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Fargo Rock City is Chuck Klosterman s first stab at writingthan an album review in SPIN or a story about Marilyn Manson in the Akron Beacon Journal And it shows The premise is ambitious, and therefore admirable An entire book about heavy metal from 1980 1990 Essentially, the hair glam scene that was taking place in Los Angeles and how it all shaped him as a youngster growing up in rural North Dakota It s about 100 pages too long and goes horribly askew when he takes heavy metal out Fargo Rock City is Chuck Klosterman s first stab at writingthan an album review in SPIN or a story about Marilyn Manson in the Akron Beacon Journal And it shows The premise is ambitious, and therefore admirable An entire book about heavy metal from 1980 1990 Essentially, the hair glam scene that was taking place in Los Angeles and how it all shaped him as a youngster growing up in rural North Dakota It s about 100 pages too long and goes horribly askew when he takes heavy metal out of the context of his upbringing and makes his opinions the central focus mostly the chapter in which he ranks the top albums of the genre and the amount of money it would take for him never to listen to that record ever again What s worse is that he worships and rants about Motley Crue and Guns n Roses Which is fine But then he makes the argument that glam metal was culturally important because they never wanted to be culturally important Glam metal is smart because it s stupid This round and round gobbledegook, of course, is a tenet in Klosterman s entire philosophy for about everything But he would redeem himself later with Sex, Drugs and Cocao Puffs Oh man I really thought I would love this book, but aside from a few humorous passages, I ended up never wanting to read anything else by Klosterman Here were my issues with the book 1 It s not so much about heavy metal as it is about hair metal or glam rock as Klosterman calls it not sure how appropriate a moniker that is for Poison and the like but whatever 2 Klosterman has some serious issues with women, and really came off as an asshole on multiple occasions throughout the book 3 Oh man I really thought I would love this book, but aside from a few humorous passages, I ended up never wanting to read anything else by Klosterman Here were my issues with the book 1 It s not so much about heavy metal as it is about hair metal or glam rock as Klosterman calls it not sure how appropriate a moniker that is for Poison and the like but whatever 2 Klosterman has some serious issues with women, and really came off as an asshole on multiple occasions throughout the book 3 I heartily disagreed with many of the musical opinions he expressed in general There s not much to say about issue 1, other than I think Pantera was maybe mentioned once in the book, and the ratio of discussion about Van Halen Poison Ratt Cinderella, etc to Slayer Metallica Iron Maiden etc is about 6 1 As for issue 2 Klosterman says that male rock audiences arefaithful than women, and that men areanalytical about music and appreciate it past the emotional response If this is not an incredibly sexist remark and completely stereotypical and untrue in my experience , I don t know what is He makes multiple references throughout the book to women as whores , hookers and rock bitches He says he is baffled by feminists, and that if heavy metal was sexist, what s the big deal because when art is stupid , it can t really be harmful an incredibly weak argument and copout at once In this passage, he also is implying that feminists would never be heavy metal fans, which again demonstrates his ignorance about women Later, he even goes so far as to say thatmen probably purchased riotgrrl era music than women, because men are willing to spendon music And at one point, he says that Ani DeFranco sic is trying a little too hard to look ugly Such a predictable dig from this guy, and just not witty at all.Issue 3 Klosterman says that talking about music isexciting than listening to it What At one point he compares PJ Harvey to Yo La Tengo, implying that fans of one must like the other which I found to be a very strange comparison Klosterman says that rock bands should focus on the commercial, and not try to make us think He says that Danzig the band was the first legitimate band that Glenn Danzig was a member of Klosterman says that he wouldn t take any desert island discs with him if he were in such a predicament, because music isn t really essential to survival Well sure, not literally But if you are a rock critic who chooses to center your life around the subject, I would think it would be pretty damn important to you Finally at one point he says that Firehouse s Don t Treat Me Bad is one of the 40 best songs by an American artist And no, he s not being sarcastic.More rock criticism than memoir, Fargo Rock City still ended up being a very personal account of Klosterman s tastes and memories associated with hair metal No, it wasn t all bad, hence the 2 star rating But it took me serious effort to finish this one, and overall the multiple negative references toward women left a really bad taste in my mouth Plus, I just don t think he has great taste in music but that s just my opinion I don t like hair bands, but I love this book To be fair, I grew up in an earlier time than Chuck did My tastes ran toward Blue Oyster Cult, The Doobie Brothers, The Steve Miller Band, Creedence, ZZTOP, and many others If you are a music lover and want a fun read, FARGO ROCK CITY is a sure thing Rock on Klosterman It just might be true that no self respecting rock band ever used an organ or a piano Well, except of course for Skynyrd. I get