Love Goes to Buildings on Fire: Five Years in New York That Changed Music Forever

Love Goes to Buildings on Fire: Five Years in New York That Changed Music Forever

Punk rock and hip-hop. Disco and salsa. The loft jazz scene and the downtown composers known as Minimalists. In the mid-1970s, New York City was a laboratory where all the major styles of modern music were reinvented--all at once, from one block to the next, by musicians who knew, admired, and borrowed from one another. Crime was everywhere, the government was broke, and t Punk rock and hip-hop. Disco and salsa. The loft jazz scene and the downtown composers known as Minimalists. In the mid-1...

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Title:Love Goes to Buildings on Fire: Five Years in New York That Changed Music Forever
Author:Will Hermes
Rating:
Genres:Music
ISBN:0865479801
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:384 pages pages

Love Goes to Buildings on Fire: Five Years in New York That Changed Music Forever Reviews

  • Rupert
    Jan 28, 2012

    "Love Goes to Buildings On Fire" is not only one of my favorite songs by Talking Heads, but it's also a very warm and fascinating book by Will Hermes. Focusing on the years 1973 to 1977, in New York City, is a combination social history and a love message to the artists of that era - w...

    There hasn't been much in American culture to get excited about since the 1970s. The cable tv revolution and gadget boom of the 1980s might have been interesting for a minute. Grunge in the 1990s became boring quickly. Rap is crap. The prescription drug craze, the tech boom, talk radio...

    New York City, mid-1970's. The whole place is falling apart. Crime is rampant, the city teeters on complete financial bankruptcy. Things just aren't looking good for the Big Apple. Yet from the state of emergency comes a phenomenally vibrant and highly influential wave of music whose i...

    This book covers a period of amazing musical experimentation in NYC - punk, jazz, disco, "latin" - a lot was going on, and there was a good deal of cross-pollination between these genres. Hermes tells a lot of stories -- many I knew, some that I didn't. The ones that were new to me...

    Will Hermes? Love Goes To Buildings On Fire: Five Years in New York That Changed Music Forever is one of the most ambitious works on popular culture that I have ever read. Perhaps the most ambitious in that is surveys the radically creative hotbed of New York City in the 1970s (speci...

    This is definitely the most fun I?ve had reading a book in a while, maybe not the best, though it is really good. The book is a kaleidoscopic social history of New York during its darkest years in the supposedly musically fallow seventies. So much of my favorite music bubbled under t...

    fairly good and entertaining re-cap of music in nyc in 1973-1977. the punk and rock portions won't reveal anything new to the punks out there, but the parts on loft scene and latin/salsa worlds are very nice, and steve reich and glass, and those dudes, and laurie anderson, those parts ...

    I've always had an interest in the NYC music scene in the 70s, and this book provided me with the perfect fayre for my trip to the Big Apple. In addition to detailing the burgeoning punk, disco and hip hop scenes at the time, this book also included very enjoyable accounts of the r...

    A history of five years of music in NYC, 1973 to 1978. I really liked this book and it was an excellent follow up to David Van Ronk's the Mayor of MacDougal Street. Tonally, they were both similar in that they were about heavily mythologized eras but looked at them with a refreshing l...

    The conceit of this book is a bit strange--that five years in New York City (1973 to 1977) were unbelievably creative years in all musical genres. But he works hard to prove it, writing about the pre-history of hip hop, the rise of punk, the maturation and peak of salsa, the "loft jazz...

    New York in the mid to late 70s was one of the most creatively active and diverse periods in American history, and it's probably the number one destination for my time machine To Do list. So I expected to really love this book, but it lacks strong narrative and is an uninspired read. I...

    I didn't finish this one. I was looking forward to reading (or listening to) this one because the 70s in New York seemed to be the perfect time and place for interesting innovative music. It was an exciting time in the arts. Unfortunately, this book read a bit like a wikipedia arti...

    Very readable and insightful snapshot of the New York music scene in the 1970s. Hermes shows how punk, salsa, hip-hop and good old rock n roll were taking flight in dive music bars across the city. Great portraits of Bruce Springsteen, Patti Smith and the Talking Heads in their formati...

    Carefully curated. Yes, I realize "curated" has become the word choice for pretentious d-bags, and there's some of that here, no doubt. But it is also the appropriate word for museum work, and there's some of _that_ here, too. The book is about music in New York City during the 1970...

    Often fascinating, sometimes frustrating, Will Hermes' "Love Goes to Buildings on Fire: Five Years in New York that Changed Music Forever" offers a chronicle of several important music scenes in New York City during the mid-1970s (1973-1977, to be exact). Organized into five chapters, ...

    I think I have to give up on this one. Okay, I love music of many genres and since my series starts in 1974 and revolves around music, I thought this would be a great way to plunge myself into the atmosphere and pick up hints and research. I've been reading it off and on for quite s...

    Fun and informative. Hermes does a terrific job of chronicling the many different musical scenes that co-existed and sometimes cross-pollinated in New York City between 1973 and 1977: punk, hip-hop, salsa, loft jazz, Rich-Glass minimalism, Springsteen, Gorecki, and on and on. If he mis...

    This was a very strange and ultimately disappointing "book," if it can even be labeled as such. The narrative is constructed almost entirely chronologically, with an almost complete absence of style or authorial presence. The author pops up very occasionally to remember what he was doi...

    Essentially a long, largely chronological list of facts about musicians in New York in the time period, occasionally interrupted by personal, memoir-style anecdotes and bits about music journalism. There seems to be some hope that the sheer mass of information will cause a larger state...

    I can't rave enough about this book. It covers all types of music exploding in New York from 1973 to 1978. The city was falling apart, so rent and buildings were cheap and artists built from the ruins. Punk and New Wave was starting up, jazz musicians like Sam Rivers and Ornette Colema...

  • Tosh
    Jul 30, 2011

    "Love Goes to Buildings On Fire" is not only one of my favorite songs by Talking Heads, but it's also a very warm and fascinating book by Will Hermes. Focusing on the years 1973 to 1977, in New York City, is a combination social history and a love message to the artists of that era - w...

  • John Norman
    Nov 14, 2011

    "Love Goes to Buildings On Fire" is not only one of my favorite songs by Talking Heads, but it's also a very warm and fascinating book by Will Hermes. Focusing on the years 1973 to 1977, in New York City, is a combination social history and a love message to the artists of that era - w...

    There hasn't been much in American culture to get excited about since the 1970s. The cable tv revolution and gadget boom of the 1980s might have been interesting for a minute. Grunge in the 1990s became boring quickly. Rap is crap. The prescription drug craze, the tech boom, talk radio...

    New York City, mid-1970's. The whole place is falling apart. Crime is rampant, the city teeters on complete financial bankruptcy. Things just aren't looking good for the Big Apple. Yet from the state of emergency comes a phenomenally vibrant and highly influential wave of music whose i...

    This book covers a period of amazing musical experimentation in NYC - punk, jazz, disco, "latin" - a lot was going on, and there was a good deal of cross-pollination between these genres. Hermes tells a lot of stories -- many I knew, some that I didn't. The ones that were new to me...

  • Patrick
    Apr 02, 2016

    "Love Goes to Buildings On Fire" is not only one of my favorite songs by Talking Heads, but it's also a very warm and fascinating book by Will Hermes. Focusing on the years 1973 to 1977, in New York City, is a combination social history and a love message to the artists of that era - w...

    There hasn't been much in American culture to get excited about since the 1970s. The cable tv revolution and gadget boom of the 1980s might have been interesting for a minute. Grunge in the 1990s became boring quickly. Rap is crap. The prescription drug craze, the tech boom, talk radio...

    New York City, mid-1970's. The whole place is falling apart. Crime is rampant, the city teeters on complete financial bankruptcy. Things just aren't looking good for the Big Apple. Yet from the state of emergency comes a phenomenally vibrant and highly influential wave of music whose i...

    This book covers a period of amazing musical experimentation in NYC - punk, jazz, disco, "latin" - a lot was going on, and there was a good deal of cross-pollination between these genres. Hermes tells a lot of stories -- many I knew, some that I didn't. The ones that were new to me...

    Will Hermes? Love Goes To Buildings On Fire: Five Years in New York That Changed Music Forever is one of the most ambitious works on popular culture that I have ever read. Perhaps the most ambitious in that is surveys the radically creative hotbed of New York City in the 1970s (speci...

    This is definitely the most fun I?ve had reading a book in a while, maybe not the best, though it is really good. The book is a kaleidoscopic social history of New York during its darkest years in the supposedly musically fallow seventies. So much of my favorite music bubbled under t...

    fairly good and entertaining re-cap of music in nyc in 1973-1977. the punk and rock portions won't reveal anything new to the punks out there, but the parts on loft scene and latin/salsa worlds are very nice, and steve reich and glass, and those dudes, and laurie anderson, those parts ...

    I've always had an interest in the NYC music scene in the 70s, and this book provided me with the perfect fayre for my trip to the Big Apple. In addition to detailing the burgeoning punk, disco and hip hop scenes at the time, this book also included very enjoyable accounts of the r...

    A history of five years of music in NYC, 1973 to 1978. I really liked this book and it was an excellent follow up to David Van Ronk's the Mayor of MacDougal Street. Tonally, they were both similar in that they were about heavily mythologized eras but looked at them with a refreshing l...

  • Adam
    Mar 28, 2013

    "Love Goes to Buildings On Fire" is not only one of my favorite songs by Talking Heads, but it's also a very warm and fascinating book by Will Hermes. Focusing on the years 1973 to 1977, in New York City, is a combination social history and a love message to the artists of that era - w...

    There hasn't been much in American culture to get excited about since the 1970s. The cable tv revolution and gadget boom of the 1980s might have been interesting for a minute. Grunge in the 1990s became boring quickly. Rap is crap. The prescription drug craze, the tech boom, talk radio...

    New York City, mid-1970's. The whole place is falling apart. Crime is rampant, the city teeters on complete financial bankruptcy. Things just aren't looking good for the Big Apple. Yet from the state of emergency comes a phenomenally vibrant and highly influential wave of music whose i...

    This book covers a period of amazing musical experimentation in NYC - punk, jazz, disco, "latin" - a lot was going on, and there was a good deal of cross-pollination between these genres. Hermes tells a lot of stories -- many I knew, some that I didn't. The ones that were new to me...

    Will Hermes? Love Goes To Buildings On Fire: Five Years in New York That Changed Music Forever is one of the most ambitious works on popular culture that I have ever read. Perhaps the most ambitious in that is surveys the radically creative hotbed of New York City in the 1970s (speci...

    This is definitely the most fun I?ve had reading a book in a while, maybe not the best, though it is really good. The book is a kaleidoscopic social history of New York during its darkest years in the supposedly musically fallow seventies. So much of my favorite music bubbled under t...

  • Jeff
    Dec 06, 2012

    "Love Goes to Buildings On Fire" is not only one of my favorite songs by Talking Heads, but it's also a very warm and fascinating book by Will Hermes. Focusing on the years 1973 to 1977, in New York City, is a combination social history and a love message to the artists of that era - w...

    There hasn't been much in American culture to get excited about since the 1970s. The cable tv revolution and gadget boom of the 1980s might have been interesting for a minute. Grunge in the 1990s became boring quickly. Rap is crap. The prescription drug craze, the tech boom, talk radio...

    New York City, mid-1970's. The whole place is falling apart. Crime is rampant, the city teeters on complete financial bankruptcy. Things just aren't looking good for the Big Apple. Yet from the state of emergency comes a phenomenally vibrant and highly influential wave of music whose i...

    This book covers a period of amazing musical experimentation in NYC - punk, jazz, disco, "latin" - a lot was going on, and there was a good deal of cross-pollination between these genres. Hermes tells a lot of stories -- many I knew, some that I didn't. The ones that were new to me...

    Will Hermes? Love Goes To Buildings On Fire: Five Years in New York That Changed Music Forever is one of the most ambitious works on popular culture that I have ever read. Perhaps the most ambitious in that is surveys the radically creative hotbed of New York City in the 1970s (speci...

    This is definitely the most fun I?ve had reading a book in a while, maybe not the best, though it is really good. The book is a kaleidoscopic social history of New York during its darkest years in the supposedly musically fallow seventies. So much of my favorite music bubbled under t...

    fairly good and entertaining re-cap of music in nyc in 1973-1977. the punk and rock portions won't reveal anything new to the punks out there, but the parts on loft scene and latin/salsa worlds are very nice, and steve reich and glass, and those dudes, and laurie anderson, those parts ...

    I've always had an interest in the NYC music scene in the 70s, and this book provided me with the perfect fayre for my trip to the Big Apple. In addition to detailing the burgeoning punk, disco and hip hop scenes at the time, this book also included very enjoyable accounts of the r...

    A history of five years of music in NYC, 1973 to 1978. I really liked this book and it was an excellent follow up to David Van Ronk's the Mayor of MacDougal Street. Tonally, they were both similar in that they were about heavily mythologized eras but looked at them with a refreshing l...

    The conceit of this book is a bit strange--that five years in New York City (1973 to 1977) were unbelievably creative years in all musical genres. But he works hard to prove it, writing about the pre-history of hip hop, the rise of punk, the maturation and peak of salsa, the "loft jazz...

    New York in the mid to late 70s was one of the most creatively active and diverse periods in American history, and it's probably the number one destination for my time machine To Do list. So I expected to really love this book, but it lacks strong narrative and is an uninspired read. I...

    I didn't finish this one. I was looking forward to reading (or listening to) this one because the 70s in New York seemed to be the perfect time and place for interesting innovative music. It was an exciting time in the arts. Unfortunately, this book read a bit like a wikipedia arti...

    Very readable and insightful snapshot of the New York music scene in the 1970s. Hermes shows how punk, salsa, hip-hop and good old rock n roll were taking flight in dive music bars across the city. Great portraits of Bruce Springsteen, Patti Smith and the Talking Heads in their formati...

