TNB Music’s staff picks for December, 2012. All the folk, pop, electronica, hip hop and metal a stocking can hold.

 

 

Next Week: Everything good and bad about China crammed into one six inch rectangle!

 

The Martians came to me in bed,
“The earth is decomposed,” they said,
“Come to the moon, it’s made of cheese.”
I went with them. We sailed the seas
Of Nectar and Serenity
Where I met God and God met me.
We walked through stilton hand in hand,
“I think,” I said, “I understand.”
My head was like an open spout
My cerebellum dribbled out
And God replaced my brain with brie,
“I’m free at last,” I cried. “I’m free.”

Had we but world enough, and time,
This coyness, lady, were no crime.

Andrew Marvell, To His Coy Mistress

There has been a lot of discussion in recent days of what it means to be a gay writer, probably because June is gay pride month. I suppose I tend to see the idea of a gay writer in two ways as it relates to me, sort of like a chameleon with two independently floating eyeballs connected to one brain—to one instinctual purpose. I can see (I hope to see) myself in one thousand years being pored over by a group of eager young scholars at the University of Olympus Mons on Mars. Each would be an immigrant, a muscular mix of Japanese, Ukranian and Nigerian origins. Each would be between the ages of 23 and 35.

This week, I participated in a reading in New York City’s West Village. All I knew when I entered was that I was going to a new “science fiction” bookstore. That turned out only to be partially true. Ed’s Martian Book is indeed new, but what it stocks is nonfiction, namely author Andrew Kessler’s debut book, Martian Summer: Robot Arms, Cowboy Spacemen, and My 90 Days with the Phoenix Mars Mission (Pegasus). There’s something extremely surreal about being in a store where shelf after shelf, case after case, table after table only have one title. Perhaps that is science fiction-like. It’s mesmerizing, and I kept being tempted to open the books to make sure they weren’t blank inside (I gave in to temptation and, in fact, they were not blank inside). I emailed Kessler to find out more about his mission to Mars and his “crazy” bookstore brainstorm.