Crimes of the HeartGot the Valentine’s Day blues? Greed, Rage, and Love Gone Wrong: Murder in Minnesota (University of Minnesota Press, $15.95), will show you that, whatever your story, you don’t have it so bad. At least you’re alive, which is more than you can say for the subjects of Bruce Rubenstein’s compelling crime collection, newly available in paperback. The Minneapolis writer recounts a half-century of Minnesota murder, elevating the grisly genre with ﬁrst-rate reporting and writing and a straightforward writing style that one can only describe as deadpan. Most of the pieces were published previously, including the story of Moorhead’s Ann Camp, which appeared in the July 2001 issue of Minnesota Monthly. All 10 are spellbinding—and very sad. —CAROL RATELLE LEACH
"I moved to the West Bank in the fall of 1964…. I was a senior at the university and was hoping for interesting things to happen to me and thought that living there would improve my chances.”—Garrison Keillor, in the foreword to West Bank Boogie: 40 Years of Music, Mayhem and Memories, by Cyn Collins (Triangle Park Creative, $29.95 with CD)
Male acoustic duos are so out of fashion—and inherently unstable—that you’d have to be exceptional to keep one going. After some time apart, the 20-year-long tandem of Chris Cunningham and John Hermanson (Hopefuls, Alva Star) have reunited, with heightened skills and a backlog of great lyrics about growing up and holding up. Delicately produced by Dan Wilson (Semisonic), Storyhill puts the “sing” back in singer-songwriter, soaring and weaving in ways that outshine the Americana mumblers dominating the scene.
The SuburbsHigh Fidelity Boys Live 1979
The Suburbs were loved and admired as punk/funk innovators a generation ago. Unfortunately, a flood of recent compilations may have spoiled public appetite for this relic of lo-fi, high-speed blasts from the old Longhorn Bar during a golden summer. The 32 tracks include much of the group’s classic In Combo LP and 14 rarities. It’s not a career highlight, but a sweaty, joyous reminder that on their way to Credit in Heaven, they raised some serious sonic hell.