Nashville Radio by Jon Langford

Nashville Radio by Jon Langford

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Beyond his work as a musician, Jon Langford has attracted attention as a visual artist in recent years. Nashville Radio is the first collection of his art. It reproduces 215 paintings, as well as song lyrics and autobiographical writings. The book includes a CD of Langford performing 18 of the printed songs. Langford’s “song-paintings” fuse portraiture with imagery derived from folk art, Dutch still life, classic Western wear, and the cold, cold war—all instilled with his trademark sardonic wit. He applies this distinctive style to the depiction of American musical icons like Bob Wills, Hank Williams, and Johnny Cash, but also to more ghostly, marginal figures—blindfolded cowboys, astronauts, and dancers—who are jerked around by success and exploitation, fame and neglect. Underlying his work is a deep love of musical lore, twinned with fierce opposition to the death-dealing tendencies in the culture of his adopted homeland, from the killing off of authentic popular music by mass-marketed drivel to the embrace of capital punishment as a response to social ills. Langford’s work offers an alternative perspective, recalling “a time when great visionaries and pioneers thrived at the heart of the mainstream—and the lid wasn’t on so tight.”

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Nashville Radio by Jon Langford
Beyond his work as a musician, Jon Langford has attracted attention as a visual artist in recent years. Nashville Radio is the first collection of his art. It reproduces 215 paintings, as well as song lyrics and autobiographical writings. The book includes a CD of Langford performing 18 of the printed songs. Langford’s “song-paintings” fuse portraiture with imagery derived from folk art, Dutch still life, classic Western wear, and the cold, cold war—all instilled with his trademark sardonic wit. He applies this distinctive style to the depiction of American musical icons like Bob Wills, Hank Williams, and Johnny Cash, but also to more ghostly, marginal figures—blindfolded cowboys, astronauts, and dancers—who are jerked around by success and exploitation, fame and neglect. Underlying his work is a deep love of musical lore, twinned with fierce opposition to the death-dealing tendencies in the culture of his adopted homeland, from the killing off of authentic popular music by mass-marketed drivel to the embrace of capital punishment as a response to social ills. Langford’s work offers an alternative perspective, recalling “a time when great visionaries and pioneers thrived at the heart of the mainstream—and the lid wasn’t on so tight.”
$29.95
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