1. I researched and wrote an article about the Private Press movement of the late 19th and early 20th Century, and posted it over at the Salisbury House blog. Here ’tis, with pretty pictures. If you live in Des Moines, you can actually come see some of these extremely rare books, up close and personal, this Thursday night as we host our inaugural Treasures Tour. Mind blowing, for real.
2. A tip of the cap and a warm “thank you” are due to the folks at the Des Moines Is NOT Boring blog, both for offering this kind plug via their widely-read Facebook and Twitter feeds, and then for giving RAYGUN head honcho Mike Draper the chance to affirm his taste and refinement when evaluating the strength of the local creative community inh is answer to question number six here. Thirteen months since its launch, Indie Moines continues to pretty regularly break its own daily, weekly and monthly readership records, with no marketing plan, no paid advertising (inbound or outbound), and only one grumpy old expat South Carolinian by way of New York providing content for a primarily Iowan audience. So it is satisfying to occasionally receive external validation like this to affirm that the website and its words are resonating with folks hereabouts.
3. I recently finished Bob Carruthers’ 2012 book Jollity Farm: The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, which incongruously uses perhaps the most iconic Iowa image imaginable on its cover, despite the fact that the Bonzo Dog Band were about as English as English can get. Go ahead. Click that link. You need to see it. Done? Alright, weird cover design notwithstanding, Jollity Farm was a very entertaining read about a band I’ve long loved, especially their masterpiece albums Keynsham and The Doughnut in Granny’s Greenhouse. One of the glories of the internet era is that many of their television appearances from the 1960s (they starred on a show called Do Not Adjust Your Set with proto-Pythons Eric Idle, Michael Palin and Terry Jones, and also appeared in The Beatles Magical Mystery Tour) are now available for easy viewing. Here’s a live performance of one of my favorites, featuring a legendarily awful guitar solo by Neil Innes, along with all sorts of other tomfoolery by these amazing showmen: