Hold On to Your Dreams: Arthur Russell and the Downtown Music Scene, 1973-1992

By | June 29, 2017
Hold On to Your Dreams: Arthur Russell and the Downtown Music Scene, 1973-1992 Author Tim Lawrence
ISBN-10 0822344858
ISBN-13 9780822344858
Year 2009-10-23
Pages 448
Language English
Publisher Duke University Press Books
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Hold On to Your Dreams is the first biography of the musician and composer Arthur Russell one of the most important but least known contributors to New Yorks downtown music scene during the 1970s and 1980s With the exception of a few dance recordings including Is It All Over My Face and Go Bang 5 Russells pioneering music was largely forgotten until 2004 when the posthumous release of two albums brought new attention to the artist This revival of interest gained momentum with the issue of additional albums and the documentary film Wild Combination Based on interviews with more than seventy of his collaborators family members and friends Hold On to Your Dreams provides vital new information about this singular eccentric musician and his role in the boundary breaking downtown music scene Tim Lawrence traces Russells odyssey from his hometown of Oskaloosa Iowa to countercultural San Francisco and eventually to New York where he lived from 1973 until his death from AIDS related complications in 1992 Resisting definition while dreaming of commercial success Russell wrote and performed new wave and disco as well as quirky rock twisted folk voice cello dub and hip hop inflected pop He was way ahead of other people in understanding that the walls between concert music and popular music and avant garde music were illusory comments the composer Philip Glass He lived in a world in which those walls werent there Lawrence follows Russell across musical genres and through such vital downtown music spaces as the Kitchen the Loft the Gallery the Paradise Garage and the Experimental Intermedia Foundation Along the way he captures Russells openness to sound his commitment to collaboration and his uncompromising idealism

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