Craig Werner's Reviews > Love Goes to Buildings on Fire: Five Years in New York That Changed Music Forever

Love Goes to Buildings on Fire by Will Hermes
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's review
Feb 02, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: music
Read from February 02 to April 04, 2012

Fun and informative. Hermes does a terrific job of chronicling the many different musical scenes that co-existed and sometimes cross-pollinated in New York City between 1973 and 1977: punk, hip-hop, salsa, loft jazz, Rich-Glass minimalism, Springsteen, Gorecki, and on and on. If he missed one, I didn't catch it. He appreciates each of the scenes in its own terms and doesn't condescend to anybody. My time in NY both slightly predates and slightly post-dates the focus of this book, but I recognized many of the clubs and streets his characters walk. As is almost always the case when I read bout the 70s, I feel an urge to go back and listen to Television, The New York Dolls, The Slits, Richard Hell and the Voidoids and the countless other punk bands, but I've learned that I like the descriptions more than the music, so I'll stick with Patti Smith (one of Hermes' favorites, deservedly) and Rocket to Russia by Queens' finest, The Ramones. I compiled a fairly lengthy list of salsa and loft jazz CDs I want to revisit. The only thing that keeps this from being a five star book is that Hermes doesn't really have a whole lot to say about What It All Meant. Given the success rate of music books which do attempt to answer the Big Questions, that's probably just as well. A very strong four stars. All y'all music people on my list who haven't already read it, should.

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02/13/2012 page 95
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