Goebel, Joey 1980–
Goebel, Joey 1980–
(Adam Joseph Goebel, III)
PERSONAL: Born Albert Joseph Goebel, III, 1980, in Henderson, KY; son of Adam and Nancy (Bingemer) Goebel. Education: Brescia University, degree (English).
CAREER: Writer and musician. Played in punk rock band the Mullets; released four records.
The Anomalies (novel), MacAdam/Cage (San Francisco, CA), 2003.
Torture the Artist (novel), MacAdam/Cage (San Francisco, CA), 2004.
Contributor to music magazines.
SIDELIGHTS: Joey Goebel grew up with a love for music, especially punk rock. At age fifteen, he formed a punk band called the Mullets; the band stayed together for five years, releasing four records and touring throughout the Midwest. It was while attending Brescia University that Goebel discovered his talent for writing. He wrote for the college newspaper and penned record reviews for local entertainment magazines. Since then, he has continued to write and has begun publishing novels.
In 2003 Goebel released his first novel, The Anomalies. The narrative started life as a screenplay Goebel wrote during college; after a number of rejection letters, he decided to develop a novel version of his screenplay. This version went on to be published and was nominated for the Kentucky Literary Award. The Anomalies tells the story of a group of oddball musicians who form a band called the Anomalies. The members include the ringmaster, Luster, beautiful and angry Aurora, elderly spitfire Opal, eight-year-old Ember, and an Iraqi named Ray. An unlikely bunch, they resist the establishment together and try to make a name for themselves in the cut-throat music scene.
Some reviewers found The Anomalies to be an awkward read. The "writing … stumbles from social realism to cartoonish whimsy," according to a Kirkus Reviews contributor. Other critics deemed Goebel's writing fresh and insightful. "His prose is incisive yet often witty and he tells the story in brief spurts through the eyes of the band members," asserted Poornima Apte in Mostly Fiction online.
In 2004 Goebel published his second novel, Torture the Artist. Again addressing the music industry, this story begins when music mogul Foster Lipowitz is diagnosed with cancer and suddenly feels guilty about all the bland, untalented musicians his company has been promoting over the years. He decides to create a company called New Renaissance, which cultivates talented musicians in an unusual way. Lipowitz's theory is that a talented musician is a tortured musician, so he assigns each prodigy a manager whose job it is to make the musician's life as miserable as possible. The novel follows the talented Vincent and manager Harlan as they embark on developing Vincent's musical career.
Several critics enjoyed the dark humor Goebel infuses into his storyline. "This novel, a pointed commentary on the media machine …, is by turns hilarious, thought-provoking, chilling, and sad," observed Jyna Scheeren in Library Journal. Other readers viewed the author's plot as a relevant and biting observation of what is happening in today's music scene. Goebel "mixes highbrow and lowbrow humor with insightful jabs while painting satirical portraits of our contemporary landscape," concluded Pop Matters online contributor Daulton Dickey.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Kirkus Reviews, February 1, 2003, review of The Anomalies, p. 161; September 1, 2004, review of Torture the Artist, p. 824.
Library Journal, October 1, 2004, Jyna Scheeren, review of Torture the Artist, p. 69.
Joey Goebel Home Page, http://www.joeygoebel.com (August 16, 2005).
Mostly Fiction, http://mostlyfiction.com/ (August 16, 2005), Poornima Apte, review of The Anomalies.
Pop Matters, http://www.popmatters.com/ (August 16, 2005), Daulton Dickey, "Through the Cracks: An Interview with Joey Goebel."
Tastes like Chicken, http://www.tlchicken.com/ (August 16, 2005), interview with Joey Goebel.