Saturday, April 25, 2009

Outages, some planned, some not

Monday and part of Tuesday. Those were planned. But Thursday was illness. Highly distilled illness which Homeland is investigating. And so, there will be no actual newsletter this week, due to time constraints and a brain that still has too high a viral load.

On the bright side, vernal equinox be praised, we see evidence at last of Spring.

On the dark side, it's just one more Spring in a tremendous unbroken string of them, the overwhelming majority of which happened before we were born and the tremendously large remainder of which will happen after we die.

But don't let it get you down! Rather: Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, and all that! And if Robert Herrick don't do it for ya, how about good old Andrew Marvell?

"Let us roll all our strength, and all
Our sweetness, up into one ball;
And tear our pleasures with rough strife
Thorough the iron gates of life."

That is to say, having come through terrible suffering, we're determined to win, win, win!

Get in our way, and we'll roll you up into a ball.

Back to normal next week.


If you need something to read, or a rabbit-hole to fall down, then check out this.

Fine press books are where it's at, if you've got the bankroll. Follow the very last link in the article to see how deeply you're in trouble if you like this stuff. Thanks to Joseph for alerting us.


Oh, and don't forget the art opening at Wall of Sound, Friday, May 1st. Very enticing stuff, obviously druggy, potentially subversive. Something else for Homeland to investigate.


# of weeks since Spine and Crown inception: 181

# of weeks since inception that no mention of Spine and Crown has appeared in the print edition of The Stranger: 181

Saturday, April 18, 2009


Run for the hills, New Orleans!

What a way to kick off a newsletter!


It's boring to harp on about the same old thing. So why are people always doing it? One theory goes that we're all closet sadists, and that the minute, grinding tortures we practice on one another satisfy us in some deviant way. If you're torturing someone, they must be in your power, after all. It feels good to have someone in your power. If you're Hitler! Well, here's some good advice for when you encounter someone stuck on repeat: walk away! Leave them hanging! Let them pester someone else!

Or rather, don't. Please don't. Stay. Because it's time for US to harp on about the same old thing. No, not the econopocalypse again. That's so last week. No, let's talk about books.

Mmmmm, books! Yes, books! You won't find deeper or more lasting satisfaction from any other class of inanimate object! A lot of thought was put into that last sentence, and we're going to stick by it. Even a visit to Toys in Babeland won't satisfy like a good book. Yes, we believe that. Honestly. So, come on down to Spine and Crown- and save a fortune on batteries!

But we're not really here to pester. In fact, since we discovered that the word "pester" comes from the Latin pastoria, meaning "rope to hobble an animal," we feel less inclined to use it. We're not here to hobble you! We'll settle for lightening your wallet!

Had we been the betting kind, we'd have bet the non-existent farm that "pester" was rooted in "pest." And yet, it's not! Language- how tortuous! And torturous!


New this week:

All items mentioned below are first come, first serve. If you want something, let us know post-haste! All new items sell for cover price, used items as marked. Sadly, trade credit cannot be used for new items.

Our books are always searchable via ABEbooks.


Doom Fox, Iceberg Slim.

This guy was a pimp. Really, really a pimp. He went to jail. For pimping. Or knifing someone, we're not sure. But then, in a grand revelation, at the final moment of a faux execution staged by his captors, he discovered the WORD. That's right, language. Like how we tie this all together? And he used language to explore human foibles, particularly among the tribes of pimps and hos.

Some of the Dostoyevsky bio we've been reading might have bled in there a little, but in essence, it's TRUE! And isn't essence what it's all about? ($7.50) [Sold]

Also available: Trick Baby: The Biography of a Con Man. ($6)


Sanatorium Under the Sign of the Hourglass, Bruno Schulz. (Out of print)

Joking aside, this is brilliant work by an author and artist whose life was cut tragically short.

From his wikipedia entry:
[Schulz] was temporarily protected by Felix Landau, a Gestapo officer who admired his drawings. During the last weeks of his life, Schulz painted a mural in Landau's home in Drohobycz, in the style with which he is identified. Shortly after completing the work, Schulz was bringing home a loaf of bread when he was shot and killed by a German officer, Karl Günther, a rival of his protector (Landau had killed Günther's "personal Jew," a dentist). Over the years his mural was covered with paint and forgotten.
($20) [Sold]


The Inner Lives of Minerals, Plants, and Animals
, Manly P. Hall.

This guy was a 33° Mason. What he didn't know wasn't worth knowing.

Digital computing? Invented it.

Atlantis? Built it.

He's typing this right now!



A Seal Flies By, R.H. Pearson.

"Not only for the amateur animal lover." Indeed.

We'll leave that where it lies. ($7.50) [Sold]


Beyond Terror: The Films of Lucio Fulci, Stephen Thrower.

The author of this book- this is a true story, now- once told me that he had made a better book than Fulci deserved. Is this a devastating put-down? Or is it self-congratulation? Not for us to say- but it is a really pretty book! It's long out of print and a prime example of why FAB Press is fabulous!

