Wednesday, April 30, 2008

"Fargo Rock City"

As this blog has (d)evolved, it has become more and more about my own fandom. There are a few opinions espoused here that are not related to media or sports, but those are becoming fewer and farther between. Generally, dropping by this site is simply checking out my opinions on these relatively unimportant matters--and certainly in the instance of this post it is not always in the realm of what some might consider timely.

Now, somewhat ironically*, I had been told by a friend (J-Bone) that I should check out Chuck Klosterman because "he writes like [I] talk." Then, about three weeks ago, KRD handed me Fargo Rock City and said she thought I'd like it because like Chuck Klosterman, I hail from a small town in the Upper Midwest (mine had one stoplight, his had none) and seem to share the same sensibility.

*The irony becoming clear soon...
Thank you both. Having now read Fargo Rock City, being compared to him is flattering, and it probably wouldn't have happened if I'd not been loaned the book.

Fargo Rock City is Klosterman's love letter to 1980's Glam Metal. Having grown up a teen in a small farming town in an era in which this music was the prevalent force in his (and many others') youth, he feels that this genre is written off as being entirely unimportant and sets forth to correct this erroneous assertion by the critical community at large.

Now I don't listen to a lot of Glam (or Hair) Metal, so this isn't a book that is completely in my wheelhouse from a subject matter standpoint, but Klosterman's writing is so engaging and funny that the lack of encyclopedic knowledge in the area prior to having read the book is entirely irrelevant. Moreover, I'd have to say I agree with his contention that anything that was that much a part of popular culture for more than a decade cannot be written off as having been without merit because its message (sex, drugs, and booze) was generally superficial.

This isn't simply a look at metal's overlooked cultural impact on the masses, though. Fargo Rock City is an insanely endearing look at how this music affected the writer as a youth, and it is loaded with autobiographical content that hits closer to home than I might like.

Overall, there is not a single lull in the book, and not knowing the frontman of Dokken by name is not going to take away from the fun of reading this book.

But don't take my word for it.


Little Brother said...

i feel the reading rainbow clip is something i would do. i'm rubbing off on you i think.

fuck clemens

KRD said...

As someone who has also gotten the Klosterman comparison (but for very different reasons), I applaud you for thinking that it is flattering. It is. He is smart and funny and knows a lot about everything (and nothing).

Unlike Klosterman, you do not look like an old lesbian.

I'm glad that you liked the book.

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