Black Postcards

Black Postcards

A Rock & Roll Romance

Book - 2008
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A bewitching account of the lures, torments, and rewards of making and performing some of the most interesting music in some of the most iconic indie bands (Galaxie 500, Luna) in recent memory What do you do if you're an outsider with a funny accent coming of age in alien bastions of privilege in New York City and Cambridge, Massachusetts? If you're a certain sort of kid, you front a rock band. And if you're Dean Wareham, you end up founding a rock band, Galaxie 500, that continues to enjoy what can be called notable postmortem cult success. And then you start a new band, Luna, which enjoys even more spectacular, albeit still "cult" success (which means they don't play your songs on mainstream radio and you never crack MTV), until, some fifteen years after it began, that band reaches its natural end too. And then you write a book about it all: an unsentimental journey through the great, world-wide indiemusic landscape. A wickedly honest and unsparing account of a journey through the music world-the artistry and the hustle, the effortless success and the high living as well as the bitter pills and self-inflicted wounds-by a brilliant and fearless participant-observer, Black Postcards is absurdly rich in rewards for anyone who was ever in a band or just took an interest in indie music over the past twenty years-a sort of Kitchen Confidential written by a different species of front man. Black Postcards also captures what has happened, for good and ill, to the entire ecosystem of popular music over this time of radical change, a time when categories like "indie" and "alternative" started to morph beyond all recognition. Rolling Stone called Dean Wareham's band Luna "the greatest band you've never heard of " and named its album Penthouse one of its 100 greatest rock albums of our time. Black Postcards is also about what it's like to have to pretend to be civil as you answer the same helpful question over and over again, "Why aren't you guys more famous?" Why indeed?
Publisher: New York : Penguin Press, 2008.
ISBN: 9781594201554
1594201552
Branch Call Number: 782.42166 Wareham 06/2008
Characteristics: 324 p., [16] p. of plates :,ill. ;,24 cm.

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JCLHilaryS May 02, 2013

Frontman for bands Galaxie 500 and Luna, Dean Wareham chronicles his life before, during and after the breakup of both of his bands, and his first marriage. The book is written rather simply and honestly. Wareham is up front about drug use, tempers and infidelity, and is neither cagey about these... Read More »


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JCLHilaryS May 02, 2013

Frontman for bands Galaxie 500 and Luna, Dean Wareham chronicles his life before, during and after the breakup of both of his bands, and his first marriage. The book is written rather simply and honestly. Wareham is up front about drug use, tempers and infidelity, and is neither cagey about these things, but neither does he glorify them. Things just are. They happened and he relays it all in a very matter of fact tone. The first portion of the book focuses on Dean’s early life: his childhood and his family life. Also featured are copious lists of bands he saw in concert during his early years. I supposed we are to read between the lines here and see where his influences lie, but it comes across more of name dropping than discussion of musical taste and influences. The book becomes far more compelling when it shifts to discussing first Galaxie 500, then Luna. The book chronicles the formation, lifespan and disintegration of each band. Wareham lays it all out, and doesn’t make much of a case for being in a band. The majority of chronicled events sound pretty rough, not the glamour one expects. Wareham also does a fine job of explaining how music contracts work, why bands must tour and keep producing more and more albums, and why the stress of it all can lead to the demise of our favorite bands.

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