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In Part I we discussed KISS’ Love Gun Tour as first man on the moon, Paul Stanley’s sackfuls of cash, Frankenstein Dynasty, and psychoanalysis and personality theory as it pertains to the downfall/saving grace of Coca-Cola KISS.  Read it here.

I should preface this article by stating that fans dead-set on seeing the return of James Iha and D’arcy will have to keep on hoping for an official (original) Smashing Pumpkins reunion as the line-up for Oceania features Jeff Schroeder (who has previously toured with the Pumpkins) on guitar, Mike Byrne on drums, and 2010 addition to the band, Nicole Fiorentino, on bass. With that said, hardcore Pumpkins fans should not despair. With the exception of a few songs, this album is loaded with tracks that are sure to please even the most steadfast purist.

A sunny girl from Northern climes,
hair and skin both honey-bright
with wide blue eyes, and in the gray
of an early spring, exuding light,

she reeks of health. Her diary
is crammed with fitness, every date
a rushed itinerary, full
of things to keep her in that state—

aerobics and organic fruit
—rip the flesh and suck the pips!—
bike to work from a D4 home…
until one day, her bright gaze slips

and falls on him, Italianate—
subtle, with a hint of threat,
bling on his finger. And his voice
cloys with a charm that makes her wet.

Fans of writer/director/artist extraordinaire Terry Gilliam (Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Brazil, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas) may be interested to know that Gilliam’s daughter Holly Gilliam has been sorting through her father’s extensive archive and sharing some of her discoveries online as of this month.  As she explains on her blog “Discovering Dad”:

Evan Lavender-Smith has let us into a world of strife and angst, love and discovery in his musings found in From Old Notebooks. How does parataxis function in this narrative that makes the language found here that of every story, of every notebook—yours, mine, or all of us who are capable of scribbling down the bits and pieces of dialogue that float around in our heads? FON is as much about investigating our own mental resources for content as it is narrative structure. The author gives over all of his ideas and insecurities about the clichés of being a writer and the banal moments of his everyday as documented on paper in the pages of his old notebooks.

In Part I we introduced each band member, with particular emphasis on attention-deprived lead singer David Lee Roth. In Part III we tried to surmise what, if anything, can be taken from an Alex Van Halen drum solo, and we watched Dave throw a tizzy-fit in Part V. In Part VI, let’s try not to cringe as Dave plays guitar.

(Clip 17, 0:52)

When I was a small child, I was prone to insomnia and fits of the night terrors. To get me to fall asleep, my mother and father would fasten me into our family’s 1971 Toyota Carina, throw in an eight-track cassette of Anne Murray’s Greatest Hits and drive up and down South Main Street in Houston, Texas, to look at the prostitutes. The blinking neon signs of the no-tell motels, the bling of streetwalkers working their finery, and the day-glo hues of their billowing lingerie were too much stimulation even for a toddler; I would finally shut my eyes and stop struggling against the seat belt while “Shadows in the Moonlight” and the South Main ho stroll played on. I nodded off to sleep not only with visions of sugar plum fairies, but also of leather-clad fairies, common harlots, desperate dope fiends, glamorous go-girls, and rowdy rent-boys all gyrating in my little head.

A round-up of high quality tweets from people in (and around) the world of literature…

Chad Redden:

 

A self-interview composed entirely of questions from the works of my major literary influences.

1. “Is it lack of imagination that makes us come / to imagined places, not just stay at home? / Or could Pascal have been not entirely right / about just sitting quietly in one’s room?”

Oh. Hi, Ms. Bishop. I was wondering who would start. I’m a bit of a homebody, so I sit quietly in my room quite a bit, but that has nothing to do with avoiding misfortune. I’m just comfortable being alone with myself. My imagination has a lot of frequent flyer miles, though. You’d be surprised how many parallel universes can co-exist inside one’s head.

But as to your question of travel, you who were always in search of a place to call home and feel it, I have imagined places before I’ve seen them in the flesh, and my memory of the places I’ve visited in the world is often richer than the first time I wandered through.

“I wouldn’t mind if my book were banned,” Kristen-Paige Madonia said, when asked about the possibility of her debut novel, Fingerprints of You, being pulled from the shelves. “That would mean it was having an impact. If books are seen as potentially dangerous, it shows they have the power to change lives.” Her editor has a reputation for publishing books that get banned, and one of her mentors, Judy Blume, is probably the most banned author in America. “As soon as you aren’t allowed to read something, you want to read it more, right?”

If there’s something  Jess Walter can’t do as a writer, I’ve yet to encounter it. He can craft plots for detective novels, wax poetic and profound on any number of topics, tackle topics from the election of 1980 to 9/11, and just plain crack you up. His last novel, The Financial Lives of the Poets, was riotously funny but also disturbingly serious, leaving me with knots in my stomach for days afterward (it also inspired my first TNB interview). Beautiful Ruins, his latest and perhaps his most ambitious offering, is, simply put, the result of a novelist working at the height of his powers.

Jess was kind enough to answer some of my questions:

 

Next Week: Spin-off column "This Week's Magnitude of Gargle" debuts