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Love Goes to Buildings on Fire: Five Years in New York that Changed Music Forever by [Hermes, Will]
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Love Goes to Buildings on Fire: Five Years in New York that Changed Music Forever Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Length: 342 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

"Practically every paragraph about music here is also about something else just as fascinating--race, city planning, ambition, drugs, hair-dos. Braiding intricate research with his own teenage memories, Hermes has a bird's eye view of a great city, and has his ear to the ground." --Sarah Vowell

"By simply putting things in chronological order, Will Hermes shows just how astonishing New York City's music was in the 1970s. But he does more than that: he brings depth and discernment and an eye for odd detail, making his book an essential work of cultural history." --Luc Sante

""Love Goes to Buildings on Fire" is an almost perfect portrait of New York music culture: specific yet comprehensive, enthusiastic yet objective, and as informed as it is personal. The four-page section of what (seemingly) every interesting person in NYC was doing on the night of the '77 blackout could have been a book unto itself." --Chuck Klosterman



"Practically every paragraph about music here is also about something else just as fascinating--race, city planning, ambition, drugs, hair-dos. Braiding intricate research with his own teenage memories, Hermes has a bird's eye view of a great city, and has his ear to the ground." --Sarah Vowell

"By simply putting things in chronological order, Will Hermes shows just how astonishing New York City's music was in the 1970s. But he does more than that: he brings depth and discernment and an eye for odd detail, making his book an essential work of cultural history." --Luc Sante

""Love Goes to Buildings on Fire" is an almost perfect portrait of New York music culture: specific yet comprehensive, enthusiastic yet objective, and as informed as it is personal. The four-page section of what (seemingly) every interesting person in NYC was doing on the night of the '77 blackout could have been a book unto itself." --Chuck Klosterman

"A must-read for any music lover, "Love Goes to Buildings on Fire" will no doubt inspire nostalgia in readers who lived through the era, and make those who didn't wish they had." --Liz Raftery, "The Boston Globe"

"Will Hermes grew up in Queens, but "Love Goes to Buildings on Fire," his new book on New York's 1970s music scene, is no nostalgia jag--it's a detailed time-machine trip that zooms in on everyone from the New York Dolls to Steve Reich." --"Rolling Stone"

"Meticulously researched and engaging." --Eric Been, "The Wall Street Journal"

"I thought there was nothing left to say about the seventies NYC music scene, but Hermes puts it all together--punk, salsa, jazz, hip-hop, disco--into a portrait of a city in ferment, with new bubbles of innovation popping up all over." --Dan Kois, Vulture Recommends ("New York "magazine)

"Revelatory." --"Entertainment Weekly" (Grade: A)

"There's no mistaking that this book will have a special appeal for people who were exposed to this music when it was developing--mostly those living in New York in the mid-70s--but Hermes does what a good writer does. He makes the rest of us (this writer included) wish we'd been there." --Georgia Young, " Paste"

"[Hermes] does an expert turn here in his book about the music scene in 1970s New York, moving between musical genres and the human worlds they contained with the light-headed excitement of a bright grad student who's transferring from one subway line to another." --Emily Carter, "Minneapolis Star-Tribune
"
"[A] breathtaking, panoramic portrait of five years . . . that music in New York City was alive, flourishing, and kicking out the jams." --"Publishers Weekly" (starred review)
"Hermes moves effortlessly back and forth between the various musical genres while interspersing stories of New York at a time when the city was on the verge of financial ruin and moral collapse." --"Booklist" (starred review)

Practically every paragraph about music here is also about something else just as fascinating--race, city planning, ambition, drugs, hair-dos. Braiding intricate research with his own teenage memories, Hermes has a bird's eye view of a great city, and has his ear to the ground. "Sarah Vowell"

By simply putting things in chronological order, Will Hermes shows just how astonishing New York City's music was in the 1970s. But he does more than that: he brings depth and discernment and an eye for odd detail, making his book an essential work of cultural history. "Luc Sante"

"Love Goes to Buildings on Fire" is an almost perfect portrait of New York music culture: specific yet comprehensive, enthusiastic yet objective, and as informed as it is personal. The four-page section of what (seemingly) every interesting person in NYC was doing on the night of the 77 blackout could have been a book unto itself. "Chuck Klosterman"

A must-read for any music lover, "Love Goes to Buildings on Fire" will no doubt inspire nostalgia in readers who lived through the era, and make those who didn't wish they had. "Liz Raftery, The Boston Globe"

Will Hermes grew up in Queens, but "Love Goes to Buildings on Fire," his new book on New York's 1970s music scene, is no nostalgia jag--it's a detailed time-machine trip that zooms in on everyone from the New York Dolls to Steve Reich. "Rolling Stone"

Meticulously researched and engaging. "Eric Been, The Wall Street Journal"

I thought there was nothing left to say about the seventies NYC music scene, but Hermes puts it all together--punk, salsa, jazz, hip-hop, disco--into a portrait of a city in ferment, with new bubbles of innovation popping up all over. "Dan Kois, Vulture Recommends (New York magazine)"

Revelatory. "Entertainment Weekly (Grade: A)"

