Every week, our wonderful publicity team tracks the cross-platform media coverage our authors and their books receive. We’re proud to share our latest and greatest highlights below with links to where you can read more about these great titles!
We had quite the busy week, and you can kick back and enjoy the spoils with us down below.
Quantum Criminals was reviewed in the Los Angeles Times. Chris Vognar calls the book, “Wry, playful but deeply incisive,” going on, “Fagen, Becker…and Pappademas are kindred spirits, smartass, sharp-eyed observers of life’s El Supremos—a description that suits other Dan fans as well. Quantum Criminals is like a secret handshake between two covers. The best part is that it illuminates details the rest of us may have glossed over for years.” The book was also reviewed at Talkhouse, where James Toth called it, “An engrossing series of essays that innovatively chart the cosmology of Donald Fagen and Walter Becker’s musical universe” and “[A] terrific and irresistible book.” Introducing his interview with Pappademas and LeMay for Paste, Matt Mitchell heaps praise on the American Music Series—the “books coming out of the Longhorn State are unequivocally changing the landscape of music criticism and history”—and writes of Quantum Criminals, “In one fell swoop, [Quantum Criminals] has become the essential Steely Dan book. And you should absolutely be reading it right now,” going on, “Pappademas and LeMay leave no stones unturned in their quest to unlock every mythological quadrant of Steely Dan’s immense, decades-long artistic conceptions.” Mitchell also gives shout-outs to Maybe We’ll Make It and DJ Screw.
Kirkus finally reviewed the book, calling it “A whimsical plunge into one of America’s most unconventional rock bands” and a “delicious deep dive into the many protagonists in the ‘Steely Daniverse.’” The reviewer goes on “Any major dude will tell you that this is a solid and highly entertaining take on Fagen and Becker’s ‘platonic love story.’” Jason Diamond published a piece about the book and his Steely Dan fandom on his Substack, The Melt, ahead of his event with the authors this week in Brooklyn, calling Quantum Criminals “[A] wonderful new book” and going on, “Alex and Joan have crafted a book that is engaging and will give even the Dan haters an opportunity to look at the songs of Walter Becker and Donald Fagen in a different light.” The Washington Review of Books also highlighted Quantum Criminals in the “Come-up books” category of their most recent newsletter.
Pappademas and LeMay did interviews all over the place: a Reddit AMA on the r/SteelyDan subreddit, on WNYC’s “All Of It”, Jokermen, Record Store Society, and Aquarium Drunkard’s “Transmissions”, and LeMay at Music Musings & Such, which also ran a separate pieceabout the book earlier in the week where Sam Liddicott writes, “This is a beautiful and wonderfully evocative book that you need to have in your collection.”
Finally, a category of particularly surprising coverage: Brad Thomas Parsons featured an interview with Pappademas and LeMay in his Substack, Last Call, where they participated in his regular Dive Bar Jukebox column (I’m quite confident this is the first time authors of ours have discussed the strangest things they’ve witnessed in dive bars). The Recording Academy even got in on the action, publishing a piece inspired by the book and titled, “Five Hip-Hop Songs That Sample Steely Dan, In Celebration Of New Book ‘Quantum Criminals.’” Finally, and perhaps even more surprisingly, the book got some love in a piece from the Religion News Service titled “The hidden Torah of Steely Dan,” where Jeffrey Salkin writes, “This is the finest piece of rock journalism that I have read in a long time.”
Why Tammy Wynette Matters was reviewed at Chapter 16. Jacqueline Zeisloft writes, “Why Tammy Wynette Matters ventures beyond the usual narrative of Tammy Wynette as a tragic country star whose numerous marriages and early death have often defined her. In this slim yet rich book of criticism, Steacy Easton considers the singer’s ‘ambitious, transparent, and haunted work’ in a feminist context, drawing out Wynette’s artistry and paying respect to her impact on country music.” Zeisloft goes on, “What makes Why Tammy Wynette Matters exceptional is that it considers how [Wynette’s life] experiences gave her work its power…Easton is ‘deeply committed to Wynette as a performer and writer.’ They approach their subject with curiosity, generosity, and love.” Easton’s book was also mentioned in a piece on Wynette’s D-I-V-O-R-C-E at The Riff and included in “Next Week in Music | May 22-28 • New Books” at Tinnitist.
Why Sinéad O’Connor Matters was reviewed at Treble. Adam P. Newton writes, “A superb showcase of the artist as a musician and a person, [Why Sinéad O’Connor Matters] seeks to discern her persistent drive to make music despite the obstacles in her path and what we can learn from such an unorthodox creative spirit.” Newton goes on, “The heart of this immaculate work lies in how McCabe deftly navigates the turbulent intersection of criticism and compassion. When McCabe talks transparently about her own childhood traumas and how they often mirrored O’Connor’s, her candor is both refreshing and admirable” Newton concludes, “This book sets a new standard in music criticism.” McCabe was also interviewed at Fussfactory for their regular #sparkchamber feature.
Following Tina Turner’s passing, Francesca T. Royster, author of Black Country Music, was interviewed at Rolling Stone for a piece titled, “Tina Turner’s Solo Debut Was a Country Album. Why Hasn’t the Genre Claimed Her as Its Own?” Royster was also interviewed for an Associated Press piece on Turner titled, “Tina Turner created a career on her own terms, not defined by her trauma.”
More City Than Water was reviewed at The Architect’s Newspaper. Lars Lerup writes, “Never failing their orientation, the band of Houstonians featured in this book eloquently prove the power of the pen by offering a realistic climate poetics. If persistently and repeatedly applied to densely inhabited flood zones, atlases like this one may lead to a global wake-up call whose alarm may even reach the politicians.”
Tragedy Plus Time was reviewed at the blog of the Northeast Popular & American Culture Association. Their reviewer calls it, “[A] truly excellent new book,” going on, “Tragedy Plus Time is sophisticated, compelling, timely and well-written. It has a wide appeal for readers of all generations and backgrounds—just like television itself.”
Roller Derby was reviewed in the Journal of Sport History. Colleen English writes, “Roller Derby is an exceptional work that not only illuminates the history of a sport that remains on the margins of sport history but also offers a feminist examination that transcends Roller Derby itself. Marino’s use of oral histories brings insights otherwise unavailable. Her narrative of Roller Derby, alongside shrewd analysis of the world of sport makes this book an excellent read. This text should be of interest to anyone who is drawn to histories of popular culture, sport as Americana, and women’s sport history.”
That was fun! Well wishes until we see you again next time.