Woodstock books: rockin’ & readin’

August 14th, 2009, 2:47 pm by Greg

Naturally enough, there have been dozens of new books hitting the shelves in the past couple of weeks in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the 1969 Woodstock Festival.

There are two especially interesting books on the fest that both have local Nippertown connections, and fittingly both of them are first-person, oral histories of the event – because, of course, just about everyone who attended the fest has their story to tell about it.

woodstock-coverJoel Makower‘s “Woodstock: The Oral History” was originally published two decades ago in celebration of the festival’s 20th anniversary. The new 40th anniversary edition has been published by Excelsior Editions, a division of the Albany-based State University of New York Press.

Back in 1988, Makower criss-crossed the country to conduct face-to-face interviews with more than 70 festival participants – musicians, the producers, local residents, tech and backstage personnel and, of course, the fans. When the original edition was published, Rolling Stone magazine called it “the definitive story of the mega-concert.”

The new edition includes new forewords by co-producers Michael Lang and Joel Rosenman, but it’s Makower’s original interviews that are the real reason to celbrate the fact that this book is back in print again.

woodstockRevisitedMeanwhile, “Woodstock Revisited” (published by Adams Media) is saddled with the subtitle, “50 far-out, groovy, peace-loving, flashback-inducing stories from those who were there.” Edited by Susan Reynolds, the book focuses on the fans, allowing those who attended the fest the opportunity to write about their own private (and public) experiences during the three days of peace, love and rock & roll.

The reminiscences are short – generally about four or five pages long – and yet it seems that nearly all of the contributors saw the fest from a different perspective, which makes for fascinating reading.

And one of the 50 contributors is Sandy McKnight – local musician-songwriter who plays in the “virtual band” the Ragamuffins of Love and operates the non-profit Columbia Arts Team in Hudson.

At 1:30pm Monday, August 17, editor Susan Reynolds and a dozen others contributors – including McKnight – will be on hand for a two-hour reading, Q&A session and book-signing at the Museum at Bethel Woods’ Events Gallery. Admission is free but admission tickets – available here – are required.


“Punk Rock Fun Time Activity Book”

June 2nd, 2009, 12:45 pm by Greg

Old-school punks rejoice!

Now you can pass on your love of all things punk to your kids by infecting them with Aye Jay’s hilarious new 48-page paperback, “Punk Rock Fun Time Activity,” recently published by the adventurous folks at ECW Press.


  • Draw tattoos on Henry Rollins!
  • Color Iggy Pop!
  • Complete the paint-by-number Misfits logo!
  • Draw your own graffiti on CBGB’s bathroom walls!
  • Fill in the Punk Crossword Puzzle!
  • Invent Punk-Lib lyrics for the Dead Kennedys’ “California Uber Alles”!
  • Guide the Circle Jerks’ mascot through the Mosh Pit Maze!
  • Draw hair on Ian MacKaye!
  • Play the Cramps’ song title word search!

Yeah, it’s more fun than sniffing glue!

Punk Rock Fun Time Activity Book

Be Here Now: Comic Book Constrictor @ UAG

May 10th, 2009, 6:47 pm by Greg

We here at nippertown.com headquarters are always thrilled when art and music are involved in a head-on collision. So I’m pretty damned sure that it was no mere coincidence that I picked up an intriguing postcard for Comic Book Constrictor – a workshop-talk regarding “dangerous methods of sequential art” – that Ira Marcks is offering at the Upstate Artists Guild in Albany at 2pm Saturday, May 16.


Because just a couple of days later, I get a lovely little note from Ira – and, of course, we love to get mail – explaining that he and his folk-rock band Restys are splitting the bill with the oh-so-lovely Katie Haverly at the Bread and Jam Cafe in Cohoes at 8pm Friday, May 22. Admission is free, but naturally donations to the musicians are always greatly appreciated. (Unfortunately, that’s the same night that Geoff Muldaur is at Caffe Lena. Darn.)

Marcks’ Comic Book Constrictor talk is free, too. Apparently, Marcks is in the process of developing some workshops in experimental narrative and sequential art for the Arts Center of the Capital Region in Troy for the autumn. “This lecture is sort of a warm-up to help me develop my ideas for those classes,” says Marcks.

Comic Book Constrictor
Upstate Artists Guild Gallery
247 Lark St., Albany
2pm Saturday, May 16

Nicholas Galanin: What Have We Become?

April 28th, 2009, 1:58 pm by Sara

Nicholas Galanin: What Have We Become? Vol.1

Nicholas Galanin: What Have We Become? Vol.1

Tlingit/Aleut artist Nicholas Galanin has posted an exquisite collection of book sculptures featuring 3D-reliefs of faces and traditional Tlingit forms.

The Henry Darger Collection at the American Folk Art Museum

April 24th, 2009, 3:28 pm by Sara


By Brooke Davis Anderson

The American Folk Art Museum is home to the Darger Study Center, housing all his manuscripts, 26 paintings and the archive of his source materials, donated by Kiyoko Lerner. This book measures 11 inches by 8.5 inches in size and includes 54 full color paintings and 19 pages of studies and archival materials, but no excerpts of Darger’s writings. However, it includes a foreword by Kiyoko Lerner, an essay by Michel Thevoz and an afterword by Gerald C. Wertkin that give insight into his life, so it gives a good introductory overview of his life and work.

Darger: The Henry Darger Collection at the American Folk Art Museum

Henry Darger: Art and Selected Writings

April 24th, 2009, 1:31 pm by Sara


I’ve been a Henry Darger fan for a number of years now and I still think that his works are better seen in person, but failing that, this is the most comprehensive Darger reference available. It starts with a 30 page essay by Michael Bonesteel and includes a lot of biographical information including the Elsie Paroubek story. I find the colors a little more saturated than the works I’ve seen in person, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It measures 11 inches by 10 inches in size and includes more than 200 pages of color reproductions, photos of his work area and a satisfying variety of excerpts from his writings, including The Realms, The History of My Life and Book of Weather Reports. Buy this one for yourself.

Henry Darger: Art and Selected Writings

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