Rock and Roll Book Club “meeting” and The Old Ceremony in Boston on February 16th

Central Square is truly the place to be on Wednesday, February 16th. First up is the Rock and Roll Book Club’s first book club “meeting.” This is a project I started up this past November. We chose Steve Almond’s book “Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life” as the inaugural book club selection for January 2011. Steve was an exceptional author and participant to work with: he blogged on the website and helped get the word out. Everyone who read the book (or who aspired to read the book or who wants to hang out with other people who mostly read the book) will be meeting up on the 16th 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. at the Enormous Room in Central Square. The original plan included Steve attending the meeting and playing his favorite “guilty pleasure” songs along with guilty favorites of book club members. A family obligation has come up so he won’t be able to join us. Steve has graciously offered to make a CD for us — so all is not lost! He’s local so hopefully we’ll see him at a future book club meeting.

Say you’ll be at the Rock and Roll Book Club meeting on Facebook. (And if you don’t want to RSVP on Facebook, you can also just show up.)

Despite running a music website off and on for a long time, I’d never consider myself a music critique or reviewer. You couldn’t pay me enough money to write about a band I’m not into and I hate to describe what music sounds like and what you might want to compare it to. (Aside: I also don’t get excited when referred to as a “music blogger.” Who doesn’t have a blog these days? Next time you see me, please greet me with “Hello, long time U.S. Postal customer.”) So when I recommend a concert to attend after the Rock and Roll Book Club meeting on the 16th, I mostly want to insert 345 exclamation marks. The Old Ceremony doesn’t seem to be all that well known around here and admittedly, I didn’t know about the band until a couple years ago when Abby clued me into their music after she moved to their homeland of North Carolina a few years ago.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (plus a lot more)

This is a tremendously excellent superbly awesome delightful band. I’m excited to finally see them live. Strangely enough, it’s an all ages show on a school night. I’m guessing that’s because of Rooney, one of the other bands who is also playing.

Win a pair of tickets to see The Old Ceremony at The Middle East Downstairs

If you’d like to win a pair of tickets to see The Old Ceremony, please send me an email and include 12 exclamation marks in the subject line. I’ll contact the winner on Wednesday, February 9th. If you’d like another chance to win tickets, follow @BostonTweeters — that’s a Twitter account I run for Boston area “people on Twitter.” I’ll be giving away a pair of tickets on Twitter, too.

VIDEO: “Tender Age” (live)

VIDEO: “Wither on the Vine, Pt. 2”

Who is The Old Ceremony?

Here’s how the band describes itself.

The Old Ceremony makes music so potent that you may go blind listening to it. But don’t worry, canes are in this season.

After three highly acclaimed albums and six years of touring, the Chapel Hill, NC band has built a large and loyal following. TOC has performed with CAKE, Squirrel Nut Zippers, Chuck Berry, Polyphonic Spree, Mountain Goats, and Avett Brothers, and was included in PASTE Magazine’s “Top 100 Albums of 2006.”

TOC is figureheaded by songwriter Django Haskins, and includes bassist Matt Brandau, drummer Dan Hall, vibes/organist Mark Simonsen, and violinist/keyboardist Gabriele Pelli.

The Rock and Roll Book Club

rock and roll books in a book storeI started a new book club in November 2010 called the Rock and Roll Book Club. The idea is that we’ll all read the same rock music related book each month. The book will either be directly about rock music or written by a musician-turned-author. Most of us spend way too much time at our computers so we’ll also be tweeting about the book and writing about it on our websites.

Rock and Roll Book Club’s inaugural selection is by local Boston author Steve Almond — “Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life: A Book by and for the Fanatics Among Us” published by Random House on April 13, 2010. Before confessing his rock and roll fanaticism, Steve wrote several other books including one about a different kind of obsession — Candyfreak: A Journey through the Chocolate Underbelly of America.

Part of the reason I started the book club is because I haven’t read a book in a really long time. No, longer than a really long time.

So far 33 people have signed up to read Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life — with more who’ve RSVP’d as “maybe” on the Facebook event page. There’s no pressure to read the book by the end of the month but everyone is encouraged to dig in on January 1st.

rock and roll will save your lifeThe book’s author, Steve Almond, is joining us throughout January, too. He is committed to helping us make Rock and Roll Book Club something more than just another book club. (Not that I really know what a book club is like but yes, it will be f-u-n.) Steve will be guest blogging on the book club website, giving away mixed CDs to people who refer the most new members (all they have to do is signup for the email list — shazam!) and if that’s not enough, Steve is also co-hosting a book club member event in Boston. Eventually there will be events all over if the book club takes off. We’ve already got members from throughout the country so we shall see.

To become an official member of the Rock and Roll Book Club, join the email newsletter and buy the book. If you’d like to win a custom handmade mixed CD from author Steve Almond, tell your friends in email, on Facebook and on Twitter to join, too. All they need to do is note you in the “referred by” field using your full name or your Twitter username. You need to be already subscribed to the email list to win one of Steve’s CDs.

Social Media for the Rock and Roll Book Club

Twitter: @RockBookClub


Twitter hashtag: #RockBookClub

Blog tag and photo tag: “Rock Book Club”


Steve Almond on Facebook: