With discussions of characters like Leon Ray Livingston (a.k.a. "A-No. 1"), credited with consolidating the entire system of hobo communication in the 1910s, and Kathy Zuckerman, better known as the surf icon "Gidget", Susan A. Phillips' lavishly illustrated The City Beneath: A Century of Los Angeles Graffiti, excerpted here from Yale University Press, tells stories of small moments that collectively build into broad statements about power, memory, landscape, and history itself.
Indie pop in 2009 was about all young energy and autumnal melancholy, about the rush you feel when you first hear an exciting new band, and the bittersweet feeling you get when your favorite band calls it quits.
Italian gothic metal outfit, Lacuna Coil return with their ninth and heaviest album to date. Co-lead vocalist Cristina Scabbia reflects on the album's inspirations: "This record is basically us saying that it is OK not to be OK."
For 26 minutes, folk's Darrin Bradbury creatively mines the preposterous to show the benefits of mentally coping with life's problems. Talking Dogs & Atom Bombsprovides a kind of talk therapy for our collective disorders.
The first-ever collection of holiday tunes from Josh Rouse is as cool as you might expect. And you don't need to put up a tree to listen to it. "Not every song on my record is about Santa Claus. You can listen to it in spring and still enjoy it."