For less than the cost of a Miley Cyrus CD, Jessica Hopper's The Girls' Guide to Rocking: How to Start a Band, Book Gigs, and Get Rolling to Rock Stardom (Workman Publishing) more than earns its niche—namely the heart-list of anyone attending a summer rock camp for girls, recording her first album, or just dreaming about it while playing Rock Band. But the beauty of Girls' Guide is that it's also for everyone—elderly, male, and non-musical-types included—who ever got excited about rocking. From hilarious made-up band names (Gently Aging Hamster) and true anecdotes (David Lee Roth's Spanish album as a cautionary example of why you should write what you know) to quotes to live by from the likes of Joni Mitchell and Karen O, this book-your-own-feminist-life how-to overflows with impractical pleasure. Based in Chicago, Hopper has been a critic, zinester, blogger, publicist, DJ, touring bassist in the band Challenger, and a consultant for This American Life. The book is Hopper's intrepid personality writ large—particularly poignant for this reviewer, since I first met her when she was a teenage rocker herself, and we both played in the same Minneapolis band (Andromeda Strain). As she writes, "It's about putting something interesting into the world." Local author and musician Laurie Lindeen will also be on hand.
Thu., July 16, 7:30 p.m., 2009