Unstrung: Rants and Stories of a Noise Guitarist

Akashic. Aug. 2021. 226p. ISBN 9781617759307. $24.95. MEMOIR
Guitarist Ribot has performed rock, free jazz, world, and avant-garde music for the past few decades; in his first book, he explores his relationship to the guitar, pays tribute to musicians such as Hal Willner and Robert Quine, muses on protest music, and makes impassioned paeans about artists’ rights and the importance of creativity in the commercial music business. The book, which includes a section humorously labeled “Film (Mis)treatments,” is filled with bizarre and comic takes on modern life. Throughout, Ribot demonstrates an encyclopedic knowledge of music, in both the technical and emotional senses. His autobiographical sketches include tales from the road and reflections on his life, from his childhood to his experiences as a parent.
VERDICT Ribot is not only a gifted musician but also a talented wordsmith, and this quirky volume will appeal to music aficionados who appreciate strong writing with observational, intelligent, and provocative themes.
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