Studio Rockstars Podcast, hosted by Lij Shaw.  They spoke about his book and his career as a music producer, Beinhorn also talked about his experience working with artists such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Korn. Listen to the full podcast below!


00122314Here, record producer Beinhorn reveals how to deal with interpersonal issues record producers face when they work with artists one on one or in small groups. The situations and solutions are based upon the author’s personal and professional experience working with a variety of different artists, such as Herbie Hancock, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Soul Asylum, Hole, Soundgarden, Ozzy Osbourne, Courtney Love, Marilyn Manson, Social Distortion, Korn, and Mew.

Beinhorn’s unique methods and perspective, applied to record producing and music making in the studio, opens the door to successful collaborative efforts. The author shows you how to find what he calls your sensory connection to the creativity process, which ultimately helps you find the intent behind your creative choices. You can read dozens of articles and books that feature a hundred different people talking about what microphones they used when they recorded Record X or how they set their stereo buss compressor, but you will never find out what prompted them to make these choices. Beinhorn’s focus on collaborative effort enables record producers and artists to find solutions while working as a creative team.

This perspective is especially valuable as it is transdisciplinary and can be applied to many occupations and modes of creativity outside of record production.

Dave Thompson on The Peter Tilden Show!

Haunted America FAQ author, Dave Thompson, was a guest on The Peter Tilden Show on KABC in Los Angeles! He spoke with Peter about how and why he decided to write Haunted America FAQ and also talks about the most pointed out some of the most haunted locations in Los Angeles and around the country.  Listen to the full podcast below!


00128461Asked if she believed in ghosts, Marie Anne de Vichy-Chamrond, Marquise du Deffand (1697-1780) replied, “No, but I am afraid of them.”

Whether you share the Marquise’s position or not, there is no doubt that the idea visitors from the afterlife has gripped humankind since time began. Ancient cultures East and West took spirits for granted, and reported sightings continue to this day—many of them close to home in every corner of the United States.

In Haunted America FAQ, Dave Thompson has created a fast-paced survey of the ghosts, ghouls, and associated denizens of the country’s haunted history. Tracing local ghost stories back to Native American legends and then forward through horror tales both ancient and modern, the book revisits some of the best-known haunted locales, as well as some of the most obscure creepy places, in America.

Delving deep into the cultural history of American hauntings, Haunted America FAQ features chapters on ghosts in cemeteries, amusement parks, government buildings, hospitals, and more, as well as ghostly books, movies, and television. Also included are a roundup of reality-TV ghost hunts and a state-by-state gazetteer of haunted spots.

Haunted America FAQ will amaze believers and skeptics alike with the history and range of spectral sightings it uncovers from around the country and, maybe, just around the corner.

John Kenneth Muir visits XFILESNEWS

The X-Files FAQ author, John Kenneth Muir, was a guest recently on The X-Files News Podcast, hosted by feature editor Ky Johnson.  Listen to the full podcast below!


00124644The X-Files FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About Global Conspiracy, Aliens, Lazarus Species, and Monsters of the Week explores Chris Carter’s popular 1990s science-fiction TV series, which aired on Fox for nine seasons and inspired spin-offs, including feature films, TV shows, toys, novels, and comic books. The book explores the series in terms of its historical context and analyzes how many of the episodes tackle the events of their time: the Clinton era. The X-Files FAQ also tallies the episodes that are based on true stories, selects touchstone moments from the almost decade-long run, and organizes the series by its fantastic subject matter – from serial killers to aliens, from prehistoric menaces to ethnic and religious-based horrors.

The X-Files FAQ also features a foreword written by screenwriter Chris Carter who credits John Muir for his impressive and thoughtful musings. In the book you’ll read that the writing on the show, X-Files, was only half what made the show what it is today. The people who worked on the show were working in a visual medium, and as Chris Carter states in the foreword “the show somehow managed to turn that rectangle box we all viewed each week into something special and often unexpected.”

In addition, the book recalls the TV antecedents (Kolchak: The Night Stalker) and descendants (Fringe) of The X-Files, examines the two feature films, and investigates Chris Carter’s other creations, including Millennium, The Lone Gunmen, Harsh Realm, and The After. Featuring numerous stills and the show’s most prominent writers and directors, The X-Files FAQ allows readers to relive the “Mytharc” conspiracy and the unforgettable monsters of the week – from the Fluke Man to the Peacocks.

