Beginning with the emergence of commercial American music in the nineteenth century, Volume 1 includes essays on the major performers, composers, media, and movements that shaped our musical culture before rock and roll. Articles explore the theoretical dimensions of popular music studies; the music of the nineteenth century; and the role of black Americans in the evolution of popular music. Also included—the music of Tin Pan Alley, ragtime, swing, the blues, the influences of W. S. Gilbert and Rodgers and Hammerstein, and changes in lyric writing styles from the nineteenth century to the rock era.
“Are We Not New Wave? is destined to become the definitive study of new wave music.”
—Mark Spicer, coeditor of Sounding Out Pop
New wave emerged at the turn of the 1980s as a pop music movement cast in the image of punk rock’s sneering demeanor, yet rendered more accessible and sophisticated. Artists such as the Cars, Devo, the Talking Heads, and the Human League leapt into the Top 40 with a novel sound that broke with the staid rock clichés of the 1970s and pointed the way to a more modern pop style.
In Are We Not New Wave? Theo Cateforis provides the first musical and cultural history of the new wave movement, charting its rise out of mid-1970s punk to its ubiquitous early 1980s MTV presence and downfall in the mid-1980s. The book also explores the meanings behind the music’s distinctive traits—its characteristic whiteness and nervousness; its playful irony, electronic melodies, and crossover experimentations. Cateforis traces new wave’s modern sensibilities back to the space-age consumer culture of the late 1950s/early 1960s.
Three decades after its rise and fall, new wave’s influence looms large over the contemporary pop scene, recycled and celebrated not only in reunion tours, VH1 nostalgia specials, and “80s night” dance clubs but in the music of artists as diverse as Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, and the Killers.
The Beatles, the most popular, influential, and important band of all time, have been the subject of countless books of biography, photography, analysis, history, and conjecture. But this long and winding road has produced nothing like Baby You’re a Rich Man, the first book devoted to the cascade of legal actions engulfing the band, from the earliest days of the loveable mop-heads to their present prickly twilight of cultural sainthood. Part Beatles history, part legal thriller, Baby You’re a Rich Man begins in the era when manager Brian Epstein opened the Pandora’s box of rock ’n’ roll merchandising, making a hash of the band’s licensing and inviting multiple lawsuits in the United States and the United Kingdom. The band’s long breakup period, from 1969 to 1971, provides a backdrop to the Machiavellian grasping of new manager Allen Klein, who unleashed a blizzard of suits and legal motions to take control of the band, their music, and Apple Records. Unsavory mob associate Morris Levy first sued John Lennon for copyright infringement over “Come Together,” then sued him again for not making a record for him. Phil Spector, hired to record a Lennon solo album, walked off with the master tapes and held them for a king’s ransom. And from 1972 to 1975, Lennon was the target of a deportation campaign personally spearheaded by key aides of President Nixon (caught on tape with a drug-addled Elvis Presley) that wound endlessly through the courts. In Baby You’re a Rich Man, Stan Soocher ties the Beatles’ ongoing legal troubles to some of their most enduring songs. What emerges is a stirring portrait of immense creative talent thriving under the pressures of ill will, harassment, and greed. Praise for They Fought the Law: Rock Music Goes to Court “Stan Soocher not only ably translates the legalese but makes both the plaintiffs and defendants engrossingly human. Mandatory reading for every artist who tends to skip his contract’s fine print.”—Entertainment Weekly
The Beatles, the 1968 double LP more commonly known as the White Album, has always been viewed as an oddity in the group’s oeuvre. Many have found it to be inconsistent, sprawling, and self-indulgent. The Beatles through a Glass Onion is the first-ever scholarly volume to explore this seminal recording at length, bringing together contributions by some of the most eminent scholars of rock music writing today. It marks a reconsideration of this iconic but under-appreciated recording and reaffirms the White Album’s significance in the Beatles’ career and in rock history.
