Review: Too Much Trouble: A Very Oral History of Danko Jones – Stuart Berman

 

Too Much Trouble: A Very Oral History of Danko Jones

Too Much Trouble: A Very Oral History of Danko Jones

Stuart Berman

My rating:

4 star

Goodreads summary:

More than just a history of Danko Jones, this book is an exploration of the rigid politics that govern both underground and mainstream music and how a band can succeed without pandering to either. Danko Jones may be a straightforward rock band, but their story is anything but. They’re a band that has roots in many different music communities—the North American indie rock scene, the Scandinavian garage rock scene, and the European metal scene—but belong to none of them. They’ve toured with both Blonde Redhead and Nickelback and can attract intense fandom in one part of the world while being rejected in their home country. Too Much Trouble follows a 15-year saga that goes from college radio DJ booths to corporate boardrooms and from dingy after-hours bars to the biggest festival stages in Europe. It’s a must-have for fans of Danko Jones or anyone interested in a behind-the-scenes look at how both the mainstream and underground music industries work.

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Perhaps this is something you have noticed before, but so far I haven’t reviewed any non-fiction yet. And that is with reason, because I actually don’t tend to read non-fiction. Ever. But one should always at least try something new before saying whether you like something or not, so this is what I did. I saw this book about Danko Jones, and it’s a band I really like, and a friend has this book as well (because awesome fans do those things). And that was the beginning of this epic adventure that is the road to fame.

The book is, as mentioned in the title, a very oral history. Most of the information is brought to the biography in form of an interview with a multitude of different people in the music industry. There are also lots of pictures in the book, following the shows they played and the people they met. In a way it was really nice to get to know more about the band through the interviews, but seeing as I have extremely limited knowledge of the music industry and the people in it this did limit how much I connected with the book. I didn’t know the people who were interviewed and who they were talking about if they weren’t discussing the band itself. But having more than just the band’s point of view in this book really did made this a very interesting read.

Because of the format we are able to get an insider’s look on the music industry. And though I didn’t always completely understood what was the big deal about certain things happening, it did make me realize that this business is so much more complex than I expected. Next to that was a lot of history about Danko Jones (obviously!) and it was nice to find out more about this band I like so much. There was so much stuff in their history of which I wasn’t aware, and it was nice to be enlightened.

I would really recommend this book to people who are interested in getting to know more about the band, especially if you aren’t averse to reading some non-fiction. As far as biographies go I guess this book was really good. But the fact remains that I read that much non-fiction and that I don’t have anything to compare this book to. This was also not a book that will make me read more non-fiction. This has less to do with what is being written in this book, and I wouldn’t change my mind if it had been written differently. Non-fiction is just not something I really read for fun, except for the odd column in magazines.

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