Big Show This Sunday & New Books In

Big show this Sunday at 5pm! Arty Hill, Jonathan Stone and Geff Stiubhairt. Here is the skinny:

Join us at Normal’s for some acoustic revery with Jonathan Stone playing samba and bossa nova on solo guitar, Arty Hill (whose recent album “Heart On My Dirty Sleeve” with The Long Gone Daddies hit #2 on the Freeform American Roots charts) delivering country gospel and Geff Stiubhairt wringing mysteries from guitar, banjo and fiddle, chasing the restless phantoms of John Fahey and Robbie Basho.

This will be some warm and thoughtful music for the gathering dark of Autumn. $6 suggested donation, all of which goes toward the musicians. Plus, last week was the vinyl downpour, this week it’s prime reading material. Below is a sample of what’s just hit the shelves:

The Golden Age - Michael Ajvaz. Near fine Dalkey Archive paperback, $6.

Chimera - John Barth. Very good + Random House first hardback edition in fine mylar protected, unclipped jacket, $10.

Collected Fictions - Jorge Luis Borges. Near fine Viking hardback, $15.

Language & Symbolic Power - Pierre Bourdieu. Very good + Harvard paperback, $12 (in print $40.38). “This volume brings together Bourdieu’s highly original writings on language and on the relations among language, power, and politics.”

On Fire: A Personal Account of Life and Death and Choices - Larry Brown. Near fine Algonquin advance proof copy with photo of Brown laid-in, $15.

The Vet’s Daughter - Barbara Comyns. New York Review of Books paperback, $7. “The Vet’s Daughter combines shocking realism with a visionary edge.”

The Island - Robert Creeley. Very good 1963 Scribner’s paperback first edition, $8.

Out of Africa - Isak Dinesen. Very good + first American Random House hardback edition in very good unclipped jacket. Deckle edge pages, green top stain. $150.

Movies - Stephen Dixon. Very good North Point Press paperback, signed by Dixon on the front flyleaf, $10.

Garbage - Stephen Dixon. Near fine Cane Hill paperback, signed by Dixon on front flyleaf, $10.

The Idiot - Dostoevsky. Fine Vintage paperback, translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, $6.

Black Skin White Masks - Franz Fanon. Fine Grove paperback. “A strange, haunting melange of analysis, revolutionary manifesto, metaphysics, prose poetry and literary criticism - and yet the nakedest of human cries” - Newsweek.

Wandering (translated by James Wright) - Herman Hesse. Near fine Farrar, Straus Giroux 1972 first hardback edition in very good + clipped jacket. Deckle edges, red topstain. Some sunning to extremities of boards. $40.

The Alhambra (Darro edition, author’s first revised) - Washington Irving. 1891 Putnam’s first revised edition, very good two volume hardback set. Bindings tight, deckle edges, gilt top textblock. Thick cream colored boards with blue and gilt embossed decoration. Faint stain to bottom left edge of front board of volume 1 and light foxing to boards of both volumes, otherwise a gorgeous set. $100.

Masterpieces of Urdu Nazm - K.C. Kanda. Very good + Sterling paperback, $8. “This book is intended to introduce the reader to the best specimens of the Urdu Nazm, as distinguished from the ghazal. Translations of 42 Nazms from 19 famous poets such as Mir Taqi Mir, Nazir Akbaradij, Lucknavi, Iqbal and more.

The Orange Eats Creeps - Grace Krilanovich. As new Two Dollar Radio paperback, $6. “It’s the 90’s Pacific Northwest refracted through a dark mirror, where Meth and madness hash it out in the woods….”

Beyond Violence - Krishnamurti. Very good small 8vo hardback, published by the Krishnamurti Foundation India. Out-of-print, $10.

Catching the Big Fish - David Lynch. As new Tarcher/Penguin hardback first edition with decorative boards, $30.

The Princess and The Goblin - George MacDonald. As new out-of-print Everyman’s hardback, $8.

