Book Unearths Rock-and-Roll Landmarks Print
Music - Music News
Written by John M. James   
Wednesday, 28 November 2007 02:38

Led Zeppelin Crashed Here While it might be a little dreary to think of a cross-country road trip, a fun guide to rock-and-roll landmarks across North America has me itching to load up, head out, and touch the sacred grounds of infamous debauchery, birthplace homes, and final resting places of rock's greatest legends. Published by the Santa Monica Press, Led Zeppelin Crashed Here is peppered with modern-day photographs and a detective's keen eye for tracking down rock history in its original scandalous settings, and the pages turn like attacking a bag of chips. Travel writer Chris Epting collects more than 300 pages of these famous (and hidden) sites, sure to put a smile on the face of any music nut who finds his new book in a stocking. From directions to the concrete Woodstock marker in the earth outside Bethel, New York, to a deeper understanding of what Joni Mitchell was singing about in "they paved paradise and put up a parking lot," Epting's research makes me want to visit the location of famous album-cover sites for a personal snapshot, like in front of Led Zeppelin's Physical Graffiti brownstone or shaking hands at the Warner Bros. studio lot where Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here cover was created.

Living vicariously through the folly of others, another terrific new book confesses the downside of Dr. Hofmann's troubled child, lysergic acid diethylamide, in Good Times: Bad Trips from San Francisco's Gallery 16 Books. In 138 colorful pages, more than 50 firsthand accounts of dropping "bad" LSD are recalled. A handful of musicians pipe up to say that they unfortunately just said yes, including Devendra Barnhart, Andy Cabic of Vetiver, and Drew Daniel of Matmos.

This coming Tuesday Columbia Records is releasing a 10-CD box set of David Bowie's more adventurous work, expanding each of his recent Outside, Earthling, Hours, Heathen, and Reality albums with a second disc. More than 60 remixes and alternative versions pad the set, highlighted by his work with Trent Reznor, Beck, and Moby.

Later in December, EMI Records' UK division offers two new box sets arriving in time for gift-giving. A 16-CD set from Pink Floyd comes with all the trimmings, collecting their complete studio catalog. Titled Oh By the Way, each CD is packaged as a mini-version of its former life as an LP, down to the gatefold packaging and original inner sleeves. A new portrait collage by longtime graphic designer Storm Thorgerson graces the set, as do a 20-by-30-inch poster and two drink coasters to keep the eggnog from staining the coffee table.

Radiohead also gets the sweet treatment, in a limited-edition, self-titled, seven-CD box set of all their Parlophone releases housed in digipack recreations of the original LP artwork.


Television Alert:


With the writer's strike in full effect, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno is going back in time with Third Eye Blind from 2000 this evening and Anita Baker from 1995 on Thursday; The Ellen DeGeneres Show hosts Jack Black on Friday and Snoop Dogg on Tuesday; Tavis Smiley sits down with Seal tonight and Mary J. Blige on Thursday; Gloria Estefan joins The View this Thursday and Friday; and the Biography channel focuses on two rock icons Thursday evening, debuting new episodes on Guns N' Roses and George Michael.


New Releases Coming Tuesday, December 4:


A.D. - Painfully Free (Statik Entertainment) thinking-cap hip-hop from this Rhodes scholar and Harvard graduate

4 Bonjour's Parties - Pigments Drift Down to the Brook (Mush) full-length debut from this seven-piece Tokyo collective, raising ears and eyebrows with song titles such as "Magpie Will Peck a Hole in My Plaster Cast"

Arctic Monkeys - "Teddy Picker" (Domino) the third single from the band's Favorite Worst Nightmare album, available on CD and seven-inch, 10-inch, and 12-inch vinyl, featuring three exclusive B sides including a cover of Pat Farrell & the Believers' "Bad Woman" from 1969

Bonde Do Role - Marina Gasolina (Domino) CD EP featuring remixes by Fake Blood, Peeches, Ladytron, and Bitchee Bitchee Ya Ya

Daft Punk - Alive 2007 (Virgin) recorded in Paris this past summer, featuring a 50-page booklet of photographs and a video for "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" in the limited-edition two-disc version

Nelly Furtado - Loose: The Concert (Geffen) CD or DVD of her Get Loose Tour, featuring a cover of the Gnarls Barkley hit "Crazy" on the DVD

Ghostface - The Big Dough Rehab (Def Jam)

Wyclef Jean - Carnival Vol. II: Memories of an Immigrant (Columbia) with guests Norah Jones, Akon, and Serj Tankian of System of a Down

Blake Lewis - Audio Daydream (Arista) debut from the beat-boxer and American Idol runner-up

The Libertines - Time for Heroes: The Best of (Rough Trade) featuring B sides and rarities

Man - Be Good to Yourself at Least Once a Day (Esoteric) expanded CD reissue from 1972

Man - Rhinos, Winos, & Lunatics (Esoteric) produced by Roy Thomas Baker, this expanded CD reissue features a bonus disc recorded live at the Whiskey A Go Go in 1974

Nardwuar the Human Serviette - Welcome to My Castle (Mint Records) two DVDs of zesty interviews from the Canadian punk-rock journalist and Evaporators vocalist, including chats with Timothy Leary, Tommy Chong, Nirvana, Jello Biafra, Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, President Gerald Ford, and Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau

P.S. I Love You - original motion picture soundtrack (Atlantic) featuring music by The Pogues, Chuck Prophet, James Blunt, and Tony Lightman

Pedro - You, Me & Everyone (Mush) cool beats-and-rhythm cacophony with free-jazz horns and breezy, hyper-kinetic winds

The Playing Favorites - I Remember When I Was Pretty (Suburban Home) knocked out in a single week's recording session, this side project features members past and present of Lagwagon, Bad Astronaut, Popsicko, The Rentals, and Penfifteen Club

Simian Mobile Disco - "Hustler" (Wichita) 12-inch and CD single with remixes by Armand Van Helden, Jesse Rose, and A-Trak

The Marshall Tucker Band - Carolina Dreams Tour '77 (Shout! Factory) riding high on "Heard It in a Love Song" at Passaic, New Jersey's Capitol Theater

Rufus Wainwright - Rufus Does Judy at Carnegie Hall (Geffen) CD and DVD filmed at his tribute last year at the London Palladium

Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story - original motion picture soundtrack (Columbia) featuring new music co-written by the spoof's star, John C. Reilly, with Mike Viola and Marshall Crenshaw

various artists - Crunk Hits 4 (TVT) 18 lean-wit-it tracks from Chamillionaire, Lil Scrappy, Mims, and Lil Boosie

various artists - Plum (Thrill Jockey) box set of nine seven-inch singles, celebrating the label's 15th birthday with artists covering other artists on the imprint, highlighted by David Byrne's take on The Fiery Furnaces' "Ex Guru" and The Sea & the Cake's creep through Califone's "Spider House"

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