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Hold On to Your Dreams: Arthur Russell And The Downtown Music Scene, 1973-1992 Paperback – 23 Oct 2009

5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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  • Hold On to Your Dreams: Arthur Russell And The Downtown Music Scene, 1973-1992
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  • Life and Death on the New York Dance Floor, 1980-1983
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  • Love Saves the Day: A History Of American Dance Music Culture, 1970–1979
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Product details

  • Paperback: 444 pages
  • Publisher: Duke University Press (23 Oct. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0822344858
  • ISBN-13: 978-0822344858
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 2.8 x 23.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 478,614 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

"[A] sensitive and thorough biography...Tim Lawrence presents more than enough evidence to suggest that Russell belonged to that unique line of wayward American composers...who placed personal vision and relentless innovation over easy acceptance...As the author of the excellent Love Saves the Day: A History Of American Dance Music Culture 1970-1979, Lawrence is particularly adept at exploring Russell's links with the New York club scene...The connection he establishes between the haunting songs for cello and voice Russell recorded on 1986's World Of Echo, and the empty dancefloors of Lower Manhattan as AIDS starts to take its toll, is particularly affecting." --Ken Hollings, The Wire

"[H]is overriding thesis--that Russell's boundary crossing was as important as the work he made is sound, paying tribute to a man who was a connector as well as a spark." --Michaelangelo Matos, TimeOutNY

"With rich and animated detail, Tim Lawrence tracks Arthur Russell's insatiable drive to integrate so-called serious music and pop. This definitive biography is both an engrossing record of Russell's musical ambitions and a compelling account of the fertile downtown scene that supported his admirable dreams." Matt Wolf, director of Wild Combination: A Portrait of Arthur Russell "Tim Lawrence has written a fascinating and insightful biography of a sensitive and searching soul. Arthur Russell was a personal artist whose musical vision led him to coexist in seemingly incompatible worlds. Through the lens of Arthur Russell's life (never clouded with material success or celebrity), Tim Lawrence gives us a sharp and singular portrait of late-twentieth-century American life. A fine read, with a depth and detail that resonate with Arthur Russell's sparkle and wit."--Peter Gordon, Love of Life Orchestra "Hold On to Your Dreams tells the story of an artist whose life becomes more intriguing with every turn. Inspiring and written with love, this book takes us to the roots of Arthur Russell's music, from the streets of New York to the cornfields of Iowa."-- --Jens Lekman, musician

Review

“[A] sensitive and thorough biography. . . . In a sense, Arthur Russell was so much a part of his times that he tended to disappear into them, blending in with so many different scenes that the camouflage seemed at times to have taken over. Lawrence notes, for example, how many previous accounts of the New York downtown scene fail to notice him at all. With Hold On to Your Dreams, the outline of an outstanding and prescient artist can now be more clearly made out.” - Ken Hollings, The Wire


“[W]hat makes this book valuable is that Russell’s shadowy ubiquity turns an ostensible biography into a first draft of that elusive comprehensive history of the downtown performing arts. Hold On to Your Dreams has to go everywhere, because that’s where Russell went. . . . [E]ven if you didn’t know about Russell and are not yet persuaded to pursue him further, this is still a book worth reading. . . . Psychologically, Russell emerges as indeed fascinating, more fascinating than his music, as a maverick without, Lawrence notes, the feisty self-righteousness such figures often embody. . . . Russell has inspired a book that helps us understand a thrilling twenty-five years of American cultural history.” - John Rockwell, Bookforum


“[An exhaustive, often spellbinding account of the life of one of music’s true maverick enigmas. . . . While the book provides many fresh insights into the 80s downtown hotbed, Russell emerges as a strange, fragile figure, in a monumental work. Hold On To Your Dreams is a captivating record of a true original’s all-too-brief life.” - Kris Needs, Record Collector


“The passionate, revelatory anecdotes collected here follow Russell through those liminal downtown nightclubs, loft spaces, and recording studios that made his life and music possible.” - Carol Cooper, Village Voice


