Deep Focus, Steve Erickson, Junkyard Jets, Coen Bros and Heavy Metal

Computer replaces human brain
Spending too much time on the computer lately? Here are some recent book recommendations:


The Deep Focus series is a collection of pocket-sized books that are a love letter to a quirky film. Josh Wilker’s homage to The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training is one of the most insightful books I’ve read about growing up in the 1970′s. If you had feathered hair, played Little League, and remember Carter vs. Reagan, this book is for you.


The first book in the Deep Focus series is Jonathan Lethem’s wide ranging analysis of the classic John Carpenter film They Live. I really enjoyed watching the film again after reading the book. You can watch They Live on Netflix or Amazon Prime. Lethem also has a forthcoming book in the 33 1/3 music series on Talking Heads’ Fear of Music.


A friend sent me a review copy of Steve Erickson’s forthcoming book These Dreams of You. I’ve been a fan of Erickson’s work since the late 80′s when the same friend turned me on to Days Between Stations. Thomas Pynchon wrote a blurb for this brilliant first novel that holds true for much of Erickson’s work:

Steve Erickson has that rare and luminous gift for reporting back from the nocturnal side of reality, along with an engagingly romantic attitude and the fierce imaginative energy of a born storyteller.

These Dreams of You follows an L.A. family’s adoption of an Ethiopian girl just after the election of Barack Obama. Erickson weaves his interest in music, politics, and race into the family’s search for their daughter’s history. There are some amazing episodes in These Dreams of You, but overall it’s not as cohesive as some of his other work. Of course any kind of follow up to Erickson’s brilliant ode to cinema Zeroville would be tough.

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While I was in Tucson, I picked up a copy of the book Junkyard Jets at the Pima Air & Space Museum. Junkyard Jets is a look inside the airplane storage and scrapping industry. If you’re a junkyard fan, you need this book!


When I meet someone for the first time, and the conversation turns to movies, I always ask “What is your favorite Coen Brothers film?” I picked up this Virgin film series book used and was pleasantly surprised by the interesting analysis of their first 10 films, and also the information on the critical reception.

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Two dudes gettin’ drunk and stoned and playing with as many amps as we possibly can and basically just playing Melvins and Earth riffs but trying to play them slower than those bands played them. — Sunn O)))

I enjoyed watching the heavy rock documentary film Such Hawks Such Hounds. The full documentary is available above on YouTube, or the DVD is available directly from the filmmakers.

3 thoughts on “Deep Focus, Steve Erickson, Junkyard Jets, Coen Bros and Heavy Metal”

    1. The Erroll Morris book is a lot of fun. Junkyard Jets is informative if you’re interested in the life of airplanes, especially what happens at the end. Lots of photos, too.

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