This volume treats the White Album as a whole, with essays scrutinizing it from a wide range of perspectives. These essays place the album within the social and political context of a turbulent historical moment; locate it within the Beatles’ lives and careers, taking into consideration the complex personal forces at play during the recording sessions; investigate the musical as well as pharmaceutical influences on the record; reveal how it reflects new developments in the Beatles’ songwriting and arranging; revisit the question of its alleged disunity; and finally, track its legacy and the breadth of its influence on later rock, pop, and hip-hop artists.
The Beatles through a Glass Onion features the scholarship of Adam Bradley, Vincent Benitez, Lori Burns, John Covach, Walter Everett, Michael Frontani, Steve Hamelman, Ian Inglis, John Kimsey, Mark Osteen, Russell Reising, Stephen Valdez, Anthony D. Villa, Kenneth Womack, and Alyssa Woods. John Covach’s Afterword summarizes the White Album’s lasting impact and value. The Beatles through a Glass Onion represents a landmark work of rock music scholarship. It will prove to be an essential and enduring contribution to the field.
Birds of Fire brings overdue critical attention to fusion, a musical idiom that emerged as young musicians blended elements of jazz, rock, and funk in the late 1960s and 1970s. At the time, fusion was disparaged by jazz writers and ignored by rock critics. In the years since, it has come to be seen as a commercially driven jazz substyle. Fusion never did coalesce into a genre. In Birds of Fire, Kevin Fellezs contends that hybridity was its reason for being. By mixing different musical and cultural traditions, fusion artists sought to disrupt generic boundaries, cultural hierarchies, and critical assumptions. Interpreting the work of four distinctive fusion artists—Tony Williams, John McLaughlin, Joni Mitchell, and Herbie Hancock—Fellezs highlights the ways that they challenged convention in the 1960s and 1970s. He also considers the extent to which a musician can be taken seriously as an artist across divergent musical traditions. Birds of Fire concludes with a look at the current activities of McLaughlin, Mitchell, and Hancock; Williams’s final recordings; and the legacy of the fusion music made by these four pioneering artists.
The Color of Rock: A Novel
Sandra Cavallo Miller University of Nevada Press, 2019 Library of Congress PS3613.I55293C65 2019 | Dewey Decimal 813.6
"Part Gray’s Anatomy, part modern western romance, Miller’s enjoyable story marries unexpected diagnoses with the promise of a happily-ever-after and will please fans of Jojo Moyes." —Publishers Weekly
A young physician, Dr. Abby Wilmore, attempts to escape her past by starting over at the Grand Canyon Clinic. Silently battling her own health issues, Abby struggles with adjusting to the demands of this unique rural location. She encounters everything from squirrel bites to suicides to an office plagued by strong personalities. While tending to unprepared tourists, underserved locals, and her own mental trials, Abby finds herself entangled in an unexpected romance and trapped amidst a danger even more treacherous than the foreboding desert landscape.
Sandra Cavallo Miller’s debut novel transports readers to the beautiful depths of Arizona and weaves an adventurous and heartwarming tale of the courage and strength it takes to overcome personal demons and to find love.
West of the Four Corners and east of the Colorado River, in southeastern Utah, a unique one-hundred-mile-long, two-hundred-foot-high, serrated cliff cuts the sky. Whether viewed as barrier wall or sheltering sanctuary, Comb Ridge has helped define life and culture in this region for thousands of years. Today, the area it crosses is still relatively remote, though an important part of a scenic complex of popular tourist destinations that includes Natural Bridges National Monument and Grand Gulch just to the west, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Lake Powell a bit farther west, Canyonlands National Park to the north, Hovenweep National Monument to the east, and the San Juan River and Monument Valley to the south. Prehistorically Comb Ridge split an intensively used Ancient Puebloan homeland. It later had similar cultural—both spiritual and practical—significance to Utes, Paiutes, and Navajos and played a crucial role in the history of European American settlement. To tell the story of this rock that is unlike any other rock in the world and the diverse people whose lives it has affected, Robert S. McPherson, author of multiple books on Navajos and on the Four Corners region, draws on the findings of a major, federally funded project to research the cultural history of Comb Ridge. He carries the story forward to contention over present and future uses of Comb Ridge and the spectacular country surrounding it.