Spring Awakening returns to Broadway!

The Deaf West production of Spring Awakening, re-imagined and performed simultaneously in English and American Sign Language, begian Broadway performances Sept. 8 at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre. It’s been nine years since the rock musical first appeared in Broadway in 2006. In honor of Spring Awakening returning, here’s a look back to a podcast episode featuring Steven Sater and cast members Johnathan Groff and Lauren Pritchard. Click on the link below to listen and let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Onstage and Backstage podcast from Hal Leonard is available on iTunes and Libsyn. Each episode authors and their guests have a chat about the topics of their books. Today, Steven Sater talks about Spring Awakening and writing his book A Purple Summer: Notes on the Lyrics of Spring Awakening with two original cast members, Jonathan Groff and Lauren Pritchard.


A Purple Summer by Steven Sater

In February 1999, Steven Sater conceived the radical notion of creating a rock musical from Frank Wedekind’s notorious Symbolist drama, Frühlings Erwachen, and he enlisted his friend and writing partner Duncan Sheik in the enterprise. That night, Sater came home and began writing the first lyric of Spring Awakening: “Mama Who Bore Me” – a lyric which still stands, verbatim, just as he first wrote it.

Ten years later, in the wake of the enormous international success of this groundbreaking, multiaward-winning show, its original director, Michael Mayer, urged Sater to write notes explicating its famously evocative, poetic lyrics.

In rich detail, Sater’s notes address the literary sources and allusions of each lyric. He also writes feelingly of what prompted the songs over the course of the show’s eight years of development. In so doing, Sater expands on his partnership with Sheik and his experiences with original cast members, Lea Michele and Jonathan Groff, now also known from Glee.

These notes will prove invaluable for fans of the show, for all those interested in theater, and most especially for all the young performers who will play the roles and sing these songs.

Dave Thompson on The Tony Basilio Show on WJBE 99.7 FM

Dave Thompson, author of Hearts of Darkness, spoke with Tony Basilio on 99.7 FM, Knoxville, Tennessee’s very own Tony Basilio Show. They spoke about all things James Taylor, Jackson Browne, and Cat Stevens and how they launched the age of the singer-songwriter in the 1970s.


00333163Hearts of Darkness is the story of a generation’s coming of age through the experiences of its three most atypical pop stars. James Taylor, Jackson Browne, and Cat Stevens could never have been considered your typical late-sixties songwriters – self-absorbed and self-composed, all three eschewed the traditional means of delivering their songs, instead turning its process inward. The result was a body of work that stands among the most profoundly personal art ever to translate into an international language, and a sequence of songs – from “Sweet Baby James” and “Carolina in My Mind,” to “Jamaica Say You Will” and “These Days,” to “Peace Train” and “Wild World” – that remain archetypes not only of what the critics called the singer-songwriter movement, but of the human condition itself.

Author Dave Thompson, himself a legend among rock biographers, takes on his subjects with his usual brio and candor, leaving no stone unturned in his quest to shine a light on the dark side of this profoundly earnest era in popular music. Penetrating, pointed, and laced with vivid insight and detail, Hearts of Darkness is the story of rock when it no longer felt the need to roll.

Robert Willey chats about his upcoming book!

Author Robert Willey recently sat down for an interview with the Education Market Manager of PreSonus Audio Electronics, John Mlynczak, to talk about his upcoming book for up-and-coming music producers, Getting Started with Music Production.


Getting Started with Music Production is for anyone interested in developing a more efficient and creative approach to music production, and it’s structured so thoughtfully that it can be used as a textbook for a modular, activity-oriented course presented in any learning environment. As an added bonus, the text and accompanying examples are built around the free version of Studio One from PreSonus, so no matter what their musical or technical experience level, students don’t need to purchase expensive recording software to benefit from the presented material. The fundamental concepts and techniques delivered in this book apply seamlessly to any modern DAW.

The author includes several supporting video tutorials that help further explain and expand on the instruction in the text. All supporting media is provided exclusively online, so whether you’re using a desktop computer or a mobile device, you’ll have easy access to all of the supporting content.

