Bring the Noise: The Best Pop Culture Essays from Barrelhouse

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Bring the Noise: The Best Pop Culture Essays from Barrelhouse


Over the past decade, readers have learned to count on Barrelhouse to publish inventive, irreverent essays by authors exploring the ways their lives have been shaped by their pop culture obsessions. Bring the Noise is a collection of the magazine’s greatest hits, plus five new pieces produced exclusively for this anthology. Inside, a roster of accomplished and respected authors grapples with a wide range of topics, including Thin Lizzy, dive bars, Barry Bonds, Bob Dylan’s beard, pro wrestling, The Hills, roller derby, Adrian Grenier, and Magnum, P.I.

Passionate, insightful, and funny, this collection is simultaneously a celebration and a critical dissection of the ways in which pop culture affects us all.

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Here’s what a few high rollers had to say:

The troubled minds behind Barrelhouse have done it again: this book is hilarious, outrageous, and frequently profound. It is also, arguably, the most important document yet produced in the growing field of Patrick Swayze Studies. 

– Owen King, author of Double Feature

Bring the Noise blasts the old notion that literature is inevitably late to the news, a bit out of sync with the moment. It’s all here, the way we live right now, in all its mess and glory and confusion. And not a dull note in the house.  

–Paul Lisicky, author of Unbuilt Projects and Lawnboy

Table of contents

Introduction: On the Stupid Things We Love
by Tom Mcallister, Barrelhouse nonfiction editor
Before Adrian Grenier Got Famous
by Sarah Sweeney
by Paul Crenshaw
Home of the Poor and Unknown
by Chad Simpson
All Aboard the Bloated Boat: Arguments in Favor of Barry Bonds
by Lee Klein
Hipster Mosaic
by Johannes Lichtman
Irish on Both Sides
by Tom Williams
For the Love of Good TV
by Melanie Springer Mock
This is Not Their Job: The Never-ending Reality of The Hills
by Patrick Brown
by W. Todd Kaneko
A Myopic Appreciation of Roller Derby
by Louisa Spaventa
Home From the War
by Steve Kistulentz
What it Means to Grow Bob Dylan’s Beard
by John Shortino
Return to Oz
by Matt Sailor
We Know the Drill
by Leslie Jill Patterson
This Essay Doesn’t Rock
by Joe Oestreich
by Nic Brown
Lost Calls
by Jill Talbot
The illustrated story: On Tubes, by Ted Stevens
by Brian Furuness, comicked by Kevin Thomas
The Swayze Question
What’s your Favorite Patrick Swayze Movie?