Metaphysical Graffiti: Rock 'n' Roll and the Meaning of Life

Metaphysical Graffiti: Rock 'n' Roll and the Meaning of Life

by Seth Kaufman


View All Available Formats & Editions
Members save with free shipping everyday! 
See details


A provocative, entertaining but ultimately serious examination of rock's most essential questions: Beatles or Stones? Which is the best air guitar to play? Does Rush suck? And what is the meaning of Billy Joel?

Metaphysical Graffiti is a book for music fans, humor fans, and, if a meaningful ontological category, fans of philosophy too. It is a provocative, inflammatory, hilarious, but ultimately serious book about the essential questions of rock—Beatles or Stones? What Kind of Air Guitar Do You Play? Does Rush Suck? and, of course, The Meaning of Billy Joel. In a rich mix of original pieces, Kaufman not only examines the essential issues facing all rock fans, but delves into the deeper, metaphysical roots of these questions.

The book's title is a riff on the classic Led Zeppelin album, Physical Graffiti, while the book itself is an innovative, critical work that in many ways mirrors the best rock 'n' roll. Funny, audacious, irreverent, and relentlessly creative, it stretches the parameters of traditional criticism by incorporating short fiction, "Moronic Dialogues," and even a short mini-play, "Godot, The Musical," in order to explore philosophical concepts of Reality, Authenticity, Hype, and, ultimately, the purpose of music criticism itself.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781949017083
Publisher: OR Books
Publication date: 01/29/2019
Pages: 176
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Recovering musician SETH KAUFMAN grew up overseas, in Kenya and India, the son of a foreign correspondent. He ran a popular online music store where he sold so many copies of Kenny G records he should be tried at The Hague. He has written a number of books, including The King of Pain ("One of 2012's most enjoyable novels" —The New York Times), contributed humor pieces to the New Yorker website and freelanced for many other publications.

Table of Contents

An Acoustic Intro

Beatles or Stones? Or the Question of Identity

What Kind of Air Guitar Do You Play? Or the Question of Reality

Billy Joel, Really? Or the Question of Authenticity

Does Rush Suck? Or the Question of Taste

What Do You Call a Drummer in a Three-piece Suit? Or the Question of Rock Band Hierarchy

Rock's Secret Weapon, or the Question of Audacity (and Concept Albums)

Godot the Musical, Or the Question of Hype

Deadheads and Mekons Fans, or the Question of Musical Cults

The Coolest Song You've Never Heard, Or the Question of Musical Archeology

To Cover or to Run for Cover? Or the Question of Sonic Forgery

Can a Dj Save Your Life? Or The Oxymoronic Question of EDM Concerts

What We Write About When We Write About Rock

Customer Reviews