Raphael, Amy. A Seat at the Table. London: Virago, 2020.
Reason read: I wanted to read this when it was first published in Great Britain in 2019 because I heard the interview with Natalie Merchant was pretty interesting. I ordered it on Amazon. Two years later, it finally showed up.
You hear stories by the hundreds about women in the music industry having a difficult time “making it.” This could be said for almost every male-dominated industry but it seems music has the hardest stereotypes to break. Musicians in general are supposed to be larger than life superstars. Sex symbols. Unobtainable idols high up on that stage. This was a role for men while women demurely sang backup or tapped a tambourine against a swiveling hip. Women as lead singers, guitarists, drummers, producers, DJs, and song writers were not to be taken seriously. Amy Raphael returns with a second book of interviews, tackling these subjects and more.
As an aside, I can remember a musician friend telling me she couldn’t let the fans know she was married to her bassist because it would “ruin the fantasy” for some followers (his and hers). Gulp. Natalie Merchant was badgered during her younger years in 10,000 Maniacs to wear tighter, sexier clothes. Nowadays, she’s getting grief about letting her hair go gray.
- Jessica Curry
- Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture
- Maggie Rogers
- Emmy the Great
- First Love
- Second Love
- Three Cities
- Dream Wife
- Natalie Merchant
- What’s The Matter Here?
- Lauren Mayberry
- The Bones of What You Believe
- Love is Dead
- Poppy Ajudha
- Love Falls Down
- Spilling Into You
- Tepid Soul
- She is the Sum
- Kalie Shorr (from Portland, Maine)
- Fight Like a Girl
- He’s Just Not into You
- Two Hands,
- Tracey Thorn
- A Distant Shore
- Walking Wounded
- Mitski – who had the best quote, “In a way I am always in translation” (p 234).
- Bag of Bones
- Retired from Sad, New Career in Business
- Bury Me at Makeout Creek
- Puberty 2
- Be the Cowboy
- Catherine Marks
- Clara Amfo
- Alison Moyet:
- Winter Kills
- Nobody’s Diary
- Don’t Go
- Miss World
- Softer Softest
- Debbie Harry:
- Heart of Glass
- Christine and the Queens:
- Be Freaky
- Mama Says
- No Man is Big Enough for My Arms
- Nadine Shah:
- Love Your Dum
- Fast Food
- Stealing Cars
- Holiday Destination
- Kate Tempest:
- Everybody Down
- Other (my apologies if I missed someone):
- 10,000 Maniacs
- A – Anita Mui, Archie Marsh, Annie Lennox, Ani DiFranco, Anna Calri, Adele, Aztec Camera, Alanis Morrissette, Al Jarreau, Al Green, Amy Winehouse
- B – Backstreet Boys, Blondie, Best Coast, Billy Bragg, the Beach Boys, Bjork, Bob Dylan, Britney, Belle & Sebastian, Bon Iver, Bright Eyes, The Beatles, Blak Twang, Bahamadía, Bikini Kill, Beck, Billy Boy Arnold, Beyoncé, Buzzcocks, Brian Eno, Buju Banton, Biggie Smalls, Blur, Breeders, Beethoven, Bridget St. John, Buena Vista Social Club, Bob Marley, Bauhaus, Boomtown Rats, Britney Spears, Big Star, Bonnie Tyler
- C – Cardi B., Connie Traverse, Carly Rae Jepson, the Cure, Cocteau Twins, the Clash, Cole Porter, Christina Aguilera, Confucius MC, Chester P., Cream, the Cranberries, Cat Stevens, CHVRCHES, Crowded House, the Carpenters
- D – Dixie Chicks, Diane Cluck, Dr. Feelgood, D’Angelo, Depeche Mode, David Bowie, DELS, Damon Albam, Diana Ross, Daft Punk, Debbie Harry, Daniel Johnston
- E – Elastica, Elephant Man, Ella Fitzgerald, Erykah Badu, Elvis Costello, Elton John, Edie Piaf, Everything but the Girl
- F – Faces, Foals, the Fureys, Ferry Lawrenson, Fairport Convention, Feminist Frequency, Florence Welch, Fungazi, Faye Wong, Fiona Apple, Faith Hill, the Frames
- G – Guns ‘N Roses, Ghostface Killah, Green Day, Gustav Holst, Gravediggaz, Genesis, Glen Hansard, Gang of Four
- H – Harlocks, Hot Chocolate
- I – Ian Drury
- J – Jeff Buckley, John Bonham, Jarvis Crocker, Jack the Lad, Jah Shaka, Jack White, Jimi Hendrix, Jaco Pastorius, Joni Mitchell, Jill Scott, Jacques Brel, Joanna Newson, Jesus and Mary Chain, Janis Joplin, Jimmy Cliff, Joy Division, Joan Jett
- K – Karen Dalton, the Killers, Karen O, Kimya Dawson, Keith Jarrett, Kate Bush, the Kinks, Kathleen Hanna, Kelly Rowland, Kanye West, Kwes, Kelela
- L – Laura Branigan, the Lettermen, Leftfield, Lauryn Hill, Leslie Cheung, Leonard Cohen, Liam Gallagher, Led Zeppelin, Lily Allen, Le Tigre, Luther Vandross
- M – Missy Elliot, My Bloody Valentine, M.I.A., Marine Girls, Metallica, Mary J Blige, Mo Def, Moldy Peaches, Mariah Carey, Miles Davis, Michael Jackson, Meshell Ndegocell, Madonna, Mirah, Mos Def, Melanie, Michael Stipe, Meg White, The Microphones, Marvin Gaye, Marvelettes, Massive Attack, Micachu, Martin Gore, Mozart
- N – N.E.R.D., Nick Cave, Nirvana, Nadine Shah, Nina Simone, New Order, New Christy Minstrels, Nick Drake
- O – Orange Juice, Organized Konfusion, Outkast
