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Sam Cooke's Live at the Harlem Square Club, 1963
Shelved for over twenty years, Sam Cooke's Live at the Harlem Square Club, 1963, stands alongside Otis Redding's Live in Europe and James Brown's Live at the Apollo, as one of the finest live soul albums ever made. It also reveals a musical, spiritual, emotional, and social journey played out over one night on the stage of a sweaty Miami club, as Cooke made music that encapsulated everything he had ever cut, channeling forces that would soon birth “A Change is Gonna Come,” the most important soul song ever written.
This book covers Cooke's days with the Soul Stirrers, the gospel unit that was inventing a strand of soul in the 1950s, and continues on to his string of hit singles as a solo artist that reveal far more about this complex man and the complex music he was always fashioning. We'll stop and consider how he absorbed the teachings of Billie Holiday and Bob Dylan, as a writer and an agent of social change, looking at the differences between Cooke's true identity and what various factions of his audience wanted from him, and how this towering soul artist came to reconcile so many disparate elements on a stage in Florida on a winter night in 1963-a stage that extended well into the future, beyond Cooke's own life, beyond the 1960s, and into a perpetual here-and-now, so long as we all have need to look into ourselves and square our differences and become more human, and more connected with others in our humanity.
If You [ ]: Fabula, Fantasy, F**kery, and Hope
A relationship ends in the space between [ ]. Abe Lincoln and Edgar Allan Poe Two stroll the river in the afterlife, debating a second death. Two boys navigate jazz, baseball, and growing up in the second between the pitch and the swing. And a man from Living Dangerously sets off across the ocean on a pile of lobster traps, seeking the truth of the smoke on the wind.
With If You [ ], author Colin Fleming breaks the unwritten rule of the short story collection. In over thirty different styles, Fleming delivers a punk rock triple album in book form―compositions that display a dizzying range of fearless artistry, from horror to hyper-experimental to a story disguised as a grocery list. Together, these pieces resonate with unexpected chords, exploring the breadth of human experience and affirming that that narrative is everywhere, if we are able and willing to see it.
Meatheads Say the Realest Things: A Satirical (Short) Novel of the Last Bro
“...in grammar school he was Rad Chad. At football with his teammates he was known as Chad the Gonad. Some science doofus in eighth grade called him Chad the Impaler because he hooked up with lots of girls but he didn’t understand that reference. Maybe it came from a book. Books could be problematic. Also, frightening.”
Meet Chad, a full-fledged Boston meathead—and gym-buff social misfit—whose shaky grasp of reality is anchored mainly by his unswerving loyalty to the New England Patriots. In twenty darkly hilarious chapters that follow Chad and his head-scratching brand of masculinity as he navigates through a perplexing post-#MeToo landscape of exasperated therapists, confused ex-girlfriends, symphony outings, art fairs, field trips, writing workshops, wine stores, and sexually transgressive ducks, Colin Fleming has created a devastating and uproarious meditation on the human need—and eternal hope—to be understood.
Buried on the Beaches: Cape Stories for Hooked Hearts and Driftwood Souls
" 'Because anything that can happen to you, can happen on the Cape.' It was our version of the concluding words of a sermon, or a prayer, after which it was time to stand up, or sit down again, head bowed, knowing that you lived in a place unlike any other, and maybe more like any other, too, when you got into the internal part of everyone and everything here." So says one narrator in Colin Fleming's masterful collection of short stories set in Cape Cod--a magically gritty and self-contained universe where landlubber tourists are called "googans" and locals drink at dive bars like "Sez the Flounder" and "The Ticky Crab." An aging veterinarian sifts through his memories of working on a whale-watching ship with a charismatic wanderer named Jibber Stokes; a Yarmouth filmmaker agonizes over the contents of a mysterious video that his best friend took of his beautiful cousin when they were teenagers; a troubled composer returns to his dysfunctional musical family in Chatham, complete with ancestral claims that "we had relatives that once kept the Nina rocking on the Pilgrims' maiden voyage with some improvised instruments made out of driftwood that they scooped from the sea with those big hats of theirs." With subtle grace and quiet wisdom, Buried on the Beaches vividly evokes the natural beauty of the Cape to depict the complex negotiations between individuals and their environment, memory and nostalgia, and expectation and hope.
The Anglerfish Comedy Troupe: Stories from the Abyss
In eighteen thematically linked stories, Colin Fleming explores the ways in which relationships end, with a focus on the void a loved one leaves behind. In “Fire with Legs,” the inhabitants of a noise machine discuss the end of a previous relationship, and the life that went with it. In “Playing in Room B,” an amateur videographer searches for his vanished wife in his movies, wondering when she started slipping out of the frame. In “Green Wood,” a man examines the death of his wife and the certainty of reality in a world where the TV program never changes. In “The Char Paper Blues Band,” a tiny group of professional musicians provides the background track to a couple’s life, from blissful harmony to the gradual souring of the song. Through magical realism and extended metaphor, Fleming explores the epiphenomena of failed relationships, the flotsam left behind in the wreckage of life as it was.
Between Cloud and Horizon: A Relationship Casebook in Stories
Between Cloud and Horizon: A Relationship Casebook in Stories is an examination of what defines the relationships that define each of us, and the myriad forms they take, in a story collection that doubles as a casebook of how we interact with each other. It is an exposé—in narrative—of what binds—or breaks—the bonds between fathers and sons, partners in crime, brothers, roommates, bandmates, co-workers, the past and the present, man and machine, the living and the dead, book and reader.
Dark March: Stories for When the Rest of the World is Asleep
An island who becomes ambulatory and has adventures upon the land. A frigate captain with a singularly artistic method of punishment. Gulls who are players. Crabs who crack wise. A garage encrusted in blue crystals that harbors a secret. Rival haunted forests fighting for top billing. And a man who navigates that dream world known to anyone who has had a life pulled out from under them and a heart replaced with a question that has a beat of its own: What the hell is happening to me? What the hell is happening to me? What the hell is happening to me? Dark March may be happening to you. And probably some other things, too.