Songs from Nowhere Near the Heart by Jon Baird

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In the dark overlap between music and industry, there dwells a group of people whose lives and dealings are every bit as commonplace and fantastic, as high-flung and ridiculous, as noble and sordid as the stories they inspire. Don, Ross, and Chavez comprise Seventeen; Neil, Mika, Darcy, and Darren make up Limna. One is a hard-working club band committed to a music-first agenda and convinced by wily manager Deedee Vanian that this is indeed the road they're on. The other is an unapologetically commercial construct, pieced together and driven into the market by professional hitmakers and by manager Annika Guttkuhn, herself a "discovery" and protegee of Deedee's. Competing for the same recording contract, the two acts are combined on a single bill and booked for a string of appearances from New England to Florida.

But who has orchestrated the ill-fated trip, and why? How far can Annika push her act, armed with nothing but an imaginary following and her trumped-up press releases? And why should Don fro Seventeen be her chief coconspirator? Songs from Nowhere Near the Heart presents an unforgettable and richly textured cast of characters, each trying to outwit and outflank the others, for reasons and with results that won't become entirely clear before a final, hilarious sequence of events in rural Florida.


About Jon Baird

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Jon Baird is the author of Day Job and the former art director of Tin House magazine. He is currently touring with his band, Seventeen.
Published May 18, 2001 by St. Martin's Griffin. 288 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Veering between sit-com silliness, as when Annika uses her albino brother to out-witch a Haitian maid whom DeeDee consults on all executive decisions, and the beautifully sad moments when Don recalls his pathetic father, first-novelist Baird (Day Job, a nonfiction business book, not reviewed), wh...

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