- P – Paramour, Pussycat Dolls, the Pretenders, Peter Tosh, the Police, Paul Simon, Peter, Paul and Mary, the Platters, Pharoahe Monch, Pantera, Poly Styrene, Prince, Pharrell Williams, Patti Smith, Pixies, P!nk, Pussycat Dolls, PJ Harvey, Paul Weller, Pig Bag
- R – Reba McEntire, Ringo Starr, Rebecca Black, Rolling Stones, Radio Head, Ryan Adams, Rodgers & Hammerstein, Robbie Williams
- S – Slipknot, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Solange, Shania Twain, St. Vincent, Sound of Rum, Stone Roses, Spice Girls, Selena Gomez, Smashing Pumpkins, Sleepers, Skinnyman, the Supremes, Style Council, the Shirells, Sade, Sandy Denny, Sleater-Kinney, Steely Dan, the Shangri-Las, Sujan Stevens, Sonic Youth, Status Quo, the Smiths, Sugababies, the Saturdays, Spear of Destiny, the Slits, Solange Knowles, Serg Gainsbourgh, Sigrid
- T – Tom Robinson Band, Tallest Man on Earth, Talking Heads, Taylor Swift, Tina Turner Tchaikovsky, Tracy Chapman, Take That, T-Rex, Tegan and Sara
- U – U2
- V – Vince Clark, Vampire Weekend, Vivaldi, Velvet Underground
- W – White Stripes, Wilko Johnson, Wolf Alice, Weezer, Whitney Houston, the Who
- X – X-Ray Specs, XTC
- Y – the Young Marble Giants, Yazoo, Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs
I am so frigging late with this it’s not even funny. Here are my excuses: I was home-home the first weekend in October. I am hosting an art show. I’m trying to hire a new librarian. And. And! And, I have been running. Only 13.25 miles so far but it’s a start, right? I’m thrilled to be putting one foot in front of the other. But, here are the books:
- October Light by John Gardner – in honor of October being in the the title of the book and the fact that it takes place in Vermont, a place that is simply gorgeous in the fall.
- Jamesland by Michelle Huneven – in honor of October being Mental Health Awareness month.
- Long Day Monday by Peter Turnbull – in honor of police proceedurals.
- The Axe by Sigrid Undset – in honor of the fact I needed a translated book by a woman for the Portland Public Library challenge. Weak, I know.
- Isabel’s Bed by Elinor Lipman – in honor of Lipman’s birth month.
- Wyoming Summer by Mary O’Hara – in memory of O’Hara dying in October.
- An Obsession with Butterflies: Our Long Love Affair by Sharman Apt Russell – in honor of Magic Wings opening in October and the fact that Monhegan was inundated with monarch butterflies for the month of September. We even saw a few while we were home.
- Running Blind by Lee Child – started in honor of New York becoming a state in July (where Lee Child lives). However, big confessional: I am reading this out of order. My own fault completely.
LibraryThing Early Review:
- Notes from the Velvet Underground by Howard Sounes
Perrotta, Tom. The Wishbones. New York: Berkely Books, 1998.
Reason read: The movie starring Adam Sandler, “the Wedding Singer” was released in February.
Dave Raymond is thirty-one years old and still living with his parents in suburban New Jersey, but then again, so is his on and off girlfriend of fifteen years, Julie. They find living with their parents a drag, especially when they need to sneak around to have sex but given the circumstances, who wouldn’t at that age? For Julie, living with the ‘rents is a matter of convenience but for Dave it is a necessity in order to be a New York City courier by day and a wedding band musician on the weekends. The courier job is just to get him by. Playing guitar with the Wishbones is all he has ever known. So what is it that makes him upset this whole little world by announcing to Julie one night “let’s get married”? Immediately he wants to stuff the words back in his mouth and pretend no such pronouncement passed his lips. Maybe that’s why he starts an affair with an edgy Brooklyn poet named Gretchen. As the wedding draws near Dave is at a crossroad in his life and for the first time ever, he needs to make a mature decision.
As an aside, I found it curious that the band didn’t have a lead guitar player. Bass, sax, drummer, accordion, keyboards… I guess Dave was supposed to act as lead along with backing vocals?
Silly humor to quote, “Margaret was a formally pleasant person whose personality had been ruined by constant dieting” (p 61).
Author fact: Perrotta knows his music. I loved all the references to different bands. Especially this one, “You couldn’t really imagine Chrissie Hynde or Natalie Merchant dancing around in twelve different hats” (p 34).
Book trivia: this could have been a movie.
Nancy said: Pearl lists The Wishbones as a first novel she was delighted to have read (Book Lust p 88) and she just describes the plot in More Book Lust.
BookLust Twist: from Book Lust in the chapter called “First Novels” (p 88). Also, in More Book Lust in the chapter called “Jersey Guys and Gals” (p 130).