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For hardcore Oldham fans only,
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This review is from: Will Oldham on Bonnie "Prince" Billy (Kindle Edition)
Will Oldham on Bonnie "Prince" Billy is an exhaustive look into the life and creative process of an indie rock icon known for his aversion to interviews. And yet here is a book featuring 25 hours of interviews transcribed into print. The result is a look at Oldham's creative process, his development as an artist, and the in's and out's of many songs and records. Any fan seeking to learn what makes Oldham tick should be very happy to read this book. He talks at length about his association with the various members of influential band Slint, as well as details of the recording of Johnny Cash's cover of "I See a Darkness" and his staunch independence from major labels. After reading the book, I had a much better understanding of why Oldham has re-recorded and re-conceptualized his songs, including the recent upbeat version of "I See A Darkness" (along with the amusing video that went with it), even though that recording is not referenced directly in the book.
However, if you are not already a fan of Oldham's material with detailed knowledge of his long catalog of releases, you may find yourself lost in the weeds for much of the discussion. I only knew about half the songs referenced directly in the book, so while interesting, much of the conversation was lost on me.
Still, few artists open up with the honestly and candor that Oldham shows here. In many ways, the "legend" of Will Oldham is demystified and he's made human again. It's a far cry from the monstrously powerful sunglasses-wearing hipster king of Williamsburg as related in Jeffrey Lewis' "Will Oldham Williamsburg Horror Story." If pushing aside the myth was a goal of this book, then it can be deemed a rousing success.