Fulci directed the best zombie movie ever made: Zombie Flesh Eaters aka Zombi 2. That movie has an underwater sequence where a zombie fights a shark! An actual zombie fighting an actual shark! Do you know how long you have to hang out under water to get an encounter between these legendary predators on film?!?

He also directed The Beyond, perhaps the second best Zombie movie ever made. Which takes place iiiiinnnn.... wait for it..... New Orleans! Full circle! Hot damn! And all done with LANGUAGE! ($140)


Free Music Archive:

Would you take a free Charles Manson album if they gave it to you?


Everything's turning into a pile of shit.

Except this.


These ants do not need males.


# of weeks since Spine and Crown inception: 180

# of weeks since inception that no mention of Spine and Crown has appeared in the print edition of The Stranger: 180

Thursday, April 09, 2009

The Little Shop that COULD

So you've got, what? Two certainties in life?

We know what they are, thank you very much, Benjamin Franklin!

Let's add a third, shall we?

The Germans call it Änderung.

The French: Changement.

That's right - Change.

Taken to task yet again for the dismal tone of ye olde Spine and Crown newsletter, clearly it's high time for change. And given the crazy game of musical chairs going on socially and economically at the moment, nothing could be easier! This one is upbeat! This one knows no defeat! This newsletter loves the world as it is and wishes it to be no other way than the way that it is, save for the ways that no one wishes it was and numerous other caveats too numerous to mention.

These are great times! Lots of unthinkable things are becoming thinkable! What a gift! I mean, we couldn't think them before, and now we can! It's true that many of us are getting bumped out of our cushy chairs- some, even from chairs not cushy at all! No one wants to leave a comfortable rut, but maybe it will all work out for the best... Most of us will survive (more or less), right?

Without all those pesky distractions (working, shopping, counting money), maybe we'll have time to finish that album we've been working on. Or that novel. Or maybe start growing our own food. We bought chicken and pig seeds from Lowes just this past weekend! Last year, the raccoons got all our pigs, but check out our new electro-fied fence!

Take that, raccoons!

You get a refund; we get a DEFUND

It's sweet, that moment when you check your bank balance- and there it is. A deposit from IRS.GOV. You overpaid, and now it's blessed, blessed refund time. But when you own a small business, overpaying is rarely an option, so come tax time, there is only PAYING.

Hey, it's owed. No complaints on that front. Someone's got to pay for escalating the war in Afghanistan, right? But the timing's not too convenient, to say the least. Profits are slipping, dividends are shrinking, shareholders are grumbling- you get the picture. So, if you were waiting for the perfect moment to come on down and splurge a little, we're not saying it ain't welcome. That is, we ARE saying it IS welcome. You've got some work to do, beautiful children of the refund!

And not just at Spine and Crown! Why, along this stretch of E. Pine St. alone, we have:

Travelers (best chai in town)

Le Frock (draping your body with the finest of vintage cloths)

Wall of Sound (a better record shop than this town deserves - fighting a recession and downloaders, too!)


Bauhaus (fashion parade + stout coffee + neighborhood convergence point = win!)

These are all businesses owned by real people, not faceless corporations. They won't be around if people don't rally now!

Did you pick up that book at Half Price? THEY'RE A MOTHER-LOVIN' CHAIN!!!

Starbuck's latte? They're brewing it with shareholders' sweat these days!

Local and little is the new black. Don't love something that can't love you back.


New this week:

All items mentioned below are first come, first serve. If you want something, let us know post-haste! All new items sell for cover price, used items as marked. Sadly, trade credit cannot be used for new items.

Our books are always searchable via ABEbooks.


Bombshells: Glamour Girls of a Lifetime, Steve Sullivan.

Ten chapters, each on a different lovely lady. Cynthia Myers (from Russ Meyer's "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls"), Yvette Vickers ("Attack of the 50-Foot Woman" and "Attack of the Giant Leeches"), and Joy Harmon ("Cool Hand Luke" and "Village of the Giants") all feature. ($25)


Who We Were: A Snapshot History of America, Michael Williams, et al.

Coffee table book of found amateur photos from ancient times to the 1970s. Showing a personal side to days gone by and presenting a virtual catalogue of ridiculously cool hats that no one wears anymore. This copy is signed by all three authors and includes an actual found photo and a DVD-ROM with found home-movies (a package that was a pre-publication offering from the publisher.) ($70)


The Names of the Lost
, Philip Levine.

A signed copy of the paperback of this out-of-print collection. Detroit poet, full of dignity, mortality, and beautiful words, sporting a pedigree that includes the mentorship of John Berryman, stints teaching at Iowa and NYU, and a Pulitzer. A personal favorite. ($25)


Killing for Culture: An Illustrated History of Death Film from Mondo to Snuff (New, revised and updated edition), David Kerekes and David Slater.

