Thursday, May 10, 2007

Rockin was nowhere in sight

After reading Rip It Up and Start Again, I decided I needed to read more books about music. Instead of asking friends or finding good reviews to create a potential reading list, I just picked some possibilities up at the library. With a reasonable frequency, I find decent books this. That didn't happen this time.

I first picked up Nirvana, the Stories Behind Every Song, hoping to learn things like Come As You Are, is about Cobain's My Pretty Pony or something surprising of that nature. No luck. I should have been warned by the back cover which posed the idiotic question "Who is the Floyd in Floyd the Barber." Fine, maybe you don't remember him from the show, but when the lyric "Opie, Aunt Bea I presume, comes up," you don't have much of an excuse. The book presents a basic and all tool adulatory account of the band's history with the songs serving as milestones. Yes, there is something to be learned, but skimming reviews will get you all you can get here.

I then took a chance on Fool the World, and lost once more. Following the success of Please Kill Me, the authors took the oral history approach. Unfortunately it reads like a bunch of unedited notes. There may be some genius here, but I wasn't willing to swim through a bunch of mush to get to it.

I suppose what I was really looking for was a dispassionate, analytical account of these two bands. I want someone to do the thinking and then present a thesis they can back up. And tell a good story while at it.

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