« Bill Gleason | Main | "Are you going to be on our side?" »

Michael T. Fournier, The Minutemen: Double Nickels On the Dime

Michael Fournier's The Minutemen: Double Nickels On the Dime benefits greatly from the author's passion, enthusiasm, and in-depth knowledge of the Minutemen's great album. Fournier's structure is very straightforward, with a short introduction followed by a more lengthy (but brief - this is the Minutemen he's writing about, after all) song-by-song discussion. The song pieces provide both details of lyrics and instrumentation, as well as interesting background on the band's history and mindset. On the downside, however, I found Fournier's writing style to be too casual for my tastes, seeming less like text and more of a transcription of the lectures he gives as a college instructor on the history of punk rock. The too-frequent asides ("Awesome!") and sloppy grammar - somewhat acceptable in everyday speech, but awkward on the written page - distracted me time and again from the otherwise interesting narrative.

Reading the book was a unique experience. After receiving it as Christmas gift, I zipped through it cover to cover over the holidays, but even as I did so, I realized that the song-heavy focus of the narrative meant it really should be read while listening to the album. So I read it again on the train while plugged into my iPod. With the iPod on pause, I would read the installment of one song, then listen to that song as I read through the installment again. This really helped me see the songs in much greater depth, although the repeated play-pause-play did lessen the listening flow of the album to some extent.

Despite my reservations on the writing style, if you're a fan of Double Nickels I can definitely recommend this book, which will undoubtedly enhance your enjoyment and appreciation of the album.

January 6, 2010 in Books, Music | Permalink