Stories for Ways & Means: The AUDIOBOOK
What do Devendra Banhart, Nick Cave, Alison Mosshart, and Tom Waits have in common? They're all contributors to Stories for Ways & Means, a whimsical illustrated collection of short stories by some of our greatest living songwriters.
The literary value of songwriting, for those who still had any doubts, was validated when a recent Nobel Prize in Literature went neither to a poet or a novelist, but to Bob Dylan. This long overdue recognition of the literary contributions of songwriters coincided with the publication of a book celebrating original children's stories written by musicians. In a stroke of serendipity, the release of Stories for Ways & Means couldn’t have been timelier.
It all started when Jeff Antebi (founder of Waxploitation Records) found himself wondering, "What kind of children's story would Devendra Banhart write if he was asked to write one?" "What would a story look like if it was written by Nick Cave, and illustrated by Anthony Lister?" Or "What would a story by Frank Black sound like if it was narrated by Danny Devito?" And so he set out to answer these questions.
In the near-decade that followed, Jeff turned these "why-nots" into Stories for Ways & Means, a book of grown-up children’s stories by some of this era’s most compelling storytellers from the worlds of music and contemporary art—with proceeds benefitting NGOs and nonprofit organizations advancing children’s literacy worldwide (including Room to Read, Pencils of Promise, 826 National, and War Child.)
The book includes collaborations with Tom Waits, Nick Cave, Frank Black, Devendra Banhart, Bon Iver's Justin Vernon, Laura Marling, Kathleen Hanna, Gary Numan, Jim James (of My Morning Jacket), Manuel “Guajiro” Mirabal (of Buena Vista Social Club), Will Oldham, Alison Mosshart (of The Kills), Anna Von Hausswolff, Satomi Matsuzaki (of Deerhoof), Elliphant, Alec Empire, Amadou Bagayoko (of Amadou & Mariam), Del the Funky Homosapien, Matthew Dear, Micachu, Song Yuzhe, Ernest Ranglin, Eugene Hutz (of Gogol Bordello), Gibby Haynes (of Butthole Surfers), Jason Lytle, Sera Cahoone and Spencer Krug (of Moonface) ...as well as painters/illustrators like James Jean, Anthony Lister, Dan Baldwin, Ronzo, Kai & Sunny, Alessia Iannetti, Asha Zero, Candice Tripp, Carlin Diaz, Cinta Vidal, Clare Rojas, Daniel Munoz "SAN", Dave Kinsey, David Bray, Heisuke Kitazawa or PCP, Herakut, Joe Coleman, Kirsty Whiten, Lidia de Pedro, Loa Hjalmtysdottir, Maria Rivans, Sage Vaughn, SEPE, Swoon, Will Barras and more.
While creating the project, we made sure to record many of the writers narrating their own stories. We also brought in special guests to narrate such as Andre Royo (Actor: "The Wire", "Empire"), Channy Leaneagh (of Poliça), Danny Devito, D.R.A.M., Ken Nordine (Handpicked by Tom Waits - American voice-over artist, best known for his series of Word Jazz albums), King Krule, Kumail Nanjiani (Actor: "Silicon Valley", "The Big Sick"), Lauren Lapkus (Actress: "Orange is the New Black", "Crashing"), Lauren Mayberry (of CHVRCHES), Lizzo, Madeline Follin (of Cults), Nick Offerman (Actor: "Parks and Rec"), Orvan Smárason (of Múm ), Phil LaMarr (Actor: "Mad TV", "Futurama"), Sarah Jones (Tony Award-winning Broadway Actress), Vivian Bang (Actress: "Memoirs of a Geisha"), and Zach Galifianakis.
The book was a smash success and received praise from Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, Billboard, Juxtapoz, Noisey, Okayplayer, The Talkhouse, DIY, Paste, Pigeons and Planes, Consequence of Sound, and more. Now it’s time to hear the stories spoken aloud, the way lyrics were meant to be! Help us produce the audiobook version with a star-studded list of narrators. See below for details and thank you in advance for your support!
Stories for Ways & Means takes many forms including a hardcover art book, a contemporary art gallery exhibition, short animated films, and now—with your patronage—a fantastic AUDIOBOOK.
Stories we plan to include in the AUDIOBOOK include:
- Will Oldham's story "Death To Boys" narrated by Vivian Bang.
- Tom Waits' story "Circus" narrated by Ken Nordine.
- Spencer Krug's story "Right On Rosie" self-narrated.
- Sera Cahoone's story "Merle is a Fat Orange Cat" self-narrated
- Satomi Matsuzaki's story "Little Hollywood" self-narrated
- Orvar Smárason's "Marglytta (Jellyfish)" self-narrated
- Nick Cave's story "The Lonely Giant" narrated by Andre Royo.
- Micachu's story "How To Escape From a Wasp" narrated by special guest King Krule
- "Guajiro"'s "The Tiny Trumpet Player..." narrated by special guest Policia's Channy Leaneagh
- Laura Marling's story "The Old Oak Tree" narrated by special guest Lauren Lapkus
- Kathleen Hanna's "Girls Running Club" narrated by special guest Madeline Follin (of Cults)
- Justin Vernon's story "Me and Matt's Golden Husks" narrated by special guest Nick Offerman
- John Vanderslice's story "Penelope And The Succulent" narrated by special guest Lauren Mayberry (of CHVRCHES).
- Jim James' story "Oslo and Plum" narrated by special guest Phil LaMarr
- Jason Lytle's story "The Chickadees of Highway 3" self-narrated
- Gibby Haynes' story "The Next Big Thing" narrated by special guest Zach Galifianakis
- Gary Numan's story "The Very Tall Tree" self-narrated
- Frank Black's story "Doug the Bug" narrated by special guest Danny Devito
- Elliphant's "A Boy Named Tim" narrated by special guest Kumail Nanjiani
- Elliphant's "A Boy Named Tim" self-narrated
- Earnest Ranglin's "Never Give Up" narrated by special guest Sarah Jones
- Devendra Banhart's "La Banerita" narrated by special guest Lizzo
- Del The Funkey Homosapean's "Watch How You Talk to People" narrated by Phil LaMarr
- Anna Von Hausswolff's "The Little Boy and the Glowing Globe" self-narrated
- Amadou Bagayoko's "Fishing With Music" narrated by special guest DRAM.
- Alison Mosshart's "This is the Big City Baby" self-narrated
Originals Paintings and Limited Edition Prints Available:
Risks and challenges
While we are fairly sure that all of the narrations we have been working on will make it to the final audiobook, we cannot guarantee it. The nature of these situations involves creative, legal, and recording logistics. We were able to successfully manage and navigate an 8-year process to get the book created, so the audiobook should by icing on the cake. We don't see it as a risky venture.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter