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Category Archives: Books/Literary

The Black Book, by Captain Swing

Rouska 1

Chaos, controversy, experimentation, finding one’s self in an endless sea of copycat cookie-cutter molds.  The late 70′s ushered in a new era in the world of music.  A period in music history that, to this day, thrives upon the rebellion against authority. Refusing to bow down to corporate mandates of how it’s supposed to be done.

And somewhere off the beaten path roamed a 16 year old who was about to take the world and put it exactly where he wanted it to be.  Right in the middle of the greatest musical revolution this one 16 year old with a penchant for release decided that Leeds, one of the most influential little spots on the planet, was about to be turned upside down.

The Black Book (The Life & Crimes of Richard Rouska) by Captain Swing

The Black Book (The Life & Crimes of Richard Rouska) by Captain Swing

The rest is history.  All bound up and neatly packaged between the covers of his latest release, “The Black Book (The Life & Crimes of Richard Rouska) by Captain Swing“.

Through the magic of the written word, Rouska takes an entire generational slice of life and reveals what it was like from day one.  The day the music world spun 360 degrees off its axis.  The day the Rouska Ethic would be born.

With a limited pressing of 250 hand-numbered editions, jam-packed with details, stories, and rarely seen (and some never-seen) photos, the birth of punk-rock, glam, and modernist revival are chronicled by one person who took the bull by the horns during the 80′s upheaval, making his own mark in the history of DIY non-conformist ethics.

Not available in any shops, you’ll have to take a spin by the 1977cc website for all the details, a few tidbits of history, and the golden-ticket order form.  It took all of a minute to place my own order and I can’t wait to get my hands on this book.  It looks to be a great read as I live through what I missed out on the first time around.

Grab your own limited copy, HERE.

 
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Posted by on April 3, 2014 in Books/Literary, Goth, etc., Publications

 

Release The Bats… : The History Of The Greek Dark Alternative Scene

The long awaited book about the Greek Dark Alternative Scene is about to be published soon.

The author of the book, Nick Drivas, knows the history of the scene first hand, since he was/is an active part of it…(click HERE for more details about Nick).

Our intelligence informs us that it covers the era 1980-2010, with details about each band, coloured album covers, photos and… a 17 track CD featuring some unreleased material.

Release The Bats… : The History Of The Greek Dark Alternative Scene” is written in Greek and will be published by Art Nocturna, someday in November 2012.

Here is a video that will give you an idea.

 

Bukowski – Born into this

 
 

Dark Paths – The History of the Greek “Dark” Alternative scene

In about two months from now, a book on the history of the Greek “Dark” alternative scene is being prepared to be published. The book tries to capture what happened in this scene, its development, events, concerts (of foreign and local acts) and the main bands that represented it.

It consists of 4 main chapters, one for each decade (80’s, 90’s, 00’s, 10’s) and also focuses in detail on some 40 bands and also another that much bands with smaller reports and presentations. For this project many group photographs, concert posters and record covers have been gathered, which contribute to the visual aspect of the book.

The book will also be accompanied by a CD compilation with 17 tracks that cover the entire range of the scene.
More info soon…

 
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Posted by on January 30, 2012 in Books/Literary, Goth, etc.

 

The DIY ethic

Since my last post had to do with the cassette culture and the DIY ethic of punk rock, I thought, “why not to expand a little more…”

According to wikipedia “DIY culture (abbreviation of Do It Yourself) is a broad term that refers to a wide range of elements in non-mainstream society, such as grassroots political and social activism, independent music, art, and film.”

I said to myself, “that would be an interesting issue to write about…”

So I will use quotes from wikipedia or from other sources that I will mention every time.

“In the punk subculture, the DIY ethic is tied to punk ideology and anticonsumerism, as a rejection of the need to purchase items or use existing systems or processes. Arguably since the 1970′s; emerging punk bands began to record their music, produce albums and merchandise, distribute their works and often performed basement shows in residential homes rather than at traditional venue, to avoid corporate sponsorship or to secure freedom in performance. Since many venues tend to shy away from more experimental music, houses are often the only places at which these bands can play.” (wikipedia)

So, I said, lets check the YouTube.

And this is what I found:

“Taken from From the documentary Northwest Passage: Birth of Portland’s DIY Culture, Greg Sage’s legendary Wipers live in 1983.”

 

Wikipedia continues as follows: “Adherents of the DIY punk ethic can also work collectively. For example, punk impresario David Ferguson’s CD Presents was a DIY concert production, recording studio, and record label network.

