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Wednesday, 23 December 2015

BOOK TOUR - The Noise Beneath the Apple by Heather Jacks

Title: The Noise Beneath the Apple: A Celebration of Busking in the Bay Area
Author: Heather Jacks
Publisher: TNBTA Media
Pages: 200
Genre: Media & Performing Arts


The Noise Beneath the Apple® is a hardcover, Limited Edition Art-Style/Coffee Table book, presented in an elegant slipcase. It measures 12″ x 12″ and celebrates buskers and street music in New York City. It includes a history, evolution and culture of busking, photos, interviews and commentary with 35 of NYC’s prominent street musicians. A cherry red vinyl record, of 11 tracks of original music, mastered by Grammy and Academy Award winning Reuben Cohen, (Slumdog Millionaire, Frozen), is page 200. At the culmination of the project, 30 participants went to Grand Street Recording in Brooklyn, where they covered Billy Joel's hit song, New York State of Mind. A 12 minute short film and music video were created from that day and are included with the book, making this project, truly multi-media. The project won a Book of the Year Award in the category of Performing Arts & Music.

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  • The Noise Beneath the Apple: A Celebration of Busking in the Bay Area is available at Amazon.
  • Pick up your copy at her website for less!
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Share your 9 favorite books of all time.

When I was growing up, my grandmother would make a monthly trek from the country to Betty’s Book Barn, which was located in ‘town’. ‘Town’ was about 2.5 hours away; via a twisted, rutted dirt road that snaked through mountain passes. The exotic locale of ‘town’, had a population of 8,000, which was a bona-fide metropolis, compared to the 200 +/- who lived on our land. When she returned, she would present me with an over-sized, misshapen cardboard box, filled with books. Some had smudges and dog-eared pages; some had no covers and broken spines, but they all carried the promise of worlds that I had yet to discover; adventures in far-off lands and by-gone eras. My love of reading was instilled at an early age. Some of my favorite books are from that box, some are from my shelf today, but all of them, carry the promise of adventure and discovery.
My list doesn’t consist of classic literature or particularly scholarly tomes---the ones that would make you look good, if you were caught dead with it. No, my list is an eclectic array of mismatched themes; a hodgepodge of topics that may have little meaning for anyone, other than me. Somehow, that is perfect.

Illusions, The Adventures of A Reluctant Messiah, Richard Bach: This book found its way to me in the seventies, shortly after its publication. "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear." This book ‘appeared’ on Indian land, via the magic box. It is a book that I have read countless times and given away dozens more over the years, to strangers and friends. Even today, when I turn to the last page, I feel as if I have lost a great friend.

The Soul of Baseball: A Road Trip Through Buck O'Neil's America
This is not necessarily a baseball book; it’s not even really a biography about Buck O’Neil’s. It’s about life and the little things that give it meaning and promise and purpose, and those little things are brought to us through Buck O’Neil, Negro Leagues and Baseball. The idea is simple: look for our heart & soul, and then share that warmth with as many people as possible. I cried buckets of tears throughout this story; tears of joy and sadness,  worth every one.

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, Stephen King
I have read a lot of books about writing. Some have been helpful, some have not. This book, however, remains my favorite; not only because I am a Stephen King fan, but I found it practical, inspiring and fun. It’s a short, easy read that is really two small books in one. The first is an autobiography and the second is a tough-love lesson for writers. I re-read this book every couple of years, to keep perspective and humor about what I do.
And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic, Randy Shilts
Rarely do I find books that absolutely challenge everything I thought I knew about a topic, that I pride myself on knowing something about! This book does exactly that. I lived in San Francisco, during the eighties, which was the height of the AIDS epidemic. I sought to be educated and informed. Then I read this book.  It’s a big read; dense, filled with facts and science and large words that I had to look up---a lot. This is a gut punch to the conscience of our society at best and a reminder of the injustice inflicted on this nation by the institutions in which we put our trust.

