This summer, Adult Summer Reads: Amazing Quests takes us on a 70s rock adventure as we read Daisy Jones and the Six. Join us on Thursday, July 18 at 7:00 pm at the Civic Centre Resource Library for our Books with Buzz program, where we’ll be discussing this hot new title (and any other buzz-worthy books you like!).
Daisy Jones and the Six is a story about a fictional band, but don’t feel embarrassed if you had to google that to make sure. Reid’s latest novel is so steeped in 70s rock culture, from shaggy hair, bangles, desert vibes, and plentiful drugs, it definitely feels real.
If you’ve ever been the type of music fan to get caught up in a good backstory, or loves some behind the scenes drama (honestly, which of us doesn’t?), Daisy Jones has what you’re looking for. In an interview with Rolling Stone (how appropriate!), Reid speaks to her inspiration behind the fictional band, about how she “was really intrigued by that story of these two people that create this incredible, intimate art together that sounds so romantic but they’re not romantically involved.” Reid points to Fleetwood Mac and Civil Wars as examples of bands whose breakups intrigued her, which led me to recall the time in my own life when I obsessively chronicled the implosion of The Libertines. There’s something about the particular chaos and tragedy of rock bands that lends an air of romanticism and glamour, even though it is often less-than-glamourous things like drugs and jealousy that cause their downfall. Daisy Jones is proof that we are all still susceptible to that rock band charm!
It took until my late 20s to admit to myself something I’d been trying to deny for years: I love pop music. Yes, it’s true. And I refuse to be ashamed any longer! When I was a teenager, I ran in the rock/indie crowd. We worshipped either male-fronted bands or manic pixie dream girls. It was patently not acceptable for me to admit that I was secretly grooving to whatever Lady Gaga hit was out at the time. Well, guess what? Lady Gaga is an Oscar winner now, and rock has—for the first time in history—fallen to the conquering hip hop superstars.
Since pop music is mainly associated with women, it’s never taken as seriously as traditionally male genres. It’s met at best with flippancy and at worst disdain. And for a long time, this was my attitude as well. But I realize now that pop can be all the things normally associated with the more “serious” genres: progressive, subversive, political, empowering. This really shouldn’t be a surprise to me. I mean, if we jump back in time 20 years you’ll see me making up Spice Girls routines in the living room, yelling “girl power!!” and exalting the power of female friendships. I didn’t know it at the time, but the seeds of feminism were being planted, and all through Top 40 smash hits. But it took years of undoing whatever damage internalized misogyny had done to me, to see pop music not just as some silly, fluffy nonsense but as an important addition to the music landscape.
It’s January 2018, which means it’s time for 2017 wrap-up lists! I know it’s tempting to just put that dumpster fire of a year behind us and never look back, but I think we can find one facet of 2017 that didn’t let us down: Song of the Summer “Despacito ” featuring Justin Bieber. Just kidding (kind of). I’m actually talking about the incredible films released this year. Even with all the horrific scandals coming out of Hollywood in the last half of the year, the film industry still managed to deliver. What better way to distract from the world than to sit in a dark theatre, munch on some popcorn, and be thoroughly entertained for 2+ hours? I’ve compiled a list of my personal favourites from the year, which was actually pretty hard to do—there were so many great ones this year, and I haven’t seen all of them! So without further ado, here are my personal picks!