the project, and I support the project I was absolute4ly in love with Poison in fourth grade, and I still get super semi ironically excited about a lot of the music he s writing about, in just the ways he describes But Chuck, did you have to be such a douche The section on sexism in 80s glam rock is the most tautological, non informative series of non arguments I ve ever read, which seems to culminate in the argument these bands were sexist, but in capitalism, who cares Which is prob I get the project, and I support the project I was absolute4ly in love with Poison in fourth grade, and I still get super semi ironically excited about a lot of the music he s writing about, in just the ways he describes But Chuck, did you have to be such a douche The section on sexism in 80s glam rock is the most tautological, non informative series of non arguments I ve ever read, which seems to culminate in the argument these bands were sexist, but in capitalism, who cares Which is problematic There s also an I want to bone new school feminists but old school ones are stupid theme running through the book The whole relationship of Chuck Kolsterman and money, throughout the book, just doesn t make sense to me it s like, there s vague impressions of a critique of the American capitalist system that makes things weird and messed up, unless it s in relation to a band he likes, in which case wanting money becomes this totally legitimate motive Also 26 pages of listing albums he likes and why got super boring super quick.I don t know I kept thinking, that is a perfect quote for my scathing goodreads review of this book but not marking them, which means I don t have em for you And since I spent the whole book hating the author, I can t really be bothered to go looking Klosterman declares early on that he wants to confront two of the most egregious accusations hurled at heavy metal that 1 it is frivolous and disposable therefore not art , and 2 it is offensive and dangerous He argues that these two sentiments can t both be true at the same time Becoming a danger presupposes a potency that contradicts frivolity It may not be elevating art but heavy metal mattered, particularly to the crop of hormonal teenagers of post Reagan Middle America.Every chapte Klosterman declares early on that he wants to confront two of the most egregious accusations hurled at heavy metal that 1 it is frivolous and disposable therefore not art , and 2 it is offensive and dangerous He argues that these two sentiments can t both be true at the same time Becoming a danger presupposes a potency that contradicts frivolity It may not be elevating art but heavy metal mattered, particularly to the crop of hormonal teenagers of post Reagan Middle America.Every chapter starts out with a milestone date, which makes probably people assume that the book is going to be a linear narrative Instead they end up with what The New York Times called a part memoir, part barstool rant The dates are merely touchstones from which Klosterman can riff, using everything from garish album covers to committing ATM fraud in trying to explain why a musical genre that many people would rather consider an aberration meant so much to him.And then we came to the part about the feminists In the couple of months that yawned between finishing Fargo Rock City and writing this review, I ve constantly thought about how I m supposed to feel about Klosterman s overwrought attempt at explaining away heavy metal s tendency towards sexism and objectification His defense is basically that that because hair bands were so baldfaced about their sexism, they somehow transcended their own objectifying tendencies and became commentaries on sexism I mean, what You can t suddenly transcend sexism by becoming too good at it.Readof my review here There s something about Chuck Klosterman s writing that I literally eat up I blew through this book in two days, ignoring my job, TV, and my girlfriend in the process It felt like a vacation from normal book reading because I wasn t studying some socially relevant topic I d recently deemed important to know, I was reading critical analysis of popular music that I can t help but love and obsess over CK is perfect for guys like me the kind of guy that tells himself he s got to read 50pag There s something about Chuck Klosterman s writing that I literally eat up I blew through this book in two days, ignoring my job, TV, and my girlfriend in the process It felt like a vacation from normal book reading because I wasn t studying some socially relevant topic I d recently deemed important to know, I was reading critical analysis of popular music that I can t help but love and obsess over CK is perfect for guys like me the kind of guy that tells himself he s got to read 50pages of whatever non fiction book he s set his mind to finishing so that he can reward himself by getting high and watching a movie, alone These guys like to think analytically, but sometimes they wish it could just be about Saved By The Bell or the video for Metallica s One This book and his others, I ve read all the others fills that need in the ace of spades Reading this book felt like being at a party where you really didn t know too many people but you agreed to go because it was Friday and it was time to get drunk There was good beer and after gulping half of the first beer you strike up a conversation with a stranger about the all that was metal during the decade you were in the single digits Next thing you know, this guy s talking at length and seems to be making perfect fucking sense and your contribution to the conversation consists mostly of laughing out loud and introducing topics that he runs with You then become