Steve Almond

It's one thing to enjoy music as the kind of casual background noise to a car ride, jog in the park or commercial extolling the incredible mileage of the new Honda. Steve Almond is not that kind of person. His latest effort, Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life, is aimed directly at what he calls the Drooling Fanatics, or DFs. You know, the High Fidelity John Cusack types who can spend hours arguing which "era" of Dylan was the best or who never thinks they have enough records no matter what every other person in their life thinks. The gloriously messy mixtape (remember those?) of a book includes essays on the majesty of the scrawny Springsteen, deep analysis of Styx's Paradise Theater and the lyrics of Toto's "Africa," lists ("Bands Shamelessly Overexposed by the Alternative Press," "10 Things to Say to Piss Off a Music Critic,") his own encounters/interviews with people like Dave Grohl and Bob Schneider, his wife's own sexual fascination with hair metal god Kip Winger. (Also: 7 p.m. Fri. at Elliott Bay.) BOB RUGGIERO

Thu., May 20, 7 p.m.; Fri., May 21, 7 p.m., 2010

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