Cover Image: Off The Charts

Off The Charts

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Member Reviews

A very fun read. Whether you are a musician or someone who goes to live shows you'll find the humor in this.
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Canadian singer songwriter Kat Goldman has made four critically acclaimed albums and her songs have been covered by Grammy-nominated band, The Duhks, Dar Williams, among many others. I will be honest I had not heard of her or her music until reading this book, however, I’d heartily recommend giving her albums a listen, especially ‘Great Disappearing Act’ and ‘Working Man’s Blues’.

Now Kat Goldman publishes her first book, part memoir, part self-help guide for would be songwriters and it is great fun, whether you be a musician or music lover. In bite sized chapters (she originally wrote some of this book for a music blog), Kat covers what it's like to meet your first fan, date a rock star, how to treat a headlining act, the dos and don’ts of promotion, and how to rebuild your career after getting hit by a car in a bagel shop. 
That later event had a profound effect on her life, although she doesn’t delve too far into her feelings about this. It must have been tough though as she had a broken leg and had to teach herself to walk again.

Quick mention to the original illustrations by Nina Berkson which add to the book’s overall appeal.

One thing you come away with from the book is how much music and songwriting means to Kat, something all us music lovers can admire and be grateful for, as without the performers and songwriters there would be no music and that would be a very sad world to live in.

An easy, quick read that is funny, entertaining and an honest glimpse into the world of the music business. I am pretty sure Kat Goldman has at least another book in her about her music, maybe one about life on the road?
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When most of us think about professional singers, we think of successful ones playing to full stadiums or at least to full bars.  The author wrote about her personal experience playing in dive bars without the big crowds and other things that all struggling musicians experience.  I found her honesty refreshing, as she didn't gloss over anything and her takes on some things were hilarious.  This was an entertaining read!
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This book is so funny and delightful, really. Apart from giving me another artist to obsessively listen to (Kat's music is LOVELY), the book is a set of stories that sound like anecdotes your well traveled friends tell you over drinks on a weekend. It's always a specific joy to read things written by someone with highly specific, deep interests and life experiences. Kat's writing is also an ode to her music and it comes off loud and clear that she's a "lifer". 
If this was a weekly newsletter, I'd want to subscribe and read all the back editions obsessively. 

Thanks NetGalley for an advanced readers e-copy of this book.
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What a fun behind the scene look at the entertainment industry. Kat Goldman is a wonderful writer and the illustrations by Nina Berkson made it that much better. It was very entertaining and I can't wait for other people to read the very interesting happenings that are written about. If you love pop culture like I do, I highly recommend that you get your hands on this one.
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This is a breezy memoir of a songwriter who's tried her best to make it, only to fall just short of the goal line. Kat Goldman, whom I never heard of before reading this book, has had songs covered by well known artists, has been the opening act for famous musicians and is a professional songwriter and performer. But, as she would be the first to tell you, she hasn't quite made it. And that's what this likeable memoir is all about. 

The writing here started as a blog and you can feel that as you sort through her journey through the record business. It's almost a form of therapy for her and indeed, that's how it started. When she was at a low point in her career, someone suggested writing about her life in the biz and she's done that here. Along the way, we meet bandmates who treat her poorly, managers who don't help her nearly as much as she thinks they should and on and on. Despite all the complaining, though, Kat comes off as a good sort and I at least was rooting for all the way through. 

The writing is lively but perhaps not as deep as it could be. Kat has a near death experience when, on the cusp of moving to NYC, she goes to a bagel shop for herself and her bandmates and a car crashes through the front of the store pinning her to the bagel display. Funny and heartbreaking but, somehow, Kat does not make enough of that episode. She almost laughs it off and the reader feels a bit cheated. Is that all there is when you have an experience that changes your life? 

But on the whole, a fun read and informative about trying to be a singer-songwriter in the age of Spotify.
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