Publisher: UT Press
Series: American Music Series
April 2018
Available for pre-order

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New Book: A Spy in the House of Loud

Chris Stamey’s A Spy in the House of Loud vividly captures the energy of the music scene in late 1970s New York City, as arena rock gave way to punk and other new streams of electric music. Stamey tells engrossing backstories about creating in the recording studio, describing both the inspiration and the harmonic decisions behind many of his compositions, as well as providing insights into other people’s music and the process of songwriting.

"A Spy in the House of Loud is an endlessly fascinating odyssey through the worlds of Southern pop, New York City art punk, and American indie rock. Stamey's stories capture you with the same finely etched detail and emotional depth that have always marked his best songs. Both an engrossing personal memoir and an eye-opening peek into the creative process, this is a truly essential work of music lit."
—BOB MEHR New York Times bestselling author of Trouble Boys: The True Story of the Replacements

"Informed, eloquent, and daring, this book stands as a model of excellence for both music writing and memoir. Stamey moves effortlessly between analysis and reminiscence, history and personal revelation, shedding light on his own creative journey as well as the city— 'planet New York'—that provided a good deal of the inspiration for it. I simultaneously learned so much and was deeply moved."

"This North Carolina outsider gets deep inside the coolest scenes— New York City, playing Max's and CBGB with Alex Chilton and Richard Lloyd, then spinning into the heart of 1980s alternative rock with the dB's and pals Mitch Easter and R.E.M., and on to Hoboken's glorious 1990s. Stamey is a songwriter, musician, and producer, but this book proves that, paramount, he's a listener, and a damn good writer about what he hears."
— ROBERT GORDON, author of Memphis Rent Party: The Blues, Rock & Soul in Music's Hometown


"...The author deftly combines a wry, self-effacing tone with clear, precise discussions of the intricacies of songwriting and production and the surreal transformations of the industry, remaining positive and thoughtful throughout. A standout addition to the crowded shelf of recollections by the underground iconoclasts of the 1980s and '90s."

"Chris Stamey is a brilliant guy . . . I like Chris's work in general, throughout the whole timeline; this great book fits right into the ouevre."

"Chris Stamey arrived in New York City just as rock and roll had begun to reinvent itself, and he was—and is—particularly qualified to bear witness to that moment."


Book Tour Events

Date: April 15, 2018
Time: 2 p.m.
Place: Quail Ridge Books (Raleigh, NC), musical performance and reading event, free; with guests Leah Gibson, cello; Peter Holsapple, guitar and Wurly; and Karen Galvin, violin. With an interview by David Menconi.

Date: April 19, 2018
Time: 7 p.m.
Place: McNally Jackson Bookstore (Soho, NYC), musical performance and reading event, free; with guest cellist Jane Scarpantoni and an interview by David Fricke

Date: April 20, 2018
Time: 7 p.m.
Place: Little City Books (Hoboken, NJ), $30 musical performance and reading event, free; with guests Jane Scarpantoni and Dave Schramm. Ticket price includes a signed copy of the book

Date: April 21, 2018
Time: 1 p.m.
Place: Rough Trade (Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY) for Record Store Day, musical performance with strings; free, followed by book signing.

Date: April 28, 2018
Time: 5 p.m.
Place: Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC

Date: May 12, 2018
Time: 8 p.m.
Place: the Ramkat (Winston-Salem, NC), "Yesterday's Tomorrow: Winston's Psychedelic 60s and Beyond"--a concert based on the book with many Special Guests, details to come

Date: May 13, 2018
Time: 3 p.m.
Place: Bookmarks (Winston-Salem, NC), musical performance and reading, free

Date: May 19, 2018
Time: 8:30 p.m.
Place: Greensboro Bound Literary Festival, Greensboro Project Space (NC), musical performance and reading, with interview by Eddie Huffman, free

Date: June 9, 2018
Time: 5 p.m.
Place: Book Soup (LA), musical performance and reading, free

Date: June 10, 2018
Time: 11 a.m.
Place: the Federal Bar (North Hollywood) as part of the Mimosa Music Series, musical performance and reading; free, with book signing to follow

Date: June 16, 2018
Time: 8 p.m. sharp
Place: the Hamilton (14th & F Streets, Washington, DC), acoustic, special guest of the Posies

Date: June 17, 2018
Time: 3 p.m.
Place: Politics and Prose (Washington, D.C.), musical performance and reading, free

Date: June 18, 2018
Time: 6 p.m.
Place: Malaprop's Bookstore (Asheville, NC), musical performance and reading, free