February 15, 2006
Birdmonster is one of my current favorite bands, a tornado of indie rock energy held together by strong songwriting. The San Francisco quartet is currently recording their debut album (and journaling the experience) and took some time away from the studio to chronicle their current reading material.
In their own words, here is the "note books" submission from the members of Birdmonster:
While we were tracking our record it was practically impossible to do anything else, and given our budget and timeline, foolish to try. I brought a few good books with me to Los Angeles, but lacking strings or keys, I quarantined them in my backpack where they could not infect me with bouts of focus-depriving literacy. To be safe, I inoculated myself against the horrible reading virus by perusing a few random magazines that decorated the studio, but I was a fool! Words are everywhere!
Justin (bass and banjo):
I'm of the opinion that anything you read should be as much fun as possible. We all had to suffer through The Scarlet Letter or Paradise Lost at some point and yeah, they're epic and intense and "important," but most nights I'd rather just curl up with Calvin & Hobbes or Confederacy of Dunces. If you're thinking, "Screw this kid. I love The Red Badge of Courage," read no further.
If you're still here, hello again. And go down the street to Stacey's or Alexander's or, if you must, Barnes and Noble, and buy Michael Malone's Handling Sin. It's the chronicle of a snooty Southern insurance man following the lunatic instructions of his terminal father. It has everything people pretend Thomas Pynchon books have, but this book is actually funny. Rather than spoiling any single surprise, I'll just say go buy it. I read it on vacation and found myself trading in tourism opportunities for outdoor beers with this book.
Also, you should read my Dad's book. It's called Blood Atonement and his name is James Tenuto. It fits in with the premise of my first paragraph, namely, this is a funny book that you can curl up with at night & avoid those Everybody Loves Raymond reruns your roommate's watching. And yeah, it's my dad's book so you probably don't believe me. But, after you read Handling Sin, you'll trust my opinion. Or send me hate mail. Your choice.
Peter (guitar and vocals):
I must confess my sincerest love for bad-ass Russian literature. The infatuation began in my school-boy days, and has yet to let me down. People seem easily intimidated, but don't realize that while freezing their asses off in that large, complicated land, writers have thought up some of the most entertaining stories out there that are also pretty f*cking deep. Perhaps a bleak existence is fodder for a fine imagination.
Check out The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov in which the Devil comes to town with his giant talking cat to run amok. It's also a love story. Right now I'm reading The Brothers Karamozov by Dostoevsky about a family of vile sensualists, the priesthood, and a murder (I haven't gotten to that last bit yet). It's a whopping 800 pages, so I break up with Harry Potter, which despite my resistance, the other Birdmonsters have required me to read...I'm 100 pages into the first book and can already feel myself getting sucked it...so I'll be visiting 5 more books of that rubbish in the near future.
Zach (drums & cello):
Zach Winter could not be reached for comment. He fears reading in all its forms.
I would like to mention, however, that Zach gifted the entire band with Harry Potter, which is worth all the hype and more. If you're still holding out, I think it's time you gave up. Peter did (see above). You don't even need to borrow one. You know your sister or your neighbor or your neighbor's dog owns them all, so just walk over
there. And while you're at it, kick Dudley in the groin for me. I hate that kid.
photo courtesy of Command Zed
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Previous Book Notes submissions (authors create playlists for their book)
52 Books, 52 Weeks (2006 Edition)
52 Books, 52 Weeks (2005 Edition)
52 Books, 52 Weeks (2004 Edition)