    Carefully curated. Yes, I realize "curated" has become the word choice for pretentious d-bags, and there's some of that here, no doubt. But it is also the appropriate word for museum work, and there's some of _that_ here, too. The book is about music in New York City during the 1970...

    Often fascinating, sometimes frustrating, Will Hermes' "Love Goes to Buildings on Fire: Five Years in New York that Changed Music Forever" offers a chronicle of several important music scenes in New York City during the mid-1970s (1973-1977, to be exact). Organized into five chapters, ...

    I think I have to give up on this one. Okay, I love music of many genres and since my series starts in 1974 and revolves around music, I thought this would be a great way to plunge myself into the atmosphere and pick up hints and research. I've been reading it off and on for quite s...

    Fun and informative. Hermes does a terrific job of chronicling the many different musical scenes that co-existed and sometimes cross-pollinated in New York City between 1973 and 1977: punk, hip-hop, salsa, loft jazz, Rich-Glass minimalism, Springsteen, Gorecki, and on and on. If he mis...

    This was a very strange and ultimately disappointing "book," if it can even be labeled as such. The narrative is constructed almost entirely chronologically, with an almost complete absence of style or authorial presence. The author pops up very occasionally to remember what he was doi...

    Essentially a long, largely chronological list of facts about musicians in New York in the time period, occasionally interrupted by personal, memoir-style anecdotes and bits about music journalism. There seems to be some hope that the sheer mass of information will cause a larger state...

    I can't rave enough about this book. It covers all types of music exploding in New York from 1973 to 1978. The city was falling apart, so rent and buildings were cheap and artists built from the ruins. Punk and New Wave was starting up, jazz musicians like Sam Rivers and Ornette Colema...

    Being a fan of music, I have always sough out new (to my ears) and different music to listen to. I love all types of music and will give everything a listen from the simplest straight up pop song to complex free jazz, experimental noise that I don't understand to just something with a ...

  • Rod
    Mar 03, 2012

    "Love Goes to Buildings On Fire" is not only one of my favorite songs by Talking Heads, but it's also a very warm and fascinating book by Will Hermes. Focusing on the years 1973 to 1977, in New York City, is a combination social history and a love message to the artists of that era - w...

    There hasn't been much in American culture to get excited about since the 1970s. The cable tv revolution and gadget boom of the 1980s might have been interesting for a minute. Grunge in the 1990s became boring quickly. Rap is crap. The prescription drug craze, the tech boom, talk radio...

    New York City, mid-1970's. The whole place is falling apart. Crime is rampant, the city teeters on complete financial bankruptcy. Things just aren't looking good for the Big Apple. Yet from the state of emergency comes a phenomenally vibrant and highly influential wave of music whose i...

    This book covers a period of amazing musical experimentation in NYC - punk, jazz, disco, "latin" - a lot was going on, and there was a good deal of cross-pollination between these genres. Hermes tells a lot of stories -- many I knew, some that I didn't. The ones that were new to me...

    Will Hermes? Love Goes To Buildings On Fire: Five Years in New York That Changed Music Forever is one of the most ambitious works on popular culture that I have ever read. Perhaps the most ambitious in that is surveys the radically creative hotbed of New York City in the 1970s (speci...

    This is definitely the most fun I?ve had reading a book in a while, maybe not the best, though it is really good. The book is a kaleidoscopic social history of New York during its darkest years in the supposedly musically fallow seventies. So much of my favorite music bubbled under t...

    fairly good and entertaining re-cap of music in nyc in 1973-1977. the punk and rock portions won't reveal anything new to the punks out there, but the parts on loft scene and latin/salsa worlds are very nice, and steve reich and glass, and those dudes, and laurie anderson, those parts ...

    I've always had an interest in the NYC music scene in the 70s, and this book provided me with the perfect fayre for my trip to the Big Apple. In addition to detailing the burgeoning punk, disco and hip hop scenes at the time, this book also included very enjoyable accounts of the r...

    A history of five years of music in NYC, 1973 to 1978. I really liked this book and it was an excellent follow up to David Van Ronk's the Mayor of MacDougal Street. Tonally, they were both similar in that they were about heavily mythologized eras but looked at them with a refreshing l...

    The conceit of this book is a bit strange--that five years in New York City (1973 to 1977) were unbelievably creative years in all musical genres. But he works hard to prove it, writing about the pre-history of hip hop, the rise of punk, the maturation and peak of salsa, the "loft jazz...

    New York in the mid to late 70s was one of the most creatively active and diverse periods in American history, and it's probably the number one destination for my time machine To Do list. So I expected to really love this book, but it lacks strong narrative and is an uninspired read. I...

    I didn't finish this one. I was looking forward to reading (or listening to) this one because the 70s in New York seemed to be the perfect time and place for interesting innovative music. It was an exciting time in the arts. Unfortunately, this book read a bit like a wikipedia arti...

    Very readable and insightful snapshot of the New York music scene in the 1970s. Hermes shows how punk, salsa, hip-hop and good old rock n roll were taking flight in dive music bars across the city. Great portraits of Bruce Springsteen, Patti Smith and the Talking Heads in their formati...

    Carefully curated. Yes, I realize "curated" has become the word choice for pretentious d-bags, and there's some of that here, no doubt. But it is also the appropriate word for museum work, and there's some of _that_ here, too. The book is about music in New York City during the 1970...

    Often fascinating, sometimes frustrating, Will Hermes' "Love Goes to Buildings on Fire: Five Years in New York that Changed Music Forever" offers a chronicle of several important music scenes in New York City during the mid-1970s (1973-1977, to be exact). Organized into five chapters, ...

    I think I have to give up on this one. Okay, I love music of many genres and since my series starts in 1974 and revolves around music, I thought this would be a great way to plunge myself into the atmosphere and pick up hints and research. I've been reading it off and on for quite s...

    Fun and informative. Hermes does a terrific job of chronicling the many different musical scenes that co-existed and sometimes cross-pollinated in New York City between 1973 and 1977: punk, hip-hop, salsa, loft jazz, Rich-Glass minimalism, Springsteen, Gorecki, and on and on. If he mis...

    This was a very strange and ultimately disappointing "book," if it can even be labeled as such. The narrative is constructed almost entirely chronologically, with an almost complete absence of style or authorial presence. The author pops up very occasionally to remember what he was doi...

  • Tuck
    May 29, 2012

    "Love Goes to Buildings On Fire" is not only one of my favorite songs by Talking Heads, but it's also a very warm and fascinating book by Will Hermes. Focusing on the years 1973 to 1977, in New York City, is a combination social history and a love message to the artists of that era - w...

    There hasn't been much in American culture to get excited about since the 1970s. The cable tv revolution and gadget boom of the 1980s might have been interesting for a minute. Grunge in the 1990s became boring quickly. Rap is crap. The prescription drug craze, the tech boom, talk radio...

    New York City, mid-1970's. The whole place is falling apart. Crime is rampant, the city teeters on complete financial bankruptcy. Things just aren't looking good for the Big Apple. Yet from the state of emergency comes a phenomenally vibrant and highly influential wave of music whose i...

    This book covers a period of amazing musical experimentation in NYC - punk, jazz, disco, "latin" - a lot was going on, and there was a good deal of cross-pollination between these genres. Hermes tells a lot of stories -- many I knew, some that I didn't. The ones that were new to me...

    Will Hermes? Love Goes To Buildings On Fire: Five Years in New York That Changed Music Forever is one of the most ambitious works on popular culture that I have ever read. Perhaps the most ambitious in that is surveys the radically creative hotbed of New York City in the 1970s (speci...

    This is definitely the most fun I?ve had reading a book in a while, maybe not the best, though it is really good. The book is a kaleidoscopic social history of New York during its darkest years in the supposedly musically fallow seventies. So much of my favorite music bubbled under t...

    fairly good and entertaining re-cap of music in nyc in 1973-1977. the punk and rock portions won't reveal anything new to the punks out there, but the parts on loft scene and latin/salsa worlds are very nice, and steve reich and glass, and those dudes, and laurie anderson, those parts ...

  • Jacob
    Sep 29, 2011

    "Love Goes to Buildings On Fire" is not only one of my favorite songs by Talking Heads, but it's also a very warm and fascinating book by Will Hermes. Focusing on the years 1973 to 1977, in New York City, is a combination social history and a love message to the artists of that era - w...

    There hasn't been much in American culture to get excited about since the 1970s. The cable tv revolution and gadget boom of the 1980s might have been interesting for a minute. Grunge in the 1990s became boring quickly. Rap is crap. The prescription drug craze, the tech boom, talk radio...

    New York City, mid-1970's. The whole place is falling apart. Crime is rampant, the city teeters on complete financial bankruptcy. Things just aren't looking good for the Big Apple. Yet from the state of emergency comes a phenomenally vibrant and highly influential wave of music whose i...

    This book covers a period of amazing musical experimentation in NYC - punk, jazz, disco, "latin" - a lot was going on, and there was a good deal of cross-pollination between these genres. Hermes tells a lot of stories -- many I knew, some that I didn't. The ones that were new to me...

    Will Hermes? Love Goes To Buildings On Fire: Five Years in New York That Changed Music Forever is one of the most ambitious works on popular culture that I have ever read. Perhaps the most ambitious in that is surveys the radically creative hotbed of New York City in the 1970s (speci...

    This is definitely the most fun I?ve had reading a book in a while, maybe not the best, though it is really good. The book is a kaleidoscopic social history of New York during its darkest years in the supposedly musically fallow seventies. So much of my favorite music bubbled under t...

    fairly good and entertaining re-cap of music in nyc in 1973-1977. the punk and rock portions won't reveal anything new to the punks out there, but the parts on loft scene and latin/salsa worlds are very nice, and steve reich and glass, and those dudes, and laurie anderson, those parts ...

    I've always had an interest in the NYC music scene in the 70s, and this book provided me with the perfect fayre for my trip to the Big Apple. In addition to detailing the burgeoning punk, disco and hip hop scenes at the time, this book also included very enjoyable accounts of the r...

    A history of five years of music in NYC, 1973 to 1978. I really liked this book and it was an excellent follow up to David Van Ronk's the Mayor of MacDougal Street. Tonally, they were both similar in that they were about heavily mythologized eras but looked at them with a refreshing l...

    The conceit of this book is a bit strange--that five years in New York City (1973 to 1977) were unbelievably creative years in all musical genres. But he works hard to prove it, writing about the pre-history of hip hop, the rise of punk, the maturation and peak of salsa, the "loft jazz...

    New York in the mid to late 70s was one of the most creatively active and diverse periods in American history, and it's probably the number one destination for my time machine To Do list. So I expected to really love this book, but it lacks strong narrative and is an uninspired read. I...

    I didn't finish this one. I was looking forward to reading (or listening to) this one because the 70s in New York seemed to be the perfect time and place for interesting innovative music. It was an exciting time in the arts. Unfortunately, this book read a bit like a wikipedia arti...

    Very readable and insightful snapshot of the New York music scene in the 1970s. Hermes shows how punk, salsa, hip-hop and good old rock n roll were taking flight in dive music bars across the city. Great portraits of Bruce Springsteen, Patti Smith and the Talking Heads in their formati...

    Carefully curated. Yes, I realize "curated" has become the word choice for pretentious d-bags, and there's some of that here, no doubt. But it is also the appropriate word for museum work, and there's some of _that_ here, too. The book is about music in New York City during the 1970...

    Often fascinating, sometimes frustrating, Will Hermes' "Love Goes to Buildings on Fire: Five Years in New York that Changed Music Forever" offers a chronicle of several important music scenes in New York City during the mid-1970s (1973-1977, to be exact). Organized into five chapters, ...

    I think I have to give up on this one. Okay, I love music of many genres and since my series starts in 1974 and revolves around music, I thought this would be a great way to plunge myself into the atmosphere and pick up hints and research. I've been reading it off and on for quite s...

    Fun and informative. Hermes does a terrific job of chronicling the many different musical scenes that co-existed and sometimes cross-pollinated in New York City between 1973 and 1977: punk, hip-hop, salsa, loft jazz, Rich-Glass minimalism, Springsteen, Gorecki, and on and on. If he mis...

    This was a very strange and ultimately disappointing "book," if it can even be labeled as such. The narrative is constructed almost entirely chronologically, with an almost complete absence of style or authorial presence. The author pops up very occasionally to remember what he was doi...

    Essentially a long, largely chronological list of facts about musicians in New York in the time period, occasionally interrupted by personal, memoir-style anecdotes and bits about music journalism. There seems to be some hope that the sheer mass of information will cause a larger state...

    I can't rave enough about this book. It covers all types of music exploding in New York from 1973 to 1978. The city was falling apart, so rent and buildings were cheap and artists built from the ruins. Punk and New Wave was starting up, jazz musicians like Sam Rivers and Ornette Colema...

    Being a fan of music, I have always sough out new (to my ears) and different music to listen to. I love all types of music and will give everything a listen from the simplest straight up pop song to complex free jazz, experimental noise that I don't understand to just something with a ...

    After hearing an interview with the author, I was excited to read this book and delve into the various facets of New York City's music scene in the early to mid 70s interlaced with Will Hermes' anecdotes. However, the execution suffers. The book is organized chronologically with a few ...

    I could charitably attribute the scattershot presentation to an attempt at emulating Walter Benjamin's "constellations" method, but Hermes ain't no Benjamin, and it reads like the ramblings of someone with untreated ADHD. The book is most interesting when it contradicts its own basic t...

    Although I ate this up, I can't imagine too many others will. A long, long list of facts, trivia, and history about tons of great music and bands. Surprisingly little theme-making or any larger unifying thread runs through all the disparate music discussed. I think Hermes' point is sup...

  • Katie
    Sep 24, 2012

    "Love Goes to Buildings On Fire" is not only one of my favorite songs by Talking Heads, but it's also a very warm and fascinating book by Will Hermes. Focusing on the years 1973 to 1977, in New York City, is a combination social history and a love message to the artists of that era - w...

