Thursday, October 01, 2009

ed. Rich Balling - Revolution On Canvas, Volume 2: Poetry from the Indie Music Scene

In some ways, this book was better than the first volume. In other ways, it fell short.

There's a lot more prose work in this volume, which is a huge plus. There are some truly great stories in here, like Justin Pierre's (Motion City Soundtrack) "Annelise." Unfortunately, some of the poetry falls disappointingly short of the mark, especially since this book actually does rely more heavily on lyrics than the previous one.

As you may remember from my review of Revolution on Canvas: Volume 1, I was told that a lot of the poetry contained in it was actually song lyrics from the bands. I couldn't tell - I didn't recognize any of them. Unfortunately for the second installment, it wasn't the same. Gabe Saporta (of Midtown in the first book, Cobra Starship in this second) graces us with the lyrics of "It's Warmer In The Basement" and "Success," both of which are on While the City Sleeps, We Rule The Streets. The same goes for The Hush Sound's Greta Salpeter, but, fortunately, not for her bandmate Bob Morris (listed here as Rob Morris).

Surprisingly enough, Pete Wentz's (Fall Out Boy) contribution is not lyrics.

I'll be honest and say that I'm torn between disappointment and pleasure at the inclusion of Armor For Sleep frontman Ben Jorgensen. I love that kid. However, what his contribution is... I'm not sure. It's not actually song lyrics (fortunately), but it's the idea and the basis of what would become the song "Smile For The Camera."

I know I'm talking a lot of shit, but this book is actually a much better read than the first one. Maybe the poetry is a lot of lyrics I already know because I actually listen to some of these bands, but there's a lot of really excellent prose in it, as well. If you liked the first volume, you'll like this one even more.

If you didn't read the first one, maybe give this one a try. It's poetry, after all. Nobody will hold it against you if you don't like it.

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