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Publisher's Summary

Joining the ranks of the classics Please Kill Me, Our Band Could Be Your Life, and Can't Stop Won't Stop, an intriguing oral history of the post-9/11 decline of the old-guard music industry and rebirth of the New York rock scene, led by a group of iconoclastic rock bands.

In the second half of the 20th century New York was the source of new sounds, including the Greenwich Village folk scene, punk and new wave, and hip-hop. But as the end of the millennium neared, cutting-edge bands began emerging from Seattle, Austin, and London, pushing New York further from the epicenter. The behemoth music industry, too, found itself in free fall, under siege from technology. Then 9/11/2001 plunged the country into a state of uncertainty and war - and a dozen New York City bands that had been honing their sound and style in relative obscurity suddenly became symbols of glamour for a young, web-savvy, forward-looking generation in need of an anthem.

Meet Me in the Bathroom charts the transformation of the New York music scene in the first decade of the 2000s, the bands behind it - including The Strokes, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, LCD Soundsystem, Interpol, and Vampire Weekend - and the cultural forces that shaped it, from the Internet to a booming real estate market that forced artists out of the Lower East Side to Williamsburg. Drawing on 200 original interviews with James Murphy, Julian Casablancas, Karen O, Ezra Koenig, and many other musicians, artists, journalists, bloggers, photographers, managers, music executives, groupies, models, movie stars, and DJs who lived through this explosive time, journalist Lizzy Goodman offers a fascinating portrait of a time and a place that gave birth to a new era in modern rock and roll.

©2017 Elizabeth Goodman (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

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What listeners say about Meet Me in the Bathroom

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Deeply disappointing.

Nearly twenty hours of unconnected, single sentence interview fragments that are presented with absolutely no context or background on who or what is being discussed.

This is an era of music I love and feel that I have a fair sense of knowledge about, and most of the time I had no idea who these people were and what they were talking about. And even when I did know the names and what bands they were in, it didn’t seem to help the narrative or content in any way.

Also, the format of this book could not be less suited to audiobook form. Each sentence is preceded by the name of the speaker, and no one speaks more than a sentence or two at a time (all taken from separate interviews btw) so it’s just an endless list of names. I think if you added it up, just the time spent listing names would make up nearly, I don’t know, 40% of the book?

I wanted to love this book, and had never read a book solely devoted to this period of music they meant and means so much to me. I don’t understand the positive reviews, so maybe it’s me. But I ground my way through ten hours of this slop and couldn’t make it any further.

6 people found this helpful

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Rates with the best rock bios.

Found myself pausing this read quite often to look up songs on Spotify. As much as I enjoy the oral history part of this book, it's Goodman's analysis of the music and the environs it sprang from that I appreciate most. Will most likely listen to this one again, and soon.

2 people found this helpful

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I Tried to Like It, But...

From the performance of the voice talent to the style of writing, I absolutely do not understand how friends (whose opinions I usually value) could recommend this title. It is so tedious and unenjoyable that I’ve begun researching how Audible refunds work.

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

Revisionist history

If there’s one constant about New York, it’s that everyone always feels like they’ve just missed the golden age.

This book, while super fun to listen to, reflects people wanting to remember their experience a certain way rather than how it was. As someone who lived through this era of New York, playing in bands at Mercury Lounge and visiting Other Music everyday, the idea that what was happening in Williamsburg would be thought of in the same nostalgic glow as 70’s era CBGB’s is laughable . Every one I knew felt like they’d missed the dirty, cool era of NYC before Gulianni. Everyone pined for the days when things were weirder, less corporate. Folks I knew thought bands like the Strokes and Interpol were facsimiles of the bands they were aping (Television, Velvet, etc). It’s only 20 years later that we’re all talking about how great it was. And maybe that’s the point. We took it for granted. Mondo Kim’s, Tonic, Motherfucker parties, the basement of Lit Lounge, the early print editions of Vice. Perhaps it’s natural to want to look back on your era as something truly special, but the truth is that everyone in NY wishes they lived during a different time. 20 years from now, when someone interviews the kids who move to NY after watching Girls and High Maitence, they’ll say “it was the end of an era!”. And they’ll be right. Until the next generation comes along to remind everyone how much better it used to be.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars

Ugh

So much self congratulatory, patting on the shoulder, we-re-so-important impotent shit. It was a pure act of masochism listening to this. A bunch commercial wanna-be’s frying over an era they were born too late for.
Must have taken a good effort to compile and edit, so kudos for that.
Oh, well...

1 person found this helpful

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Greater then the sum of its parts

This was an interesting book.

It is almost entirely composed of quotes, assembled together into narrative form like a huge jigsaw puzzle. At first it felt tedious, especially since the name of the person quoted is stated before each quote. This literallly happens thousands of times in this 19 hour audiobook. When I started I thought that I reallu wouldn't be able to stand it, but after a while you start getting used to it. In retrospect I am really amazed at the amount of work it must of taken in order to turn an infinite amount of jigsaw pieces into a very cohesive narrative. This alone makes it an impressive achievement.

However the very nature of this book makes it void of objectivity. Its put together by interviewing hundreds of people who were very impressed with their own glory days, and as such it seems to attribute a lot more significance to this scene then it really deserved. If an alien was to land on Earth and pick up this book to learn about modern music, they would get the impression that The Strokes were the most significant cultural entity in the universe.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Best music book I've ever read.

Couldn't put it down. I learned more about the origins of one of the most important 10yrs in recent music history than any other resource I've ever seen. Immediately joins the pantheon of must-read music books.

1 person found this helpful

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Just a bunch of anecdotes,

There was no narrative. It is just a giant collection of quotes and anecdotes about people, bands, etc. I was expecting a historical/sociological book and got only reminiscences from a bunch of people about how great a bunch of other people were. I tried, but it becomes very tedious. It is like being at a party listening to people talk about their friends who you don't really know. I knew most if the bands but it just seemed too insider. Returned for a refund.

4 people found this helpful

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Entertaining and insightful

Loved this book on the early 2000s NYC music scene. The rise of the Strokes, LCD , Yeah, Yeah. Yeahs are well documented

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    5 out of 5 stars

A great dive into the NY music scene!

I wanted to know more about DFA records and how it started. This book was a great reference for that. It also covers The Stokes, Interpol, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, LCD Soundsystem, TV on the Radio, Vampire Weekend, Moldy Peaches and The Walkmen. Really goes into a deep dive of their start and their offers from major labels. It tends to cover The Stokes the most but everything was super interesting. It took a couple of chapters to get into but really couldn't stop listening to it. Once you realize it is a bunch of people being quoted telling a story, it really falls into place and I highly recommend it, if you are thinking about giving it a try.