Power Ballads

Will Boast

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Power Ballads

Power Ballads Real musicians don t sign autographs date models or fly in private jets They spend their lives in practice rooms and basement clubs or toiling in the obscurity of coffee shop gigs casino jobs and

  • Title: Power Ballads
  • Author: Will Boast
  • ISBN: 9781609380427
  • Page: 359
  • Format: Paperback
  • Real musicians don t sign autographs, date models, or fly in private jets They spend their lives in practice rooms and basement clubs or toiling in the obscurity of coffee shop gigs, casino jobs, and the European festival circuit The ten linked stories in Power Ballads are devoted to this unheard virtuoso the working musician From the wings of sold out arenas to hip hoReal musicians don t sign autographs, date models, or fly in private jets They spend their lives in practice rooms and basement clubs or toiling in the obscurity of coffee shop gigs, casino jobs, and the European festival circuit The ten linked stories in Power Ballads are devoted to this unheard virtuoso the working musician From the wings of sold out arenas to hip hop studios to polka bars, these stories are born out of a nocturnal world where music is often simply work, but also where it can, in rare moments, become a source of grace and transcendence, speaking about the things we never seem to say to each other A skilled but snobby jazz drummer joins a costumed heavy metal band to pay his rent A country singer tries to turn her brutal past into a successful career A vengeful rock critic reenters the life of an emerging singer songwriter, bent on wreaking havoc The characters in Power Ballads aging head bangers, jobbers, techno DJs, groupies, and the occasional rock star and those who have to live with them need music to survive, yet find themselves lost when the last note is played, the lights go up, and it s time to return to regular life By turns melancholy and hilarious, Power Ballads is not only a deeply felt look at the lives of musicians but also an exploration of the secret music that plays inside us all.

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      Published :2019-02-21T22:46:29+00:00

    One thought on “Power Ballads

    1. Kae Cheatham on said:

      I received the galley from the publisher via netgalley. Expected publication: September 16th 2011 by University Of Iowa Press I finished reading Power Ballads six days ago. Why the delay of the review? Because I read several of the stories again. I also know I'll reread many of them in the future.The ten short stories in Will Boast's award-winning Power Ballads are tied together by the lives of musicians. Not the headline makers or anyone of notoriety, but the everyday person who is compelled to [...]

    2. Rosie on said:

      Boast's ability to wield these narratives is awe-inspiring. Beginning with a preteen tuba player who wants to polka, through rock stars and their loved ones, through choir masters and rapping teens, each story echos with musical truth. These stories take the music industry and make it universal, accessible.Several of the stories have common characters, revolving around Tim, the drummer trying to make it in the Chicago music sphere, and his girlfriend Kate. They way these short stories are indepe [...]

    3. Robert Carraher on said:

      Did you ever yearn for life as a musician? Ecstatic fans, groupie falling all over themselves, roadies jumping and a fetching to serve your genius and record companies lining up to sign you to the deal of a life time? Then read this book because that isn’t how it goes. Will Boast, winner of the prestigious Iowa Short Fiction Award, bestowed on a first time author for short fiction by the Iowa Writers Workshop has written a collection of stories that are powerful, moving and explore the real li [...]

    4. Tuck on said:

      a fine collection of short stories all about modern usa music. the first story is a delight of southern wisconsin "bar" scene of the not-so-long-ago old days, and little tim plays the tuba and he and his dad hang out at the bars/cafes/community centers so maybe he can sit in a few sets, which he does, but to the detriment of the old timer tuba player and little tim gets a lesson in the hard world of gigging musicians, even if it;s just cheesy polka music for the local german, polish and czech fa [...]

    5. David on said:

      At first, I was really excited that this was a compendium of non-fiction. I was less jazzed once I realized it was fiction, but it reads so easily that I quickly didn't care. The stories are good, though they tend to all be a little dramatic. It took me until the last chapter to realize how (most) everything was tying together, but that's probably me being thick; that said, it's so ridiculously unlikely that all of these mini-dramas happen in one person's life that I'm left with my eyebrow rais [...]

    6. Elizabeth B on said:

      When I first opened this book, I thought I had perhaps been given the wrong book. The first selection is the story of a tuba player in a local polka band which is the complete polar opposite of “Power Ballad” which has its own unique connotations to anyone that lived through the eighties. I continued on, though, and quickly realized that was the point of this book – to take music industry people from all walks and all points in their career and give us a snapshot of what their real lives a [...]

    7. Andrew on said:

      Power Ballads gets two stars because I'm a self-loathing member of the American M.F.A. community. I've stopped abiding some of our stranger beliefs, like that short stories should be related by theme. That half a page of unidentified dialogue is just "something he'll grow out of". That you're not a man until you've dead-lifted 250 lbs. of foreshadowing.People like me thus can't make it through Power Ballads without frustration and, ultimately, the kind of existential cracking only mended, in thi [...]

    8. Angie on said:

      These stories feature the lives of working musicians, their disappointments and frustrations and moments of collaboration and transcendence, whether toiling in obscurity, selling out, or remembering past glories. Tim, a drummer that drifts from band to band, and his sometimes girlfriend, Kate, recur in many of the stories. I found this collection to be consistently strong across the board, no real clunkers for me, but my favorite stories were probably "Sidemen" about the wife of a constantly tou [...]

    9. Dan Vinson on said:

      These linked stories are intertwined in the best ways. Tim, a drummer (which resonates with me), shows up as the protagonist in two stories, and peripherally in two others, including the final, Coda. His girlfriend Kate is in three at various levels too. But mostly, the stories are a nod and a toast to the working musician, the sideman (and one is called Dead Weight), the ones the spotlight barely makes it to. Chicago is on display here; characters either live there, or used to. Des Moines is me [...]

    10. Matty on said:

      Really promising work. Boast proves that writing doesn't have to be elaborate to be powerful. The simplicity of his language and sentences is astonishingly effective. The worlds he creates are three-dimensional. If you're at all familiar with musicians, the characters are accurate to a T and totally recognizable. All of this praise and still at times I wanted more. About half of these stories deserve four stars. The other half deserve three. I guess my rating is a silly stand against grade infla [...]

    11. Gary Anderson on said:

      Will Boast’s Power Ballads is ten inter-related short stories about life in and around music scenes, and just out of major airplay and chart rankings. Whether they play jazz, polka, rock, folk, or a hybrid genre, many of Boast’s characters put music first and people second. Some of the most compelling stories are from the perspective of those friends and family members who come second to the music. I’m on the lookout for more of Will Boast’s writing.

    12. Ilyssa Wesche on said:

      I really loved this book - I loved how the stories were related, but featured different main characters (and one was a standalone). I thought the characters were so incredibly well-developed, which can't be easy in a short story. Also he got the amateur/struggling musician atmosphere down.Finally there's a part in one of the stories that literally made me EEP in surprise. I was at the laundromat when I read it - good thing the dryers are loud!

    13. Katie on said:

      Gorgeous, semi-linked, story collection about music and musicians. Boast writes about the art itself and its transcendence with a kind of wiry beauty, but doesn’t allow his waxing poetical to overshadow his keen sense of character and his little knife-turns of plot. An incredibly strong collection from a new writer to watch.Update July 2012: And now we're publishing him! Hurray!

    14. Trixie Fontaine on said:

      Maybe 4 1/2 stars, but I loved it and love that it's about working musicians. Kate was so annoying, though. But I did feel sorry for her. I really did. I love books of shorts with returning characters.

    15. Brynn on said:

      Incredible collection of short stories that will stay with me for a long time and made me homesick for Chicago circa 2002. Looking forward to more from Will Boast

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