Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

Industry Tools 

Wednesday, Feb 27 2008
Try as we might, we've been unable to read Dan Kennedy's book Rock On cover to cover, instead rifling through it like a bowl of candy. The nonfiction tale concerns his years in a big fancy record company, and it's a fast, very funny read, filled with all the ways major labels conspire to ruin music and themselves. His feverish interior monologue smacks you over the head, shoving you forward, often latching onto something so alarmingly funny you must suddenly brake to appreciate the author's skill. Kennedy captures rock in a way that fiction writers rarely pull off, and the secret seems to be to never forget the rush you felt when you were 16, driving around, listening to music, childishly gobsmacked by the glory of it all. Meaning if you start thinking rock is about anything but sweat and youth and screaming and balls, your book is going to suck. (Not that we think Don DeLillo sucks, but Great Jones Street?)

Rock On is also crammed with lists and asides and ruminations and other McSweeney's-like short prose pieces, which is no surprise, as Kennedy is a regular presence on the site, with his work popping up nearly every other month, going back years. He's something of a ringer there, which makes his presence at today's Humor Writing seminar (along with Jon Carroll, Beth Lisick, and Eric Spitznagel) a nice, if expensive, way to get tips on the funny writing thing.
Mon., March 3, 6 p.m., 2008

About The Author

Michael Leaverton


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed
  1. Most Popular


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"