Bull Loving Truth, The By Ian Lawrence Campbell Swordy, 138 pgs.

The morning of my thirty-fifth birthday I picked up this book and read the first sentence: “Moving back to New York at 35 was harder than expected.” Instantly hooked, within twenty-four hours I had finished it. You might remember Ian as Pone, bassist for the humble legends of Brooklyn: Bent Outta Shape. The Bull Loving Truth is Ian’s personal tale as they shed the innocence/naivety of the suburban youth experience in exchange for punk and radical politics, and later the highly conceptual art world. The parts which recount the tales of Bent shows and tours are all you hope they’d be. They’re magically nostalgic, documenting a time that feels all too long ago. For those of us who branched out and discovered what this DIY network of friends truly is in the ’00s, this is our history. And, amazingly, it reads like all the classics you ever wished were your life. Starting off like Lanky meets On the Road, and then ending like a mashed up millennial Just Kids meets The Razor’s Edge. The Bull Loving Truth is your companion piece to reflect back on who you were in 2005 and who you are now. You don’t have to read it on your birthday, but it definitely helps for maximum results. Here’s a small nugget that felt particularly revealing, “Transformation is not shapeshifting. You don’t get to choose what it looks like on the other side. Or who you are when you get there.” Pick it up and absorb this heart-felt ode to the old times, the magnetic people who are unfortunately no longer with us, as well an open-ended discussion on who we have yet to become. –Daryl (Self-released, $10, woodenchain@gmail.com)

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