Indie Rock, a Techno Thriller, and Women’s Essays
Music by Victor Krummenacher, suspense from Eliot Peper, and 46 essays from women writers.
Blue Pacific by Victor Krummenacher. Veritas Recordings. VictorKrummenacher.com
In the mid-1980s, Victor Krummenacher helped forge an offbeat, eclectic style of Northern California alternative indie rock in the bands Camper Van Beethoven, Cracker, and Monks of Doom. On his ninth solo album in 24 years, the multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter leads a fabulous band that includes guitarists Greg Lisher (Camper, Monks) and David Immerglück (Camper, Monks, Counting Crows), bassists Paul Olguin and Joe Kyle, Jr., drummer Michael Urbano, singer Loralee Christensen, and co-producer Bruce Kaphan (steel guitars, Dobro, keyboards, string arrangements, and more). With Jackie Greene (organ), Rich Kuhns (accordion), and others making cameos, Blue Pacific laps at Krummenacher’s soul-searching lyrics with gentle country-rock affection and swells with Brit- and blues-rock grandeur, adding anthemic power to his semi-spoken vocals.
Breach by Eliot Peper (47North, May 14, 2019, 257 pp., $24.95)
Oaklander Eliot Peper releases Breach, the third piece of his Analog techno thriller series, this month. In this one, renowned ex-hacker Emily Kim “is drawn out of hiding and into an epic geopolitical showdown.” The heroine is living off the grid on Camiguin and learns of a sinister plan to dismantle the corporate powers that run the near-future’s version of the world wide web. Kim can protect old pals by exposing the threat — and thus endanger herself — or lay low. What will she do? If the book reads as well as Peper’s opening description of a vendor making teh tarik and keeps up the masterful foreshadowing evident in the first chapter, it will be a novel to remember. Peper himself sounds as remarkable as his protagnist Kim: He is a world traveler and dengue fever survivor who advises entrepreneurs and investors and translated Virgil’s Aeneid from Latin. —Judith M. Gallman
She’s Got This! Essays on Standing Strong edited by Joanne Hartman and Mary Claire Hill (Write on Mamas, February 2019, 272 pp., $15.95)
Dedicated “To all the women with stories to tell,” this anthology of 46 essays from known and unknown women writers was conceived before the unsettling 2016 presidential election. That disaster cemented the editors’ resolve to retool and invite contributors to share their experiences and to take their truths public to shape social change in trying times. The collection offers feminine takes on the themes of surfacing, standing strong, moving on, roots, and detours. Six contributors live in Alameda County: the editors, Sweta Chawla, Maria Dudley, Marianne Lonsdale, and Terry McQueen. Colleen Gonzalez and Sheri Hoffmann live in Contra Costa County. Catch a reading 7 p.m. May 23 at Left Margin Lit in Berkeley, and watch for more events at ShesGotThisAnthology.com. —JMG