There's no mistaking that this book will have a special appeal for people who were exposed to this music when it was developing--mostly those living in New York in the mid-70s--but Hermes does what a good writer does. He makes the rest of us (this writer included) wish we'd been there. "Georgia Young, Paste"

[Hermes] does an expert turn here in his book about the music scene in 1970s New York, moving between musical genres and the human worlds they contained with the light-headed excitement of a bright grad student who's transferring from one subway line to another. "Emily Carter, Minneapolis Star-Tribune"

[A] breathtaking, panoramic portrait of five years . . . that music in New York City was alive, flourishing, and kicking out the jams. "Publishers Weekly (starred review)"

Hermes moves effortlessly back and forth between the various musical genres while interspersing stories of New York at a time when the city was on the verge of financial ruin and moral collapse. "Booklist (starred review)""

About the Author

Will Hermes is a senior critic for "Rolling Stone "and a longtime contributor to NPR's "All Things Considered." His work also appears in "The New York Times," "The Village Voice," and elsewhere. He was the coeditor of "SPIN: 20 Years of Alternative Music."

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 6713 KB
  • Print Length: 342 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0374533547
  • Publisher: Penguin (27 Mar. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00IB2N4IE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #326,112 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a really interesting book...I guess it was quite different to what I expected. I'm a big fan of ..I guess late 70's Punk,New Wave ...whatever tag you want to apply.
So I thought this would cover my usual points of interest....Talking Heads/Ramones/Patti Smith/Television and Richard Hell..Noo York Dolls.
Well you get this..but you also get so much more about what else was going on musically in New York....loads of stuff running along in parallell...like the Disco and latin stuff
Plus...the birth and development of rap and graffiti culture.
Lets just say my mind was opened..!!...an amazing amount happened in such a short space of time...and I was lucky enough to be a teenager at this time..Ok....so I wasn't hanging out in the Bronx..
more like the bus stop in a small market town in Shropshire...!! but music was soooo....exciting for me back then..
A great read...
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Format: Hardcover
First, a disclaimer: I knew Will very well back in the mid- to late-70s; we hung out together and went to many concerts. (A whole group of us were regular concert goers.) So my opinion of this book is certainly influenced by that personal connection.

In any case, Will looks at a somewhat arbitrary 5-year period in the 70s (he easily could have extended it a year or two in either direction), and goes into great detail about the NYC music scene during that time. Not only did it see the rise of groups from CBGBs and Max's Kansas City (Talking Heads, Ramones and others), the minimalists (Steve Reich, Philip Glass), performance artists, and the early days of hip-hop, but it also was a key time for the ascendancy of salsa, singer-songwriter rock (Springsteen, Patti Smith, etc.) and jazz. Will was always an eclectic listener, and among my friends, was the one with the most varied record collection. He writes here about all these styles of music - yes, even disco, which sucked - with erudition and feeling.

As I look back on the 70s from a distance, I realize that not only were those formative years for my own musical tastes, but that they did, indeed, have lasting influence. Will points out how much of this gestation was under the radar for years before becoming influential, and highlights a number of forgotten musicians and artists that were essential back in the day. (And there were plenty of non-NYC bands that passed through: the Grateful Dead, Pink Floyd, Emerson Lake & Palmer, Yes, Genesis - okay, I was a prog rock fan), Santana, the country rock bands like Lynard Skynard and the Marshall Tucker Band, and so much more.)

New York City in the late 70s was an amazing city for concerts.
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Format: Paperback
This is a good book as far as it goes, and it definitely gives a sense of the massive amount of musical creativity in NYC in the mid-70s, but ultimately that's about all it does. While it's trying to do something different to, say, 'England's Dreaming' by jon Savage, it doesn't get anywhere near the depth, importance, and perceptiveness of that book. More on the visual arts in all forms and fashion too (and possibly literature - why does nobody who writes about Television ever discuss poetry?) I really can't agree with Nick Hornby that this is 'social history' - it's not - it's music writing with occasional historical references. Various bits of history come and go, and are dealt with fairly well, but they're really nothing more than throwaway references - the Son of Sam killer, for instance, pops up in a fairly sinister way at a couple of points, but later on other shootings he was responsible for are tossed away in half a sentence.

also - I realise the author didn't have an indefinite amount of space - but the choices of which people to follow seems arbitrary. It's nice to see Latin music given some attention, and jazz too, but there's nothing about, for instance, broadway musicals.

Oddly for a book like this, the personal recollections are among the best bits - I'd have liked more of them.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Overview of the NY music scenes in the 70's punk/new wave , salsa, Reich and Glass , Jazz and all points in between , Springsteen being an adopted native. From punch-ups and squabbles to the state of a certain gig's toilets many bases are linked and covered and by the end of the book you'll want to investigate people like Meredith Monk and Reuben Blades. Yes, Talking Heads feature prominently as do Lou Read and his missus . The only thing possibly missing is the link with poetry and literature (other than Ginsberg and Burroughs), comedy/stand up and the visual arts (other than Andy Warhol) . A book to keep near the bedside for quick browsing that can last an hour or two , utterly reccomended
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