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Cannot believe someone had the audacity to disrespect Patti Smith with so much poststructuralist theory. Oh there is way too much Freud in here, and I wasn t sure whether to take seriously all the stuff he says about the power of the phallus This record is great because it s straight up rock and roll poetry, and all that psychoanalysis is way too distracting, and almost offensive there must be other way to approach a close reading I did like knowing the background of what all the songs were about, though, especially my favorite, Kimberly, and now when I hear it I can imagine a young girl hold Oh there is way too much Freud in here, and I wasn t sure whether to take seriously all the stuff he says about the power of the phallus This record is great because it s straight up rock and roll poetry, and all that psychoanalysis is way too distracting, and almost offensive there must be other way to approach a close reading I did like knowing the background of what all the songs were about, though, especially my favorite, Kimberly, and now when I hear it I can imagine a young girl holding her baby sister in the middle of a storm having this Huck Finn moment when she decides she won t go to heaven if there is no art there I hadn t known about all the references to dead rock stars, either, or about all the particulars of the inspirational visions and dreams But I probably could have gotten that info somewhere else I think this guy was just trying too hard In this book I have tried to convey something of this emotional freedom I associate Horses with intense feelings of pleasure and excitement, even, at times, with states of rapture it would be disingenuous of me to deny this But Horses also lends itself to intense and rigorous thought It is, after all, a record born out of a strange collision of high and low art for the purposes of shorthand, the poetics of French symbolism and the raucous rhythms of early rock n roll For Smith, there is In this book I have tried to convey something of this emotional freedom I associate Horses with intense feelings of pleasure and excitement, even, at times, with states of rapture it would be disingenuous of me to deny this But Horses also lends itself to intense and rigorous thought It is, after all, a record born out of a strange collision of high and low art for the purposes of shorthand, the poetics of French symbolism and the raucous rhythms of early rock n roll For Smith, there is no significant distinction between Hendrix and Rimbaud, Blake and Little Richard, T.S Eliot and Jim Morrison The sense of audacity, of challenging the listener s expectation of what a rock n roll record should do, is sustained in Horses conceptual range from the struggle between liberty and authority Gloria to the unsettling effects of desire Redondo Beach, Kimberly , and then again from the evocation of dreams and altered states of mind Birdland Free Money Land to the unexpected beauty of melancholy and loss Break It Up Elegie Underlying all of this is a concern with the relations between the spoken and written word, the poem and the song in a final dialectical twist, Horses is about what happens when we listen as well as read These 33 1 3 books are as addictive as well But they are uneven affairs Some of them are extremely most tedious subjective appreciations masquerading as creative writing Others are solid and well researched Shaw s book on the great Patti Smith album falls mostly into the latter category But, unfortunately, Mr Shaw discovered Lacan and Kristeva in graduate school and acts as if his armchair psychoanalysis might actually interest someone without a Ph.D Since I have a Ph.D, I can s These 33 1 3 books are as addictive as well But they are uneven affairs Some of them are extremely most tedious subjective appreciations masquerading as creative writing Others are solid and well researched Shaw s book on the great Patti Smith album falls mostly into the latter category But, unfortunately, Mr Shaw discovered Lacan and Kristeva in graduate school and acts as if his armchair psychoanalysis might actually interest someone without a Ph.D Since I have a Ph.D, I can say that despite his trying to be the village explainer good if you were a village, but if not, not as Stein said of Pound Patti Smith s masterpiece survives his exegesis, and because of his historical and biographical information and decent bibliography I feel that I got my money s worth I love this album why else would I read this book but the book is pretty lame The biography is better gotten from Smith s Just Kids and the analysis is worse than Patti at her most pretentious. The 33 1 3 series varies fairly drastically in quality and style from book to book Philip Shaw s volume on Patti Smith s 1975 proto punk classic HORSES chooses to go the egghead intellectual route, mostly addressing Smith s work as it relates to classical poetry, constructions of celebrity, and myth It s also very heavy on gender studies with a smattering of queer theory, so anti Freudians might do best to steer clear the word phallus gets tossed around a lot An engaging enough read, and The 33 1 3 series varies fairly drastically in quality and style from book to book Philip Shaw s volume on