The Mad and the Bad - Jean-Patrick Manchette. Introduction by James Sallis. New York Review of Books paperback, $7. “Jean-Patrick Manchette: raconteur, bon vivant, leftist militant, agent provocateur, swinger, French crime kingpin, gadfly foe of the Fifth Republic. Man-oh-man Manchette was a decades long hurricane through the Parisian cultural scene.” - James Ellroy.

On Poetry - Glyn Maxwell. Fine Oberon Masters hardback, $10. “The most compelling, original, charismatic and poetic guide to poetry that I can remember.” - Simon Armitage.

The Discovery of India - Nehru. Indian Penguin paperback printing, very good +, $10.

St. Lucy’s Home For Girls Raised By Wolves - Karen Russell. Near fine third printing hardback in very good + textured jacket. Flat signed by Russell on title page. “Autographed Copy” sticker at bottom left of front cover. Deckle edge pages. $150.

Acquainted With The Night: Insomnia Poems - Lisa Russ Spaar, editor. As new Columbia University Press hardback, signed by editor, $8.

Memento Mori - Muriel Spark. As new New Directions paperback, $6.

Dark Harbor - Mark Strand. Near fine Knopf first edition paperback, $10. Awarded the Bollingen Prize in poetry for 1993. “Here comes old age, dragging a tale of soft/Inconvenience, of golfing in Florida,/Of gumming bad food. These cows never stop chewing./O love, how did we get here, so far from the coast/Of our friends, our nervous talkative friends/”.

Ghalib: The Man, The Times - Pavan K. Varma. Penguin India paperback, $6.

Urban Outcasts: A Comparative Sociology of Advanced Marginality - Loic Wacquant. As new Polity UK paperback, $12.

Miss Lonelyhearts & The Day of the Locust - Nathanael West. Two books definitely in my top ten novels list, bound in cherry red leather by the Franklin Library, $40.

The Wallcreeper - Nell Zink. As new Dorothy Project paperback, $8. “Nell Zink is a writer of extraordinary talent and range. Her work insistently raises the possibility that the world is larger and stranger than the world you think you know.” - Jonathan Franzen.

Nina’s Choice! And Ours! Mucho Blues and Mod Jazz, Mod Classical Vinyl Just In


September, the month of festivals, is over and the air grows chill while pumpkins appear on porch stoops and cultural warriors line their nests with top grade books and records. Today a very friendly lady - she even walked Max for me while I went through her records - backed a dumptruck up to our door with blues, jazz and modern classical records. This listing didn’t get to much of the classical yet, but I’ll get to that tomorrow.

Here are a few standouts from today’s haul.

The Fantastic Jazz Harp of Dorothy Ashby. This is a beautiful 1966 mono original that looks unplayed. Sink into the high gloss and be mesmerized by some nimble fingers traipsing through a cascading wave on standup harp. Jacket is near mint, but has a tiny cut-out punch hole at bottom left, $35.


Chet Baker Introduces Johnny Pace. Sweet original deep groove Riverside mono. Vinyl is very good +, the jacket is excellent, $30.

Samuel Baron - Music For Flute & Tape. Near mint on Nonesuch in very good + jacket, $8.

Dock Boggs - Legendary Singer & Banjo Player. Very good + 1964 Disc/Folkways pressing in very good + jacket. You do not see Dock vinyl floating around very much, not even the reissues. He is a must for every collection and works the magic on Sunday mornings as well as Friday nights past midnight. $25.

Now Here’s Johnny Cash. Excellent 1961 Sun pressing in very good + jacket, $12.


Carlo Curley Goes Digital. World premiere digital recording of a digital organ. Near mint on Chalfont, in very good + gatefold jacket, $8.

Lukas Foss - The Prairie. Near mint Vox Turnabout pressing, $10.

Billie Holiday - Billie’s Blues: The Original Recordings. Near mint mono Columbia pressing, $8.