The title kind of says it all. This book is a steaming tower of ick. I feel queasy looking at it, but can't take my eyes off it. If this book is for you... well, then it is, I guess. Please don't kill me!

($40) [Sold, thank christ]

Slimetime: A Guide to Sleazy, Mindless Movie Entertainment, Steven Puchalski.

Hundreds of reviews, reproductions of posters, and essays on major genres (such as blaxploitation, biker films, and drug cinema.) If the titles "Invasion of the Blood Farmers," "Cannibal Hookers," or "The Black Gestapo" mean something to you (or pique your interest,) then get thee hither! Slimetime awaits! ($25)


A Thing of Unspeakable Horror: The History of Hammer Films, Sinclair McKay.

Very nice import hardcover. Peter Cushing, heaving bosoms, Christopher Lee, heaving bosoms, "Plague of the Zombies," heaving bosoms, "Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires." You get the picture. ($25) [Sold]


Soviet science: On the March!


Everything's turning into a pile of shit. Except this.


Everything's turning into a pile of shit. Especially this.


# of weeks since Spine and Crown inception: 179

# of weeks since inception that no mention of Spine and Crown has appeared in the print edition of The Stranger: 179

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Third time's the harm

Another week, another missive from the home of the quality second-hand book. What level of quality (or possessing what qualities), we're not prepared to say. It's all in the eye of the beholder. So get on in and behold, already!

Some people enjoyed the Walker Percy quote last week, some thought the whole thing was a little too downbeat. Too damn bad! Time we all did a little growing up. One day, we may actually be able to fit into our daddies' shirts! Or, as it says on the Spine and Crown gift certificate (and somewhere in the Good Book):
Inquire, I beg of you, of a former generation and ponder what their fathers have searched out. We are but of yesterday and do not know; Our days are a shadow on the earth.

That is to say, inquire at Spine and Crown! We'll help you ponder. If we'd all pondered on what our fathers had searched out, would we really have repealed the Glass-Steagall act? I think not!

And since I know we're all putting aside childish things, I'd like to dedicate this newsletter to the Emerald City Comicon, happening this weekend under our very noses! (Please note this week's use of exclamation points! Hey kids, comics!) They've got some pretty big names this year, among them Mike Mignola (Hellboy), Tim Sale (Batman, the tv show Heroes), and Seattle's very own Ed Brubaker (Criminal, Captain America, etc.)

I know you've always dreamed of giving Wil Wheaton a sloppy kiss in the Convention Center (no pun intended), so head on down (no pun intended!)


New this week

All items mentioned below are first come, first serve. If you want something, let me know post-haste! All new items sell for cover price, used items as marked. Sadly, trade credit cannot be used for new items.

Our books are always searchable via ABEbooks.


The Book of Shrigley, David Shrigley. Fat art book replete with the scratchings of the British art world's enfant terrible. Actually, I'm sure they've got a new enfant terrible by now- and another one just now- oops, and another new one now. When will it all end?!?!?!? ($12.50) [Sold]


, Brian Froud and Alan Lee. First edition (1979) of this classic of fantasy art. And let's face it, some of these naked pixies are, for lack of a better word, hawt! Those little elf ears really do it for some people, not naming names! ($20) [Sold]


Powers: Who Killed Retro Girl?
, Brian Bendis and Michael Oeming. In honor of Bendis (Portlander that he is), and the fact that he's going to be at the comicon, we offer the Graphitti Designs limited edition of the first Powers story arc. Only 750 were made of this lovely slipcased treasure. You could get it signed at the con, but, damn- it's signed by author and artist already! ($70)


DC: The New Frontier, Absolute Edition
, Darwin Cooke. Speaking of slipcased editions, the now out-of-print Absolute Edition of Darwin Cooke's masterwork takes the cake. It's heavy enough to be used as a murder weapon and so full of early 60s design-y goodness, it hurts! ($125)


Jonny Double, Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso. Pure noir in this first collaboration by the team that's brought you 100 Bullets. Takes the down-on-his-luck-PI-gets-in-over-his-head thing and turns it on its head. Out-of-print. ($20) [Sold]


Semmelweis, Louis-Ferdinand Celine (New) - The only edition in print in English of Celine's first work; a glorious object brought to you by London boutique publisher Atlas Press. We are the only shop in town with this book! ($20) [Sold]


The Devil Wears Dada:

A big stack of Dada landed on us, including:

Women in Dada, The Dada Painters and Poets [Sold], Dada and Surrealism No. 16, The Dada Reader [Sold], The Dada Seminars, and Flight Out of Time: A Dada Diary by Hugo Ball [Sold].


Anything that is too big to fail is too big to exist.

By the same author: The Baseline Scenario


Everything's turning into a pile of shit.

Except this.


Check out the gams on that dame!
The skin tickler slipped me a Lincoln, but it was sourdough.


# of weeks since Spine and Crown inception: 178

# of weeks since inception that no mention of Spine and Crown has appeared in the print edition of The Stranger: 178