- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Back Bay Books (May 17, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0316259152
- ISBN-13: 978-0316259156
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 61 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,409 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Your Favorite Band Is Killing Me: What Pop Music Rivalries Reveal About the Meaning of Life Paperback – May 17, 2016
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"Highly entertaining.... Whatever side you take in these endless debates, Hyden's a dude worth arguing with."―Rolling Stone
Hyden is "a consistently insightful and funny writer.... YOUR FAVORITE BAND IS KILLING ME connects the dots of music history in new and intriguing ways. Hyden reminds us why we invest so much in these competitions, how they help shape identity for so many of us, while never losing sight of how silly they can be."―Alan Light, New York Times Book Review
"Fluent, frequently hilarious, ultimately persuasive.... [Hyden's] as entertaining on Eric Clapton vs. Jimi Hendrix (chapter 7) as he is on Taylor Swift vs. Kanye West (chapter 5).... Hyden [is] a critic worth reading."―Chris Klimek, Washington Post
"This book is funny, informative and essential reading if you ever again intend to argue loudly with a friend about music."―Seth Meyers
"Steven Hyden didn't come to settle your rock arguments--just to make them louder. In this brilliant book, he pours a little kerosene on some of music's most heated feuds--some legendary, some forgotten, one involving Limp Bizkit. Your Favorite Band Is Killing Me is not only hilarious but surprisingly moving--Hyden captures the secret emotional details of why these stories matter, and how picking sides can accidentally tell you way too much about who you are."―Rob Sheffield, author of Love is a Mix Tape
"Every serious argument about music is ultimately a non-musical manifesto--it's 10 percent about aesthetics, 40 percent about how the respective arguers view the world, and 50 percent about how those arguers view themselves. Steven Hyden lives inside this ratio and argues with himself, which means it's impossible to win. But that's what makes YOUR FAVORITE BAND IS KILLING ME so fascinating: The title is real. He's funny, but he's not joking."―Chuck Klosterman, author of Fargo Rock City and Killing Yourself to Live
"If Nick Hornby's writing had a love child with Chuck Klosterman's, the result would be Hyden's clever prose.... By combining music journalism and pop psychology with some of his own life lessons, Hyden has created a literary mix tape that will be music to pop-culture junkies and the music-obsessed."―Publishers Weekly
"Even the most knowledgeable music fan will learn from Hyden's musings, and anyone with a sense of humor will find his prose laugh-out-loud funny.... An outstanding piece of pop culture writing for readers who consider music an important part of their lives."―Craig L. Shufelt, Library Journal (starred review)
"Hyden is an effortless writer, and he draws clever connections between artists and cultural phenomena spanning decades.... Illuminating and often hilarious.... Hyden is wise enough to know that declaring a winner is pointless (and so the book never does), but smart enough to discuss everything that might come with 'winning.'"―Jeremy Gordon, Pitchfork
"Rich with unexpected tangents and entertaining insights, the book reveals Hyden's well-established talent for pumping out some of the most thoughtful writing on some of the least-cool artists (at least in critical corners)."―Zach Schonfeld, Newsweek
About the Author
Steven Hyden has written for Grantland, The A.V. Club, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, Slate, and Salon. He lives in Minnesota.
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For example, Oasis and Blur he uses to say that when he was growing up, you couldn't like both - if you liked Oasis, you must not like Blur. I think that's fair, especially when we're young and we're trying to create our "identity." This is equally applicable to real life - it seems like you can't "like" open carry gun laws and also "like" pro-choice - even though the two have nothing to do with each other, the beliefs are mutually exclusive. Our identities are restricted to a certain beliefs and we behave like they can't overlap.
When he talks about the "culture wars" of songs, he used "Southern Man" and "Sweet Home Alabama" as a good example - he claims (and I'm not sure I buy this) that "Alabama" was written as a joke, almost, not a serious pro-south anthem. But that was in 1975 - in 2016, there's no irony to that song and it's as straightforward as it comes. The culture decided that the song represented a simple statement, regardless of what the artist did or didn't intend.
There's lot of relevant examples, and cogent analysis. I want to try and use this in a college classroom setting as examples of how our relationship with music speaks to and mimics our real-life personalities. It is very 1990s specific, however, and most college students would only be vaguely familiar with many of these artists. So it's a potentially good resource, but maybe not ideal for audiences younger than about 30.
For example, he uses the Taylor Swift vs. Kanye West controversy epitomized by West’s interruption of Swift’s 2009 VMA award acceptance speech to explore the meaning of awards and why some people/music/movies/etc. are more likely to win awards than others. He uses Clapton vs. Hendrix to discuss how “survivors can’t help but pale in comparison to dead people” (p. 121). He describes how Neil Young vs. Lynyrd Skynyrd was a non-rivalry to discuss how music and fame is often co-opted by people who want to use it for their own purpose often very disconnected from the source material.
This book was more than just a pleasant surprise for me. It is a book that delivers much more than the promise of its premise. It is a book that comments well on the current state of our society in a pleasurable way. It has become one of my favorite recent reads.