The DIY punk ethic also applies to everyday living, such as learning bicycle repair rather than taking a bike to a mechanic’s shop, sewing/repairing/modifying clothing rather than buying new clothes, starting vegetable gardens, and reclaiming recyclable products by dumpster diving. Some educators also engage in DIY teaching techniques, sometimes referred to as Edupunk”

So, I found a trailer of the documentary “D.I.Y. or Die: How to Survive as an Independent Artist” that was directed by Michael W. Dean and released in 2002.

Dean  also “allowed and even encouraged people to make copies for non-commercial use.”

It features interviews with Lydia Lunch, Ian MacKaye, J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr, Jim Rose, J. G. Thirlwell of Foetus, Mike Watt, Eric McFadden, Richard Kern (filmmaker), Ron Asheton of The Stooges, Madigan Shive of Bonfire Madigan, Dave Brockie of Gwar and others.

If you are interested, follow the link to Michael W. Dean who posted the film for free downloading.

I also found a trailer of the documentary “Roll Up Your Sleeves” directed by Dylan Haskins in 2008.

“DIY is about giving the tools to the people that have something to say.
Roll Up Your Sleeves is a manifesto for an alternative way of organising, working and thinking.”

“Roll Up Your Sleeves examines the relationship between DIY culture and the need for autonomous social spaces, looking at various projects across Europe and how these compare with the situation in Ireland.”

Sounds interesting ?

Take a look:

 

There is this link that takes you to the “Scissors and Glue”, published by Oxford University in 2006.  

Here is a little teaser for you:

“Yet, it remains within the subculture of punk music where the homemade, A4, stapled and photocopied fanzines of the late 1970s fostered the ‘do-it-yourself’ (DIY) production techniques of cut-n-paste letterforms, photocopied and collaged images, hand-scrawled and typewritten texts, to create a recognizable graphic design aesthetic. The employment of such techniques and technologies has had an impact on an overall idiosyncratic and distinctive visual style affiliated with punk fanzines.”

So, this brings us to the next vid I found, a documentary about “two comic book artists who publish their own work.”

And who doesn’t like a good comic book ?

 

So, thats it for now.

I will continue when I’ll find the time for more.

Unfortunately, this post was not done entirely by myself…but…anyways…

Its not bad sharing interesting stuff with the correct information whenever you can…

 

An Interview with Michael Palmer

Michael Palmer has led a remarkable life as a well-respected board-certified physician of Internal Medicine, Emergency Medicine, and Addiction Medicine.   He has also become a writing phenomenon as each of his 14 published medical thrillers have made their way onto the New York Times Best Sellers list.

His latest book, “THE SECOND OPINION”, hit the stands in February, 2009, and revolves around the Sperelakis family, a well-to-do Greek-American clan with firm roots within the medical community.

tribe4mian:  Michael, I’d like to thank you for taking the time out of your hectic schedule to sit with us for a little bit. 

You have quite an impressive resume as a physician and novelist.  With such a stunning and established career as a physician, what made you try your hand at writing?

MICHAEL PALMER:  Thanks… glad to be here.  First, let me say that I will be writing here the way I speak with friends – loose and without much punctuation.
 
I have always had an interest in creative things outside of medicine, and have tried my hand at acting and music, but with little sustained success.  Then, in 1977, I read Coma by Robin Cook, who was a classmate of mine at Wesleyan University in Connecticut and also trained at Mass. General Hospital with me.  I was fascinated with the book and with the idea of trying my hand at it…

“If Robin can do it and we have the same education,” I asked my younger sister one day, “why can’t I?”

“Because you’re dull!” was her reply.

The glove was hurled and I took up the challenge… that was 15 books ago…

tribe4mian:  I understand your first novel, “THE COREY PRESCRIPTION”, never made it onto American shelves, but was published in several foreign languages.  Why is that?

MICHAEL PALMER:  The truth is, the book wasn’t very good.  My medical thrillers all deal with a medical ethical issue such as autism and euthanasia… “The Corey Prescription” was a straight adventure story.  Several of my foreign publishers got impatient because my early books were coming out so slowly, so they asked to see anything I had written.  A few of them went ahead and published it (the price was right)… I could never talk my American publisher into making such a move.

The Sisterhood (1982) - by Michael Palmertribe4mian:  Your first English-language published novel, “THE SISTERHOOD”, was about a secret society of nurses dedicated to euthanasia and was a runaway sensation. 

Originally published in 1982, you are now on the 36th printing, with translations made into 35 or so foreign languages.   How did you come up with such a brilliant and timeless masterpiece, and to what do you attribute its long-running success?

MICHAEL PALMER:   Thanks for your kind words regarding “The Sisterhood”.   For obvious reasons, it holds a dear place in my heart.

I think the universal theme of euthanasia, and the engaging characters of David and Christine have helped keep the book in print even after 27 years.  In the end, it’s always character… the real challenge since it’s publication in 1982 has been to write a better book about what may be a less strong idea.  This I hope I have done many times over…

Extreme Measures (1991) - by Michael Palmertribe4mian:  While attending Wesleyan University in Connecticut, you took a seminar on Edgar Allen Poe

How did this great author influence you in the writing of “EXTREME MEASURES”?

MICHAEL PALMER:  Poe went to the bank on the theme of people looking like they were dead when they weren’t. 

I have read his entire body of work and consider Beatrice one of my favorites.  Many think the phrase “saved by the bell” has something to do with boxing — and it may… however…

Extreme Measures (1996) - movie based on the book by Michael Palmertribe4mian:  What was your first reaction upon hearing that “EXTREME MEASURES” would be made into a movie, ultimately starring Hugh Grant, Gene Hackman, Sarah Jessica Parker, David Morse, and produced by Elizabeth Hurley.  Did the movie vary considerably from the novel, as is often the case when literary works are converted into screenplays?

MICHAEL PALMER:  Needless to say, I was ecstatic when I got the word about the film.  I had had a number of my books optioned and two (“The Sisterhood” and “Silent Treatment”) even written for films, but this was the first one that was going to be made… and with Michael Apted directing, as well as Hurley, Grant, Parker, and Hackman….very heady stuff.

People need to remember that the credits say “based on the book by”, not “a movie of the book by”… that’s what it was – based on my book.  There are many plot similarities… few character similarities… still, I loved it.

“… Good doctors do the correct thing.  Great doctors have the guts to do the right thing.  If you could cure cancer by killing one patient, wouldn’t you have to do that?…”

tribe4mian:  You recently completed your three book / three year deal and have renewed with a four book / four year obligatory deadline with St. Martin’s Press

A book a year has pretty much become standard practice within the literary world.  With all these time-invoked demands being placed upon you, how do you discipline yourself to meet these obligations, as well as being a father to three sons?  Have you ever hit a brick wall while in the creative process and just how do you come up with storylines which continue in your suspense-driven medical thrillers?

MICHAEL PALMER:  The key is don’t panic!! … I must remember that I’ve done this before… and before that… and most important, just as I did with my first book, I must write a page at a time—a word at a time if necessary. 

My youngest kid is off to college in the fall, so all he requires is nagging about getting away from his computer (while I’m spending all day at mine)… I won’t allow myself to hit any brick walls… bad-but-fixable writing is better than no writing.  When in doubt about plot lines, I let my imagination be my guide…..

The Second Opinion (2009) - by Michael Palmertribe4mian:  Your most recent release, “THE SECOND OPINION”, deals with the Sperelakis family, a first-generation Greek-American medical clan with tightly-knit ties to their heritage. 

You did an amazing job in touching upon many customs and traditions the Greeks of the diaspora refuse to let go.  Was it difficult for you to find the right frame of mind to intertwine, with such accuracy, a way of life you yourself have not experienced first-hand?

MICHAEL PALMER:  The secret to much of my writing is painstaking, meticulous research—even for subjects within medicine that I already know well.  I blend conversations with friends who are Greek with my own imagination, and try to come up with how my Greek characters will react to situations such as hospitalization and humiliation.  Then I go back to my sources and ask them to check what I have done…

tribe4mian:  In “THE SECOND OPINION”, there are two members of the Sperelakis family, Thea and Dimitris, with varying traits associated with Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism.   Can you tell us why this same disease can have such a variance of adjusted social levels within the same family?

MICHAEL PALMER:  There are many answers to this question… most importantly, Thea had treatment for her condition while Dimitri never did… but also, all mental illness and neurologic conditions are manifest by the personalities of the ill person… therefore, while a diagnosis may have traits common to all who have it, there are many differences as well. 

Finally we must remember that AS is a spectrum varying from one end to another…

tribe4mian:  I’d also like to extend our congratulations to you and your youngest son, Luke, who just completed his high school education and is on his way to his first choice for college.  You must be very proud of all his accomplishments. 

There is a parallel universe which runs alongside your latest release, “THE SECOND OPINION”, and your own personal life.  Can you please tell us more about Asperger’s Syndrome, and how your family broke down those imposed barriers to help Luke’s social dynamic abilities?

MICHAEL PALMER:  Rather than try and write about the complex communication disorder that is Asperger Syndrome, I recommend reading about it in my book, many non-fiction books, or on Wikipedia.  When we recognized Luke’s AS, my wife and I became determined that above all we would raise him with the strongest self-esteem possible, starting with having him hear “I love you” from his parents as many times a day as possible… in the end, strong self esteem and self-worth conquers all.

Michael and Luke Palmer

Michael and Luke Palmer

tribe4mian:  What resources are out there which could enable parents to become involved in therapeutic assistance for a child with Asperger’s Syndrome?

MICHAEL PALMER:  We have the wonderful Asperger Association of New England… they are all anyone needs to know.  Contact them for referrals more geographically practical.  Also, get to know the Development Delay Registry and founder Patricia Lemer, subscribe to their newspaper and support them.

tribe4mian:  In “THE SECOND OPINION”, Dr. Petros Sperelakis, has been hit by a car and is presumed to be in a coma, however, he is actually in a state called “Locked-In Syndrome”, whereby he cannot move any part of his body but is fully aware of all that is going on around him.  Have you ever had a patient experience this terrifying condition, and how would one know if this is the true ailment of a seemingly comatose patient or not.

MICHAEL PALMER:  I have never seen a case that I knew was LIS… however, I recommend the book and the movie: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. I also did a huge amount of research on the subject.

tribe4mian:  Have you ever written a sequel to a book, and, will you be writing one so that we may continue to follow the trials and tribulations of Dr. Thea Sperelakis?  I’d love to know how her relationship develops, as well as her adjustments to the surprising twist of events which I can’t speak about so as not to spoil the story for others.

MICHAEL PALMER:  To date, I have never written a sequel or a continuing character, but if I did, it might be Thea.  Most of the protagonists I write about are just “normal” everyday people whose desire in life is simply to be happy.  But because of something they do or know or learn about, they are in for great difficulty if they are to survive.  It is hard to imagine bringing such hardship on a character more than once, ergo my books are all stand-alones…

(The Official Book trailer for the novel, “The Last Surgeon”, pub. February 16, 2010, from St. Martin’s Press. Features “THE LAST SURGEON Official Theme” song, written by Daniel James Palmer and Thaddeus Hogarth, performed by The Thaddeus Hogarth Band and featuring Donna McElroy.)

tribe4mian:  My understanding is that your newest novel, “THE LAST SURGEON” is scheduled for a February 2010 release date.  Is this the same date your son, Daniel, will be releasing his first novel, “DELIRIUM”, through Kensington?  How does it feel having your son follow your footsteps into the literary world, and, are you fearful he will knock you off the New York Times Best Sellers List?

(Ok, that was intended as an interjection of a little humor to break up the serious nature of some of these topics, and we do wish Daniel the greatest of success in his new path.  Now please answer the question, Michael.)  :)

MICHAEL PALMER:  Daniel’s book is a great one, and no one would be happier when it succeeds than I will.  If there is only one slot available on the Times list, let it be him.  His pub date, however, won’t be until 2/2011…

Michael Palmer and Tess Gerritsen

Michael Palmer and Tess Gerritsen reviewing each other's books.

tribe4mian:  For the past decade you, along with the talented Tess Gerritsen, whose books have kept me enthralled as I turn each page, have conducted a fiction writing seminar for doctors. 

You have also been known to help new writers break into the literary field by offering inspiration and an occasional blurb for their first release.  With all you have been involved in, why have you made this silent oath to assist newcomers into the tantalizing world of the written word?

MICHAEL PALMER:  As a physician and a caring person, helping others makes me feel great—especially when top writers went to the trouble to help me when I was just getting started.  Alas, I get 3-10 advance reader’s copies each month for quotes. I just can’t do them all… I would never “blurb” a book without reading it.

tribe4mian:  Is there anything you’d like to add, Michael?

MICHAEL PALMER:  The paperback of “THE SECOND OPINION” just came out on 1/1/2010 with a great new cover.  Thanks for a terrific interview…

tribe4mian:  Again, I’d like to thank you for your time and have thoroughly enjoyed meeting up with you over the past couple of years, Michael.  You are truly an inspiration, as well as a guiding light for many who feel they wander blindly.  I wish you the greatest of continued success in all your endeavors, and please send along our best wishes and congratulations on their achievements to your children. 

… And remember, no matter where my feet may be, you will always be welcomed with open arms and the warmest of smiles.  I sincerely hope a trip to Greece will be in your future so we can go drink some of that 7-star stuff you’ve heard so much about.  :)

Be well, Michael, and thank you again, from the bottom of my heart.

For more information:

Michael PalmerMichael Palmer/Books - MySpace - Facebook - Facebook Fan Page - Twitter - YouTube

Pre-Order “THE LAST SURGEON” by Michael Palmer

Asperger’s Association of New England (AANE)

Developmental Delay Resources

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2010 in Books/Literary, Interviews, Medical/Health

 
 
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