    There hasn't been much in American culture to get excited about since the 1970s. The cable tv revolution and gadget boom of the 1980s might have been interesting for a minute. Grunge in the 1990s became boring quickly. Rap is crap. The prescription drug craze, the tech boom, talk radio...

    New York City, mid-1970's. The whole place is falling apart. Crime is rampant, the city teeters on complete financial bankruptcy. Things just aren't looking good for the Big Apple. Yet from the state of emergency comes a phenomenally vibrant and highly influential wave of music whose i...

    This book covers a period of amazing musical experimentation in NYC - punk, jazz, disco, "latin" - a lot was going on, and there was a good deal of cross-pollination between these genres. Hermes tells a lot of stories -- many I knew, some that I didn't. The ones that were new to me...

    Will Hermes? Love Goes To Buildings On Fire: Five Years in New York That Changed Music Forever is one of the most ambitious works on popular culture that I have ever read. Perhaps the most ambitious in that is surveys the radically creative hotbed of New York City in the 1970s (speci...

    This is definitely the most fun I?ve had reading a book in a while, maybe not the best, though it is really good. The book is a kaleidoscopic social history of New York during its darkest years in the supposedly musically fallow seventies. So much of my favorite music bubbled under t...

    fairly good and entertaining re-cap of music in nyc in 1973-1977. the punk and rock portions won't reveal anything new to the punks out there, but the parts on loft scene and latin/salsa worlds are very nice, and steve reich and glass, and those dudes, and laurie anderson, those parts ...

    I've always had an interest in the NYC music scene in the 70s, and this book provided me with the perfect fayre for my trip to the Big Apple. In addition to detailing the burgeoning punk, disco and hip hop scenes at the time, this book also included very enjoyable accounts of the r...

    A history of five years of music in NYC, 1973 to 1978. I really liked this book and it was an excellent follow up to David Van Ronk's the Mayor of MacDougal Street. Tonally, they were both similar in that they were about heavily mythologized eras but looked at them with a refreshing l...

    The conceit of this book is a bit strange--that five years in New York City (1973 to 1977) were unbelievably creative years in all musical genres. But he works hard to prove it, writing about the pre-history of hip hop, the rise of punk, the maturation and peak of salsa, the "loft jazz...

    New York in the mid to late 70s was one of the most creatively active and diverse periods in American history, and it's probably the number one destination for my time machine To Do list. So I expected to really love this book, but it lacks strong narrative and is an uninspired read. I...

    I didn't finish this one. I was looking forward to reading (or listening to) this one because the 70s in New York seemed to be the perfect time and place for interesting innovative music. It was an exciting time in the arts. Unfortunately, this book read a bit like a wikipedia arti...

  • Frank Jude
    Feb 16, 2014

    "Love Goes to Buildings On Fire" is not only one of my favorite songs by Talking Heads, but it's also a very warm and fascinating book by Will Hermes. Focusing on the years 1973 to 1977, in New York City, is a combination social history and a love message to the artists of that era - w...

    There hasn't been much in American culture to get excited about since the 1970s. The cable tv revolution and gadget boom of the 1980s might have been interesting for a minute. Grunge in the 1990s became boring quickly. Rap is crap. The prescription drug craze, the tech boom, talk radio...

    New York City, mid-1970's. The whole place is falling apart. Crime is rampant, the city teeters on complete financial bankruptcy. Things just aren't looking good for the Big Apple. Yet from the state of emergency comes a phenomenally vibrant and highly influential wave of music whose i...

    This book covers a period of amazing musical experimentation in NYC - punk, jazz, disco, "latin" - a lot was going on, and there was a good deal of cross-pollination between these genres. Hermes tells a lot of stories -- many I knew, some that I didn't. The ones that were new to me...

    Will Hermes? Love Goes To Buildings On Fire: Five Years in New York That Changed Music Forever is one of the most ambitious works on popular culture that I have ever read. Perhaps the most ambitious in that is surveys the radically creative hotbed of New York City in the 1970s (speci...

  • Gus Sanchez
    Dec 08, 2011

    "Love Goes to Buildings On Fire" is not only one of my favorite songs by Talking Heads, but it's also a very warm and fascinating book by Will Hermes. Focusing on the years 1973 to 1977, in New York City, is a combination social history and a love message to the artists of that era - w...

    There hasn't been much in American culture to get excited about since the 1970s. The cable tv revolution and gadget boom of the 1980s might have been interesting for a minute. Grunge in the 1990s became boring quickly. Rap is crap. The prescription drug craze, the tech boom, talk radio...

    New York City, mid-1970's. The whole place is falling apart. Crime is rampant, the city teeters on complete financial bankruptcy. Things just aren't looking good for the Big Apple. Yet from the state of emergency comes a phenomenally vibrant and highly influential wave of music whose i...

  • Joe Drape
    Nov 12, 2011

    "Love Goes to Buildings On Fire" is not only one of my favorite songs by Talking Heads, but it's also a very warm and fascinating book by Will Hermes. Focusing on the years 1973 to 1977, in New York City, is a combination social history and a love message to the artists of that era - w...

    There hasn't been much in American culture to get excited about since the 1970s. The cable tv revolution and gadget boom of the 1980s might have been interesting for a minute. Grunge in the 1990s became boring quickly. Rap is crap. The prescription drug craze, the tech boom, talk radio...

    New York City, mid-1970's. The whole place is falling apart. Crime is rampant, the city teeters on complete financial bankruptcy. Things just aren't looking good for the Big Apple. Yet from the state of emergency comes a phenomenally vibrant and highly influential wave of music whose i...

    This book covers a period of amazing musical experimentation in NYC - punk, jazz, disco, "latin" - a lot was going on, and there was a good deal of cross-pollination between these genres. Hermes tells a lot of stories -- many I knew, some that I didn't. The ones that were new to me...

    Will Hermes? Love Goes To Buildings On Fire: Five Years in New York That Changed Music Forever is one of the most ambitious works on popular culture that I have ever read. Perhaps the most ambitious in that is surveys the radically creative hotbed of New York City in the 1970s (speci...

    This is definitely the most fun I?ve had reading a book in a while, maybe not the best, though it is really good. The book is a kaleidoscopic social history of New York during its darkest years in the supposedly musically fallow seventies. So much of my favorite music bubbled under t...

    fairly good and entertaining re-cap of music in nyc in 1973-1977. the punk and rock portions won't reveal anything new to the punks out there, but the parts on loft scene and latin/salsa worlds are very nice, and steve reich and glass, and those dudes, and laurie anderson, those parts ...

    I've always had an interest in the NYC music scene in the 70s, and this book provided me with the perfect fayre for my trip to the Big Apple. In addition to detailing the burgeoning punk, disco and hip hop scenes at the time, this book also included very enjoyable accounts of the r...

    A history of five years of music in NYC, 1973 to 1978. I really liked this book and it was an excellent follow up to David Van Ronk's the Mayor of MacDougal Street. Tonally, they were both similar in that they were about heavily mythologized eras but looked at them with a refreshing l...

    The conceit of this book is a bit strange--that five years in New York City (1973 to 1977) were unbelievably creative years in all musical genres. But he works hard to prove it, writing about the pre-history of hip hop, the rise of punk, the maturation and peak of salsa, the "loft jazz...

    New York in the mid to late 70s was one of the most creatively active and diverse periods in American history, and it's probably the number one destination for my time machine To Do list. So I expected to really love this book, but it lacks strong narrative and is an uninspired read. I...

    I didn't finish this one. I was looking forward to reading (or listening to) this one because the 70s in New York seemed to be the perfect time and place for interesting innovative music. It was an exciting time in the arts. Unfortunately, this book read a bit like a wikipedia arti...

    Very readable and insightful snapshot of the New York music scene in the 1970s. Hermes shows how punk, salsa, hip-hop and good old rock n roll were taking flight in dive music bars across the city. Great portraits of Bruce Springsteen, Patti Smith and the Talking Heads in their formati...

  • Caroline
    Mar 06, 2012

    "Love Goes to Buildings On Fire" is not only one of my favorite songs by Talking Heads, but it's also a very warm and fascinating book by Will Hermes. Focusing on the years 1973 to 1977, in New York City, is a combination social history and a love message to the artists of that era - w...

    There hasn't been much in American culture to get excited about since the 1970s. The cable tv revolution and gadget boom of the 1980s might have been interesting for a minute. Grunge in the 1990s became boring quickly. Rap is crap. The prescription drug craze, the tech boom, talk radio...

    New York City, mid-1970's. The whole place is falling apart. Crime is rampant, the city teeters on complete financial bankruptcy. Things just aren't looking good for the Big Apple. Yet from the state of emergency comes a phenomenally vibrant and highly influential wave of music whose i...

    This book covers a period of amazing musical experimentation in NYC - punk, jazz, disco, "latin" - a lot was going on, and there was a good deal of cross-pollination between these genres. Hermes tells a lot of stories -- many I knew, some that I didn't. The ones that were new to me...

    Will Hermes? Love Goes To Buildings On Fire: Five Years in New York That Changed Music Forever is one of the most ambitious works on popular culture that I have ever read. Perhaps the most ambitious in that is surveys the radically creative hotbed of New York City in the 1970s (speci...

    This is definitely the most fun I?ve had reading a book in a while, maybe not the best, though it is really good. The book is a kaleidoscopic social history of New York during its darkest years in the supposedly musically fallow seventies. So much of my favorite music bubbled under t...

    fairly good and entertaining re-cap of music in nyc in 1973-1977. the punk and rock portions won't reveal anything new to the punks out there, but the parts on loft scene and latin/salsa worlds are very nice, and steve reich and glass, and those dudes, and laurie anderson, those parts ...

    I've always had an interest in the NYC music scene in the 70s, and this book provided me with the perfect fayre for my trip to the Big Apple. In addition to detailing the burgeoning punk, disco and hip hop scenes at the time, this book also included very enjoyable accounts of the r...

    A history of five years of music in NYC, 1973 to 1978. I really liked this book and it was an excellent follow up to David Van Ronk's the Mayor of MacDougal Street. Tonally, they were both similar in that they were about heavily mythologized eras but looked at them with a refreshing l...

    The conceit of this book is a bit strange--that five years in New York City (1973 to 1977) were unbelievably creative years in all musical genres. But he works hard to prove it, writing about the pre-history of hip hop, the rise of punk, the maturation and peak of salsa, the "loft jazz...

    New York in the mid to late 70s was one of the most creatively active and diverse periods in American history, and it's probably the number one destination for my time machine To Do list. So I expected to really love this book, but it lacks strong narrative and is an uninspired read. I...

  • LK Hunsaker
    Nov 19, 2011

    "Love Goes to Buildings On Fire" is not only one of my favorite songs by Talking Heads, but it's also a very warm and fascinating book by Will Hermes. Focusing on the years 1973 to 1977, in New York City, is a combination social history and a love message to the artists of that era - w...

    There hasn't been much in American culture to get excited about since the 1970s. The cable tv revolution and gadget boom of the 1980s might have been interesting for a minute. Grunge in the 1990s became boring quickly. Rap is crap. The prescription drug craze, the tech boom, talk radio...

    New York City, mid-1970's. The whole place is falling apart. Crime is rampant, the city teeters on complete financial bankruptcy. Things just aren't looking good for the Big Apple. Yet from the state of emergency comes a phenomenally vibrant and highly influential wave of music whose i...

    This book covers a period of amazing musical experimentation in NYC - punk, jazz, disco, "latin" - a lot was going on, and there was a good deal of cross-pollination between these genres. Hermes tells a lot of stories -- many I knew, some that I didn't. The ones that were new to me...

    Will Hermes? Love Goes To Buildings On Fire: Five Years in New York That Changed Music Forever is one of the most ambitious works on popular culture that I have ever read. Perhaps the most ambitious in that is surveys the radically creative hotbed of New York City in the 1970s (speci...

    This is definitely the most fun I?ve had reading a book in a while, maybe not the best, though it is really good. The book is a kaleidoscopic social history of New York during its darkest years in the supposedly musically fallow seventies. So much of my favorite music bubbled under t...

    fairly good and entertaining re-cap of music in nyc in 1973-1977. the punk and rock portions won't reveal anything new to the punks out there, but the parts on loft scene and latin/salsa worlds are very nice, and steve reich and glass, and those dudes, and laurie anderson, those parts ...

    I've always had an interest in the NYC music scene in the 70s, and this book provided me with the perfect fayre for my trip to the Big Apple. In addition to detailing the burgeoning punk, disco and hip hop scenes at the time, this book also included very enjoyable accounts of the r...

    A history of five years of music in NYC, 1973 to 1978. I really liked this book and it was an excellent follow up to David Van Ronk's the Mayor of MacDougal Street. Tonally, they were both similar in that they were about heavily mythologized eras but looked at them with a refreshing l...

    The conceit of this book is a bit strange--that five years in New York City (1973 to 1977) were unbelievably creative years in all musical genres. But he works hard to prove it, writing about the pre-history of hip hop, the rise of punk, the maturation and peak of salsa, the "loft jazz...

    New York in the mid to late 70s was one of the most creatively active and diverse periods in American history, and it's probably the number one destination for my time machine To Do list. So I expected to really love this book, but it lacks strong narrative and is an uninspired read. I...

    I didn't finish this one. I was looking forward to reading (or listening to) this one because the 70s in New York seemed to be the perfect time and place for interesting innovative music. It was an exciting time in the arts. Unfortunately, this book read a bit like a wikipedia arti...

    Very readable and insightful snapshot of the New York music scene in the 1970s. Hermes shows how punk, salsa, hip-hop and good old rock n roll were taking flight in dive music bars across the city. Great portraits of Bruce Springsteen, Patti Smith and the Talking Heads in their formati...

    Carefully curated. Yes, I realize "curated" has become the word choice for pretentious d-bags, and there's some of that here, no doubt. But it is also the appropriate word for museum work, and there's some of _that_ here, too. The book is about music in New York City during the 1970...

