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This Will End in Tears

The Miserabilist Guide to Music

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


This Will End in Tears is the first ever and definitive guide to melancholy music. Author Adam Brent Houghtaling leads music fans across genres, beyond the enclaves of emo and mope-rock, and through time to celebrate the albums and artists that make up the miserabilist landscape. In essence a book about the saddest songs ever sung, This Will End in Tears is an encyclopedic guide to the masters of melancholy—from Robert Johnson to Radiohead, from Edith Piaf to Joy Division, from Patsy Cline to The Cure—an insightful, exceedingly engaging exploration into why sad songs make us so happy.

From Publishers Weekly

Jul 16, 2012 – Freelance writer Houghtaling initially defines “miserabilist” music by scrolling through some of the artists on his iPhone: David Ackles, Patsy Cline, Joy Division, George Ligeti, and Radiohead, among others. All of them share what Houghtaling calls “a natural affinity for melancholy, an elemental leaning towards the sour side,” and he describes their music—as well as that of more than 70 other artists—in this enlightening collection of short descriptions. A random dip in and out of this alphabetically arranged survey reads like the list on a really, really good mix tape/CD, one that includes Samuel Barber and Frank Sinatra alongside the Shangri-Las and the Eels. But Houghtaling has a bigger agenda: he wants “to coalesce disparate artists separated by time and traditional genres into a new system based on emotional cues (sad is the new jazz).” To this end, he attempts to show connections between melancholy artists from all ages in a few longer essays on Miserabilist themes such as heartbreak, cheating, depression, and disease. However, any guide to melancholy musicians that includes an essay on Morrissey but not one on Joni Mitchell has to be seen as highly idiosyncratic—although overall, Houghtaling is highly entertaining.
This Will End in Tears
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  • $7.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Music
  • Published: Aug 07, 2012
  • Publisher: It Books
  • Seller: HarperCollins
  • Print Length: 416 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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