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What's your all time favorite concet? Corbin Reiff may disagree. Come share yours as he discusses his new book Lighters in the Sky: The All-Time Greatest Concerts, 1960–2016.
About Corbin Reiff:
Corbin Reiff is the author of Lighters In The Sky: The Greatest Concert Of All-Time 1960-2016. He is currently the Deputy Music Editor at UPROXX and has contributed to some of the biggest publications around including, Rolling Stone, Spin, The Washington Post, Pitchfork, Complex, Guitar World, and The A.V. Club to name a few. He lives in Chicago with his wife Jenna and his two dogs Page and Hendrix.
About Lighters in the Sky:
Live. In the age of the studio and digital downloads, that four-letter word stands as the true test of the performer’s talent and the fan’s commitment.
The true greats deliver in concert, and every once in a while they deliver with a sound and fury that rings through the ages. James Brown at the Apollo. Led Zeppelin at Earl’s Court. Nirvana at Reading. The night Tupac, Biggie and Big Daddy Kane found a stage big enough to share at Madison Square Garden. Radiohead at Glastonbury. Some shows crystallize a particular moment in a great performer’s career, like Bowie’s farewell to Ziggy Stardust at the Hammersmith and Prince’s epic set at the Forum at the height of his purple reign. Some—the original Woodstock, The Last Waltz, Lollapalooza ’91 and Coachella ’99—define an era.
The live moment can be hard to capture with a microphone or a camera, let alone on the page. In veteran music writer Corbin Reiff’s deep dive through decades of epic gigs—often including interviews with the participants—he brings these concerts crackling back to life with revealing and lost details about what it was like on the stage and in the hall. Here are the cultural contexts, the backstage dramas, the split-second artistic decisions and the technical details behind the best shows of our amplified age. Year by year, concert by concert, this is a book that’s loud and guaranteed to start an argument.
Feeling a little pessemistic about politics? Come get inspired! The Book Cellar is excited to host Ron Aronson and his empowering new book, We: Reviving Social Hope.
Abour Ron Aronson:
Ronald Aronson grew up in Detroit and was educated at Wayne State University, U.C.L.A., the University of Michigan, and Brandeis University, where he earned a Ph.D. in the History of Ideas. He studied with William Barrett, Page Smith, and Herbert Marcuse. Swept up in the political activism of the 1960s, he became a community organizer in the African American neighborhood of New Brunswick, New Jersey, and an editor of the prominent New Left journal, Studies on the Left. In spring, 1968, as he was completing a doctoral dissertation on “Art and Freedom in the Philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre,” he participated in the “Freedom School” organized in the aftermath of the student strike at Columbia University.
Aronson has taught at Wayne State University since 1968, first at Monteith College, and since 1978 in the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies, a nationally recognized program for working adults that was abolished by the WSU Board of Governors in 2007. He is now Distinguished Professor of the History of Ideas in the Department of History. Winner of several scholarly and teaching awards at Wayne State, Aronson is the past president of its Academy of Scholars.
He was Visiting Professor of Philosophy at DePaul University in Chicago in winter, 2004. In 1983-4, he was Research Associate at University College London and in 1987 and again in 1990, a guest lecturer at the University of Natal and other South African universities. The story of his first experience in South Africa, at the height of the struggle to end apartheid, is told in Stay Out of Politics: A Philosopher Views South Africa (Chicago, 1990). In recognition of his scholarly career and political contributions to South Africa, in April, 2002, he was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws by the University of Natal, Durban, South Africa.
Author or editor of nine books, Aronson is an internationally recognized authority on Jean-Paul Sartre. He has focused above all on the process of Sartre’s transformation to a political thinker and activist. He has been Chair of the Sartre Society of North America and founding editor of the journal Sartre Studies International. With support by the National Endowment for the Humanities in 1980 he published Jean-Paul Sartre - Philosophy in the World (Verso); the American Council of Learned Societies supported research for his Sartre’s Second Critique (University of Chicago Press, 1987).
Aronson’s latest book is Living Without God: New Directions for Atheists, Agnostics, Secularists, and the Undecided (Counterpoint, September, 2008). Other recent books include Camus & Sartre: The Story of a Friendship and the Quarrel that Ended It (Chicago, 2004) and After Marxism (Guilford, 1995). He has published articles in The Nation, Bookforum, The Yale Review, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Washington Post, The International Herald-Tribune, The Toronto Star, The (London) Times Higher Education Supplement, and The (London) Times Literary Supplement.
Aronson has produced televised political debates on democratic values and affirmative action (participants have included Cornel West, Barbara Ehrenreich, Abigail Thernstrom, David Frum, and Dinesh D’Souza) He is co-producer of the feature-length documentary film Professional Revolutionary about legendary Detroit social and political activist Saul Wellman and, most recently, 1st Amendment on Trial: The Case of the Detroit Six, focused on the Federal government's trial of Michigan Communist Party leaders in the '50s.
One of Aronson’s lifelong concerns has been to study and write about the nature of hope, especially as related to political commitment. Since the beginning of the invasion of Iraq, he has been active in the Huntington Woods (MI) Peace, Citizenship, and Education Project.
About We: Reviving Social Hope:
The election of Donald Trump has exposed American society’s profound crisis of hope. By 2016 a generation of shrinking employment, rising inequality, the attack on public education, and the shredding of the social safety net, had set the stage for stunning insurgencies at opposite ends of the political spectrum. Against this dire background, Ronald Aronson offers an answer. He argues for a unique conception of social hope, one with the power for understanding and acting upon the present situation. Hope, he argues, is far more than a mood or feeling—it is the very basis of social will and political action. It is this kind of hope that Aronson sees brewing in the supporters of Bernie Sanders, who advocated the tough-minded and inspired disposition to act collectively to make the world more equal, more democratic, more peaceful, and more just. And it was directly contrasted by Trump’s supporters who showed a cynical and nostalgic faith in an authoritarian strongman replete with bigotry and misogyny.
Beneath today’s crisis Aronson examines our heartbreaking story: a century of catastrophic violence and the bewildering ambiguity of progress—all of which have contributed to the evaporation of social hope. As he shows, we are now in a time when hope is increasingly privatized, when—despite all the ways we are connected to each other—we are desperately alone, struggling to weather the maelstrom around us, demoralized by the cynicism that permeates our culture and politics, and burdened with finding personal solutions to social problems.
Yet, Aronson argues, even at a time when false hopes are rife, social hope still persists. Carefully exploring what we mean when we say we “hope” and teasing hope apart from its dangerously misconstrued sibling, “progress,” he locates seeds of real change. He argues that always underlying our experience—even if we completely ignore it—is the fact of our social belonging, and that this can be reactivated into a powerful collective force, an active we. He looks to various political movements, from the massive collective force of environmentalists to the movements around Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn, as powerful examples of socially energized, politically determined, and actionably engaged forms of hope. Even in this age of Donald Trump, the result is an illuminating and inspiring call that anyone can clearly hear: we can still create a better future for everyone, but only if we resist false hopes and act together.
Four- time Emmy Award winner, a well-known Chicago pioneer in the documentary and TV film world Tom Weinberg comes to The Book Cellar with his newest immersive book, Chasing the Lost City: My Chronicles of Discovery in Honduras. If you loved Lost City of the Monkey God, come learn about the expedition from a whole new angle.
About Tom Weinberg:
Author and video/TV pioneer documentary producer Tom Weinberg has penned this personal account of a 20-year journey to discovery.
He is a fourth generation Chicagoan who started as a print journalist and became an out-of-the-mainstream producer of more than 500 nonfiction TV shows.
His credits include the breakthrough national PBS series THE 90’s, Image Union a public TV staple for 30 years, and more than a dozen documentaries. He has won four Emmy awards and taught college courses for 13 years.
His text about media and documentaries has been used by several university professors. He founded and is Board Chair of the Media Burn Independent Video Archive which contains more that 8,000 nonfiction videos, 3,000 of which are available free online at mediaburn.org. As of September, 2017, the site’s videos had more than 17 million page views from 200 countries.
He writes a monthly personal blog PY-O-MY Letter/Weinberg House Organ, founded in 1952 by his father which Tom revived in 2013.
About Chasing the Lost City: My Chronicles of Discovery in Honduras:
The story traces the 20-year quixotic obsession of a few guys that blossomed into a world-renowned scientific, historical and archaeological breakthrough. Pals since the 1970s, Weinberg and expedition leader Steve Elkins and his expert team
uncover incontrovertible evidence of a previously unknown civilization.
It includes the author’s private journals written in Honduras, plus more than 180 photographs and Weinberg’s deep reflections on his “Adventure of a Lifetime.”
The reader is brought into the world of the discoverers, complete with dangerous snakes and insects, gorgeous untouched beauty, exhilaration and a rare disease that came with the discovery.
It’s a great read and the pictorial and personal companion to the 2017 New York Times #1 bestseller, Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story by Douglas Preston (Grand Central, 2017.) Preston calls Weinberg “The Official Chronicler” who wrote on his laptop in impenetrable Mosquitia Jungle. Chasing The Lost City: Chronicles of Discovery in Honduras sparkles with the insights and foibles of a first-time explorer with pithy, sometimes self-deprecating and brutally honest reflections. The compelling images, many of which are video still frames from an upcoming major documentary, have been beautifully orchestrated by award winning designer Elan Soltes. As the stunning photographs prove, this tiny spot in the Mosquitia Jungle of Honduras is a rugged, pristine,frightening, and almost sacred place.
Author Barbara Ridley stops by The Book Cellar to discuss her debut novel, When It's Over.
About Barbara Ridley:
BARBARA RIDLEY was raised in England but has lived in California for more than thirty years. After a successful career as a nurse practitioner, which included publication in numerous professional journals, she is now focused on creative writing. Her work has appeared in literary journals, such as The Writers Workshop Review, Still Crazy, Ars Medica, The Copperfield Review and BLYNKT. This is her first novel. Ridley lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her partner and her dog, and she has one adult daughter, of whom she is immensely proud. She enjoys hiking, backpacking and cross-country skiing in the mountains. Visit her online at barbararidley.com.
About When It's Over:
When It’s Over is a literary novel set in Europe during World War II. Coming of age in Prague in the turbulent 1930’s, Lena Kulkova meets Otto, a refugee from Hitler’s Germany, and follows him to Paris to work for the Republican side in the Spanish Civli War. As the war in Spain ends and a far greater war engulfs the continent, Lena gets stuck in Paris with no news from her Jewish family, including her beloved baby sister, left behind in Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia. Otto, meanwhile, has fled to England, and is staying in a small Sussex village, sponsored by the eccentric Lady of the Manor. He urges Lena to join him, but she cannot obtain visa.
When Lena and Otto are finally reunited in England, they face anti-refugee sentiment and wartime deprivations, and their relationship becomes strained. Lena plunges into a new romance, and the progressive political movement that leads to the landslide defeat of Churchill in the 1945 election. But she’s desperate for news from her mother and sister.
When It’s Over deals with universal themes of optimism versus pessimism, hope and denial, and the assimilation of immigrants during a time of social upheaval. Although it is a work of fiction, it is based on Barbara’s late mother’s experience as a refugee in the 1940’s.
Barbara was inspired to write the novel after her mother’s death in 2002. There was so much in her story that was too good to lose, but so many details Barbara realized she didn’t know. So as a lover of fiction, she decided to write a novel and make up stuff to fill in the gaps.
But she also did a ton of research. Among other resources, she was able to read her father’s contemporary letters to one of his close friends. The novel offers fascinating insights into some little-known aspects of life during the war, and the history of the progressive political movements in the 30s and 40s. The issues they struggled with then still have resonance today.
The Book Cellar is excited to welcome back the hilarious Mamrie Hart! Come join us at the Tied House at Schubas Tavern to celebrate the launch of her new book 'I've Got This Round: More Tales of Debauchery,' and of course, there will be plenty of drinks for purchase.
A signed copy of Ive Got This Round is included with each ticket purchase. The first 200 people to buy tickets will get a special meet & greet with Mamrie after the show.
PURCHASE TICKETS HERE.
In 2015, Plume published the first book by digital creator and comedian Mamrie Hart. An enormous name in the world of YouTube celebrity for her You Deserve a Drink series, Hart tackled the publication of her book of the same name the way she tackles life: with infectious humor, undeniable tenacity, an Ill-try-anything-once spirit, and, ultimately, success. Harts tireless work ethic paid off when, upon publication, You Deserve a Drink launched at #5 on the New York Times bestseller list.
In 2016, Mamrie wrote, executive-produced, and starred in Lionsgates feature-length comedy Dirty 30, for which she won the Best Actress Streamy Award in 2017. She earned a coveted position on Varietys annual list of Hollywoods New Leaders that same year, and a spot on The Hollywood Reporters 2017 Digital Disruptors list tied to a title she is writing for Sony and a new IP she is developing for Reese Witherspoons digital arm, Hello Sunshine. And in 2018, Mamrie will return to the written word with her second essay collection with IVE GOT THIS ROUND: More Tales of Debauchery (February 6, 2018; Plume Hardcover), a wild, unforgettable, hilarious and honest journey through something most Millennials would prefer to avoid: adulting.
When Mamrie simultaneously enters her 30s and finds herself single for the first time since college, the world is suddenly full of possibilitiesboth terrifying and thrilling. Emboldened by the cool confidence that comes with the end of ones 20s, plus the newfound independence of an attachment-free lifestyle, Mamrie commits herself to living life with even more spirit, adventure, and heart than before.
Mamrie dives into new experiences at full-tilt and seeks out once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, bucket-list goals, and madcap shenanigans, all while diving back into the dating world for the first time in a decade. From partying all night with Kevin Richardson on a Backstreet Boys cruise, busting a gut at the Moulin Rouge, testing the waters with online dating, and discovering her love of WWE wrestling, Mamries stories will have readers laughing, cringing, and wishing for more.
IVE GOT THIS ROUND explores the universal themes of female friendship, dating, and self-discovery that every 30-something contends with in todays world. Through inimitable candor, Hart delivers the ultimate guide to becoming an adult, and having a great time doing it.
About the author:
Mamrie Hart is an actress, comedian, and New York Times bestselling author who established a standout presence in the pop culture zeitgeist with her hit YouTube channel, You Deserve a Drink. Reaching more than three million followers across her social media channels and more than eighty-four million views on YouTube, Mamrie's influence as a creator earned her a coveted position on Variety's annual list of Hollywood's New Leaders 2016 and a spot on The Hollywood Reporter's 2017 Digital Disrupters list. In 2016, Mamrie wrote, executive-produced, and starred-in Lionsgate's feature-length comedy, Dirty 30. Her other writing and acting credits include Camp Takota, a feature that outperformed Oscar-nominated films during the week leading up to the Academy Awards on iTunes' top downloaded movies chart. Mamrie is from middle-of-nowhere North Carolina. She now lives in Los Angeles with her tiny hairless dog, Beanz.