Review: Empire of Dirt: The Aesthetics and Rituals of British Indie Music

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Empire of Dirt: The Aesthetics and Rituals of British Indie Music
Wendy Fonarow

Wesleyn University Press
Street: 07.22

Dr. Fonarow exemplifies everything it means to be an academic in the modern world: overthought-out arguments, a compulsive desire to explain everything and the technicality of book learning to back it up. But instead of giving a dry and overly wrought book of scholarly learning, she delves deeply and personally into what she loves most: music, to get inside what it means to be “indie rock.” Instead of explicating process and predicament in the current trend of indie rock, Fonarow moves to talk about the religious ethic in indie rock and how indie rock can be viewed as a “cult” (for lack of any better terms). While it might seem like a stuffy, uninteresting and “too much,” instead Fonarow’s book does a great job of breaking down the indie paradigm through precise interviews, passion and great attention detail. A must for those interested in a deconstruction of the music they listen to. – Erik Lopez