Music critic Steven Hyden explores 19 music rivalries and what they say about life.
Beatles vs. Stones. Biggie vs. Tupac. Kanye vs. Taylor. Who do you choose? And what does that say about you? Actually - what do these endlessly argued about pop music rivalries say about us?
Music opinions bring out passionate debate in people, and Steven Hyden knows that firsthand. Each chapter in Your Favorite Band Is Killing Me focuses on a pop music rivalry, from the classic to the very recent, and draws connections to the larger forces surrounding the pairing.
Through Hendrix vs. Clapton, Hyden explores burning out and fading away while his take on Miley vs. Sinead gives listeners a glimpse into the perennial battle between old and young. Funny and accessible, Hyden's writing combines cultural criticism, personal anecdotes, and music history - and just may prompt you to give your least favorite band another chance.
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Lots of Fun
This book examines so many fun, interesting rivalries, and generates lots of good conversations. So, yes, I would recommend this to a friend, because it would be great to discuss and debate these pop cultural ideas.
Ben Sullivan is fine as the narrator, but there were some definite mispronunciations of band names, album titles, etc.; this really isn't that big of a deal, but when it happens, it just pulls you out of the book to remind you that this isn't the author reading it, but someone "playing" the author. Having learned about this book from a radio interview with the author, Steven Hyden, I kind of think this was a missed opportunity to simply just use the author as the narrator; I think it would have made it just a bit more authentic.
The first rivalry discussed in this book, Oasis vs. Blur, is the weakest of them all. It's a strange choice to begin with, because it's probably the most niche and least interesting. Full disclosure: I'm an Oasis fan and I really didn't connect with this chapter at all. My suggestion, either power through this one, or just skip it, because there is lots of better material after it.