Books

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A Springsteen book fit for a fanatic’s coffeetable

What are the odds? For the second time in three years, the most notable new book of the year about Bruce Springsteen comes from a writer who lives all the way on the opposite side of the country from New Jersey, in Portland, Ore. In 2012, it was Bruce, by Peter Ames Carlin, a definitive biography written with the cooperation of the Boss himself. And this year, it’s Springsteen: Album by Album, written by Carlin’s former colleague at the Portland-based newspaper The Oregonian, Ryan White (Carlin contributes the book’s Introduction). They’re different kinds of book. Continue Reading →

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Springsteen songs inspire short stories

“Only thing that I got’s been bothering me my whole life. Well, that, and a gun,” writes Dennis Lehane in his story, “State Trooper.” Bruce Springsteen fans will recognize the first line as coming from the brooding “Nebraska” song, “State Trooper.” But the second was added by Lehane, in a story that appears in “Trouble in the Heartland,” a new anthology of crime fiction inspired by Springsteen songs. Yes, “Born to Run,” “Rosalita,” “Mansion on the Hill,” “Wreck on the Highway” and even “Queen of the Supermarket” are now short stories, using the songs as launching points, and occasionally harking back to them with a line or a phrase. Continue Reading →

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Authors keep memories of the great Trenton nightclub City Gardens alive

It was grungy before grungy was fashionable. City Garden was a no-frills, no-nonsense, decidedly non-glamorous Trenton nightclub of the ’80s and early ’90s. Decorations were few, and fights were frequent. Over the years, the clubs hosted countless alt-rock and punk-rock shows — bands such as Nirvana, the Ramones, Green Day, Yo La Tengo, R.E.M., Black Flag and Jane’s Addiction all made stops there, in many cases before they began to attract mainstream attention — and Jon Stewart has often talked about his days as a City Gardens bartender. Defunct nightclubs tend to be forgotten, but Amy Yates Wuelfing and Steve DiLodovico are trying to make sure that doesn’t happen. Continue Reading →

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Memorable portraits in Deborah Feingold’s book, ‘Music’

The first thing you think of when you look at many of the images in Deborah Feingold’s new book, “Music,” is how young the musicians are. Madonna in 1982, looking matter-of-factly into the camera as she sucks a lollipop. Elvis Costello, in the same year, scrunching up his face as if he’s just eaten something incredibly sour. Sinead O’Connor in 1990, resting her boot-clad feet on a hotel-room table but seeming to search for something as she looks upward. Even B.B. King, not a young man in 1985, but still looking somewhat impish as he hugs his guitar. Continue Reading →

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