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I’m Just The Drummer: Photography & Interviews by Bob Bert

Hozac Books is proud to present our third art book, I’m Just The Drummer the Bob Bert artist compendium of photography and interviews, establishing his irreplaceable link between the 1970s No Wave movement and contemporary noise rock. Although Bert’s immediate work is best known drumming in his wide array of musical projects he’s been involved with (such as SONIC YOUTH, PUSSY GALORE, CHROME CRANKS, LYDIA LUNCH, and many more) since the early 1980s, the focus of his book isn’t drum-centric as it is an encapsulation of the artistic world he’s developed within. It’s not a drumming instructional guide, or a critical assessment of how the drummers in bands are treated, but a 200+ page guide through Bob’s musically adventurous life, and what a ride! Starting out with his teenage love of photography and his process of capturing the underground downtown figureheads as well as the emerging unknown No Wave bands, Bob was just as much of an enthusiastic fan of music as he was a fixture in some of the most crucial music of the 1980s, 90s, and beyond. And that’s what’s really important in the long run, as his excitement for music bursts from each page, providing the springboard to his long-running life in bands on the fringe of the mainstream.

But Bob Bert wasn’t just that figure at the intersection of commonality of SEVERAL pivotal bands with an edge over the last 30 years, oh no. He also has (not surprisingly) impeccable taste in music and culture, which could only sprout forth in the 1990s with an inevitable ‘zine,’ and thus, BB Gun Magazine was born. Spanning from 1995 until 2004, and covering emerging underground music, film, and outre artists sub-underground, as well as Hollywood-level impresarios, I’m Just the Drummer contains a wealth of interview excerpts from the elusive original magazines, along with his photography accompaniment. From NANCY SINATRA to VINCENT GALLO, and from SUICIDE to CYNTHIA PLASTER CASTER, Bert’s undeniable love of his subjects is hard to conceal, and his book is a perfect representation of an ongoing life of true adventure, traveling the world, and illuminating the darkest corners of our cultural curiosities.

HZB-008
200+ pages, paperback
FIRST EDITION of 400 copies: SOLD OUT
SECOND EDITION of 400 copies: available below
ISBN: 978-0-9963319-7-5

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ORDER 2nd edition HERE: Shipping NOW:

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SHIPPING NOW: There Was A Light: The Cosmic History of Chris Bell and the Rise of BIG STAR – BOOK

After FIVE solid years of painstaking research and hard work, Rich Tupica’s epic tome on the deep end of the BIG STAR story is ready.

1st edition now SOLD OUT!
2nd edition shipping NOW!

ORDER HERE, SHIPPING NOW
ORDER HERE, SHIPPING NOW
ORDER HERE, SHIPPING NOW

THERE WAS A LIGHT is an oral history containing new and archival interviews with those closest to Chris Bell and the Big Star circle: their friends, family, former bandmates—even some fans, exes, classmates and co-workers.

The varied cast of voices, many from the band’s hometown of Memphis, comprises all the members of Big Star, including: Chris Bell, the iconic Alex Chilton, Andy Hummel and Jody Stephens. In the following decades after its 1975 breakup, the obscure group somehow reached and inspired some of rock’s most important bands, including R.E.M., the Replacements, Yo La Tengo, Teenage Fanclub, Beck, and Wilco.

With Chris Bell at the center of the Big Star universe, this book carefully reveals the production of Big Star’s masterful 1972 debut LP, #1 Record, for Ardent/Stax Records. Despite stellar reviews in music magazines, the record saw abysmal sales. Soon after, toxic personality conflicts and turmoil tore Big Star apart while Bell battled drug abuse and clinical depression.

There Was A Light then delves into Big Star’s second and third albums, while recounting Bell’s second act as a struggling solo musician and devout born-again Christian. During several trips to Europe, he ambitiously recorded songs and pitched to record labels—even crossing paths with Paul McCartney. From this productive era arose Bell’s lone solo album, the posthumously released I Am the Cosmos LP—his swan song and masterpiece.

There Was A Light details the pop culture phenomenon that made Big Star legends and divulges how its staunch fanbase saved the band from obscurity.