    Often fascinating, sometimes frustrating, Will Hermes' "Love Goes to Buildings on Fire: Five Years in New York that Changed Music Forever" offers a chronicle of several important music scenes in New York City during the mid-1970s (1973-1977, to be exact). Organized into five chapters, ...

    I think I have to give up on this one. Okay, I love music of many genres and since my series starts in 1974 and revolves around music, I thought this would be a great way to plunge myself into the atmosphere and pick up hints and research. I've been reading it off and on for quite s...

  • Richard Kearney
    Dec 08, 2011

    "Love Goes to Buildings On Fire" is not only one of my favorite songs by Talking Heads, but it's also a very warm and fascinating book by Will Hermes. Focusing on the years 1973 to 1977, in New York City, is a combination social history and a love message to the artists of that era - w...

    There hasn't been much in American culture to get excited about since the 1970s. The cable tv revolution and gadget boom of the 1980s might have been interesting for a minute. Grunge in the 1990s became boring quickly. Rap is crap. The prescription drug craze, the tech boom, talk radio...

    New York City, mid-1970's. The whole place is falling apart. Crime is rampant, the city teeters on complete financial bankruptcy. Things just aren't looking good for the Big Apple. Yet from the state of emergency comes a phenomenally vibrant and highly influential wave of music whose i...

    This book covers a period of amazing musical experimentation in NYC - punk, jazz, disco, "latin" - a lot was going on, and there was a good deal of cross-pollination between these genres. Hermes tells a lot of stories -- many I knew, some that I didn't. The ones that were new to me...

    Will Hermes? Love Goes To Buildings On Fire: Five Years in New York That Changed Music Forever is one of the most ambitious works on popular culture that I have ever read. Perhaps the most ambitious in that is surveys the radically creative hotbed of New York City in the 1970s (speci...

    This is definitely the most fun I?ve had reading a book in a while, maybe not the best, though it is really good. The book is a kaleidoscopic social history of New York during its darkest years in the supposedly musically fallow seventies. So much of my favorite music bubbled under t...

    fairly good and entertaining re-cap of music in nyc in 1973-1977. the punk and rock portions won't reveal anything new to the punks out there, but the parts on loft scene and latin/salsa worlds are very nice, and steve reich and glass, and those dudes, and laurie anderson, those parts ...

    I've always had an interest in the NYC music scene in the 70s, and this book provided me with the perfect fayre for my trip to the Big Apple. In addition to detailing the burgeoning punk, disco and hip hop scenes at the time, this book also included very enjoyable accounts of the r...

    A history of five years of music in NYC, 1973 to 1978. I really liked this book and it was an excellent follow up to David Van Ronk's the Mayor of MacDougal Street. Tonally, they were both similar in that they were about heavily mythologized eras but looked at them with a refreshing l...

    The conceit of this book is a bit strange--that five years in New York City (1973 to 1977) were unbelievably creative years in all musical genres. But he works hard to prove it, writing about the pre-history of hip hop, the rise of punk, the maturation and peak of salsa, the "loft jazz...

    New York in the mid to late 70s was one of the most creatively active and diverse periods in American history, and it's probably the number one destination for my time machine To Do list. So I expected to really love this book, but it lacks strong narrative and is an uninspired read. I...

    I didn't finish this one. I was looking forward to reading (or listening to) this one because the 70s in New York seemed to be the perfect time and place for interesting innovative music. It was an exciting time in the arts. Unfortunately, this book read a bit like a wikipedia arti...

    Very readable and insightful snapshot of the New York music scene in the 1970s. Hermes shows how punk, salsa, hip-hop and good old rock n roll were taking flight in dive music bars across the city. Great portraits of Bruce Springsteen, Patti Smith and the Talking Heads in their formati...

    Carefully curated. Yes, I realize "curated" has become the word choice for pretentious d-bags, and there's some of that here, no doubt. But it is also the appropriate word for museum work, and there's some of _that_ here, too. The book is about music in New York City during the 1970...

    Often fascinating, sometimes frustrating, Will Hermes' "Love Goes to Buildings on Fire: Five Years in New York that Changed Music Forever" offers a chronicle of several important music scenes in New York City during the mid-1970s (1973-1977, to be exact). Organized into five chapters, ...

  • Brian Gruber
    Feb 18, 2012

    "Love Goes to Buildings On Fire" is not only one of my favorite songs by Talking Heads, but it's also a very warm and fascinating book by Will Hermes. Focusing on the years 1973 to 1977, in New York City, is a combination social history and a love message to the artists of that era - w...

    There hasn't been much in American culture to get excited about since the 1970s. The cable tv revolution and gadget boom of the 1980s might have been interesting for a minute. Grunge in the 1990s became boring quickly. Rap is crap. The prescription drug craze, the tech boom, talk radio...

    New York City, mid-1970's. The whole place is falling apart. Crime is rampant, the city teeters on complete financial bankruptcy. Things just aren't looking good for the Big Apple. Yet from the state of emergency comes a phenomenally vibrant and highly influential wave of music whose i...

    This book covers a period of amazing musical experimentation in NYC - punk, jazz, disco, "latin" - a lot was going on, and there was a good deal of cross-pollination between these genres. Hermes tells a lot of stories -- many I knew, some that I didn't. The ones that were new to me...

    Will Hermes? Love Goes To Buildings On Fire: Five Years in New York That Changed Music Forever is one of the most ambitious works on popular culture that I have ever read. Perhaps the most ambitious in that is surveys the radically creative hotbed of New York City in the 1970s (speci...

    This is definitely the most fun I?ve had reading a book in a while, maybe not the best, though it is really good. The book is a kaleidoscopic social history of New York during its darkest years in the supposedly musically fallow seventies. So much of my favorite music bubbled under t...

    fairly good and entertaining re-cap of music in nyc in 1973-1977. the punk and rock portions won't reveal anything new to the punks out there, but the parts on loft scene and latin/salsa worlds are very nice, and steve reich and glass, and those dudes, and laurie anderson, those parts ...

    I've always had an interest in the NYC music scene in the 70s, and this book provided me with the perfect fayre for my trip to the Big Apple. In addition to detailing the burgeoning punk, disco and hip hop scenes at the time, this book also included very enjoyable accounts of the r...

    A history of five years of music in NYC, 1973 to 1978. I really liked this book and it was an excellent follow up to David Van Ronk's the Mayor of MacDougal Street. Tonally, they were both similar in that they were about heavily mythologized eras but looked at them with a refreshing l...

    The conceit of this book is a bit strange--that five years in New York City (1973 to 1977) were unbelievably creative years in all musical genres. But he works hard to prove it, writing about the pre-history of hip hop, the rise of punk, the maturation and peak of salsa, the "loft jazz...

    New York in the mid to late 70s was one of the most creatively active and diverse periods in American history, and it's probably the number one destination for my time machine To Do list. So I expected to really love this book, but it lacks strong narrative and is an uninspired read. I...

    I didn't finish this one. I was looking forward to reading (or listening to) this one because the 70s in New York seemed to be the perfect time and place for interesting innovative music. It was an exciting time in the arts. Unfortunately, this book read a bit like a wikipedia arti...

    Very readable and insightful snapshot of the New York music scene in the 1970s. Hermes shows how punk, salsa, hip-hop and good old rock n roll were taking flight in dive music bars across the city. Great portraits of Bruce Springsteen, Patti Smith and the Talking Heads in their formati...

    Carefully curated. Yes, I realize "curated" has become the word choice for pretentious d-bags, and there's some of that here, no doubt. But it is also the appropriate word for museum work, and there's some of _that_ here, too. The book is about music in New York City during the 1970...

    Often fascinating, sometimes frustrating, Will Hermes' "Love Goes to Buildings on Fire: Five Years in New York that Changed Music Forever" offers a chronicle of several important music scenes in New York City during the mid-1970s (1973-1977, to be exact). Organized into five chapters, ...

    I think I have to give up on this one. Okay, I love music of many genres and since my series starts in 1974 and revolves around music, I thought this would be a great way to plunge myself into the atmosphere and pick up hints and research. I've been reading it off and on for quite s...

    Fun and informative. Hermes does a terrific job of chronicling the many different musical scenes that co-existed and sometimes cross-pollinated in New York City between 1973 and 1977: punk, hip-hop, salsa, loft jazz, Rich-Glass minimalism, Springsteen, Gorecki, and on and on. If he mis...

    This was a very strange and ultimately disappointing "book," if it can even be labeled as such. The narrative is constructed almost entirely chronologically, with an almost complete absence of style or authorial presence. The author pops up very occasionally to remember what he was doi...

    Essentially a long, largely chronological list of facts about musicians in New York in the time period, occasionally interrupted by personal, memoir-style anecdotes and bits about music journalism. There seems to be some hope that the sheer mass of information will cause a larger state...

  • Phyllis
    Aug 22, 2012

    "Love Goes to Buildings On Fire" is not only one of my favorite songs by Talking Heads, but it's also a very warm and fascinating book by Will Hermes. Focusing on the years 1973 to 1977, in New York City, is a combination social history and a love message to the artists of that era - w...

    There hasn't been much in American culture to get excited about since the 1970s. The cable tv revolution and gadget boom of the 1980s might have been interesting for a minute. Grunge in the 1990s became boring quickly. Rap is crap. The prescription drug craze, the tech boom, talk radio...

    New York City, mid-1970's. The whole place is falling apart. Crime is rampant, the city teeters on complete financial bankruptcy. Things just aren't looking good for the Big Apple. Yet from the state of emergency comes a phenomenally vibrant and highly influential wave of music whose i...

    This book covers a period of amazing musical experimentation in NYC - punk, jazz, disco, "latin" - a lot was going on, and there was a good deal of cross-pollination between these genres. Hermes tells a lot of stories -- many I knew, some that I didn't. The ones that were new to me...

    Will Hermes? Love Goes To Buildings On Fire: Five Years in New York That Changed Music Forever is one of the most ambitious works on popular culture that I have ever read. Perhaps the most ambitious in that is surveys the radically creative hotbed of New York City in the 1970s (speci...

    This is definitely the most fun I?ve had reading a book in a while, maybe not the best, though it is really good. The book is a kaleidoscopic social history of New York during its darkest years in the supposedly musically fallow seventies. So much of my favorite music bubbled under t...

    fairly good and entertaining re-cap of music in nyc in 1973-1977. the punk and rock portions won't reveal anything new to the punks out there, but the parts on loft scene and latin/salsa worlds are very nice, and steve reich and glass, and those dudes, and laurie anderson, those parts ...

    I've always had an interest in the NYC music scene in the 70s, and this book provided me with the perfect fayre for my trip to the Big Apple. In addition to detailing the burgeoning punk, disco and hip hop scenes at the time, this book also included very enjoyable accounts of the r...

    A history of five years of music in NYC, 1973 to 1978. I really liked this book and it was an excellent follow up to David Van Ronk's the Mayor of MacDougal Street. Tonally, they were both similar in that they were about heavily mythologized eras but looked at them with a refreshing l...

    The conceit of this book is a bit strange--that five years in New York City (1973 to 1977) were unbelievably creative years in all musical genres. But he works hard to prove it, writing about the pre-history of hip hop, the rise of punk, the maturation and peak of salsa, the "loft jazz...

    New York in the mid to late 70s was one of the most creatively active and diverse periods in American history, and it's probably the number one destination for my time machine To Do list. So I expected to really love this book, but it lacks strong narrative and is an uninspired read. I...

    I didn't finish this one. I was looking forward to reading (or listening to) this one because the 70s in New York seemed to be the perfect time and place for interesting innovative music. It was an exciting time in the arts. Unfortunately, this book read a bit like a wikipedia arti...

    Very readable and insightful snapshot of the New York music scene in the 1970s. Hermes shows how punk, salsa, hip-hop and good old rock n roll were taking flight in dive music bars across the city. Great portraits of Bruce Springsteen, Patti Smith and the Talking Heads in their formati...

    Carefully curated. Yes, I realize "curated" has become the word choice for pretentious d-bags, and there's some of that here, no doubt. But it is also the appropriate word for museum work, and there's some of _that_ here, too. The book is about music in New York City during the 1970...

    Often fascinating, sometimes frustrating, Will Hermes' "Love Goes to Buildings on Fire: Five Years in New York that Changed Music Forever" offers a chronicle of several important music scenes in New York City during the mid-1970s (1973-1977, to be exact). Organized into five chapters, ...

    I think I have to give up on this one. Okay, I love music of many genres and since my series starts in 1974 and revolves around music, I thought this would be a great way to plunge myself into the atmosphere and pick up hints and research. I've been reading it off and on for quite s...

    Fun and informative. Hermes does a terrific job of chronicling the many different musical scenes that co-existed and sometimes cross-pollinated in New York City between 1973 and 1977: punk, hip-hop, salsa, loft jazz, Rich-Glass minimalism, Springsteen, Gorecki, and on and on. If he mis...

    This was a very strange and ultimately disappointing "book," if it can even be labeled as such. The narrative is constructed almost entirely chronologically, with an almost complete absence of style or authorial presence. The author pops up very occasionally to remember what he was doi...

    Essentially a long, largely chronological list of facts about musicians in New York in the time period, occasionally interrupted by personal, memoir-style anecdotes and bits about music journalism. There seems to be some hope that the sheer mass of information will cause a larger state...

    I can't rave enough about this book. It covers all types of music exploding in New York from 1973 to 1978. The city was falling apart, so rent and buildings were cheap and artists built from the ruins. Punk and New Wave was starting up, jazz musicians like Sam Rivers and Ornette Colema...

    Being a fan of music, I have always sough out new (to my ears) and different music to listen to. I love all types of music and will give everything a listen from the simplest straight up pop song to complex free jazz, experimental noise that I don't understand to just something with a ...

    After hearing an interview with the author, I was excited to read this book and delve into the various facets of New York City's music scene in the early to mid 70s interlaced with Will Hermes' anecdotes. However, the execution suffers. The book is organized chronologically with a few ...

