i can't decide how to feel about this... (1 Viewer)


lothario speedwagon
i kind of feel like i hate it, but on the other hand, i hate myself for hating it, and i kind of feel like i love it.


As a press, it's a great way of ensuring you get sales. I'd love to do something like this with a number of different songwriters, but I'd want it to be more than just some lyrics nicely illustrated with a CD in the back. However, Mr Cohen has yet to return my calls.

A lot of effort, but, it's Cake. It's like having beautiful italian lingerie hanging off a syphilitic hooker.


lothario speedwagon
things i like about it:
-they're really going all out with it, down to the handmade paper used for the edition
-it's affordable ($45 each) for a hand-bound/printed/made book
-it exposes the craft of bookmaking to an audience that probably hasn't thought much about bookmaking before

what i dislike about it is harder for me to articulate, but it comes down to the idea of starting a press just to make books with republished lyrics by twee bands with twee fans, so the fans can post pictures of them on their twee tumblr pages and bask in how cool and different they are because they like things with handmade paper and handset type. the reason i hate myself for thinking this way is that the above probably isn't true, but this (publishing/bookmaking) is something that i dedicate most of my free time to, so it depresses me to think about it being used as an image/lifestyle accessory by hipsters to show how hip they are, rather than how i see it (that is, it's my LIFE, not just something i think goes well with my upcycled candy bowl made out of a warped record and my upcycled clock made out of a bicycle chainring).

that's why i have to give credit to the publisher, who has done an amazing job with these books, and priced them at a price people can actually afford, rather than holding them hostage for $400 each, like so many artist book publishers tend to do.


Founding member
it depresses me to think about it being used as an image/lifestyle accessory by hipsters...
You mean like the purposely tattered copy of a Bukowski book "casually" arranged on the upcycled coffee table?

I think I have to agree with you. When I started reading the article I thought, "What's not to like about this?" But as I read further and saw things like, "Always cook your jute!" and "using handspun hemp waxed with beeswax from her San Francisco beehive," it all became a bit precious, didn't it.


lothario speedwagon
there are other things in there too that annoy me that have nothing to do with the book... like cake claiming that their music is "handmade" too, which is why the book is a good fit for them - or the statement that they're trying to get the book into permanent collections so that people who don't have the opportunity to buy it can still see it... as if this not-particularly-rare artist book is the first handmade book ever produced, just because it's the first one they've ever hand any relation with.

ha, you guys said "upcycled"...
is that something you do with your fixie?
"upcycled" means you took a piece of crap and added either a bottle opener, a USB port, or a clock.


Like Jordan, I'm torn.

On the positive side, it is a handmade book with a letterpress printed cover and hand made paper.

On the negative side, I get the feeling that Cake could care less if they did a book, or a limited edition green vinyl, or any other collectible-for-the-sake-of-collectible. They have a following that will buy this, but many of them could care less about it being a book. They will see it as a cool relic of a band that they like and it will be resold as a collectible.

I went to Pyramid Atlantic on Saturday and we made paper. It is fun, but making a lot of paper takes a LONG time. I made 10 sheets in about 2 hours and those were 8x12" sheets. Also, doing 14,400 impressions on a Vandercook would take about a week. Something tells me that the band pulled a few impressions and sewed a few books, but did not put in the three weeks that this would have taken to print and bind. making 1000 hardbound books would take them a LONG time. I call bullshit on the idea that the band did more than a little bit of the work.

Still, I feel like a dick complaining about this...



Usually wrong.
I got a perverse joy reading the above cranky comments and realizing I was not the person writing them. I don't know Cake from Chinese Oatmeal, so I have no opinion on the band, but I get where you're coming from, Jordan. I feel the same way about the "altered books" many artists make and sell. I like the idea of taking a trashed old book and doing something creative with it, but a little too much cuteness can make these projects slide into scrap-booking territory. I guess it comes down to why they are doing it. For the love of the book as an art form, or to make a cool collectible?

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