“[A]n exemplary demonstration of exactly what a biography should do. In his rigorously researched investigation of musician and composer Arthur Russell, cultural theory lecturer Tim Lawrence effortlessly explores his subject and in so doing shines fresh light on the darkened recesses of both New York's downtown music scene and the popular cultural landscape of Russell's times. And despite Russell's relative obscurity, the book leaves you in no doubt as to how influential this maverick music figure has been.” - Martin James, Times Higher Education Supplement


Hold On to Your Dreams tells the story of an artist whose life becomes more intriguing with every turn. Inspiring and written with love, this book takes us to the roots of Arthur Russell’s music, from the streets of New York to the cornfields of Iowa.”—Jens Lekman, musician


“Tim Lawrence has written a fascinating and insightful biography of a sensitive and searching soul. Arthur Russell was a personal artist whose musical vision led him to coexist in seemingly incompatible worlds. Through the lens of Arthur Russell’s life (never clouded with material success or celebrity), Tim Lawrence gives us a sharp and singular portrait of late-twentieth-century American life. A fine read, with a depth and detail that resonate with Arthur Russell’s sparkle and wit.”—Peter Gordon, Love of Life Orchestra


“With rich and animated detail, Tim Lawrence tracks Arthur Russell’s insatiable drive to integrate so-called serious music and pop. This definitive biography is both an engrossing record of Russell’s musical ambitions and a compelling account of the fertile downtown scene that supported his admirable dreams.”—Matt Wolf, director of Wild Combination: A Portrait of Arthur Russell


“[A] sensitive and thorough biography. . . . In a sense, Arthur Russell was so much a part of his times that he tended to disappear into them, blending in with so many different scenes that the camouflage seemed at times to have taken over. Lawrence notes, for example, how many previous accounts of the New York downtown scene fail to notice him at all. With Hold On to Your Dreams, the outline of an outstanding and prescient artist can now be more clearly made out.”
(Ken Hollings The Wire)

“[A]n exemplary demonstration of exactly what a biography should do. In his rigorously researched investigation of musician and composer Arthur Russell, cultural theory lecturer Tim Lawrence effortlessly explores his subject and in so doing shines fresh light on the darkened recesses of both New York's downtown music scene and the popular cultural landscape of Russell's times. And despite Russell's relative obscurity, the book leaves you in no doubt as to how influential this maverick music figure has been.”
(Martin James Times Higher Education Supplement)

“[An exhaustive, often spellbinding account of the life of one of music’s true maverick enigmas. . . . While the book provides many fresh insights into the 80s downtown hotbed, Russell emerges as a strange, fragile figure, in a monumental work. Hold On To Your Dreams is a captivating record of a true original’s all-too-brief life.”
(Kris Needs Record Collector)

“[W]hat makes this book valuable is that Russell’s shadowy ubiquity turns an ostensible biography into a first draft of that elusive comprehensive history of the downtown performing arts. Hold On to Your Dreams has to go everywhere, because that’s where Russell went. . . . [E]ven if you didn’t know about Russell and are not yet persuaded to pursue him further, this is still a book worth reading. . . . Psychologically, Russell emerges as indeed fascinating, more fascinating than his music, as a maverick without, Lawrence notes, the feisty self-righteousness such figures often embody. . . . Russell has inspired a book that helps us understand a thrilling twenty-five years of American cultural history.”
(John Rockwell Bookforum)

“The passionate, revelatory anecdotes collected here follow Russell through those liminal downtown nightclubs, loft spaces, and recording studios that made his life and music possible.”
(Carol Cooper Village Voice)

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5.0 out of 5 starsNew York City Boy
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5.0 out of 5 starsRest In Peace dear soul
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4.0 out of 5 starsSuper boring book about an amazing and overlooked genius
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1.0 out of 5 starsArthur Russell's legacy deserves much better than this!
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