Patti Smith s 1975 proto punk classic HORSES chooses to go the egghead intellectual route, mostly addressing Smith s work as it relates to classical poetry, constructions of celebrity, and myth It s also very heavy on gender studies with a smattering of queer theory, so anti Freudians might do best to steer clear the word phallus gets tossed around a lot An engaging enough read, and it did make me want to hear the album, but if you like your music criticism loose and rangy, this will not be your cup of tea Dude Not everything is about the phallus &READ BOOK ⇣ Horses ⇥ Described as the perfect fusion of poetry and garage band rock and roll the original concept was rock and Rimbaud , Horses belongs as much to the world of literary and cultural criticism as it does to the realm of musicology While Horses pays homage to the record s origins in the nascent New York punk scene, the book s core lies in a detailed analysis of Patti Smith s lyrics and includes discussions of lyrical preoccupations love, sex, gender, death, dreams, god, metamorphosis, intoxication, apocalypse and transcendence Philip shaw demonstrates how Horses transformed the possibilities of both poetry and rock music and how it achieved nothing less than a complete and systematic derangement of the senses The 33 1 3 series from Bloombury Publishing has produced a series of over 100 books so far detailing the context personal, historical, cultural of mostly landmark albums such as Bitches Brew, Parallel Lines, Marquee Moon, Unknown Pleasures and Pet Sounds as well as albums that may not have had huge popularity, but did have huge cultural impact such as Trout Mask Replica and then others that arequirky personal favorites of the authors involved Along with the historical narrative, eac The 33 1 3 series from Bloombury Publishing has produced a series of over 100 books so far detailing the context personal, historical, cultural of mostly landmark albums such as Bitches Brew, Parallel Lines, Marquee Moon, Unknown Pleasures and Pet Sounds as well as albums that may not have had huge popularity, but did have huge cultural impact such as Trout Mask Replica and then others that arequirky personal favorites of the authors involved Along with the historical narrative, each book gives a mostly song by song critical analysis.I picked up Horses about the making of Patti Smith s 1975 debut at the Sub Pop store in the Seattle airport It s a bit confounding to me that this album that is 22 years old sounds like it could have been recorded yesterday, it s that fresh and relevant Happily, I can say this about most of my favorite albums and is telling when held up against albums like Meet The Beatles my first LP buy with my own money which, though cool sounds like the time it was made I ve a confession while all my female friends were in absolute awe and love of Patti and this album at the time of its release, I didn t fully get it I totally LOVED the opening with the bass piano ostinato over which she sang the still unsettling, confrontational AND liberating Jesus died for somebody s sins but not mine Meltin in a pot of thieves Wild card up my sleeve Thick heart of stone My sins my own, they belong to me And I liked thesong lke Kimberly, Redondo Beach, Break It Up with Tom Verlaine s vertiginous lead guitar and the poignant closing Elegie But I just didn t get the two long centerpieces of the LP, Birdland and Land, both just over nine minutes each Between not being able to make out many of the words and the non linear narratives, compounded by the imagistic poetics, I was lost So, though I bought the album, I didn t listen to it as much or as deeply as I listened to an album like Blank Generation or The Velvet Underground and Nico for instance This book, by Philip Shaw was eye opening to me He connects the dots from Smith s poetry, inspired by Rimbaud and Baudelaire as well as her enthrallment with Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix early deaths, through her alignment with the Beats as well as her familial relationships and her drive towards transcendent spirituality influenced by her growing up a Jehovah s Witness and listening to the album today was simply revelatory If you already love the album, I think you ll love this book If you were confused by the album or actively didn t like it, I think this book will be as revelatory to you as to me Over 40 years on, as Philip Shaw writes Pati Smith enters into the realm of the simple present It is a moment of pure indulgence, a temporary, yet, for me, vital suspension of the drive to critical accountability all the time I am mindful that what I am listening to and what I am describing is documentary evidence that I am listening to events that happened a long time ago, and that I am trying to reconstruct them, fruitlessly no doubt, in the present time of playback This is one of the books in the Series 33 1 3, short volumes dedicated to famous albums from the point of view of a fan This one is about Patti Smith s first record Horses The part that describes the songs is a bit too intellectual, although it guides you through the otherwise rather obscure meaning of the lyrics It isreadable and fascinating in the description of the 70s West Village s context in which Smith was living and writing.