Let's Talk About Love: Why Other People Have Such Bad Taste

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Overview

For his 2007 critically acclaimed 33 1/3 series title, Let’s Talk About Love, Carl Wilson went on a quest to find his inner Céline Dion fan and explore how we define ourselves by what we call good and bad, what we love and what we hate.

At once among the most widely beloved and most reviled and lampooned pop stars of the past few decades, Céline Dion’s critics call her mawkish and overblown while millions of fans around the world adore her ...

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Let's Talk About Love: Why Other People Have Such Bad Taste

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Overview

For his 2007 critically acclaimed 33 1/3 series title, Let’s Talk About Love, Carl Wilson went on a quest to find his inner Céline Dion fan and explore how we define ourselves by what we call good and bad, what we love and what we hate.

At once among the most widely beloved and most reviled and lampooned pop stars of the past few decades, Céline Dion’s critics call her mawkish and overblown while millions of fans around the world adore her “huge pipes” and even bigger feelings. How can anyone say which side is right?

This new, expanded edition goes even further, calling on thirteen prominent writers and musicians to respond to themes ranging from sentiment and kitsch to cultural capital and musical snobbery. The original text is followed by lively arguments and stories from Nick Hornby, Krist Novoselic, Ann Powers, Mary Gaitskill, James Franco, Sheila Heti and others.

In a new afterword, Carl Wilson examines recent cultural changes in love and hate, including the impact of technology and social media on how taste works (or doesn’t) in the 21st century.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Like the whole world, I'm a fan of Carl Wilson's Celine Dion book. – Jonathan Lethem
 
An evergreen classic of music criticism—a love letter from a cerebral pop aesthete to the music he sincerely, almost sentimentally hates. – Rob Sheffield
 
Carl Wilson is a profound listener and an extraordinary writer. Along with being a tremendously important piece of criticism, Let’s Talk About Love is an agile, moving, and generous exploration of the music that accompanies us, welcome or not, on the travels we all need to make on our own. It is a beautiful, funny, unerringly concise book that invites repeated readings, new conversations, and a thoughtful engagement with the culture of our time. – John K. Samson

"The book is laugh-out-loud funny, whip-smart about contemporary thought, and fascinating in its many voices, but, readers, beware—you may wind up humming that song for days afterward." – Eloise Kinney, Booklist
"[I]t’s a conversation worth having: as a dialogue between Wilson and his 13 disciples, with peers in social circles, and ultimately with oneself. Why we like what we like is always a fun topic to discuss, but it’s often more challenging and more enlightening to discuss the converse: why we don’t like what we don’t like… Any investigation into cool is incomplete without due consideration of too-cool-for. Wilson has provided a primer for that discourse." – Kurtt Gottshalk, Brooklyn Rail
 "Let’s Talk About Love…is not just a critical study of one Céline Dion album, but an engaging discussion of pop criticism itself." – Elias Leight, LA Review of Books

"…the recently updated Let's Talk About Love—cheekily re-subtitled Why Other People Have Such Bad Taste and bundled with a host of excellent accompanying essays from the book's admirers including Krist Novoselic, Nick Hornby, Ann Powers, and James Franco—is a welcome excuse to revisit the main text in light of our current state of hyperspeed discourse. It's also a good excuse to catch up with Wilson, who continues to be an essential voice in the rock writer community while serving as Slate's music critic." – Ryan Dombal, Pitchfork

Summarized in Bullseye with Jesse Thorn by Julia Smith

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781441166777
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
  • Publication date: 3/13/2014
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 218,733
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Carl Wilson is a writer and editor at The Globe and Mail, Canada's national newspaper, and his work also has appeared in Pitchfork, Slate, The New York Times, Blender and many other publications. His pieces were selected for two of Da Capo Books' annual Best Music Writing collections, in 2002 and 2007, by guest editors Jonathan Lethem and Robert Christgau. He runs the popular music blog Zoilus.com and is part of the team behind Trampoline Hall, Toronto's acclaimed nightclub series of lectures by non-experts, which toured America in 2002.

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Table of Contents

A NOTE FROM THE PUBLISHER
PART I
Let’s Talk About Love: A Jourbaney to the End of Taste
Carl Wilson
1. Let’s Talk About Hate
2. Let’s Talk About Pop (and Its Critics)
3. Let’s Talk in French
4. Let’s Talk About World Conquest
5. Let’s Talk About Schmaltz
6. Let’s Sing Really Loud
7. Let’s Talk About Taste
8. Let’s Talk About Who’s Got Bad Taste
9. Let’s Talk with Some Fans
10. Let’s Do a Punk Version of “My Heart Will Go On” (or, Let’s Talk About Our Feelings)
11. Let’s Talk About Let’s Talk About Love
12. Let’s Talk About Love
PART II
Essays: What We Talk About When We Talk About Love
Carl Wilson, “Introduction”
Nick Hornby, “The Artists We Deserve”
Krist Novoselic, “With the Lights On, It’s Less Useless”
Ann Powers, “If the Girls Were All Transported”
Mary Gaitskill, “The Most Obvious Thing”
Jason King, “Compared to What?”
Daphne Brooks, “Let’s Talk About Diana Ross (In Memory of Trayvon Martin)”
Drew Daniel, “Deep in the Game”
Sukhdev Sandhu, “Children of the Corn”
James Franco, “Acting In and Out of Context”
Marco Roth and the Editors of n+1, “Too Much Sociology”
Jonathan Sterne, “Giving Up on Giving Up on Good Taste”
Owen Pallett, “When I Come Home”
Sheila Heti, “Playlist: Let’s Listen to Love”
PART III
Afterword
Carl Wilson, “Let’s Talk Later”
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
NOTES ON CONTRIBUTORS

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