  • David Collins
    Feb 08, 2016

    "Love Goes to Buildings On Fire" is not only one of my favorite songs by Talking Heads, but it's also a very warm and fascinating book by Will Hermes. Focusing on the years 1973 to 1977, in New York City, is a combination social history and a love message to the artists of that era - w...

    There hasn't been much in American culture to get excited about since the 1970s. The cable tv revolution and gadget boom of the 1980s might have been interesting for a minute. Grunge in the 1990s became boring quickly. Rap is crap. The prescription drug craze, the tech boom, talk radio...

    New York City, mid-1970's. The whole place is falling apart. Crime is rampant, the city teeters on complete financial bankruptcy. Things just aren't looking good for the Big Apple. Yet from the state of emergency comes a phenomenally vibrant and highly influential wave of music whose i...

    This book covers a period of amazing musical experimentation in NYC - punk, jazz, disco, "latin" - a lot was going on, and there was a good deal of cross-pollination between these genres. Hermes tells a lot of stories -- many I knew, some that I didn't. The ones that were new to me...

    Will Hermes? Love Goes To Buildings On Fire: Five Years in New York That Changed Music Forever is one of the most ambitious works on popular culture that I have ever read. Perhaps the most ambitious in that is surveys the radically creative hotbed of New York City in the 1970s (speci...

    This is definitely the most fun I?ve had reading a book in a while, maybe not the best, though it is really good. The book is a kaleidoscopic social history of New York during its darkest years in the supposedly musically fallow seventies. So much of my favorite music bubbled under t...

    fairly good and entertaining re-cap of music in nyc in 1973-1977. the punk and rock portions won't reveal anything new to the punks out there, but the parts on loft scene and latin/salsa worlds are very nice, and steve reich and glass, and those dudes, and laurie anderson, those parts ...

    I've always had an interest in the NYC music scene in the 70s, and this book provided me with the perfect fayre for my trip to the Big Apple. In addition to detailing the burgeoning punk, disco and hip hop scenes at the time, this book also included very enjoyable accounts of the r...

    A history of five years of music in NYC, 1973 to 1978. I really liked this book and it was an excellent follow up to David Van Ronk's the Mayor of MacDougal Street. Tonally, they were both similar in that they were about heavily mythologized eras but looked at them with a refreshing l...

    The conceit of this book is a bit strange--that five years in New York City (1973 to 1977) were unbelievably creative years in all musical genres. But he works hard to prove it, writing about the pre-history of hip hop, the rise of punk, the maturation and peak of salsa, the "loft jazz...

    New York in the mid to late 70s was one of the most creatively active and diverse periods in American history, and it's probably the number one destination for my time machine To Do list. So I expected to really love this book, but it lacks strong narrative and is an uninspired read. I...

    I didn't finish this one. I was looking forward to reading (or listening to) this one because the 70s in New York seemed to be the perfect time and place for interesting innovative music. It was an exciting time in the arts. Unfortunately, this book read a bit like a wikipedia arti...

    Very readable and insightful snapshot of the New York music scene in the 1970s. Hermes shows how punk, salsa, hip-hop and good old rock n roll were taking flight in dive music bars across the city. Great portraits of Bruce Springsteen, Patti Smith and the Talking Heads in their formati...

    Carefully curated. Yes, I realize "curated" has become the word choice for pretentious d-bags, and there's some of that here, no doubt. But it is also the appropriate word for museum work, and there's some of _that_ here, too. The book is about music in New York City during the 1970...

    Often fascinating, sometimes frustrating, Will Hermes' "Love Goes to Buildings on Fire: Five Years in New York that Changed Music Forever" offers a chronicle of several important music scenes in New York City during the mid-1970s (1973-1977, to be exact). Organized into five chapters, ...

    I think I have to give up on this one. Okay, I love music of many genres and since my series starts in 1974 and revolves around music, I thought this would be a great way to plunge myself into the atmosphere and pick up hints and research. I've been reading it off and on for quite s...

    Fun and informative. Hermes does a terrific job of chronicling the many different musical scenes that co-existed and sometimes cross-pollinated in New York City between 1973 and 1977: punk, hip-hop, salsa, loft jazz, Rich-Glass minimalism, Springsteen, Gorecki, and on and on. If he mis...

    This was a very strange and ultimately disappointing "book," if it can even be labeled as such. The narrative is constructed almost entirely chronologically, with an almost complete absence of style or authorial presence. The author pops up very occasionally to remember what he was doi...

    Essentially a long, largely chronological list of facts about musicians in New York in the time period, occasionally interrupted by personal, memoir-style anecdotes and bits about music journalism. There seems to be some hope that the sheer mass of information will cause a larger state...

    I can't rave enough about this book. It covers all types of music exploding in New York from 1973 to 1978. The city was falling apart, so rent and buildings were cheap and artists built from the ruins. Punk and New Wave was starting up, jazz musicians like Sam Rivers and Ornette Colema...

    Being a fan of music, I have always sough out new (to my ears) and different music to listen to. I love all types of music and will give everything a listen from the simplest straight up pop song to complex free jazz, experimental noise that I don't understand to just something with a ...

    After hearing an interview with the author, I was excited to read this book and delve into the various facets of New York City's music scene in the early to mid 70s interlaced with Will Hermes' anecdotes. However, the execution suffers. The book is organized chronologically with a few ...

    I could charitably attribute the scattershot presentation to an attempt at emulating Walter Benjamin's "constellations" method, but Hermes ain't no Benjamin, and it reads like the ramblings of someone with untreated ADHD. The book is most interesting when it contradicts its own basic t...

    Although I ate this up, I can't imagine too many others will. A long, long list of facts, trivia, and history about tons of great music and bands. Surprisingly little theme-making or any larger unifying thread runs through all the disparate music discussed. I think Hermes' point is sup...

    As I was reading this, from time to time I would wonder if forty years from now anyone could or would write a similar book about music being made (somewhere in the world) right now. For some reason I find it almost impossible to imagine. ...

    There are only so many books you can read about this period in music before you start to hear the same stories. This isn't Will Hermes' fault but it killed the book for me. If you haven't read any of the approx. 500 books out there about 1970s New York, this would be a great one to sta...

    Excellent anthology of NYC music and culture in the mid seventies ...

    Hermes, a New York native, chronicles five years in the 1970s where New York was the backdrop to some of the biggest contributions made to music during the second half of the 20th century. From 1973 through 1977, artists and musicians discovered and honed their craft with a DIY aesthet...

    Splendid, exhaustive, and dense. It?s not for amateurs. ...

    Origin of the title: the title of Talking Heads' first single, usually just referred to as "Building on Fire." LGtBoF transported me to New York in the 1970s in much the same way as Patti Smith's Just Kids, which came out the year before Hermes's book and is cited as a source. In he...

  • Ed Wagemann
    Nov 28, 2011

    "Love Goes to Buildings On Fire" is not only one of my favorite songs by Talking Heads, but it's also a very warm and fascinating book by Will Hermes. Focusing on the years 1973 to 1977, in New York City, is a combination social history and a love message to the artists of that era - w...

    There hasn't been much in American culture to get excited about since the 1970s. The cable tv revolution and gadget boom of the 1980s might have been interesting for a minute. Grunge in the 1990s became boring quickly. Rap is crap. The prescription drug craze, the tech boom, talk radio...

  • Jacob Wren
    Oct 06, 2012

    "Love Goes to Buildings On Fire" is not only one of my favorite songs by Talking Heads, but it's also a very warm and fascinating book by Will Hermes. Focusing on the years 1973 to 1977, in New York City, is a combination social history and a love message to the artists of that era - w...

    There hasn't been much in American culture to get excited about since the 1970s. The cable tv revolution and gadget boom of the 1980s might have been interesting for a minute. Grunge in the 1990s became boring quickly. Rap is crap. The prescription drug craze, the tech boom, talk radio...

    New York City, mid-1970's. The whole place is falling apart. Crime is rampant, the city teeters on complete financial bankruptcy. Things just aren't looking good for the Big Apple. Yet from the state of emergency comes a phenomenally vibrant and highly influential wave of music whose i...

    This book covers a period of amazing musical experimentation in NYC - punk, jazz, disco, "latin" - a lot was going on, and there was a good deal of cross-pollination between these genres. Hermes tells a lot of stories -- many I knew, some that I didn't. The ones that were new to me...

    Will Hermes? Love Goes To Buildings On Fire: Five Years in New York That Changed Music Forever is one of the most ambitious works on popular culture that I have ever read. Perhaps the most ambitious in that is surveys the radically creative hotbed of New York City in the 1970s (speci...

    This is definitely the most fun I?ve had reading a book in a while, maybe not the best, though it is really good. The book is a kaleidoscopic social history of New York during its darkest years in the supposedly musically fallow seventies. So much of my favorite music bubbled under t...

    fairly good and entertaining re-cap of music in nyc in 1973-1977. the punk and rock portions won't reveal anything new to the punks out there, but the parts on loft scene and latin/salsa worlds are very nice, and steve reich and glass, and those dudes, and laurie anderson, those parts ...

    I've always had an interest in the NYC music scene in the 70s, and this book provided me with the perfect fayre for my trip to the Big Apple. In addition to detailing the burgeoning punk, disco and hip hop scenes at the time, this book also included very enjoyable accounts of the r...

    A history of five years of music in NYC, 1973 to 1978. I really liked this book and it was an excellent follow up to David Van Ronk's the Mayor of MacDougal Street. Tonally, they were both similar in that they were about heavily mythologized eras but looked at them with a refreshing l...

    The conceit of this book is a bit strange--that five years in New York City (1973 to 1977) were unbelievably creative years in all musical genres. But he works hard to prove it, writing about the pre-history of hip hop, the rise of punk, the maturation and peak of salsa, the "loft jazz...

    New York in the mid to late 70s was one of the most creatively active and diverse periods in American history, and it's probably the number one destination for my time machine To Do list. So I expected to really love this book, but it lacks strong narrative and is an uninspired read. I...

    I didn't finish this one. I was looking forward to reading (or listening to) this one because the 70s in New York seemed to be the perfect time and place for interesting innovative music. It was an exciting time in the arts. Unfortunately, this book read a bit like a wikipedia arti...

    Very readable and insightful snapshot of the New York music scene in the 1970s. Hermes shows how punk, salsa, hip-hop and good old rock n roll were taking flight in dive music bars across the city. Great portraits of Bruce Springsteen, Patti Smith and the Talking Heads in their formati...

    Carefully curated. Yes, I realize "curated" has become the word choice for pretentious d-bags, and there's some of that here, no doubt. But it is also the appropriate word for museum work, and there's some of _that_ here, too. The book is about music in New York City during the 1970...

    Often fascinating, sometimes frustrating, Will Hermes' "Love Goes to Buildings on Fire: Five Years in New York that Changed Music Forever" offers a chronicle of several important music scenes in New York City during the mid-1970s (1973-1977, to be exact). Organized into five chapters, ...

    I think I have to give up on this one. Okay, I love music of many genres and since my series starts in 1974 and revolves around music, I thought this would be a great way to plunge myself into the atmosphere and pick up hints and research. I've been reading it off and on for quite s...

    Fun and informative. Hermes does a terrific job of chronicling the many different musical scenes that co-existed and sometimes cross-pollinated in New York City between 1973 and 1977: punk, hip-hop, salsa, loft jazz, Rich-Glass minimalism, Springsteen, Gorecki, and on and on. If he mis...

    This was a very strange and ultimately disappointing "book," if it can even be labeled as such. The narrative is constructed almost entirely chronologically, with an almost complete absence of style or authorial presence. The author pops up very occasionally to remember what he was doi...

    Essentially a long, largely chronological list of facts about musicians in New York in the time period, occasionally interrupted by personal, memoir-style anecdotes and bits about music journalism. There seems to be some hope that the sheer mass of information will cause a larger state...

    I can't rave enough about this book. It covers all types of music exploding in New York from 1973 to 1978. The city was falling apart, so rent and buildings were cheap and artists built from the ruins. Punk and New Wave was starting up, jazz musicians like Sam Rivers and Ornette Colema...

    Being a fan of music, I have always sough out new (to my ears) and different music to listen to. I love all types of music and will give everything a listen from the simplest straight up pop song to complex free jazz, experimental noise that I don't understand to just something with a ...

    After hearing an interview with the author, I was excited to read this book and delve into the various facets of New York City's music scene in the early to mid 70s interlaced with Will Hermes' anecdotes. However, the execution suffers. The book is organized chronologically with a few ...

    I could charitably attribute the scattershot presentation to an attempt at emulating Walter Benjamin's "constellations" method, but Hermes ain't no Benjamin, and it reads like the ramblings of someone with untreated ADHD. The book is most interesting when it contradicts its own basic t...

    Although I ate this up, I can't imagine too many others will. A long, long list of facts, trivia, and history about tons of great music and bands. Surprisingly little theme-making or any larger unifying thread runs through all the disparate music discussed. I think Hermes' point is sup...

    As I was reading this, from time to time I would wonder if forty years from now anyone could or would write a similar book about music being made (somewhere in the world) right now. For some reason I find it almost impossible to imagine. ...

  • Craig Werner
    Feb 02, 2012

    "Love Goes to Buildings On Fire" is not only one of my favorite songs by Talking Heads, but it's also a very warm and fascinating book by Will Hermes. Focusing on the years 1973 to 1977, in New York City, is a combination social history and a love message to the artists of that era - w...

    There hasn't been much in American culture to get excited about since the 1970s. The cable tv revolution and gadget boom of the 1980s might have been interesting for a minute. Grunge in the 1990s became boring quickly. Rap is crap. The prescription drug craze, the tech boom, talk radio...

    New York City, mid-1970's. The whole place is falling apart. Crime is rampant, the city teeters on complete financial bankruptcy. Things just aren't looking good for the Big Apple. Yet from the state of emergency comes a phenomenally vibrant and highly influential wave of music whose i...