Getting Started with Music Production is intended for college music majors, high school students, and independent learners. The first ten chapters can be used by schools on the quarter system, with an additional five chapters provided for those on the semester system.

Listen: Natasha Scharf talks with the Grand Dark Conspiracy

Listen to Natasha Scharf’s conversation with the Grand Dark Conspiracy host Daniel Bautz! Together, they discuss the beginning of goth along with Natasha’s book, The Art of Gothic.


00127606The gothic look – head-to-toe black attire and extreme makeup – has been a popular one since the 1980s, with each generation reinterpreting this dark aesthetic as its own. From the staccato postpunk of Siouxsie and the Banshees and the dark rock of the Sisters of Mercy through to the industrial metal of Marilyn Manson and the funereal emotional pop of My Chemical Romance, gothic culture has strong roots in music and continues to adapt and survive. But gothic art is about more than just album covers and ephemera; it’s about fashion, book jackets, cinematography, and fine art. Its influence frequently seeps into mainstream culture too. Nowadays, “goth” comes in many shapes, sizes, and even colors, as it encompasses a myriad of sub genres, including cyber, death rock gothic metal, gothic Lolita, and emo goths. Although each is different, followers are identified by their striking, often theatrical look, music with a hint of melancholy, and the ability to find beauty in morbidity, sometimes even in the macabre.

The Art of Gothic is the first heavily illustrated tome to explore the aesthetics of this fascinating style in great detail. Previous books on goth have given a bold overview of the music and culture associated with the genre, but this book goes deeper and hones in on the album art, intricate fashions, fantasy illustrations, and more.

Listen: Curtain Call with John Martin

Curtain Call host Charles Sepos chats with John Martin about his new book In Character: Opera Portraiture.


In Character_Cover_9X12_with index.inddIn Character: Opera Portraiture memorably captures operatic performers away from the audience but fully inhabiting their roles. It showcases the work of John F. Martin, who for years set up a portable studio in the basement of the San Francisco Opera and photographed the players – in costume and full makeup – right before or after they took the stage. The subjects range from nonsinging supernumeraries through chorus members and comprimarii to opera’s greatest stars, such as Anna Netrebko, Natalie Dessay, Deborah Voigt, Juan Diego Flórez, and Dmitri Hvorostovsky. Their roles run the gamut of opera personalities: heroes and heroines, villains and outcasts, royalty and common folk, Biblical figures and creatures of myth. Facing Martin’s camera, each artist projects the essence of his or her character, however great or small the part.

The book also features a foreword by author Amy Tan; a preface by David Gockley, general director of the San Francisco Opera; essays on opera behind the scenes, the vital role of costumes, and the transformation of singers into characters; and an interview with world-renowned soprano Danielle de Niese. A collection unlike any other, In Character will have broad appeal-to opera and theater buffs, costume and fashion aficionados, and anyone who appreciates fine art photography.

Listen: Harvey Kubernik on Masters of Song

Harvey Kubernik was a guest on Lisa Finnie’s Masters of Song program on KCSN. Hear their discussion on Harvey’s new book, Leonard Cohen: Everybody Knows, as well as some samples from Leonard’s newest album!

00126365>>LISTEN HERE<<

No other contemporary songwriter has created a body of work of such consistent quality, and such singular emotional and intellectual brilliance, as Leonard Cohen. His smoke-black vocal style navigates the most sophisticated and arresting of melodies in songs infused with romance, innuendo, and humor.

Arriving at the ’60s pop-music party fashionably late, Cohen released his debut album – Songs of Leonard Cohen – in 1967. At 33 years of age, he was the adult in the room, a room brimming, then as now, with literary pretension and artistic self-importance. But Cohen, already established as a respected poet and novelist, was the real deal. In the decades since, he has battled with drugs, love, and bankruptcy; become a Buddhist monk while simultaneously reaffirming his Jewish faith; and recorded 11 more albums of unfailingly affecting beauty.

Beginning with Cohen the young poet and author in his home town of Montreal and ending with his 2012 release – Old Ideas – and recent acclaimed live performances, Everybody Knowshonors Leonard Cohen’s 80th birthday by celebrating his genius and tracing his rise to stardom through 200 photographs and the thoughts, memories, and reflections of those who have both worked with and been inspired by him.


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