Preference Personnelle
Tuesday, September 6
 
Ink: The Not-Just-Skin-Deep Guide to Getting a Tattoo, Terisa Green
A pretty good read for people who are considering, or who have already decided on, getting a first tattoo. For everyone else (a group that probably includes most people reading this), it's not bad, but undistinguished. If I had cataloged it, I'd've tried to get it in the Young Adult section. There are better books about the culture (like Bodies of Inscription and the charmingly-dated Modern Primitives), better books about the fashion (like the works of Ted Polhemus) and plenty of books with more photos, which, I suspect, is what many people are really looking for in a book about tattoos (if you're one of these folks, here's one suggestion: Henk Scheffmacher's 1000 Tattoos). All that said, this book has an excellent and thorough bibliography/reading list, which is a huge plus.

Turn the Beat Around: The Secret History of Disco, Peter Shapiro
This is like Can't Stop Won't Stop, or Wake the Town and Tell the People, or England's Dreaming, or I could go on like this, except about disco. It's deep, broad and very good, attempting to connect disco to those other '70s musical revolutions, punk and hip-hop (reggae and art-jazz also get occasional mentions) and to the particular libertinism that marked the decade. Highly recommended for music fans, cultural history fans, etc. Lavish, incredibly thorough timeline, footnotes, discography, bibliography, index and song title index--works well as either a scholarly resource or fascinating pleasure reading. Even though I don't particularly care for disco music (though I like the Hues Corporation. 'Rock the Boat!' 'Telegram of Love!'), this is highly recommended.

Confessions of a Video Vixen, Karrine 'Superhead' Steffans
Fun, but terrible, and filled with obvious revelations: Kool G. Rap doesn't treat women very well. The hip-hop industry is rather misogynist. Shaq's a big guy. Fred Durst has a pierced penis (yet, for some reason, I suspect this one might not be true. Wasn't there a Durst blowjob video floating around not long after Paris Hilton's Sidekick got hacked? I don't plan on actually researching these questions, and I'm confident that 'Superhead' would know better than I would). Dame Dash is a big spender. Xzibit rolls a good blunt. Gossip aside, though, this is a pretty dumb book. There's a sentence toward the middle that reads something like 'I was the hip-hop industry version of a prostitute--I would visit the artists and producers and have sex with them, and they would give me money.' Honey, that's not the hip-hop version of a prostitute, that's just a regular old prostitute.
 
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