    This book covers a period of amazing musical experimentation in NYC - punk, jazz, disco, "latin" - a lot was going on, and there was a good deal of cross-pollination between these genres. Hermes tells a lot of stories -- many I knew, some that I didn't. The ones that were new to me...

    Will Hermes? Love Goes To Buildings On Fire: Five Years in New York That Changed Music Forever is one of the most ambitious works on popular culture that I have ever read. Perhaps the most ambitious in that is surveys the radically creative hotbed of New York City in the 1970s (speci...

    This is definitely the most fun I?ve had reading a book in a while, maybe not the best, though it is really good. The book is a kaleidoscopic social history of New York during its darkest years in the supposedly musically fallow seventies. So much of my favorite music bubbled under t...

    fairly good and entertaining re-cap of music in nyc in 1973-1977. the punk and rock portions won't reveal anything new to the punks out there, but the parts on loft scene and latin/salsa worlds are very nice, and steve reich and glass, and those dudes, and laurie anderson, those parts ...

    I've always had an interest in the NYC music scene in the 70s, and this book provided me with the perfect fayre for my trip to the Big Apple. In addition to detailing the burgeoning punk, disco and hip hop scenes at the time, this book also included very enjoyable accounts of the r...

    A history of five years of music in NYC, 1973 to 1978. I really liked this book and it was an excellent follow up to David Van Ronk's the Mayor of MacDougal Street. Tonally, they were both similar in that they were about heavily mythologized eras but looked at them with a refreshing l...

    The conceit of this book is a bit strange--that five years in New York City (1973 to 1977) were unbelievably creative years in all musical genres. But he works hard to prove it, writing about the pre-history of hip hop, the rise of punk, the maturation and peak of salsa, the "loft jazz...

    New York in the mid to late 70s was one of the most creatively active and diverse periods in American history, and it's probably the number one destination for my time machine To Do list. So I expected to really love this book, but it lacks strong narrative and is an uninspired read. I...

    I didn't finish this one. I was looking forward to reading (or listening to) this one because the 70s in New York seemed to be the perfect time and place for interesting innovative music. It was an exciting time in the arts. Unfortunately, this book read a bit like a wikipedia arti...

    Very readable and insightful snapshot of the New York music scene in the 1970s. Hermes shows how punk, salsa, hip-hop and good old rock n roll were taking flight in dive music bars across the city. Great portraits of Bruce Springsteen, Patti Smith and the Talking Heads in their formati...

    Carefully curated. Yes, I realize "curated" has become the word choice for pretentious d-bags, and there's some of that here, no doubt. But it is also the appropriate word for museum work, and there's some of _that_ here, too. The book is about music in New York City during the 1970...

    Often fascinating, sometimes frustrating, Will Hermes' "Love Goes to Buildings on Fire: Five Years in New York that Changed Music Forever" offers a chronicle of several important music scenes in New York City during the mid-1970s (1973-1977, to be exact). Organized into five chapters, ...

    I think I have to give up on this one. Okay, I love music of many genres and since my series starts in 1974 and revolves around music, I thought this would be a great way to plunge myself into the atmosphere and pick up hints and research. I've been reading it off and on for quite s...

    Fun and informative. Hermes does a terrific job of chronicling the many different musical scenes that co-existed and sometimes cross-pollinated in New York City between 1973 and 1977: punk, hip-hop, salsa, loft jazz, Rich-Glass minimalism, Springsteen, Gorecki, and on and on. If he mis...

  • Robert Boyd
    Mar 05, 2012

    "Love Goes to Buildings On Fire" is not only one of my favorite songs by Talking Heads, but it's also a very warm and fascinating book by Will Hermes. Focusing on the years 1973 to 1977, in New York City, is a combination social history and a love message to the artists of that era - w...

    There hasn't been much in American culture to get excited about since the 1970s. The cable tv revolution and gadget boom of the 1980s might have been interesting for a minute. Grunge in the 1990s became boring quickly. Rap is crap. The prescription drug craze, the tech boom, talk radio...

    New York City, mid-1970's. The whole place is falling apart. Crime is rampant, the city teeters on complete financial bankruptcy. Things just aren't looking good for the Big Apple. Yet from the state of emergency comes a phenomenally vibrant and highly influential wave of music whose i...

    This book covers a period of amazing musical experimentation in NYC - punk, jazz, disco, "latin" - a lot was going on, and there was a good deal of cross-pollination between these genres. Hermes tells a lot of stories -- many I knew, some that I didn't. The ones that were new to me...

    Will Hermes? Love Goes To Buildings On Fire: Five Years in New York That Changed Music Forever is one of the most ambitious works on popular culture that I have ever read. Perhaps the most ambitious in that is surveys the radically creative hotbed of New York City in the 1970s (speci...

    This is definitely the most fun I?ve had reading a book in a while, maybe not the best, though it is really good. The book is a kaleidoscopic social history of New York during its darkest years in the supposedly musically fallow seventies. So much of my favorite music bubbled under t...

    fairly good and entertaining re-cap of music in nyc in 1973-1977. the punk and rock portions won't reveal anything new to the punks out there, but the parts on loft scene and latin/salsa worlds are very nice, and steve reich and glass, and those dudes, and laurie anderson, those parts ...

    I've always had an interest in the NYC music scene in the 70s, and this book provided me with the perfect fayre for my trip to the Big Apple. In addition to detailing the burgeoning punk, disco and hip hop scenes at the time, this book also included very enjoyable accounts of the r...

    A history of five years of music in NYC, 1973 to 1978. I really liked this book and it was an excellent follow up to David Van Ronk's the Mayor of MacDougal Street. Tonally, they were both similar in that they were about heavily mythologized eras but looked at them with a refreshing l...

    The conceit of this book is a bit strange--that five years in New York City (1973 to 1977) were unbelievably creative years in all musical genres. But he works hard to prove it, writing about the pre-history of hip hop, the rise of punk, the maturation and peak of salsa, the "loft jazz...

  • Greg
    Mar 15, 2017

    "Love Goes to Buildings On Fire" is not only one of my favorite songs by Talking Heads, but it's also a very warm and fascinating book by Will Hermes. Focusing on the years 1973 to 1977, in New York City, is a combination social history and a love message to the artists of that era - w...

    There hasn't been much in American culture to get excited about since the 1970s. The cable tv revolution and gadget boom of the 1980s might have been interesting for a minute. Grunge in the 1990s became boring quickly. Rap is crap. The prescription drug craze, the tech boom, talk radio...

    New York City, mid-1970's. The whole place is falling apart. Crime is rampant, the city teeters on complete financial bankruptcy. Things just aren't looking good for the Big Apple. Yet from the state of emergency comes a phenomenally vibrant and highly influential wave of music whose i...

    This book covers a period of amazing musical experimentation in NYC - punk, jazz, disco, "latin" - a lot was going on, and there was a good deal of cross-pollination between these genres. Hermes tells a lot of stories -- many I knew, some that I didn't. The ones that were new to me...

    Will Hermes? Love Goes To Buildings On Fire: Five Years in New York That Changed Music Forever is one of the most ambitious works on popular culture that I have ever read. Perhaps the most ambitious in that is surveys the radically creative hotbed of New York City in the 1970s (speci...

    This is definitely the most fun I?ve had reading a book in a while, maybe not the best, though it is really good. The book is a kaleidoscopic social history of New York during its darkest years in the supposedly musically fallow seventies. So much of my favorite music bubbled under t...

    fairly good and entertaining re-cap of music in nyc in 1973-1977. the punk and rock portions won't reveal anything new to the punks out there, but the parts on loft scene and latin/salsa worlds are very nice, and steve reich and glass, and those dudes, and laurie anderson, those parts ...

    I've always had an interest in the NYC music scene in the 70s, and this book provided me with the perfect fayre for my trip to the Big Apple. In addition to detailing the burgeoning punk, disco and hip hop scenes at the time, this book also included very enjoyable accounts of the r...

    A history of five years of music in NYC, 1973 to 1978. I really liked this book and it was an excellent follow up to David Van Ronk's the Mayor of MacDougal Street. Tonally, they were both similar in that they were about heavily mythologized eras but looked at them with a refreshing l...

    The conceit of this book is a bit strange--that five years in New York City (1973 to 1977) were unbelievably creative years in all musical genres. But he works hard to prove it, writing about the pre-history of hip hop, the rise of punk, the maturation and peak of salsa, the "loft jazz...

    New York in the mid to late 70s was one of the most creatively active and diverse periods in American history, and it's probably the number one destination for my time machine To Do list. So I expected to really love this book, but it lacks strong narrative and is an uninspired read. I...

    I didn't finish this one. I was looking forward to reading (or listening to) this one because the 70s in New York seemed to be the perfect time and place for interesting innovative music. It was an exciting time in the arts. Unfortunately, this book read a bit like a wikipedia arti...

    Very readable and insightful snapshot of the New York music scene in the 1970s. Hermes shows how punk, salsa, hip-hop and good old rock n roll were taking flight in dive music bars across the city. Great portraits of Bruce Springsteen, Patti Smith and the Talking Heads in their formati...

    Carefully curated. Yes, I realize "curated" has become the word choice for pretentious d-bags, and there's some of that here, no doubt. But it is also the appropriate word for museum work, and there's some of _that_ here, too. The book is about music in New York City during the 1970...

    Often fascinating, sometimes frustrating, Will Hermes' "Love Goes to Buildings on Fire: Five Years in New York that Changed Music Forever" offers a chronicle of several important music scenes in New York City during the mid-1970s (1973-1977, to be exact). Organized into five chapters, ...

    I think I have to give up on this one. Okay, I love music of many genres and since my series starts in 1974 and revolves around music, I thought this would be a great way to plunge myself into the atmosphere and pick up hints and research. I've been reading it off and on for quite s...

    Fun and informative. Hermes does a terrific job of chronicling the many different musical scenes that co-existed and sometimes cross-pollinated in New York City between 1973 and 1977: punk, hip-hop, salsa, loft jazz, Rich-Glass minimalism, Springsteen, Gorecki, and on and on. If he mis...

    This was a very strange and ultimately disappointing "book," if it can even be labeled as such. The narrative is constructed almost entirely chronologically, with an almost complete absence of style or authorial presence. The author pops up very occasionally to remember what he was doi...

    Essentially a long, largely chronological list of facts about musicians in New York in the time period, occasionally interrupted by personal, memoir-style anecdotes and bits about music journalism. There seems to be some hope that the sheer mass of information will cause a larger state...

    I can't rave enough about this book. It covers all types of music exploding in New York from 1973 to 1978. The city was falling apart, so rent and buildings were cheap and artists built from the ruins. Punk and New Wave was starting up, jazz musicians like Sam Rivers and Ornette Colema...

    Being a fan of music, I have always sough out new (to my ears) and different music to listen to. I love all types of music and will give everything a listen from the simplest straight up pop song to complex free jazz, experimental noise that I don't understand to just something with a ...

    After hearing an interview with the author, I was excited to read this book and delve into the various facets of New York City's music scene in the early to mid 70s interlaced with Will Hermes' anecdotes. However, the execution suffers. The book is organized chronologically with a few ...

    I could charitably attribute the scattershot presentation to an attempt at emulating Walter Benjamin's "constellations" method, but Hermes ain't no Benjamin, and it reads like the ramblings of someone with untreated ADHD. The book is most interesting when it contradicts its own basic t...

    Although I ate this up, I can't imagine too many others will. A long, long list of facts, trivia, and history about tons of great music and bands. Surprisingly little theme-making or any larger unifying thread runs through all the disparate music discussed. I think Hermes' point is sup...

    As I was reading this, from time to time I would wonder if forty years from now anyone could or would write a similar book about music being made (somewhere in the world) right now. For some reason I find it almost impossible to imagine. ...

    There are only so many books you can read about this period in music before you start to hear the same stories. This isn't Will Hermes' fault but it killed the book for me. If you haven't read any of the approx. 500 books out there about 1970s New York, this would be a great one to sta...

    Excellent anthology of NYC music and culture in the mid seventies ...

  • Joseph
    Dec 01, 2012

    "Love Goes to Buildings On Fire" is not only one of my favorite songs by Talking Heads, but it's also a very warm and fascinating book by Will Hermes. Focusing on the years 1973 to 1977, in New York City, is a combination social history and a love message to the artists of that era - w...

    There hasn't been much in American culture to get excited about since the 1970s. The cable tv revolution and gadget boom of the 1980s might have been interesting for a minute. Grunge in the 1990s became boring quickly. Rap is crap. The prescription drug craze, the tech boom, talk radio...

    New York City, mid-1970's. The whole place is falling apart. Crime is rampant, the city teeters on complete financial bankruptcy. Things just aren't looking good for the Big Apple. Yet from the state of emergency comes a phenomenally vibrant and highly influential wave of music whose i...

    This book covers a period of amazing musical experimentation in NYC - punk, jazz, disco, "latin" - a lot was going on, and there was a good deal of cross-pollination between these genres. Hermes tells a lot of stories -- many I knew, some that I didn't. The ones that were new to me...

    Will Hermes? Love Goes To Buildings On Fire: Five Years in New York That Changed Music Forever is one of the most ambitious works on popular culture that I have ever read. Perhaps the most ambitious in that is surveys the radically creative hotbed of New York City in the 1970s (speci...

    This is definitely the most fun I?ve had reading a book in a while, maybe not the best, though it is really good. The book is a kaleidoscopic social history of New York during its darkest years in the supposedly musically fallow seventies. So much of my favorite music bubbled under t...

    fairly good and entertaining re-cap of music in nyc in 1973-1977. the punk and rock portions won't reveal anything new to the punks out there, but the parts on loft scene and latin/salsa worlds are very nice, and steve reich and glass, and those dudes, and laurie anderson, those parts ...

    I've always had an interest in the NYC music scene in the 70s, and this book provided me with the perfect fayre for my trip to the Big Apple. In addition to detailing the burgeoning punk, disco and hip hop scenes at the time, this book also included very enjoyable accounts of the r...

