Saturday, April 25, 2020

FREE copies of Alt.Culture.Guide books!

Alt.Culture.Guide 2006
The Reverend realizes that this pandemic has got us all a little (or a lot) freaked out. As we all shuffle around our homes in self-imposed isolation, we've listened to every record, read every book, watched every TV show.

As a public service, the kindly ol' Rev has uploaded PDF copies of the three Alt.Culture.Guide™ books from the early 2000s which you can download at NO CHARGE and enjoy years of writing from the finest music webzine around (at the time). Just click on the link in the titles and be transported away from your daily grind with FREE rock 'n' roll reading...

WARNING! These are quite large PDF files!

Alt.Culture.Guide™ 2003

• Feature article: "A Critic's Guide to the New Rock Sound" (with The Strokes, The White Stripes, etc)
• Interviews with heavy metal bass legend T.M. Stevens, bluesman Richard Johnston, and rock legend Wayne Kramer (MC5)
• Other articles include "Tower Records On the Ropes," "In Defense of the White Bluesman," "The Rise & Fall of Heavy Metal" and more!
• Dozens of CD, DVD, book & zine reviews
• Writers include Rev. Gordon, Bill Glahn, Tommy Hash, Kels Koch & others
• 7.25" x 9" trade paperback, B&W photos, 150pp w/color covers

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Alt.Culture.Guide™ 2005

• Feature article: "Prog-Rock, An Introduction"
• Special Prog-Rock/Metal section featuring interviews with Neal Morse (Spock's Beard), Jerry Gaskill (King's X), Roine Stolt (Flower Kings) & members of Kotipelto, Pallas, Tiles & others!
• Articles include "Kansas Sails On - A Look Back," "Nashville - What Went Wrong?" and "The RIAA vs the Rest of Us" & more!
• Dozens of CD, DVD, book & zine reviews
• Writers include Rev. Gordon, Bill Glahn, Steve Morley, Tommy Hash, Ivadd Grimstone & others
• 7.25" x 9" trade paperback, B&W photos, 205pp w/color covers

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Alt.Culture.Guide™ 2006

• Feature article: "Minimum Wage Rock 'n' Roll"
• Interviews with bluesman Bobby Rush, Steve Hackett (Genesis), Alex Skolnick (Testament), Blackie Lawless (W.A.S.P.), Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree) and others!
• Other articles include "Deford Bailey: The First Star of the Grand Ole Opry," "Return of the Son of the RIAA vs the Rest of Us" and more!
• Dozens of CD, DVD, book & zine reviews 
• Writers include Rev. Gordon, Bill Glahn, Tommy Hash, Ivadd Grimstone, Eric Saeger, Kena Sosa & others
• 7.25" x 9" trade paperback, B&W photos, 265pp w/color covers

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A Review of Alt.Culture.Guide 2006 by the esteemed Kent Orlando:

Way, waaaaaaaay back in the dim, farthermost reaches of human prehistory – sometime shortly after the advent of the velociraptors, but just a few scant ticks prior to that fateful moment in time when the Rolling Stones finally speed-boated their way irrevocably 'cross the Rubicon of Suck – I churned out a vast, eminently forgettable froth of record and concert reviews for various music-oriented publications in and around Nashville, Tennessee. (The Nashville Gazette, Hank, Take One, Anthem, etcetera and so on.

Rock'n'roll newspapers and 'zines in Music City, USA throughout the greater portion of the '70s and '80s were uncannily like the criminal super-organization "Hydra" in all those old Marvel comics: for every one inevitably cut down, two more would instantly spring up to take their place. My longest-lived column at that point ('Bunnies from Hell'; don't ask, and I solemnly pledge not to try and explain) netted an appreciably-better-than-warranted write-up in The Rolling Stone Review 1985, which was pretty much it for me, last hurrah-wise, insofar as serious, journeyman rock journalism goes.

The absolute, balls-to-the-wall, case-closed best of the whole boisterously opinionated lot of us, however – casually performing the written equivalent of great, looping Immelmann turns over my own comparatively lead-efforts; better, even, in certain specific respects, than contributing contemporary Allen Steele (who later went on to become a multiple Hugo Award-winning grandmaster in the SF field, so that's all right, then) – was this one guy, in particular: a perpetually black-clad, bearded, obelisk-sized-and-shaped primal force by the name of Keith A. Gordon, A.K.A. "The Reverend."

Unlike the more dilettantish among us [Insert Nervous, Self-Conscious Coughing Into Hand Here], The Rev remained hunkered and watchful in the rock journo trenches, from that day to this – selflessly standing guard against the Nazgul forces of musical darkness. His is the spiritual and intellectual impetus behind the stone essential Alt.Culture.Guide music webzine (boasting not only a genuinely jaw-dropping backlog of columns, CD/DVD playlists and recommended reading lists, but – bonus, BIG-time! – is home to the Mondo Weed music downloading system), as well as regular jeremiads re: the innumerable business follies and fetishes of the music industry on his other blog, Ryan Adams Sucks; not to mention his ongoing chronicling of the histories of the indie and prog rock scenes in Nashville, circa 1976 to present, on his other OTHER blog, The Other Side of Nashville. (At some point along the way, the Reverend evidently had himself surgically reconfigured into some freakish, sleep-eschewing cybernetic creature-thing of sorts. Persistent online scuttlebutt has it that the poor bastard hasn't actually seen direct sunlight since the latter part of 1989, give or take.)

The very best bestest of each year's material from the Alt.Culture.Guide site is attractively and conveniently collected annually in trade paperback format, with the latest edition – ALT.CULTURE.GUIDE: Aspects of (Un)Popular Culture v3.0, 2006 – clocking in at a fat and sassy 260+ pages of wittily perspicacious industry analysis and over 250 (!!!) music reviews, only one or two of which (inexplicably positive reviews for new releases by '80-era mellow rockschlocks Journey and Asia; both provided by contributor Tommy "Hashman" Hash, whom NO ONE MAN OR WOMAN LIVING MAY LOVE OR TRUST EVEREVEREVER AGAIN!) might legitimately qualify as being "indefensible"; pretty damned impressive any way you want to look at it, overall percentage-wise.  (… and when's the last time you could genuinely say the same of such comparatively calcified house organs as Rolling Stone or Spin, incidentally…?)

Standout pieces in v3.0 include "Minimum Wage Rock & Roll," the Reverend's intriguing, outside-the-box proposal for remedying the industry's present-day fiscal doldrums; thoughtful appreciations of bassist Pete Trewavas (Marillion) and Steve Hackett (Genesis); and convincing, spot-on analyses of the latest offerings (both new and reissued) from such disparate artists as Billy Idol, Roky Erickson, Robert Plant, the Go-Betweens, Jon Mikl Thor, Johnny Winter, The Tubes, Spock's Beard, The Subteens, The Shemps, Dash Rip Rock, Living Colour… you get the idea.

If you aren't reading this man's stuff:  you damned well oughtta be. I don't know how to phrase it any more plainly than that.


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