Remembering Prince

prince-24

One sweaty August night in 1997, Prince was strutting across the stage of the Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson, segueing from “Purple Rain” into “Little Red Corvette,” and I felt like I was finally done with him…

Read the rest of my piece on Prince at Live for Live Music.

 

Now Available: The Ashakiran Tape

FB-Header

My new novel The Ashakiran Tape is now available in paperback and for Kindle. A rollicking genre murder mystery set before the backdrop of three Phish concerts at Jones Beach amphitheater, the book is also an investigation of what it means to be a longtime fan obsessed with live music.

The Ashakiran Tape has been featured on Relix/Jambands, LiveforLiveMusic, and Jambase. Phish.net published an excerpt from Chapter 14. I launched the book with a reading at Manhattan’s SubjectNYC bar on October 24. Litkick’s Levi Asher says: “Highly recommended, especially for literary-minded jam-band fans!

Study Creative Writing With Me at the British Council, Dakar

This fall, I’ll be teaching an introductory creative writing class at the British Council in Dakar, Senegal:

british coucilThe workshop consists of an 8-week class for English speakers (advanced and fluent) and Anglophones introducing them to the fundamentals of writing fiction, including plot, character, setting, and voice. Each class is comprised of a short lecture, exercises, discussion of a contemporary or classic English short story, and two peer-review workshop sessions. By the end of the course, each student will submit one story for online publication.

The class runs from October 27 until December 17, 2015. For costs, sign-up, and more information, see this pdf.

Coming soon: The Ashakiran Tape

coverHere’s the pitch for my new book, available 9/15/15. The cover is by Rhonda Ratray. Like Head Cases on Facebook

“Read the fucking book!” – Trey Anastasio

 

From the author of the historical thriller Kino, a “fast, complex, exhilarating roadster ride through history and time” (Frederick Barthelme) comes a gripping psychedelic mystery steeped in sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll.

 

When legendary improvisational rock band Phish returns to the stage after a five-year breakup, longtime fan and hardboiled hippie sleuth Quentin Pfeiffer has to be there — even though he is older, wiser, and the father of an adorable baby daughter now.

 

But not everything is sunshine and rainbows in the freewheeling circus surrounding the band’s summer tour: after the millionaire skipper of a drug-drenched luxury yacht goes missing, Q and his crew are drawn into a dangerous intrigue of dreadlocked dames, shady tape collectors, and spun-out wookies chasing after the long-lost recording of a mysterious late-night jam.

 

Inspired by Raymond Chandler and set during a series of concerts at Long Island’s Jones Beach amphitheater, The Ashakiran Tape takes readers deep into the spiraling ecstasy of Phish’s epic shows and the seductive underworld of the obsessive fans following them.

 

Praise for Kino:

 

Kino is an intoxicating Euro-brew, written with enormous skill and dedication.” – Frederick Barthelme

 

 “A debut of great intellectual force.” – Teddy Wayne

 

“A delirious melange of conspiracy, magic, sex, history, bad behavior, and cinema, Kino is a stellar entertainment, and Jurgen Fauth is a writer of rare, sinister imagination.” – Owen King

First Look: The Ashakiran Tape

Phish Lot

For a long time, I’ve been joking about writing a rock ‘n’ roll mystery set in the world of obsessive Phish fans — until the joke sounded more and more like a good idea.

Now I’m putting the finishing touches on The Ashakiran Tape, first in a  series of books set at rock concerts called Head Cases. The Ashakiran Tape is set at the June at the June 2–5, 2009 Phish shows at Jones Beach.

You can read “Shakedown Street,” the first chapter of The Ashakiran Tape on Medium. If you’d like to be notified when the book comes out, follow me on Twitter or sign up for the newsletter.

The Long Tail

fare thee well
Longevity is not exactly a feature of the Internet, so it’s especially nice when long-ago work suddenly resurfaces in unexpected places. This week brought not just one but two references to pieces I wrote decades ago — quite literally:

  1. At SmashCut, Nathan Smith watched Star Wars Wars: All Six Films At Once and quoted from my 2005 review of Revenge of the Sith.
  2. Jordan Hoffmann managed to sneak a reference to my 1995 (!) essay “The Fractals of Familiarity and Innovation: Robert Hunter and the Grateful Dead concert experience” into a Playboy article on the Fare Thee Well concerts. That’s right, a paper I wrote in grad school made it into Playboy. The wonders never cease.

Interview with Matt Zoller Seitz at RogerEbert.com

banner_mzs-banner-2

RogerEbert.com editor-in-chief Matt Zoller Seitz was kind enough to interview me about Raves and my career as a film critic. We talk about Revenge of the Sith, the Wiesbadener Kurier, and why I quit reviewing after twelve years.

It takes a certain confidence to not just have an opinion but also deem it worthy of broadcasting. You have to muster this authority to say, this is worthy, this isn’t. And yeah, I found that more and more difficult, especially with the negative reviews. My attitude started to change to, who’s to say? It’s not for me, but hey, if someone likes it, that’s fine with me.

And once that starts happening, you’re probably finished as a critic.

Read the interview at RogerEbert.com.