John Lee Hooker - Send Me Your Pillow. Near mint on Joker, $12.

Lightnin’ Hopkins - Autobiography of the Blues. Near mint on Tradition, stereo, $20.

Lightning Hopkins - Original Folk Blues. Near mint on United in excellent jacket, $15.

Robert Johnson - King of the Delta Blues Singers. Near mint Columbia 1970 mono pressing in near mint jacket, $12.

Juicy Lucy - Get a Whiff Of This. Near mint, looks unplayed. Jacket is near mint also, $15.


Ashish Khan & Alla Rakha - California Concert. Excellent World Pacific pressing in near mint jacket, $15.

Yusef Lateef - Lost In Sound. Near mint on Charlie Parker records, in very good + jacket, $10.

The Legend of Leadbelly. Near mint on Tradition. With Sonny Terry, $10.

Alan Lomax, anthologist - Negro Prison Songs. Near mint Tradition (TLP 1020) stereo pressing in excellent jacket, $35.


Memphis Slim - Lonesome Blues. Near mint on Spin-O-Rama. $8.

Amos Milburn & His Chickenshackers - Just One More Drink. Near mint on Route 66. In very good + jacket, $12.

Django Reinhardt - Paris 1945. Near mint Netherlands pressing in very good + jacket, $8.

An Erik Satie Entertainment. Near mint on UK Unicorn, $8.


Erik Satie Through a Looking Glass. Near mint on Deram, $8.

Nina Simone - Nina’s Choice! Near mint original Colpix stereo, $15.

Nina Simone - Nina Sings Duke Ellington. Near mint original Colpix stereo, $15.

Joe Sullivan - Little Rock Getaway. 1962 near mint Riverside mono original, $10.

Lord Sutch & Some Heavy Friends - Hands of Jack the Ripper. With Keith Moon and Noel Redding adding some of the heaviosity! Near mint in excellent gatefold, $20.


Stud Terkel’s Weekly almanac on Folk Blues on WFMT with Big Bill Broonzy and Pete Seeger. Near mint Folkways pressing in very good textured jacket, $20.

Texas Guitar from Dallas to L.A. Near mint Blues Originals vol. 3 in vg+ gatefold, $12.

Tom Waits - Blue Valentine. Near mint in excellent gatefold jacket, with lyric inner. One of Waits’ great transitional albums, $15.


Happy Birthday to Poet Chris Toll In The Cosmos

Somehow two years have passed since our dear friend and powerful poet Chris Toll transmigrated and left us here with an ache in our hearts. Today, October 1st, is his birthday and his presence is still felt daily here in Harm City.

His presence is still felt daily here in Harm City and his poems loop through my heart. Another way he is remembered is through the Chris Toll Memorial Chapbook Award. The second winner of that prestigious award is Barrett Warner with his book My Friend Ken Harvey. On October 9th Normal’s will host a publication party for this book and its author at 8pm. There will be music by Jenny Keith Ciattei and Goodloe Byron and many cans of Resurrection beer will be foisted in Chris’ name.

Here is one of his poems in celebration of his life and legacy and Emergence Day.

This Is How We Make a Broken Heart

By Chris Toll

Approximately 13.7 billion years ago,
an antimatter scientist
drops an antimatter test tube.
In the summer of 1966,
Bob Dylan leans
as he steers his motorcycle
into a curve.
Beneath a lilac bush,
the FBI sniper takes aim.
Behind the tinted glass of a limousine,
the imposter memorizes the lyrics
filed in a loose-leaf binder.
My poem comes from far away
and it’s going far away –
I’m just in the middle
like a lonesome TV station
with no employees.
The Angel of Death
has a black leather trench coat
draped around her shoulders.
She steps out of an elevator
and pulls her suitcase behind her.
Two accordion folders full of legal briefs
balance on top of the suitcase.
Her black wool sport coat
lies across the uppermost accordion folder.
The sport coat falls off and hits the floor.
Side effects include unusual dreams.
When I stand up from my dead body,
my face is a howl of stars.

