Friday, August 30, 2013

Great Big Something

Great Big Something
Andrea Weiss

This post is about a novel I wrote in the 90s called Great Big Something.  It was originally published through a POD press and I've recently revised it and published it as an ebook on Lulu.

Sheila and Mary are lovers and leaders of the band Great Big Something. The band is doing well, but the two women are having problems and decide to go into therapy. While on tour, the other couple in the band, Claudia and Rhonda, break up and Rhonda leaves.  The band scrambles to find a replacement.  To find out what happens, please read the book.

The band is part of the first gay/lesbian rock scene.  At the time I wrote this, there were few out musicians and a lot of homophobia. The story is my response to that, since I am gay.  It is so much better today.  There are many out musicians. And it is a relief that much of the homophobia has finally dissipated.  Gay rights and same-sex marriage are now The Causes and you can be out with no problems. Say what you want about Lady Gaga’s music, but she’s openly bi, and one of the biggest pop stars on the planet. That’s real progress.  

I was and am an 80s college rocker, and “alternative” in this book now means hard rock, not the grunge in the original edition. I had a lot of wrongheaded notions about grunge back in the day, and these days I like it.   Most of what I wanted to have happen musically in the 90s has come to pass, and that is also reflected in the book.  I love today’s indie rock, too.  It’s positive, happy, thoughtful, and great to listen to. 

The novel was a badly written first book and the person who untangled it is my best friend and writing mentor, Jen Grover.  She smoothed out the plot and the characters and her eye for detail and her stylish prose made the novel I dreamed of come true.

So if you are curious, I hope you'll read it and like it.  The book is only available from Lulu right now, but will be on the iTunes store and B& very soon. Kindle folks, sorry, but Amazon isn’t included here, but you can be read it on any Apple/Windows/Linux device or anything that can read an iBook or Nook book.
Andrea Weiss

Sunday, August 11, 2013


Loose Squares

Dark, ominous techno, lives up to its title, putting me in mind of strobe lights going off to the EP on the club floor, or at a party.  The first song concerns sex, the second is anti-cop, the third is about a robbery in progress.  It’s nice to hear techno that isn’t friendly or relaxing, It’s a good change of pace, and if that change is what you want, this EP is for you.
Andrea Weiss

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Alela Diane

Alela Diane
After Farewell
Rusted Blue Records

Full disclosure: I reviewed Alela Diane’s wonderful last album Alela Diane and Wild Divine as a promo from Rough Trade.  And I’m not being glib here. That album and her Rough Trade debut, To be Still were and are wonderful.  I write this as a fan first and a critic second. As for her self-released debut The Pirate’s Gospel, I still need to hear this. My apologies.

This is stark, spare, haunting, intense, eerily calm music. While cathartic, it’s not a downer. Mostly just Diane on acoustic guitar, with guests such as Heather Broderick (Horse Feathers, Efterklang, Loch Lomond) piano and flute, Holcombe Waller on strings, and Neal Morgan (Joanna Newsom, Bill Callahan) drums.  She recorded and mixed the album with John Askew at Scenic Burrows and Mix Foundry.

So yes, this is a folk album, a little like early Dar Williams at her most pared down, think “February” from Mortal City, or Mary McCaslin’s lost classic album from 1974, Way Out West. Any album that could sound as good as them will always make me take notice.

Lyrically, it’s just as cathartic. Diane went through a divorce, and she explores her emotions, and her decisions about it. It’s not so much confessional as honest as to why she thinks and feels the way she does. And while there are many albums on the subject, this stands out. She doesn’t make a big statement about anything she went through, just says what she needs to, and leaves it at that.

With neo-folk riding high on the charts, is there any place for an album that is straight up folk music. Yes, absolutely, and this album is a relief  in  the wake of Mumford and the rest of that genre. There is a long tradition of folk being quiet and devastating, Joan Beaz’s song “Diamonds and Rust” come to mind, and that was around long before the latest folk wave, and will remain long after that trend fades. Diane’s album is in Beaz’s tradition, which makes it true folk, because true folk is a lot more than what on the charts right now.
Andrea Weiss


Blog Archive