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There Was A Light: The Cosmic History of Chris Bell and the Rise of Big Star

THERE WAS A LIGHT is an oral history containing new and archival interviews with those closest to Chris Bell and the Big Star circle: their friends, family, former bandmates—even some fans, exes, classmates and co-workers.

The varied cast of voices, many from the band’s hometown of Memphis, comprises all the members of Big Star, including: Chris Bell, the iconic Alex Chilton, Andy Hummel and Jody Stephens. In the following decades after its 1975 breakup, the obscure group somehow reached and inspired some of rock’s most important bands, including R.E.M., the Replacements, Yo La Tengo, Teenage Fanclub, Beck, and Wilco.

With Chris Bell at the center of the Big Star universe, this book carefully reveals the production of Big Star’s masterful 1972 debut LP, #1 Record, for Ardent/Stax Records. Despite stellar reviews in music magazines, the record saw abysmal sales. Soon after, toxic personality conflicts and turmoil tore Big Star apart while Bell battled drug abuse and clinical depression.

There Was A Light then delves into Big Star’s second and third albums, while recounting Bell’s second act as a struggling solo musician and devout born-again Christian. During several trips to Europe, he ambitiously recorded songs and pitched to record labels—even crossing paths with Paul McCartney. From this productive era arose Bell’s lone solo album, the posthumously released I Am the Cosmos LP—his swan song and masterpiece.

There Was A Light details the pop culture phenomenon that made Big Star legends and divulges how its staunch fanbase saved the band from obscurity.

Featured in RECORD COLLECTOR Magazine

Featured on PERFECT SOUND FOREVER

Featured on SAN FRANCISCO BOOK REVIEW

Featured in MAGNET Magazine

Featured as one of the Top Music Books of 2018 by MEMPHIS COMMERCIAL APPEAL

Featured in UNDER THE RADAR Magazine

Featured on MIDNIGHT TO SIX

Featured in MEMPHIS FLYER

Featured in LANSING PULSE

Featured on DANGEROUS MINDS

Featured Interview with the author on POP DOSE

Featured in BILLBOARD Magazine

Featured on BLURT

HZB-007
400+ pages, oral history, paperback
FIRST EDITION of 500 copies: SOLD OUT
SECOND EDITION of 500 copies: SOLD OUT
ISBN: 978-0-9963319-6-8

AVAILABLE HERE from our distributor while supplies last!

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SHIPPING NOW: Spring 2018 4Pack!

THE SUEVES R.I.P. Clearance Event LP
RUBY KARINTO s/t debut LP
VELVETEEN RABBIT debut 7″
F.U.K. Road Kill / I Got A Head 7″ (1977 Archival)

ORDER 2018 4-Pack HERE
ORDER 2018 4-Pack HERE
ORDER 2018 4-Pack HERE

Check out the official video for “Fox’s Wedding” by RUBY KARINTO right here:

Check out the official video for “Never Been To The Beach” by THE SUEVES right here:

STREAM a track from the debut RUBY KARINTO LP Here:

STREAM a track from VELVETEEN RABBIT HERE:

STREAM a track from THE SUEVES HERE:

STREAM a track from F.U.K. HERE:

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Madman’s Eye: The Art of Mac Blackout

The all-seeing Eye of Mac Blackout knows no visible boundary. After a solid 25+ years of neurotically-enthralling creativity across several media types, he finally has a book to show for all of his exciting and enduring hard work.
Around Chicago, his art has become inescapable, always peeking out from a storefront, a doorway, an alley, or one of his beloved garbage cans, his aesthetic has become an unofficial pock mark on the face of the city. But that’s only what you can see on the surface, as the tone gets darker the deeper you dig into his cadre of nightmarish delights, depicting the spectrum between twisted daydreams and fantastic exaggeration. Mac truly creates the demons you WANT around you, adding strange comfort to the mayhem and fear they would normally invoke. Madman’s Eye may be Mac Blackout’s first art book, but we’d wager it will not be his last.

As his direction has drifted across so many projects over the years, he’s gone from respected graffiti artist, into the world of fine art, and into pen & ink, collage, & multi-media painting. Not to mention his numerous world-renowned punk bands, Functional Blackouts, Daily Void, Mickey, New Rose Alliance, and his solo material with Mac Blackout Band, Mac has always been at the center of a rogue nervous system that needed to come to life on it’s own in the form of his art. The incredible resourcefulness and raw talent are impossible to ignore here, and his work is already instantly recognizable. This book epitomizes his deft ability to conquer a multitude of impressively disturbing, yet incredibly interconnected styles, along with deeper look into the Madman behind the Eye.

– Todd Novak (Hozac Books)

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I came to know Mac Blackout in 2000 at a Clone Defects show at one of the most wondrous places on earth, the long defunct Pop’s on Chicago. It was a smelly, dark, and lawless dive bar that hosted a lot of great shows around that time. Mac had just transplanted from Indianapolis to Chicago, a young, wild, and wide-eyed youth. Mac would soon form The Functional Blackouts with a couple of mutual friends, who arrived on the Chicago music scene with great timing. There was a lot going on at the time, and “Garage Rock” was becoming all the rage, and like a pack of ravenous wolves in a field of fresh meat, The Functional Blackouts tore though the scene, and left only bones in their wake. Their songs were as feral, unhinged, and vociferous as their live shows, and the flyers Mac was doing were a perfect reflection of what The Functional Blackouts were about. Mostly photocopied, mixed-media, Whiteout, marker, pen and collage, they were far beyond the lexicon of show flyers anyone was used to seeing. Their imagery was dark and cultish, and had menacing allure that demanded attention and insured attendance. They were dangerous and fun, simultaneously, ––a theme that has played out in Mac’s artwork throughout the years.

It quickly became clear that Mac is a force that could not me tamed. He is a maniac, a hurricane of creativity. As the front guy in Daily Void, then later with the beloved Mickey, and the Mac Blackout Band, Mac stands as one of the most prolific and formidable dudes around. All the while, his constant whirlwind of creative output was unrelenting. For Mac, there wasn’t this type of art, or that type of art, it was all the same to him. His brilliantly painted boomboxes are playful, neurotic, and vivid, painted with perfect execution. The detail on each unique boombox goes from hyper-real, to cartoonish and psychedelic. While the styles depicted in the art throughout his career are far-reaching, be it music, visual art, or whatever he is cooking up, his pace never seems to waver. Take his “stump toppers,” plywood, trace-cut, and painted into colorfully-twisted characters, then drilled to the top of dead tree stumps. There was a time when they were everywhere in the parkways of Chicago’s near northwest side, along with his trash paintings too. A personified, spray-painted, discarded pillow stained with years of sweat, or a discarded hamper turned it into a joyful crazy-eyed lunatic cartoon, that is now more charming and brilliant than is was as a piece of trash. To Mac Blackout, everything is art. There is no line between art and life, one without the other cannot exist on the plane in which we reside. Mac Blackout is a beacon that reminds us of that beautiful and reassuring fact.

– Brett Cross (Hozac Books)

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“The Faces, shapes, lips, eyes and ears! “Classic looking work, a timeless outsider hero, deranged and prolific.” “Very few can do this in such mad variety, colossal, chaotic, color for a new psychedelic age!”
– TIMMY VULGAR (Clone Defects, Human Eye, Timmy’s Organism)

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CHECK OUT the Mac Blackout official site to buy original art right here

CHECK OUT a Mac Blackout feature on The Culture Trip right here

CHECK OUT a Mac Blackout feature on Columbia College’s In The Loop right here

CHECK OUT a Mac Blackout feature in THE CHICAGO READER right here

HZB-006
1st edition of 300
240 Pages, Full color monograph
ISBN: 978-0-9963319-4-4

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Shipping December 8th, 2017

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SHIPPING NOW: The Cowboys, Razor Boys, Lowlife, & Surfbort

THE COWBOYS 3rd LP
RAZOR BOYS Atlanta 1978 LP
LOWLIFE Leaders 7″ EP
SURFBORT Bort To Death 7″ EP

Fall 2017 4-Pack is SHIPPING NOW! Fall 2017 4-Pack is SHIPPING NOW! Fall 2017 4-Pack is SHIPPING NOW! Fall 2017 4-Pack is SHIPPING NOW!

THE COWBOYS feature on Raven Sings the Blues

STREAM the RAZOR BOYS Atlanta 1978 LP on VictimofTime.com

LOWLIFE feature on Noisey

Check out videos from SURFBORT for “Hippie Vomit Inhaler” and “Back To Reaction”