Fargo Rock City by Chuck Klosterman

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Most important book about rock music since Stairway to Hell?

fritz, Tuesday, 7 May 2002 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink

Or should "important" and "rock" and "book" even be used in the same sentence?

fritz, Tuesday, 7 May 2002 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink

Is it any good? I loved the piece he did in the NY Times mag about the G'n'R cover band. That was great stuff.

Mark, Tuesday, 7 May 2002 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink

This book is actually the sole music-criticism book I have ever read (i.e.: it was free). It's amusing reading as memoir, and he's certainly an entertaining critic. This made it less irritating that his arguments completely unravel and begin to fall all over themselves whenever he tries to unironically defend hair-metal, particularly in his discussion of sexism.

Wait, I did also read Manic Pop Thrill when I was young. Everything else stands, though.

nabisco%%, Tuesday, 7 May 2002 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink

Also it was doubly annoying that he had a much better argument at his disposal re: sexism, which he completely failed to notice. Instead he presented a meagre defense against condemning hair-metal for sexism, but can muster up nothing against the idea that people might just not like it based on, e.g., sexism.

nabisco%%, Tuesday, 7 May 2002 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink

I just got my copy but it starts well - maybe a little too reasonable so far.

fritz, Tuesday, 7 May 2002 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink

I haven't read it, but I've been told it's way too self-absorbed.

Yancey, Tuesday, 7 May 2002 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink

I was flipping through the paperback edition and read the new afterword, which is in places an amusingly despairing document (I think he's still befuddled as to why his once-faves suck so much) and at one point actually probably sums up his argument better than anything in the book. Turns out he's a huge Radiohead fan and names three albums in particular (Bends through Kid A, I think) as the unquestioned musical highlight of each of their respective years of release. But he confesses he can't love them so rapturously as he did his hair metal heroes when he was young, making the book more a nostalgiac semi-lament for youth than it already was, I'm guessing. This may suggest why his attempts to explain things re: sexism fall flat -- he's stuck between two impulses, his then-self and the current one?

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 7 May 2002 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink

Ned, that's a pretty good assessment, though I have yet to pick up the paperback--still own the hardcover. It's a GREAT read, way fun, lots of ideas et. al. "Too self-absorbed"? Jesus H. Christ, it's a fucking MEMOIR!

M Matos, Wednesday, 8 May 2002 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink

6 years pass...

I remember loving this and read it again.

Really fucking irritating the shit out of me. Some of his stuff is such jive you really start to question whether he even listens to stuff.

Like there's one part where he says that Rush is a Christian band except no one will admit it, then namechecks The Trees and Freewill as examples? It's like jesus christ you are writing a metal book and don't know Peart's a big weirdo Any Rand libertarian, most likely atheist like a lot of those...and Geddy's a jew?

Sometimes he's so off it's weird. The only stuff that has much resonance is all his naval gazing about weird stuff metal fans thought...which having grown up in a small town in MN and liking metal he definitely hits weird little observational details but after that it's just like...uh.

Plus, he makes some really mean jokes about those Priest kids that shot themselves, like three different times, and it wasn't really a good joke....he also sort of does these weird gymnastics wrt to sexism in metal and the racism in GnR...

also recites weird stuff about how Sabbath killed the hippies (even though they were hippies you meatball), like total received wisdom crap....makes weird statements how someone is "The only feminist I ever met that made any sense" and how hippies were the worst thing ever, like coupled with other stuff kinda wonder if he's some sorta South Park republican at heart.

Another thing he does that's so bullshit is the whole "Sonic Youth fans just want to get laid in college when they all go home they just listen to like Crue and shit", such a lame passive agressive argument

The whole "reveal" about how he's an alcoholic is hella lame too, just bad drunk thinking...that "confessional" but yet taking a great pride in it...if he was "clean" at the end of writing the book, he was a dry drunk and a half.

wassup rockers? (M@tt He1ges0n), Monday, 13 April 2009 17:42 (5 years ago) Permalink

misread this thread title as "Fraggle Rock City by Chuck Klosterman"

This Board is a Prison on Planet Bullshit (Shakey Mo Collier), Monday, 13 April 2009 17:51 (5 years ago) Permalink

Peart's an avowed atheist.

Bill Magill, Monday, 13 April 2009 17:54 (5 years ago) Permalink

How could you hear "Freewill" as anything other than atheist? Still, not sure that Peart actually is a libertarian, politically.

I haven't read this book.

Sundar, Monday, 13 April 2009 18:00 (5 years ago) Permalink

Still, not sure that Peart actually is a libertarian, politically.

read old interviews and he sure seems like it, or pretty far conservative at least..

now though...i read that tour book where he rode motorcycle for the whole tour and he seemed to have sort of been shocked by the whole bush years and american fundamentalism etc....so maybe he's sort of gone back now

wassup rockers? (M@tt He1ges0n), Monday, 13 April 2009 18:31 (5 years ago) Permalink

How could you hear "Freewill" as anything other than atheist?

yeah no doubt! it's like he doesn't really even listen to stuff before writing about it, or at least that's the creeping feeling you get reading the book...it's just like he half remembered the song and some jive theory that sounded funny at a party and made some dudes chuckle, so he just throws it out there, facts be damned

wassup rockers? (M@tt He1ges0n), Monday, 13 April 2009 18:34 (5 years ago) Permalink

the hardcore Rush fans at my h/s were fundamentalist-ish Christians who were into metal-ish stuff: Rush, but also Petra, King's X, Stryper. They were pretty smart dudes and in bands themselves though so Rush have appealed to their nerdish and chopsy sides more than their Christian sides.

Needless to say these guys are all atheists now as far as I know.

Euler, Monday, 13 April 2009 18:43 (5 years ago) Permalink

thought rush believed in the olympian gods cuz of "cygnus x-i book ii"

kamerad, Monday, 13 April 2009 18:51 (5 years ago) Permalink

they were more just role models

wassup rockers? (M@tt He1ges0n), Monday, 13 April 2009 18:54 (5 years ago) Permalink


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