Wednesday, March 20, 2013


See?  I told you it was going to be awesome.  In fact, take my name off the cover, and I'll bet many of you would be able to say, "Yep, that's a book by John Bruni, all right."  It'll be out pretty soon, probably next month.  I can say with every confidence that I believe this book will blow your balls off.  Special thanks to Jesse Wheeler, who created this amazing cover, and to Don Noble and Kevin Strange for taking a chance on me.  And in case you're wondering about the giant guy fucking the sun, it's from a story within this collection called "Monster Cock."  I think you'll all get a kick out of that one.

Monday, March 4, 2013

A CALMER, SUBDUED NICK CAVE: A review of PUSH THE SKY AWAY by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

This is probably one of the most beautifully put together albums ever released. Instead of a jewel case, it’s a hardcover book with a pocket on the inside of both front and back covers. The album rests in the front pocket, and a bonus DVD can be found in the back pocket. In between are pages of photos and edited song lyrics. The words are typed, but many are crossed out and corrected by hand. Some lines and stanzas are blocked out entirely.

Not to mention the image on the cover. One could spend hours just talking about that picture alone. Two people in such an intimate moment, the casting out of a lover, surrounded by so much empty space. The fact that the woman, naked, feels the need only to cover her face as she walks on tiptoes. It’s just amazing.

It’s too bad the music itself doesn’t live up to such beauty. That’s to say nothing about the quality of the words. Nick Cave, who is also an author, is masterful with the usage of words and continues to be so. However, the music itself is just so calm and subdued that it almost seems lazy. There’s not a lot of power here. It’s as if they’ve all decided to hang out at home and just toss together an album, sitting back in their comfy chairs, yawning between verses.

It also doesn’t help that there are two really stupid names for songs: “We No Who U R” and “We Real Cool.” For someone who plays words like he was gently fingering a pussy, Cave has really made a strange choice with those titles. In the case of the former, it doesn’t even figure into the song, aside from the line “We know who you are,” which is spelled out in the lyrics the way it’s supposed to look.

The absolute best song on the album is “Water’s Edge.” It stands out as the only great piece here. There are some good songs—“Higgs Boson Blues” and “Push the Sky Away”—as well as a few that are serviceable—“Jubilee Street” and “Finishing Jubilee Street”—but for the most part, three good songs out of nine?

The bonus DVD is where the real magic happens. It contains two videos of new songs that are not on the album: “Needle Boy” and “Lightning Bolts.” The images aren’t anything special: just Cave and his band (mostly violinist Warren Ellis) hanging out in the studio, making music, while the lyrics to the songs show up on the left side of the screen. But those songs aren’t sit-back-and-relax songs; no, they’re get-up-and-move songs, songs to get the circulation going.

All in all, the good stuff makes up for the all-right stuff, so PUSH THE SKY AWAY is definitely worth purchasing, even if you’re not a big Nick Cave fan. Even the bad songs have good lines, like this, from the worst song on the album, “Mermaids”:

“She was a catch
And we were a match
I was the match
That would fire up her snatch.”

Written and performed by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Produced by Kobalt

Saturday, March 2, 2013


That's right, the contract has been signed, so I can finally talk about it.  StrangeHouse Books, who put out ZOMBIE!  ZOMBIE!  BRAIN BANG!, containing my story, "Pack Rat," will be publishing a collection of short stories by me entitled TALES OF QUESTIONABLE TASTE.  There is no release date, and details are still being worked on, but these guys work fast, so I'm sure it'll be out soon.

If you're not familiar with them, check out their site here:

After looking around there, I'm sure you'll see why I'm so eager to work with them.  We share a lot of the same sensibilities, and we're both transgressive as all fuck.  It's like we were meant to work together.  Check out some of the books they've published in the past!  And look at those covers!  I've been told what they want for my own cover, and I believe it's going to be one of the most impressive book covers you'll ever see!

If you still haven't gotten a copy of ZOMBIE!  ZOMBIE!  BRAIN BANG!, you should do so here:  It's one of the best horror anthologies I've ever been a part of, and it will prepare you for the sheer lunacy that will be TALES OF QUESTIONABLE TASTE, a StrangeHouse book.  Here's the list of stories that will be included:

--"Amber" (first appeared in THE MONSTERS NEXT DOOR)
--"Riding the Midnight Gloom" (first appeared in LIQUID IMAGINATION)
--"Virtuoso" (first appeared in AOIFE'S KISS)
--"Suicidal Tendencies" with Nicole Evans (first appeared in THE MONSTERS NEXT DOOR)
--"Family Man" (first appeared in A HACKED-UP HOLIDAY MASSACRE)
--"Pimp of the Living Dead" (first appeared in TABARD INN)
--"Corpusplasty" (first appeared in TALES OF UNSPEAKABLE TASTE)
--"The Space in the Bottom of Martin Oglesby's Desk Drawer" (first appeared in TALES OF THE TALISMAN)
--"Shrink" (first appeared in FROM THE ASYLUM)
--"Timely" (first appeared in HOUSE OF BIZARRO)
--"Baseball Players are a Superstitious Lot" (first appeared in COLLEGE NEWS)
--"Slummin' It" (first appeared in TABARD INN)
--"A Night in the Unlife" (first appeared in NIGHT TO DAWN)
--"Yum" (first appeared in THE NOCTURNAL LYRIC)
--"Outside Her Window, It Waits" (first appeared in LOST INNOCENCE)

In addition to that, there are three stories that will be published here for the first time:  "A Place to Be," "Monster Cock," and "The Skyscraper of Forbidden Delight."

I'll tell you more when I know more, and as soon as I have the cover, you'll be among the first to see it.  Stay tuned . . . .