James Greer has led a curious life. He first surfaced as an editor and writer at Spin during the magazine’s early-’90s apex, a period that coincided with the so-called “Alternative Rock” revolution.
Greer then pulled off many a music journalist’s wet dream: He dated Dayton native/ Indie Rock heroine Kim Deal around the same time he joined Guided By Voices — or, as he called them, “the greatest Rock band in the world” — for a two-year run (1994-96) that would eventually inform his lively 2005 biography of the band, Guided By Voices: A Brief History.
In recent years, Greer has turned to fiction (his music-informed first novel, 2006’s Artificial Light, was well received) and screenwriting (he’s working on a number of projects with Steven Soderbergh).
His just-published second work of fiction, The Failure, is a fast and funny nonlinear riff on crime-noir novels that tells the story of Guy Forget, an L.A.-based twentysomething Dayton native who, along with his amusing buddy Billy, plans to rob a Korean check-cashing joint in order to fund a Web-based get-rich-quick scheme called Pandemonium.
Greer reads from The Failure May 5 at Joseph-Beth. Get event details and read Jason Gargano's interview with Greer here.