Talking To Punks About Books (Podcast)

I recently spoke with two punk singers about their favorite authors and books. If you like punk rock and reading as much as I do, you’ll definitely dig what Joey Cape (Lagwagon) and Jim Lindberg (Pennywise) have to say. These two episodes were part of a podcast mini-series called “Books on the Bus.”

As the Descendents like to say, ENJOY!

S.W. Lauden is the author of the Greg Salem punk rock P.I. series includes BAD CITIZEN CORPORATIONGRIZZLY SEASON and HANG TIME (Rare Bird Books). He is also the co-host of the Writer Types podcast. Steve lives in LA.

“Books on the Bus” Podcast—Episode 1

I’m thrilled to share the first episode of the Books on the Bus podcast. I’m kicking things off with Jeff Whalen, lead singer of the Los Angeles rock group Tsar, and soon to be a solo artist with the release of “10 More Rock Super Hits.”

Jeff’s a rocker by night and librarian by day, so I couldn’t think of a better way to launch this five-part podcast mini-series about rock and reading.

Here’s Books on the Bus, episode 1:

Click here to find out more about Jeff Whalen.

Here’s the Tsar song “Calling All Destroyers” from the soundtrack to the James Gunn film, Super.

I’ll be posting a new episode every day this week (January 29 to February 2) over on the Rare Bird Radio podcast platform. Tomorrow’s guest is Joey Cape of Lagwagon and Me First & The Gimme Gimmes.

S.W. Lauden is the Anthony Award-nominated author of the Tommy & Shayna novellas, CROSSWISE and CROSSED BONES (Down & Out Books). His Greg Salem punk rock P.I. series includes BAD CITIZEN CORPORATIONGRIZZLY SEASON and HANG TIME (Rare Bird Books). He is also the co-host of the Writer Types podcast. Steve lives in Los Angeles.

Interrogation—Larry Wilson (LitFest Pasadena)

Who: Larry Wilson

What: Artistic director and co-founder of LitFest Pasadena. For 12 years he was editor of the Pasadena Star-News, and previously the paper’s editorial page editor. He is now on the editorial board of the Southern California News Group, 11 newspapers in three counties. He and his wife Phoebe Wilson, creative director of LitFest, live in Pasadena and have a 25-year-old daughter, Julia.

Where: Pasadena

Interview conducted by email. Some questions and answers have been edited.

Congrats on the fifth year of LitFest Pasadena! Can you tell us a little about the history of the event and the organization that puts it on?

Six years ago LitFest prime movers Jervey Tervalon and Jonathan Gold came up with the idea of having a literary festival in Pasadena that the city could call its own. One that felt not exactly loving-hands-at-home but that was more fun for its authors and reflected the incredibile diversity of both Pasadena and Los Angeles in their literary lives.

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Let’s Talk About Crime And Music!

The new year is kicking off with a BANG!

I have two music-themed bookstore events coming up in the next couple of weekends. Would be great to see some familiar faces…and new faces too.

Let’s talk about GG Allen and Taylor Swift! Let’s talk about Lemmy! Let’s talk about “Bad Citizen Corporation”!!!

(Click the event links below for details)

Book Carnival Event

Rock & Roll Book Signings

with S.W. Lauden and Corey Lynn Fayman

Book Carnival in Orange, CA

Sunday, Jan. 10 at 3:00pm—Details HERE


Music In Fiction Reading

with Leslie Bohem, Howard Paar and S.W. Lauden

Book Show in Los Angeles, CA

Saturday, Jan. 16 at 7:30pm—Details HERE

S.W. Lauden’s debut novel, BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION, is available now from Rare Bird Books. His novella, CROSSWISE, will be published by Down & Out Books in March 2016.

Quick Quotes—The Week In Publishing


Robert Lamb at Stuff To Blow Your Mind (The Podcast)

“Once you start settling for no pay, then other magazines and anthologies will take note and offer you the same. Nobody’s going to pay you money if you don’t mind working for free. It is okay to love what you do and get paid for doing it.”—Max Booth lll via LitReactor

“All this has gotten me thinking about the language of writers and readers. My tribe! Of course there’s the craft language, like dramatize and close third, and there’s the business language, like galley and blurb. But there are a host of other moments in the life of a writer/reader that require their own special words.”—Edan Lepucki at The Millions

Noir at the Bar is full of writers who have made it, are in the processing of making it, or maybe aren’t there yet. The event can be raw or polished; the stories can be gritty or smooth. But overall, it has a punk sensibility, the stripped-down version of the craft, like seeing a band in a dive bar.”—Jen Conley at Los Angeles Review of Books


Frank Portman (aka Dr. Frank) at Bad Citizen Corporation

“Artists need spaces off the grid, non-critical spaces, spaces where squares fear to tread. We need a laboratory. It’s the same reason comedians need underground clubs where they can try out new material and use language that respectable folks shy away from. For writers, genre fiction can be that laboratory.”—Sam Wiebe at Sirens Of Suspense

“Los Angeles is grit and grime. L.A. is glitz and sleaze; it’s the best (or worst, depending on your point of view) example of American excess blended with its rabid poverty. More or less, it’s the ideal city to place a crime story.”—Keith Rawson at LitReactor

S.W. Lauden is a writer and drummer living in Los Angeles. His short fiction has been accepted for publication by Out of the Gutter, Dead Guns Magazine, Criminal Element, Akashic Books, Spelk Fiction, Shotgun Honey and Crimespree Magazine. His debut novel, BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION, will be published in 2015. His novella, CROSSWISE, will be published by Down & Out Books in 2016.

Should Writers Learn How To Read?


I’ve been thinking a lot about Spalding Gray recently.

I was lucky enough to have seen him perform in the early 90s, long before I ever committed to being a writer. It was a period when my love of reading—which really didn’t develop until my late teens—drew me to spoken word performances by artists like Gray, Henry Rollins, Jim Carroll, Eric Bogosian, James Kate SchatzMcLure and Jello Biafra. These days, my love for spoken word is more about storytelling podcasts like The Moth, Radiolab, The Truth, Word Crimes, This American Life and Snap Judgement.

And I still go see writers and storytellers perform live whenever possible. Holy cow, have you checked out Shane Koyczan? I saw him read to a room full of public radio listeners who laughed and cried at his insanely poetic storytelling. And while you’re at it, check out Kate Schatz too. Two nights ago I went to see her read from her book “Rad American Women A-Z” to a room of cross-legged children, and it was just as inspiring.

And EverythingThat same night I read Oliver Sacks’ piece about Spalding Gray for the New Yorker entitled “The Catastrophe.” The column describes, in heartbreaking detail, how the genius monologist, writer and actor descended into a suicidal spiral after a tragic car accident in Ireland. I read the article a few months after watching Steven Soderbergh’s touching 2010 documentary about Gray’s life, “And Everything Is Going Fine.

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Books, I’ve Read A Few

Magician's Land  Tussinland  StationElevenNorthAmericaHiRes  Hustle

I read quite a few books this year, although not all of them were published in 2014.

Here are a few of my favorites, in no particular order: