In the wickedly bittersweet and hilarious You Must Go and Win, the Ukrainian-born musician Alina Simone traces her bizarre journey through the indie rock world, from disastrous Craigslist auditions with sketchy producers to catching fleas in a Williamsburg sublet. But Simone offers more than down-and-out tales of her time as a struggling musician: she has a rapier wit, slashing and burning her way through the absurdities of life, while offering surprising and poignant insights into the burdens of family expectations and the nature of ambition, the temptations of religion and the lure of a mythical Russian home. Wavering between embracing and fleeing her outsized and nebulous dreams of stardom, Simone confronts her Russian past when she falls in love with the music of Yanka Dyagileva, a Soviet singer who tragically died young; hits the road with her childhood friend who is dead set on becoming an “icon”; and battles male strippers in Siberia.
Hailed as “the perfect storm of creative talent” (USA Today, Pop Candy), Simone is poised to win over readers of David Rakoff and Sarah Vowell with her irresistibly funny and charming literary debut.
Never before seen film of Amanda Palmer before she was a rock star. As a young art student, musician and author Alina Simone captured Amanda on her road to fame.
Author and musician Alina Simone recruited a few poets to read Craigslist posts. Including James Copeland, Anna Moschovakis, Matvei Yankelevich, Brett Flecher Lauer, Tao Lin, Claire Donato, and Jeff T. Johnson
Alina Simone, Eugene Mirman and Stephen Elliott create what is possibly the best book marketing plan of all time.
Now that Oprah is off the air, Alina Simone, Eugene Mirman and Stephen Elliott have to brainstorm more marketing ideas for the release of her book, You Must Go and Win, and explore meta tags, book banning and just what YouTube will let us post.
Can't Knock The Hustle. Or Can You? One musician is resisting the pressure to become an entrepreneur.
“Vibrant, taut and humorous…[Simone] skillfully captures the forlorn waiting-to-be-famous existence of young creative people.”—Kirkus
“Singer-songwriter Simone dissects her Russian roots, her convoluted path toward religion, and what it means to be an artist, in this razor-sharp debut essay collection. Born in Kharkov, Ukraine, in 1974 Simone moved to Massachusetts with her parents (her father was blacklisted by the KGB) as an infant and grew up loving to sing. But the road to indie rock stardom is a bumpy one, from trying to find a producer on Craigslist in "Gloom-Deflecting Mailman Warrior Gods" to being so close to getting your album distributed, then hearing that all the money’s been stolen, in "Down and Out on Hope Street." Working for a nonprofit that ran a teaching program in Russia, Simone’s own past and her musical inspirations soon merged around the figure of Siberian punk rocker Yanka Dyagileva, who died young in 1991 and whose songs Simone covered in a 2008 album. In "I Wanted Unicorns," she recounts a Russian trip where she not only sees Dyagileva’s grave but is baptized by a renegade priest named Punk Monk. Throughout all of this, she struggles to figure out how to make a life--and a living--from making music. Simone ably juggles the philosophical and the comical, her genuine enthusiasm for arcane subject matter as contagious as the fleas in her long ago apartment.”—Publishers Weekly (starred)
“Never has the paying of creative dues been written about with more sincerity and humor. As a twenty-first century Portrait of the Artist, warts and all, You Must Go and Win is a delight and, in all honesty, an inspiration.” —John Wray, author of Lowboy