    A history of five years of music in NYC, 1973 to 1978. I really liked this book and it was an excellent follow up to David Van Ronk's the Mayor of MacDougal Street. Tonally, they were both similar in that they were about heavily mythologized eras but looked at them with a refreshing l...

    The conceit of this book is a bit strange--that five years in New York City (1973 to 1977) were unbelievably creative years in all musical genres. But he works hard to prove it, writing about the pre-history of hip hop, the rise of punk, the maturation and peak of salsa, the "loft jazz...

    New York in the mid to late 70s was one of the most creatively active and diverse periods in American history, and it's probably the number one destination for my time machine To Do list. So I expected to really love this book, but it lacks strong narrative and is an uninspired read. I...

    I didn't finish this one. I was looking forward to reading (or listening to) this one because the 70s in New York seemed to be the perfect time and place for interesting innovative music. It was an exciting time in the arts. Unfortunately, this book read a bit like a wikipedia arti...

    Very readable and insightful snapshot of the New York music scene in the 1970s. Hermes shows how punk, salsa, hip-hop and good old rock n roll were taking flight in dive music bars across the city. Great portraits of Bruce Springsteen, Patti Smith and the Talking Heads in their formati...

    Carefully curated. Yes, I realize "curated" has become the word choice for pretentious d-bags, and there's some of that here, no doubt. But it is also the appropriate word for museum work, and there's some of _that_ here, too. The book is about music in New York City during the 1970...

    Often fascinating, sometimes frustrating, Will Hermes' "Love Goes to Buildings on Fire: Five Years in New York that Changed Music Forever" offers a chronicle of several important music scenes in New York City during the mid-1970s (1973-1977, to be exact). Organized into five chapters, ...

    I think I have to give up on this one. Okay, I love music of many genres and since my series starts in 1974 and revolves around music, I thought this would be a great way to plunge myself into the atmosphere and pick up hints and research. I've been reading it off and on for quite s...

    Fun and informative. Hermes does a terrific job of chronicling the many different musical scenes that co-existed and sometimes cross-pollinated in New York City between 1973 and 1977: punk, hip-hop, salsa, loft jazz, Rich-Glass minimalism, Springsteen, Gorecki, and on and on. If he mis...

    This was a very strange and ultimately disappointing "book," if it can even be labeled as such. The narrative is constructed almost entirely chronologically, with an almost complete absence of style or authorial presence. The author pops up very occasionally to remember what he was doi...

    Essentially a long, largely chronological list of facts about musicians in New York in the time period, occasionally interrupted by personal, memoir-style anecdotes and bits about music journalism. There seems to be some hope that the sheer mass of information will cause a larger state...

    I can't rave enough about this book. It covers all types of music exploding in New York from 1973 to 1978. The city was falling apart, so rent and buildings were cheap and artists built from the ruins. Punk and New Wave was starting up, jazz musicians like Sam Rivers and Ornette Colema...

    Being a fan of music, I have always sough out new (to my ears) and different music to listen to. I love all types of music and will give everything a listen from the simplest straight up pop song to complex free jazz, experimental noise that I don't understand to just something with a ...

    After hearing an interview with the author, I was excited to read this book and delve into the various facets of New York City's music scene in the early to mid 70s interlaced with Will Hermes' anecdotes. However, the execution suffers. The book is organized chronologically with a few ...

    I could charitably attribute the scattershot presentation to an attempt at emulating Walter Benjamin's "constellations" method, but Hermes ain't no Benjamin, and it reads like the ramblings of someone with untreated ADHD. The book is most interesting when it contradicts its own basic t...

  • Joshua Buhs
    Jun 11, 2017

    "Love Goes to Buildings On Fire" is not only one of my favorite songs by Talking Heads, but it's also a very warm and fascinating book by Will Hermes. Focusing on the years 1973 to 1977, in New York City, is a combination social history and a love message to the artists of that era - w...

    There hasn't been much in American culture to get excited about since the 1970s. The cable tv revolution and gadget boom of the 1980s might have been interesting for a minute. Grunge in the 1990s became boring quickly. Rap is crap. The prescription drug craze, the tech boom, talk radio...

    New York City, mid-1970's. The whole place is falling apart. Crime is rampant, the city teeters on complete financial bankruptcy. Things just aren't looking good for the Big Apple. Yet from the state of emergency comes a phenomenally vibrant and highly influential wave of music whose i...

    This book covers a period of amazing musical experimentation in NYC - punk, jazz, disco, "latin" - a lot was going on, and there was a good deal of cross-pollination between these genres. Hermes tells a lot of stories -- many I knew, some that I didn't. The ones that were new to me...

    Will Hermes? Love Goes To Buildings On Fire: Five Years in New York That Changed Music Forever is one of the most ambitious works on popular culture that I have ever read. Perhaps the most ambitious in that is surveys the radically creative hotbed of New York City in the 1970s (speci...

    This is definitely the most fun I?ve had reading a book in a while, maybe not the best, though it is really good. The book is a kaleidoscopic social history of New York during its darkest years in the supposedly musically fallow seventies. So much of my favorite music bubbled under t...

    fairly good and entertaining re-cap of music in nyc in 1973-1977. the punk and rock portions won't reveal anything new to the punks out there, but the parts on loft scene and latin/salsa worlds are very nice, and steve reich and glass, and those dudes, and laurie anderson, those parts ...

    I've always had an interest in the NYC music scene in the 70s, and this book provided me with the perfect fayre for my trip to the Big Apple. In addition to detailing the burgeoning punk, disco and hip hop scenes at the time, this book also included very enjoyable accounts of the r...

    A history of five years of music in NYC, 1973 to 1978. I really liked this book and it was an excellent follow up to David Van Ronk's the Mayor of MacDougal Street. Tonally, they were both similar in that they were about heavily mythologized eras but looked at them with a refreshing l...

    The conceit of this book is a bit strange--that five years in New York City (1973 to 1977) were unbelievably creative years in all musical genres. But he works hard to prove it, writing about the pre-history of hip hop, the rise of punk, the maturation and peak of salsa, the "loft jazz...

    New York in the mid to late 70s was one of the most creatively active and diverse periods in American history, and it's probably the number one destination for my time machine To Do list. So I expected to really love this book, but it lacks strong narrative and is an uninspired read. I...

    I didn't finish this one. I was looking forward to reading (or listening to) this one because the 70s in New York seemed to be the perfect time and place for interesting innovative music. It was an exciting time in the arts. Unfortunately, this book read a bit like a wikipedia arti...

    Very readable and insightful snapshot of the New York music scene in the 1970s. Hermes shows how punk, salsa, hip-hop and good old rock n roll were taking flight in dive music bars across the city. Great portraits of Bruce Springsteen, Patti Smith and the Talking Heads in their formati...

    Carefully curated. Yes, I realize "curated" has become the word choice for pretentious d-bags, and there's some of that here, no doubt. But it is also the appropriate word for museum work, and there's some of _that_ here, too. The book is about music in New York City during the 1970...

  • Jack Mcpherson
    Mar 13, 2015

    "Love Goes to Buildings On Fire" is not only one of my favorite songs by Talking Heads, but it's also a very warm and fascinating book by Will Hermes. Focusing on the years 1973 to 1977, in New York City, is a combination social history and a love message to the artists of that era - w...

    There hasn't been much in American culture to get excited about since the 1970s. The cable tv revolution and gadget boom of the 1980s might have been interesting for a minute. Grunge in the 1990s became boring quickly. Rap is crap. The prescription drug craze, the tech boom, talk radio...

    New York City, mid-1970's. The whole place is falling apart. Crime is rampant, the city teeters on complete financial bankruptcy. Things just aren't looking good for the Big Apple. Yet from the state of emergency comes a phenomenally vibrant and highly influential wave of music whose i...

    This book covers a period of amazing musical experimentation in NYC - punk, jazz, disco, "latin" - a lot was going on, and there was a good deal of cross-pollination between these genres. Hermes tells a lot of stories -- many I knew, some that I didn't. The ones that were new to me...

    Will Hermes? Love Goes To Buildings On Fire: Five Years in New York That Changed Music Forever is one of the most ambitious works on popular culture that I have ever read. Perhaps the most ambitious in that is surveys the radically creative hotbed of New York City in the 1970s (speci...

    This is definitely the most fun I?ve had reading a book in a while, maybe not the best, though it is really good. The book is a kaleidoscopic social history of New York during its darkest years in the supposedly musically fallow seventies. So much of my favorite music bubbled under t...

    fairly good and entertaining re-cap of music in nyc in 1973-1977. the punk and rock portions won't reveal anything new to the punks out there, but the parts on loft scene and latin/salsa worlds are very nice, and steve reich and glass, and those dudes, and laurie anderson, those parts ...

    I've always had an interest in the NYC music scene in the 70s, and this book provided me with the perfect fayre for my trip to the Big Apple. In addition to detailing the burgeoning punk, disco and hip hop scenes at the time, this book also included very enjoyable accounts of the r...

    A history of five years of music in NYC, 1973 to 1978. I really liked this book and it was an excellent follow up to David Van Ronk's the Mayor of MacDougal Street. Tonally, they were both similar in that they were about heavily mythologized eras but looked at them with a refreshing l...

    The conceit of this book is a bit strange--that five years in New York City (1973 to 1977) were unbelievably creative years in all musical genres. But he works hard to prove it, writing about the pre-history of hip hop, the rise of punk, the maturation and peak of salsa, the "loft jazz...

    New York in the mid to late 70s was one of the most creatively active and diverse periods in American history, and it's probably the number one destination for my time machine To Do list. So I expected to really love this book, but it lacks strong narrative and is an uninspired read. I...

    I didn't finish this one. I was looking forward to reading (or listening to) this one because the 70s in New York seemed to be the perfect time and place for interesting innovative music. It was an exciting time in the arts. Unfortunately, this book read a bit like a wikipedia arti...

    Very readable and insightful snapshot of the New York music scene in the 1970s. Hermes shows how punk, salsa, hip-hop and good old rock n roll were taking flight in dive music bars across the city. Great portraits of Bruce Springsteen, Patti Smith and the Talking Heads in their formati...

    Carefully curated. Yes, I realize "curated" has become the word choice for pretentious d-bags, and there's some of that here, no doubt. But it is also the appropriate word for museum work, and there's some of _that_ here, too. The book is about music in New York City during the 1970...

    Often fascinating, sometimes frustrating, Will Hermes' "Love Goes to Buildings on Fire: Five Years in New York that Changed Music Forever" offers a chronicle of several important music scenes in New York City during the mid-1970s (1973-1977, to be exact). Organized into five chapters, ...

    I think I have to give up on this one. Okay, I love music of many genres and since my series starts in 1974 and revolves around music, I thought this would be a great way to plunge myself into the atmosphere and pick up hints and research. I've been reading it off and on for quite s...

    Fun and informative. Hermes does a terrific job of chronicling the many different musical scenes that co-existed and sometimes cross-pollinated in New York City between 1973 and 1977: punk, hip-hop, salsa, loft jazz, Rich-Glass minimalism, Springsteen, Gorecki, and on and on. If he mis...

    This was a very strange and ultimately disappointing "book," if it can even be labeled as such. The narrative is constructed almost entirely chronologically, with an almost complete absence of style or authorial presence. The author pops up very occasionally to remember what he was doi...

    Essentially a long, largely chronological list of facts about musicians in New York in the time period, occasionally interrupted by personal, memoir-style anecdotes and bits about music journalism. There seems to be some hope that the sheer mass of information will cause a larger state...

    I can't rave enough about this book. It covers all types of music exploding in New York from 1973 to 1978. The city was falling apart, so rent and buildings were cheap and artists built from the ruins. Punk and New Wave was starting up, jazz musicians like Sam Rivers and Ornette Colema...

    Being a fan of music, I have always sough out new (to my ears) and different music to listen to. I love all types of music and will give everything a listen from the simplest straight up pop song to complex free jazz, experimental noise that I don't understand to just something with a ...

    After hearing an interview with the author, I was excited to read this book and delve into the various facets of New York City's music scene in the early to mid 70s interlaced with Will Hermes' anecdotes. However, the execution suffers. The book is organized chronologically with a few ...

    I could charitably attribute the scattershot presentation to an attempt at emulating Walter Benjamin's "constellations" method, but Hermes ain't no Benjamin, and it reads like the ramblings of someone with untreated ADHD. The book is most interesting when it contradicts its own basic t...

    Although I ate this up, I can't imagine too many others will. A long, long list of facts, trivia, and history about tons of great music and bands. Surprisingly little theme-making or any larger unifying thread runs through all the disparate music discussed. I think Hermes' point is sup...

    As I was reading this, from time to time I would wonder if forty years from now anyone could or would write a similar book about music being made (somewhere in the world) right now. For some reason I find it almost impossible to imagine. ...

    There are only so many books you can read about this period in music before you start to hear the same stories. This isn't Will Hermes' fault but it killed the book for me. If you haven't read any of the approx. 500 books out there about 1970s New York, this would be a great one to sta...

  • Allan
    Dec 06, 2013

    "Love Goes to Buildings On Fire" is not only one of my favorite songs by Talking Heads, but it's also a very warm and fascinating book by Will Hermes. Focusing on the years 1973 to 1977, in New York City, is a combination social history and a love message to the artists of that era - w...

    There hasn't been much in American culture to get excited about since the 1970s. The cable tv revolution and gadget boom of the 1980s might have been interesting for a minute. Grunge in the 1990s became boring quickly. Rap is crap. The prescription drug craze, the tech boom, talk radio...

    New York City, mid-1970's. The whole place is falling apart. Crime is rampant, the city teeters on complete financial bankruptcy. Things just aren't looking good for the Big Apple. Yet from the state of emergency comes a phenomenally vibrant and highly influential wave of music whose i...

    This book covers a period of amazing musical experimentation in NYC - punk, jazz, disco, "latin" - a lot was going on, and there was a good deal of cross-pollination between these genres. Hermes tells a lot of stories -- many I knew, some that I didn't. The ones that were new to me...

    Will Hermes? Love Goes To Buildings On Fire: Five Years in New York That Changed Music Forever is one of the most ambitious works on popular culture that I have ever read. Perhaps the most ambitious in that is surveys the radically creative hotbed of New York City in the 1970s (speci...

    This is definitely the most fun I?ve had reading a book in a while, maybe not the best, though it is really good. The book is a kaleidoscopic social history of New York during its darkest years in the supposedly musically fallow seventies. So much of my favorite music bubbled under t...

    fairly good and entertaining re-cap of music in nyc in 1973-1977. the punk and rock portions won't reveal anything new to the punks out there, but the parts on loft scene and latin/salsa worlds are very nice, and steve reich and glass, and those dudes, and laurie anderson, those parts ...

    I've always had an interest in the NYC music scene in the 70s, and this book provided me with the perfect fayre for my trip to the Big Apple. In addition to detailing the burgeoning punk, disco and hip hop scenes at the time, this book also included very enjoyable accounts of the r...

  • Bradley
    Nov 30, 2017

    "Love Goes to Buildings On Fire" is not only one of my favorite songs by Talking Heads, but it's also a very warm and fascinating book by Will Hermes. Focusing on the years 1973 to 1977, in New York City, is a combination social history and a love message to the artists of that era - w...

    There hasn't been much in American culture to get excited about since the 1970s. The cable tv revolution and gadget boom of the 1980s might have been interesting for a minute. Grunge in the 1990s became boring quickly. Rap is crap. The prescription drug craze, the tech boom, talk radio...

    New York City, mid-1970's. The whole place is falling apart. Crime is rampant, the city teeters on complete financial bankruptcy. Things just aren't looking good for the Big Apple. Yet from the state of emergency comes a phenomenally vibrant and highly influential wave of music whose i...

    This book covers a period of amazing musical experimentation in NYC - punk, jazz, disco, "latin" - a lot was going on, and there was a good deal of cross-pollination between these genres. Hermes tells a lot of stories -- many I knew, some that I didn't. The ones that were new to me...

    Will Hermes? Love Goes To Buildings On Fire: Five Years in New York That Changed Music Forever is one of the most ambitious works on popular culture that I have ever read. Perhaps the most ambitious in that is surveys the radically creative hotbed of New York City in the 1970s (speci...

    This is definitely the most fun I?ve had reading a book in a while, maybe not the best, though it is really good. The book is a kaleidoscopic social history of New York during its darkest years in the supposedly musically fallow seventies. So much of my favorite music bubbled under t...

    fairly good and entertaining re-cap of music in nyc in 1973-1977. the punk and rock portions won't reveal anything new to the punks out there, but the parts on loft scene and latin/salsa worlds are very nice, and steve reich and glass, and those dudes, and laurie anderson, those parts ...

    I've always had an interest in the NYC music scene in the 70s, and this book provided me with the perfect fayre for my trip to the Big Apple. In addition to detailing the burgeoning punk, disco and hip hop scenes at the time, this book also included very enjoyable accounts of the r...

    A history of five years of music in NYC, 1973 to 1978. I really liked this book and it was an excellent follow up to David Van Ronk's the Mayor of MacDougal Street. Tonally, they were both similar in that they were about heavily mythologized eras but looked at them with a refreshing l...

    The conceit of this book is a bit strange--that five years in New York City (1973 to 1977) were unbelievably creative years in all musical genres. But he works hard to prove it, writing about the pre-history of hip hop, the rise of punk, the maturation and peak of salsa, the "loft jazz...

    New York in the mid to late 70s was one of the most creatively active and diverse periods in American history, and it's probably the number one destination for my time machine To Do list. So I expected to really love this book, but it lacks strong narrative and is an uninspired read. I...

    I didn't finish this one. I was looking forward to reading (or listening to) this one because the 70s in New York seemed to be the perfect time and place for interesting innovative music. It was an exciting time in the arts. Unfortunately, this book read a bit like a wikipedia arti...

    Very readable and insightful snapshot of the New York music scene in the 1970s. Hermes shows how punk, salsa, hip-hop and good old rock n roll were taking flight in dive music bars across the city. Great portraits of Bruce Springsteen, Patti Smith and the Talking Heads in their formati...

    Carefully curated. Yes, I realize "curated" has become the word choice for pretentious d-bags, and there's some of that here, no doubt. But it is also the appropriate word for museum work, and there's some of _that_ here, too. The book is about music in New York City during the 1970...

    Often fascinating, sometimes frustrating, Will Hermes' "Love Goes to Buildings on Fire: Five Years in New York that Changed Music Forever" offers a chronicle of several important music scenes in New York City during the mid-1970s (1973-1977, to be exact). Organized into five chapters, ...

    I think I have to give up on this one. Okay, I love music of many genres and since my series starts in 1974 and revolves around music, I thought this would be a great way to plunge myself into the atmosphere and pick up hints and research. I've been reading it off and on for quite s...

    Fun and informative. Hermes does a terrific job of chronicling the many different musical scenes that co-existed and sometimes cross-pollinated in New York City between 1973 and 1977: punk, hip-hop, salsa, loft jazz, Rich-Glass minimalism, Springsteen, Gorecki, and on and on. If he mis...

    This was a very strange and ultimately disappointing "book," if it can even be labeled as such. The narrative is constructed almost entirely chronologically, with an almost complete absence of style or authorial presence. The author pops up very occasionally to remember what he was doi...

    Essentially a long, largely chronological list of facts about musicians in New York in the time period, occasionally interrupted by personal, memoir-style anecdotes and bits about music journalism. There seems to be some hope that the sheer mass of information will cause a larger state...

    I can't rave enough about this book. It covers all types of music exploding in New York from 1973 to 1978. The city was falling apart, so rent and buildings were cheap and artists built from the ruins. Punk and New Wave was starting up, jazz musicians like Sam Rivers and Ornette Colema...

    Being a fan of music, I have always sough out new (to my ears) and different music to listen to. I love all types of music and will give everything a listen from the simplest straight up pop song to complex free jazz, experimental noise that I don't understand to just something with a ...

    After hearing an interview with the author, I was excited to read this book and delve into the various facets of New York City's music scene in the early to mid 70s interlaced with Will Hermes' anecdotes. However, the execution suffers. The book is organized chronologically with a few ...

    I could charitably attribute the scattershot presentation to an attempt at emulating Walter Benjamin's "constellations" method, but Hermes ain't no Benjamin, and it reads like the ramblings of someone with untreated ADHD. The book is most interesting when it contradicts its own basic t...

    Although I ate this up, I can't imagine too many others will. A long, long list of facts, trivia, and history about tons of great music and bands. Surprisingly little theme-making or any larger unifying thread runs through all the disparate music discussed. I think Hermes' point is sup...

    As I was reading this, from time to time I would wonder if forty years from now anyone could or would write a similar book about music being made (somewhere in the world) right now. For some reason I find it almost impossible to imagine. ...

    There are only so many books you can read about this period in music before you start to hear the same stories. This isn't Will Hermes' fault but it killed the book for me. If you haven't read any of the approx. 500 books out there about 1970s New York, this would be a great one to sta...

    Excellent anthology of NYC music and culture in the mid seventies ...

    Hermes, a New York native, chronicles five years in the 1970s where New York was the backdrop to some of the biggest contributions made to music during the second half of the 20th century. From 1973 through 1977, artists and musicians discovered and honed their craft with a DIY aesthet...

  • Stacey Suver
    Apr 23, 2018

    "Love Goes to Buildings On Fire" is not only one of my favorite songs by Talking Heads, but it's also a very warm and fascinating book by Will Hermes. Focusing on the years 1973 to 1977, in New York City, is a combination social history and a love message to the artists of that era - w...

    There hasn't been much in American culture to get excited about since the 1970s. The cable tv revolution and gadget boom of the 1980s might have been interesting for a minute. Grunge in the 1990s became boring quickly. Rap is crap. The prescription drug craze, the tech boom, talk radio...

    New York City, mid-1970's. The whole place is falling apart. Crime is rampant, the city teeters on complete financial bankruptcy. Things just aren't looking good for the Big Apple. Yet from the state of emergency comes a phenomenally vibrant and highly influential wave of music whose i...

    This book covers a period of amazing musical experimentation in NYC - punk, jazz, disco, "latin" - a lot was going on, and there was a good deal of cross-pollination between these genres. Hermes tells a lot of stories -- many I knew, some that I didn't. The ones that were new to me...

    Will Hermes? Love Goes To Buildings On Fire: Five Years in New York That Changed Music Forever is one of the most ambitious works on popular culture that I have ever read. Perhaps the most ambitious in that is surveys the radically creative hotbed of New York City in the 1970s (speci...

    This is definitely the most fun I?ve had reading a book in a while, maybe not the best, though it is really good. The book is a kaleidoscopic social history of New York during its darkest years in the supposedly musically fallow seventies. So much of my favorite music bubbled under t...

    fairly good and entertaining re-cap of music in nyc in 1973-1977. the punk and rock portions won't reveal anything new to the punks out there, but the parts on loft scene and latin/salsa worlds are very nice, and steve reich and glass, and those dudes, and laurie anderson, those parts ...

    I've always had an interest in the NYC music scene in the 70s, and this book provided me with the perfect fayre for my trip to the Big Apple. In addition to detailing the burgeoning punk, disco and hip hop scenes at the time, this book also included very enjoyable accounts of the r...

    A history of five years of music in NYC, 1973 to 1978. I really liked this book and it was an excellent follow up to David Van Ronk's the Mayor of MacDougal Street. Tonally, they were both similar in that they were about heavily mythologized eras but looked at them with a refreshing l...

    The conceit of this book is a bit strange--that five years in New York City (1973 to 1977) were unbelievably creative years in all musical genres. But he works hard to prove it, writing about the pre-history of hip hop, the rise of punk, the maturation and peak of salsa, the "loft jazz...

    New York in the mid to late 70s was one of the most creatively active and diverse periods in American history, and it's probably the number one destination for my time machine To Do list. So I expected to really love this book, but it lacks strong narrative and is an uninspired read. I...

    I didn't finish this one. I was looking forward to reading (or listening to) this one because the 70s in New York seemed to be the perfect time and place for interesting innovative music. It was an exciting time in the arts. Unfortunately, this book read a bit like a wikipedia arti...

    Very readable and insightful snapshot of the New York music scene in the 1970s. Hermes shows how punk, salsa, hip-hop and good old rock n roll were taking flight in dive music bars across the city. Great portraits of Bruce Springsteen, Patti Smith and the Talking Heads in their formati...

    Carefully curated. Yes, I realize "curated" has become the word choice for pretentious d-bags, and there's some of that here, no doubt. But it is also the appropriate word for museum work, and there's some of _that_ here, too. The book is about music in New York City during the 1970...

    Often fascinating, sometimes frustrating, Will Hermes' "Love Goes to Buildings on Fire: Five Years in New York that Changed Music Forever" offers a chronicle of several important music scenes in New York City during the mid-1970s (1973-1977, to be exact). Organized into five chapters, ...

    I think I have to give up on this one. Okay, I love music of many genres and since my series starts in 1974 and revolves around music, I thought this would be a great way to plunge myself into the atmosphere and pick up hints and research. I've been reading it off and on for quite s...

    Fun and informative. Hermes does a terrific job of chronicling the many different musical scenes that co-existed and sometimes cross-pollinated in New York City between 1973 and 1977: punk, hip-hop, salsa, loft jazz, Rich-Glass minimalism, Springsteen, Gorecki, and on and on. If he mis...

    This was a very strange and ultimately disappointing "book," if it can even be labeled as such. The narrative is constructed almost entirely chronologically, with an almost complete absence of style or authorial presence. The author pops up very occasionally to remember what he was doi...

    Essentially a long, largely chronological list of facts about musicians in New York in the time period, occasionally interrupted by personal, memoir-style anecdotes and bits about music journalism. There seems to be some hope that the sheer mass of information will cause a larger state...

    I can't rave enough about this book. It covers all types of music exploding in New York from 1973 to 1978. The city was falling apart, so rent and buildings were cheap and artists built from the ruins. Punk and New Wave was starting up, jazz musicians like Sam Rivers and Ornette Colema...

    Being a fan of music, I have always sough out new (to my ears) and different music to listen to. I love all types of music and will give everything a listen from the simplest straight up pop song to complex free jazz, experimental noise that I don't understand to just something with a ...

    After hearing an interview with the author, I was excited to read this book and delve into the various facets of New York City's music scene in the early to mid 70s interlaced with Will Hermes' anecdotes. However, the execution suffers. The book is organized chronologically with a few ...

    I could charitably attribute the scattershot presentation to an attempt at emulating Walter Benjamin's "constellations" method, but Hermes ain't no Benjamin, and it reads like the ramblings of someone with untreated ADHD. The book is most interesting when it contradicts its own basic t...

    Although I ate this up, I can't imagine too many others will. A long, long list of facts, trivia, and history about tons of great music and bands. Surprisingly little theme-making or any larger unifying thread runs through all the disparate music discussed. I think Hermes' point is sup...

    As I was reading this, from time to time I would wonder if forty years from now anyone could or would write a similar book about music being made (somewhere in the world) right now. For some reason I find it almost impossible to imagine. ...

    There are only so many books you can read about this period in music before you start to hear the same stories. This isn't Will Hermes' fault but it killed the book for me. If you haven't read any of the approx. 500 books out there about 1970s New York, this would be a great one to sta...

    Excellent anthology of NYC music and culture in the mid seventies ...

    Hermes, a New York native, chronicles five years in the 1970s where New York was the backdrop to some of the biggest contributions made to music during the second half of the 20th century. From 1973 through 1977, artists and musicians discovered and honed their craft with a DIY aesthet...

    Splendid, exhaustive, and dense. It?s not for amateurs. ...