What is The What, Dave Eggers:  I love this story of Valentino Achak Deng, a survivor of the civil war in southern Sudan. It is a brilliantly woven tale, of a young Sudanese and his daily struggle to understand his place in wartime Africa. This is the book that made me a Dave Eggers fan. Since this book, I have read all of his work, but this one remains special, because I had no idea about the Lost Boys or the politics that surround them in Africa and the USA.  I will always love this book, because it introduced me to the work of one of my favorite authors of today.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain
Today this book is often criticized because of its language and perceived use of racial stereotypes and slurs, despite the fact that Huck himself is not racist. I’m not going to delve into that here, but, I loved the story of Huck Finn as a kid and still do. At its heart, it is a story about a boy on a great adventure with friends. It rings true to a time and era that I will never know firsthand. My love of Huck Finn, also finds roots in my own upbringing.
When I was growing up, I was referred to as a ‘Half-Breed’; I was, after all, ½ white and ½ Indian. Today, ‘Half Breed’ is politically incorrect, irking the academics and raising the ire of that group of self-appointed guardians of what is and is not OK in a PC society. But in 1972, it was Indian reservation. Political correctness had not yet broached the borders of our world. Indians had not yet become Native Americans or politically correct. I was still a half-breed and even then, I knew that I would rather be a half-breed in the real world, than a Native American, living on a reservation; (politically correct or not.)I always had the idea, that Huck Finn would have understood that too.

The Dirt: Confessions of the World's Most Notorious Rock Band, Motley Crue
This is fantastically fun read, whether you are a Crue fan or not. For me, it remains the rock & roll book, by which I compare, all others. Man, I loved this book and can’t wait for the movie—(although, we have been waiting for ten years!) One thing that makes this book so good is the manner in which it is told. Each chapter is written by a different person in the Crue entourage; performer, promoter, record rep…and each person has an entirely different recollection of events. Often times, you are left scratching your head and wondering, ‘Wait a minute, did that really happen or not?’ This is just a straight up fun romp through the unvarnished truth, cockroaches and debauchery of that great time of oblivion, the Eighties.

Undisputed Truth, Mike Tyson
I grew up in the era of Mike Tyson; before Hangover, before the ear biting, before the tribal tattoo, before the Robin debacle. I have always had a fascination with him. He was taboo, and thus alluring. So, when his book came out, I couldn’t resist….and I am so glad that his story has a place on my shelf today. This book feels real, as if Tyson is sitting across the table telling the stories himself; raw, powerful, disturbing, vulgar, laugh out loud funny and everything in between. I have a great appreciation for stories that don’t Turtle Wax over the truth and this is one of them.

In Cold Blood, Truman Capote
This book is the one that cemented my love of the true crime genre. Capote’s research is impeccable, and his presentation of the characters wildly vivid with flawless prose. It’s one of those books that made me shudder to my very bones; it made me sad, it creeped me out, and I am so glad that I read it. I have read so much true crime in the past 30+ years; a lot of it has been good, some of it really good, but, In Cold Blood remains in a class by itself. Untouchable.

Heather Jacks was raised on Indian reservation in southeastern Oregon, until age fifteen, at which time; she was chosen to be an ‘experimental exchange student’ to Australia. She went down under, with an organization called YFU, Youth for Understanding, and spent 10.5 months turning16 in the Outback.  When she returned, she attended college, and received an FCC license, followed by completing a B.A. from USF and two years of study at UC Davis.

During her twenties, she traveled extensively, worked in the music industry in various capacities; radio, production, A&R, booking and eventually, landed at a new and young company, called Starbucks, where she worked on a Star Team and opened new stores in remote markets.

Music has always been her passion and during her tenure at Starbucks, she helped launch Hear Music, which today is Starbucks Music Label. Eventually, she returned to the business side of music at a major indie label, where she had a number of roles, from concert production to glorified babysitter.

An avid TV Junkie, die-hard SF Giants fiend and unapologetic Twitter practitioner, she recently won a Book of the Year Award for her multi-media project, The Noise Beneath the Apple®; A Celebration of Busking in New York City, which was inspired by her love for street music, busking and the people who make it.

She currently hangs her hat in San Francisco and am is working on the Bay Area version of the TNBTA® busker project.

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