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Love Goes to Buildings on Fire


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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.


"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)

Rolling Stone critic and National Public Radio contributor Hermes presents a chronological history of New York City's music scenes during the fertile period from 1973 to 1977. He covers the emergence of punk, hip-hop, disco, salsa, loft jazz, and the Minimalist composers. Music geeks will be well pleased, as no detail is left out of this meticulous day-by-day rendering. Fans of these particular genres may be better served by less chronologically and geographically bounded histories. VERDICT Seasoned narrator Adam Verner's enthusiastic baritone jibes with the encyclopedic sweep of the text, but the lack of accompanying music is a missed opportunity. Recommended to readers in New York City and music fans generally. ["Hermes writes with scene-setting observational detail and provides contextual background to events and social movements taking place throughout New York," read the review of the Faber & Faber hc, LJ 9/15/11.-Ed.]-Mark Swails, Johnson Cty. Community Coll., Overland Park, KS (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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