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Third Man Books Night @ City Lights

October 21, 2020 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm PDT

Celebrating three awesome new books!


Third Man Books (the publishing imprint of Jack White’s Third Man Records) returns to City Lights to launch three excellent new titles: IT CAME FROM MEMPHIS by Robert GordonCAR MA by Alison Mosshart, and Nine Bar Blues by Sheree Renée Thomas.

Third Man Books and Records: Where your turntable’s not dead, and your page still turns!

This is a virtual event that will be hosted by City Lights and Third Man on the Zoom platform. You will need access to a computer or other device that is capable of accessing the internet. If you have not used Zoom before, you may consider referencing Getting Started with Zoom.


Event is free, but registration is required.

(Click Here) to register


(Click Here) to purchase books (link to be posted soon!)


about It Came From Memphis

Vienna in the 1880s. Paris in the 1920s. Memphis in the 1950s. These are the paradigm shifts of modern culture. Memphis then was like Seattle with grunge or Brooklyn with hip-hop—except the change was more than musical: Underground Memphis embraced black American culture when dominant society simply ignored or abhorred it. The effect rocked the world. Like no other music history, It Came From Memphis dishes its tuneful tale with a full context of social issues. From institutional racism to cowboy movies, from manic disc jockeys to Quaalude motorcycle gangs, this story is as unvarnished a history of rock and roll as ever has been written. Stars pass through— Elvis, Aretha, Jerry Lee—but the emphasis is more on the singular achievements of artists like Alex Chilton, Jim Dickinson, Furry Lewis and wrestler Sputnik Monroe. This is a book about the weirdos, winos and midget wrestlers who forged the rock and roll spirit. The Memphis aesthetic is to invert expectations: artists encounter imperfection with a joyous enthusiasm, embracing mistakes and doing it all wrong by forging their own paths to get it exactly right, unwittingly changing the fabric of America. A storyteller’s storyteller, Robert Gordon puts you in the shotgun seat, riding with the old coots and the young rebels as they pass a bottle and a blunt. Memphis changed the world, this book might change you. The paragraph that begins updated and revised should be all bold.

Robert Gordon is a writer and a filmmaker, a Grammy winner and an Emmy winner. He’s a native Memphian who has been exporting the city’s authentic weirdness since long before his first book, It Came From Memphis (1995). He’s been nominated for six Grammys; his win was for the liner notes to the Big Star box set Keep an Eye on the Sky. His Emmy was for Best of Enemies, the 2015 documentary about Gore Vidal, William Buckley, and the demise of civil discourse in America. He’s not the rockabilly singer, he’s not author of Deep Blues, and he’s not the university in Scotland. He lives in Memphis.

Visit: TheRobertGordon.com


about CAR MA

CAR MA is artist and musician Alison Mosshart’s first printed collection of paintings, photographs, short stories, and poetry. It is a book about cars, rock n’ roll, and love. It’s a book about America, performance, and life on the road. It’s a book about fender bender portraiture, story tellin’ tire tracks, and the never-ending search for the spirit under the hood. Mosshart imagines the auto body shop like some other Coney Island. And America’s highways- the last great roller coasters. Shows us that the engine on fire is connected to the guitar feeding back since birth. And the sensation of walking on stage and facing an audience is like the laugh before the scream in a car without brakes. Mosshart ruminates that automobiles- with their doors and mirrors and windows, engines and wheels and radios- portray us. Mirror our need to be in or to exit, our inward reflections and outward visions, our lifetimes of tinkering with the mysterious heart. That which runs until it doesn’t. Throughout history the car has been a symbol of freedom and hopeful adventure. It stands to reason it is also a symbol of our subsequent spinning out … over things we never thought could happen during a song that fucking good and with the volume up that fucking loud.

Alison Mosshart is best known for her work in her musical duo The Kills, as well as fronting the Grammy nominated rock n’ roll band, The Dead Weather. Mosshart is also a visual artist, working in paints, multi-media and photography. She studied art for two years at the University of Florida, following a brief unrecorded spell at the University of Honolulu learning print making in the middle of the night. She is for the most part self taught. She has had 5 major solo exhibitions: “Fire Power” at the Joseph Gross Gallery in NYC, 2015, “Fire Power Los Angeles” at Maxfield in Los Angeles, 2017, “Tonight Only” in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, 2016, “Side Effects” at Panteon in Mexico City, 2018, and “Los Trachas” at FF-1051 Gallery in Los Angeles, 2018.

Visit: Alison Mosshart on Facebook


about Nine Bar Blues

Sheree Renée Thomas is a two-headed woman, one crown, earthbound, rooted in the Mississippi Delta and the New Weird South, the other spinning far off into space. And if music is the embedded memory of a culture, then her remarkable fiction collection is its excavated soul. Individually, these tales explore nearly every genre of music that has formed the heart of American culture, but their shared song is the story of the blues. Thomas’s writing haunts and mesmerizes you. Her imagination takes you down through it like the best traditional blues song, then opens you up again, delivering you into that mysterious, transcendental space that is the ninth bar.

Haunting and evocative, Nine Bar Blues carries the soul’s songbook, from the dark laughter of strange sisters forced to make a perilous journey into a land their mothers have never known, to the fortified funk of extraterrestrial mixtapes.

Sheree Renée Thomas imagines stories that are sonic rituals, works that cultivate and affirm the magical and the mystical in everyday living. Nine Bar Blues explores the multitudinous forms of music and the people who make it and appreciate it—the body’s music, the spirit’s music, and what moves a soul forward in the crossroads journey of life. Her stories travel from haunted West African and Middle Eastern forests to the mysterious back roads in the Mississippi Delta, from the ancestral realms of the afterlife to the alien sounds beyond. And throughout the journey, Nine Bar Blues heralds the arrival of a unique writer whose voice carries the hope and the past-future-present of a people.

Visit: Sheree Renée Thomas’ Website


October 21, 2020
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm PDT
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City Lights Books