mildly embarassed that you ve spent the duration of the party talking to a dude you just met about 1980s cock rock Afterwards you tell your friends of all the insights this guy seemed to possess but as you re telling them you become less impressed by the shit he came up with, and you re friends certainly aren t impressed Still, you know you had fun, and this guy made sense Quite the heavy metal odyseey indeed Hilarious memoir about growing up loving the most reviled music of all time. Chuck Klosterman and his love for heavy metal I was sold by the title alone From the first chapter discussion on the definition of heavy metal to Klosterman s closing statements about why Motley Crue will forever hold a special place in his heart, I felt as if I was part of a discussion with the author about the importance, or lack thereof, heavy metal has in rock history I found myself throwing open my computer to listen to obscure Motorhead songs and to re watch the November Rain music vi Chuck Klosterman and his love for heavy metal I was sold by the title alone From the first chapter discussion on the definition of heavy metal to Klosterman s closing statements about why Motley Crue will forever hold a special place in his heart, I felt as if I was part of a discussion with the author about the importance, or lack thereof, heavy metal has in rock history I found myself throwing open my computer to listen to obscure Motorhead songs and to re watch the November Rain music video trying in vain to keep up with Klosterman s in depth analysis of all things metal Given that I am no expert on the subject, it was sometimes difficult to follow, and therefore I still rank Chuck Klosterman IV as my favorite of his books That said, the epilogue written for the paperback edition was probably the most relatable part of the entire read Klosterman responds to critics of his first book, defends lovers of all types of music and shits on the snobs who think people that prefer Van Halen to Sonic Youth are lower on the IQ scale If there is one thing I hate in this world, it is when people cut in line But I also really dislike when people cheat during trivia and pretend that they are too good for Poison In the 1980 s, heavy metal was pop and I say that to mean it was popular Growing up, it was the soundtrack for my life and for the life of pretty much everyone I cared about We didn t necessarily dress in leather chaps and we didn t wear makeup to school, but this stuff touched our minds Regardless of its artistic merit, Guns N Roses 1987 release Appetite For Destruction affected the guys in my class the same way teens in 1967 were touched by Lennon McCartneythe author, oIn the 1980 s, heavy metal was pop and I say that to mean it was popular Growing up, it was the soundtrack for my life and for the life of pretty much everyone I cared about We didn t necessarily dress in leather chaps and we didn t wear makeup to school, but this stuff touched our minds Regardless of its artistic merit, Guns N Roses 1987 release Appetite For Destruction affected the guys in my class the same way teens in 1967 were touched by Lennon McCartneythe author, on page 4 Fargo Rock City is a memoir ish collection of twenty essays by author columnist critic Chuck Klosterman, a Gen X er who grew up in a small farming community in rural North Dakota Entering adolescence during the mid 80 s, he was exposed to the burgeoning heavy metal music scene derisively labeled hair or glam metal by detractors via a sort of perfect storm trifecta of FM radio, cassettes purchased at the nearest mall, and music videos on a then young network called MTV Klosterman has crafted a very witty, opinionated, and perhaps surprisingly analytical piece of work On occasion he relates a few non music anecdotes and memories from his teenage years, but the main focus is intelligently discussing the era s musical output with equal parts respect and snark While he takes appropriate potshots at some of the ridiculous lyrics and or crazy rock star antics, he likes to drive home a valid point that various groups legitimate skills and talents in composing and performing the music were often overlooked, dismissed or forgotten by folks It should also be noted that the book was by no means meant to be an all encompassing history or timeline of this particular musical genre Certain acts Motley Crue, Guns N Roses, Skid Row, Poison, Van Halen, KISS get a lot of print time, but there were others that were not mentioned at all or received scant attention In personal note conclusion, I didn t particularly enjoy much of my junior high years 87 90 but during that time I cherished my cassettes that included Dr Feelgood, Hysteria, and Appetite For Destruction This book brought back some positive memories of when that hard rocking, high tempo and head banging music was new, exciting, and just seemed to be everywhere in U.S pop culture `FREE PDF ⇶ Fargo Rock City: A Heavy Metal Odyssey in Rural North Dakota ↿ Empirically proving that no matter where you are kids wanna rock, this is Chuck Klosterman s hilarious memoir of growing up as a shameless metalhead in Wyndmere, North Dakotoa populationWith a voice like Ace Frehley s guitar, Klosterman hacks his way through hair band history, beginning with that fateful day inwhen his older brother brought home M tley Cr e s Shout at the Devil The fifth grade Chuck wasn t quite ready to rock his hair was too short and his farm was too quiet but he still found a way to bang his nappy little head Before the journey was over, he would slow dance to Poison, sleep innocently beneath satanic pentagrams, lust for Lita Ford, and get ridiculously intellectual about Guns N Roses C mon and feel his noize