Happy birthday Commander! We love and miss you.

We’re Taking The Waverly To Hampdenfest, Plus New Books & Vinyl


Hello Cultural Warriors of a Glorious Dry Fall of Dappled Light!

September in Baltimore has become a time of feverish arts actiivity. High Zero is in gear even now as I type with sausage fingers addled with caffeine, to be followed directly by Transmodern. Plus we have a bunch of Normal’s shows coming up also:

October 9th: A Publication Party for the 2nd Annual Chris Toll Memorial Chapbook Contest. This year’s worthy winner is Barrett Warner and his book My Friend Ken Harvey.

October 19th: Arty HIll (solo gospel and country) and Jonathan Stone (Samba guitarist).

November 2: A reading with Cort Bledsoe and Nathan W. Leslie.

November 9th: Cigar Box Planetarium (interplanetary beings playing post-space age prog surf! Toit!), lowpulsewidthmod (incredible survey-like set touching on some high points of the last thirty years of electro and industrial) and Infinity Knives (electronics with standup bass and drums).

Other big news is that you can catch us at a booth in Hampdenfest this year. Very excited about it. O to experience the deep pockets of groovy Hampden, even if just for one day. We will have our hardbitten blue collar Waverly face on. And since I have just had to shell out major money for front and back brakes on my car I will be cutting a few prized items from my private collection of vinyl and books. So if you see me weeping when you make a purchase (and please please do) then you know you’ve made a pick I’m particularly fond of.

Been super busy and can’t put together a complete list of what’s been coming in, but here’s a little to wet your whistle:

Black Pace Setters. Black history awareness lp on Buddah, still sealed! Produced, directed and narrated by Nathaniel Montague, $15.

Der Plan - Normalette Surprise: 17 Elektronische Schlager. Near mint on blue vinyl in near mint jacket, $20.

Fifty Foot Hose - Cauldron. Near mint Phoenix reissue, $20.

Al Green - Call Me. Excellent in very good + jacket, $10.

Freddie Hubbard - Here To Stay. Excellent Blue Note double album in excellent textured gatefold jacket, $12.

Jump Up With The Jewels! Winners of the 1970-1971 Aruba steelband contest, $6.


Daniel Johnston - Artistic Vice/1990. Near mint double album reissue, $20.

Albert King - King of the Blues Guitar. Excellent in very good + jacket, $12.

Gloria Lynne - Happy & In Love. Near mint Canyon press in very good + jacket, $10.

R. Stevie Moore - Clack. Double album, one platter be green, the other brown. Excellent in excellent jacket, $20.

Pamelo Mounk’a. Near mint on “disques sonics”, $12.

Billy Paul - Ebony Woman. Near mint in very good + jacket, $5.

Pharoah Sanders - Live at the East. Near mint in very good + gatefold. Has small punch hole at bottom left, $20.

Horace Silver - Silver ‘n Brass. Near mint Blue Note, $10.

Nina Simone - At Newport. No one rocks a front jacket (or of course the grooves inside) like Nina. Very good + mono Colpix in vg+ jacket, $15.

LaDonna Smith - La (Lanthadum) “Rare Earth”. New limited edition lp on Table of Elements. Pressed on beautiful orange and yellow vinyl, $20.

Throbbing Gristle - D.O.A. Near mint Industrial repress, remastered by Chris Carter extra hot. With booklet and featuring text by the one and only secret master Blaster Al Ackerman on back of jacket, $25.


Tom Waits - The Heart of Saturday Night. Very good + in vg+ jacket. $15.

Kim Weston - Big Brass Four Poster. Very good + on People in very good gatefold jacket, $15.

Bill Withers - Live At Carnegie Hall. Very good + double album in very good gatefold jacket, $10.




