El Mano Negro’s brand new EP, “A Man’s Home is His Tombstone,” has finally arrived. The EP includes three new songs: “The Thin Man Never Saw It Coming,” “Go Down to the River Esmerelda,” and a cover of a Johnny Cash’s “San Quentin” (done-up in our own dust devil voodoo blues style). You can listen to the new tracks below and you can pick up the EP from Bandcamp, iTunes, Amazon, or Google Play. You can also stream it via Spotify. And if you dig it, don’t forget to check out the Memento Mori EP.
Here it is… the brand new El Mano Negro EP with three new songs, including a cover of a Johnny Cash classic (done-up in our own dust devil voodoo blues style).
You can pre-order the EP now from Bandcamp and get to stream the songs right away. Once the EP goes on sale August 27th, you’ll receive an e-mail with a link so you can download your copy.
James Salter discusses the relationship between writing and travel from an old Paris Review interview:
INTERVIEWER: Does the travel help your writing?
SALTER: It’s essential for me. There is no situation like the open road, and seeing things completely afresh. I’m used to traveling. It’s not a question of meeting or seeing new faces particularly, or hearing new stories, but of looking at life in a different way. It’s the curtain coming up on another act.I’m not the first person who feels that it’s the writer’s true occupation to travel. In a certain sense, a writer is an exile, an outsider, always reporting on things, and it is part of his life to keep on the move. Travel is natural. Furthermore, many men of ancient times died on the road, and the image is a strong one. Kings of Arabia, when they are buried, are not given great tombs. They are buried on the side of the road beneath ordinary stones. One thing I saw in England long ago struck me and has always stayed with me. I was going to visit someone in a little village, walking from the railway station across the fields, and I saw an old man, perhaps in his seventies, with a pack on his back. He looked to be a vagabond, dignified, somewhat threadbare, marching along with his staff. A dog trotted at his heels. It was an image I thought should be the final one of a life. Traveling on.
I was lucky enough to catch the showing of Brett Amory’s new “Dark Light” series of paintings at the Jonathan Levine gallery in New York City this past weekend. Quite amazing stuff. I was completely hooked by Amory’s use of shadow and light — scenes of lonely denizens drifting in and out of the lamplight, past rundown stores, as they move down rundown streets. Think Edward Hopper’s darkest hour.
Check out one of the video interviews with Amory posted on the Levine gallery blog.
Believe it or not, I am not the first writer in my family. Granted, I don’t come from literary stock. The kids in my generation were the first family members to actually make it to college. And even my own writing history is less than traditional — no MFA, no creative writing classes, not even a single writing workshop. I just had a crack at it as they say.
But I was not the first…
In 1975, Mario J. Della Torre, Sr., a cousin of mine who in that strange Italian twist was the same age as my parents, published his magnum opus, With A Ferry Boat They Robbed The Bank — Italian Style. Two years in the making, this comic crime-caper told the story of Meme, Co-co, Pepe, and Senor Dadone, a pack of feisty Italian immigrants who want to stick it to the man by robbing a bank in New Jersey. They make their getaway in… you guessed it, a Ferry Boat on the Hudson River. Not just a crime novel, there are endless inside nods to the Italian-American community. And comedy, New Jersey Italian style:
Just then, something happened which you would never expect at a Bank robbery. Co-Co had developed severe gas pains. He had to go to the toilet.
Calling all eBook and lit enthusiasts: you can now get the eBook versions of both of my short story collections for just under $4. That’s right, my new collection, Songs of Vagabonds, Misfits and Sinners, is on sale for $2.99 and my previous collection, The Love Book, is available for the low, low price of only $.99. You can get them for your favorite reading devices including Kindle, iPad and iPhone, and Nook.
This is a bit of an experiment (for a limited time) to see two things: (1) are literature and short story readers as price sensitive as genre readers, and (2) are genre readers — many of whom champion independent authors in mystery, paranormal romance, and crime fiction — willing to jump out of their typical reading list. I don’t expect to hit any bestseller lists, but I suspect it might yield some interesting results (or prove me yet again to be a blasted idiot).
Click on the links below to get your ebooks. And it goes with out saying, if you like the stories in either book, be sure to post a review on the site you got it from or on any of the book sharing sites such as GoodReads, Shelfari, or LibraryThing.
“Suspects. Who are the suspects? Who could access Claimus’ apartment? Well, other than mother…”
Part 3 of my brand new 6-part story, “Claimus Flees Manhattan,” is now live on Undie Press.
The story so far: It is the hottest day of the year. Albert Claimus has been forced from the sanctuary of his home by a strange incident — an uncanny intrusion on his personal space. Now, forced out on to the streets, Claimus goes to the only safe place in all of Manhattan — a bar — to narrow his list of potential suspects. While seeking solace in a glass of whiskey, we learn who may have it out for our non-hero and get an eerie glimpse in to the love life of Claimus.
Once again, this installment includes a new illustration by the great Chris Sinderson.
“Claimus Flees Manhattan” is also in my new short story collection, Songs of Vagabonds, Misfits, and Sinners, which you can grab just about anywhere (but here’s a handy link with places where you can get the book or eBook):
And there’s even a soundtrack I created for the book, including a theme for “Claimus Flees Manhattan.” You can grab it off iTunes or BandCamp.
Here is part 2 of the RT20 Podcast featuring host Steve Reynolds, fellow Blacksmith for Literary Progress Brian Cogan, and yours truly discussing music and writing and how the two intertwine. There are more songs from our favorite soundtracks and artists that inspire us to write, as well as further pontificating on how all three of us use that music as part of our writing (including Songs of Vagabonds, Misfits, and Sinners in my case). Herr Reynolds even had the audacity to throw in a Steely Dan song. That’s right a Steely Dan song. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds who art in somewhere, save us.
Click here to check out Part 2. The song playlist for this installment is:
The new episode of the RT20 Podcast is now live and I’m proud to say it centers around two of my favorite topics: books and soundtracks. I joined host Steve Reynolds and fellow Blacksmith for Literary Progress Brian Cogan for a lengthy discussion of music and writing and how the two intertwine. As expected, we talked about my new book, Songs of Vagabonds, Misfits, and Sinners, and the soundtrack I created for it. We also waxed poetic about our favorite soundtrack music and songs that inspired us when we wrote. In between all the jabbering, Steve spun a selection of songs hand picked by Brian and I, including some great stuff by Iggy Pop, Glenn Branca, John Carpenter, Neil Young, The Dead Kennedys, and others.
Click here to check out Part 1. The song playlist for this installment is:
Part 2 of the Podcast coming soon…
Woke up to more snow in Brooklyn and this nice surprise: Barnes & Noble is now featuring my new book — Songs of Vagabonds, Misfits, and Sinners — on their PubIt eBook store. Click here to check it out and download your copy.