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This is Third Man Books book of the month! Pick it up during November for 20% off.
LIFE IS A RIP OFF: THE COMPLETE BOOK is 404 pages and 12 months of record reviews—one record a day, every day, for one year. Yes, John “Inzane" Olson aka Inzane Johnny of the band Wolf Eyes aka American Tapes did that. And he reviewed everything from death metal demo cassettes to the Staples Singers' gospel. Enter into the OLZONE and find out about music you've never known, bands from places that you've never heard, and then read his review of KANSAS. Reading LRIP will make you re-realize why blues is relevant, why every punk band in America matters, why jazz is good for the heart, and metal will always ride by your side.
"To write music op-ed this good, you have to tap the primordial sap sack, to butterfly stroke the ancient ooze of tune begatment, cave dwell with the knuckle draggers, scratch symbols into the dirt with the freaks and make it rain. He do and it did”. — Henry Rollins
"[Life is a Rip Off] is the best way [John Olson] can add another cubist layer to the sound and visuality he’s already presented for the last twenty or so years. He’s sharing something the people who don’t know him personally don’t get enough of—his textual, syntactical brain, stained as it is with dollar-store spray paint.” —— Ben Hell Hall, Detroit artist.
"When John agreed to write a record review a day, back in 20xx, I wasn’t too keen on the idea. Not because I didn’t think he could do it - but that I knew he would do it, even if it became a years-long all-encompassing obsessive task.” — Tovah Olson, The Dead Machines.
"[John Olson] didn’t just introduce me to different worlds, the man introduced me to entire universes.” — Bryan Ramirez, Killertrees Records
Wolf Eyes . . . sounds like a crumbling Velvet Underground bootleg that's been burned to ashes. — NPR, Sept 2015
John Olson joined the seminal noise, trip-metal band Wolf Eyes in 2000. Wolf Eyes has toured and/or worked with musicians such as Sonic Youth and Anthony Braxton. In 2015, Wolf Eyes released the full length I AM A PROBLEM: MIND IN PIECES on Third Man Records.
WITH ADDITIONAL ESSAYS FROM:
Henry Rollins: Born in 1961 in Washington, D.C., Henry Rollins was barely out of his teens when he joined the legendary punk band Black Flag. He won a Grammy Award for best spoken word album in 1994 for his recording of his memoir, Get In the Van.
Ben Hell Hall: Sculptor and composer Ben Hall creates installations incorporating durational performances, existing objects and indeterminacy.all has written for The Wire and BOMB and has performed at INSTAL in Glasgow, Scotland; the Museum of Modern Art in New York City; and kunstenentrum BELGIE in Belgium.
Bryan Ramirez is an experimental, jazz, noise musician. He has played in several collaborations and groups including Ex-Cocaine. He also runs the Killertrees record label.
Tovah Olson has created something approximating music with Dead Machines, Wooden Wand and the Vanishing Voice and various other projects. She co-founded the Polyamory record label and runs Tovinator. She's a digital news director and inzane mom living in the middle of Michigan.