———————————————————————————————————————————————————————- BOOKS


THE I CAN’T BELIEVE SOMEONE HASN’T SNATCHED IT UP YET title of the week is Burning Chrome by William Gibson. It’s a beautiful near fine hardback first of this revolutionary sci-fi writer’s second book. In fine mylar protected jacket. 1986 on Arbor House Press, $70 (if you buy it on a Friday it’s only $56 - 20% off all used books every Friday! The recession drags on, so too does our weekly sale, insh’allah.)

May I Kiss You On the Lips, Miss Sandra? - Sandra Bernhard. Fine first edition, signed by the diva herself, $25.

Vernacular Visionaries: International Outsider Art - Edited by Annie Carlano. Fine Yale hardback quarto in fine jacket, $25.

Don Quixote - Miguel de Cervantes. The new translation by Edith Grossman. Fine hardback in fine jacket, $10.

Telegraph Avenue - Michael Chabon. Very good + in fine bright jacket, $8.

The Paperboy - Pete Dexter. As new film edition paperback, $6. The gent who sold me this said the book is quite good and nothing like the slimy movie, which I had been sucked into. Pete Dexter is the author of the novel Deadwood, which the popular HBO series was based on. If you want to see Nicole Kidman and John Cusack get soul deep in muck, rent this movie. Yowza!

Art and Beauty in the Middle Ages - Umberto Eco. Paperback, $5.

The Circle - Dave Eggers. Fine hardback in fine jacket, $14.

The Structure of Evolutionary Theory - Stephen Jay Gould. Fine Harvard hardback, $15.

Change Your Underwear Twice a Week: Lessons From The Golden Age of Classroom Filmstrips - Danny Gregory. Very good + Artisan paperback, $5.

Supernatural: Meetings With the Ancient Teachers of Manking - Graham Hancock. Near fine Disinformation hardback in near fine jacket, $15.

The Hermit, a novel - Eugene Ionesco. Near fine Andre Deutsch first edition hardback in very good + clipped jacket, $20.

Nature’s State: Imagining Alaska as the Last Frontier - Susan Kollin. Very good + on University of North Carolina Press, $6.

The Hanged Man: Psychotherapy and the Forces of Darkness - Sheldon Kopp. Very good minus, some underlining. paperback, $4.

Torture and the Twilight of Empire: From Algiers to Baghdad - Marnia Lazreg. Near fine Princeton hardback in very good + jacket, $20.

Nostalgia - Dennis McFarland. As new 2013 hardback, $8.

Islam and Gender: The Religious Debate in Contemporary Iran - Ziba Mir-Hosseini. Very good Princeton paperback, $8.

Alan Moore: Conversations. Edited by Eric Berlatsky. Fine University Press of Mississippi paperback, $12.

Debbie Doesn’t Do It Anymore - Walter Mosley. 2014 hardback, near fine in very good + jacket, A new Easy Rawlins mystery! $10.

Little Green - Walter Mosley. Fine 2013 hardback, $8.

Raw #8. With a chapter of Maus still bound in! Very good +, $30.

1000 Tattoos - Edited by Henk Schiffmacher. Massive Tascen paperback, first edition, $12.

Film Noir: An Encyclopedic Reference to the American Style - Edited by Alain Silver and Elizabeth Ward. Fine third edition paperback quarto, $10.

Cash: American Recordings - Tony Tost. Near fine paperback from the 33 1/3 series, $6.

The Music Lesson: A Spiritual Search for Growth Through Music - Victor Wooten. As new Berkley paperback, $5. “Victor Wooten is the Carlos Castaneda of music” - Tony Levin.




August 25, 1836: Bret Harte’s birthday

Guest Post from Kassie M., Grad student in the Map Collection

This map was discovered in the map collection this summer as part of the inventory project. The map features the names and illustrations of famous American writers or their characters. Bret Harte, the famous American author and poet, is featured on a map inset.

Map: Firley, H.J. (ed.) & Boys, J. (ill.) A Pictorial Map Depicting the Literacy Development of the United States. Chicago: Denoyer-Geppert:Chicago. 1952.