Forty years after the fact, 1960s counterculture---personified by hippies, protest, and the Summer of Love---basks in a nostalgic glow in the popular imagination as a turning point in modern American history and the end of the age of innocence. Yet, while the era has come to be synonymous with rebellion and opposition, its truth is much more complex.
In a bold reconsideration of the late sixties San Francisco counterculture movement, Counterculture Kaleidoscope takes a close look at the cultural and musical practices of that era. Addressing the conventional wisdom that the movement was grounded in rebellion and opposition, the book exposes two myths: first, that the counterculture was an organized social and political movement of progressives with a shared agenda who opposed the mainstream (dubbed "hippies"); and second, that the counterculture was an innocent entity hijacked by commercialism and transformed over time into a vehicle of so-called "hip consumerism."
Seeking an alternative to the now common narrative, Nadya Zimmerman examines primary source material including music, artwork, popular literature, personal narratives, and firsthand historical accounts. She reveals that the San Francisco counterculture wasn't interested in commitments to causes and made no association with divisive issues---that it embraced everything in general and nothing in particular.
"Astute and accessible, Counterculture Kaleidoscope provides thought-provoking insights into the historical, cultural and social context of the San Francisco counter-culture and its music scene, including discussions of Vietnam and student protest, the Haight-Ashbury Diggers, the Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin, Altamont, and Charlie Manson. A must for students and scholars of socio-musical activity and for all of us to whom music matters."
---Sheila Whiteley, author of The Space Between the Notes: Rock and the Counter-Culture and Too Much Too Young: Popular Music, Age and Gender
"The hippie counterculture has never garnered the scholarly attention accorded the new left and the black freedom struggle. Overviews of the period ritualistically mention it as part and parcel of that apparently incandescent era---the Sixties---but rarely capture its distinctiveness. Counterculture Kaleidoscope is a timely and provocative intervention in Sixties scholarship that significantly deepens our understanding of this important but understudied phenomenon."
—Alice Echols, Associate Professor, University of Southern California, and author of Scars of Sweet Paradise: The Life and Times of Janis Joplin
A major contribution to both art history and Latin American studies, A Culture of Stone offers sophisticated new insights into Inka culture and the interpretation of non-Western art. Carolyn Dean focuses on rock outcrops masterfully integrated into Inka architecture, exquisitely worked masonry, and freestanding sacred rocks, explaining how certain stones took on lives of their own and played a vital role in the unfolding of Inka history. Examining the multiple uses of stone, she argues that the Inka understood building in stone as a way of ordering the chaos of unordered nature, converting untamed spaces into domesticated places, and laying claim to new territories. Dean contends that understanding what the rocks signified requires seeing them as the Inka saw them: as potentially animate, sentient, and sacred. Through careful analysis of Inka stonework, colonial-period accounts of the Inka, and contemporary ethnographic and folkloric studies of indigenous Andean culture, Dean reconstructs the relationships between stonework and other aspects of Inka life, including imperial expansion, worship, and agriculture. She also scrutinizes meanings imposed on Inka stone by the colonial Spanish and, later, by tourism and the tourist industry. A Culture of Stone is a compelling multidisciplinary argument for rethinking how we see and comprehend the Inka past.
There is no other way to put it: Elvis is the King. Note the present tense: even though Elvis (supposedly) died nearly forty years ago, he has lived on in our hearts, as a sound, as an image, and as an especially vigorous personality. In fact, it’s safe to say no other celebrity has done so quite as well. The Death and Resurrection of Elvis Presley is the story of that afterlife, of Elvis after he left the building. Walking the eccentrically carpeted rooms of Graceland, bidding into stratospheric sums on his auctioned relics, and mingling among the some 200,000 impersonators of his likeness, Ted Harrison offers nothing less than the ultimate Elvis tribute.
Harrison begins, of course, in pilgrimage: to Graceland. He shows how Elvis’s estate was pillaged nearly to ruin by his manager but was saved through the deft business acumen and financial vision of his divorced wife, one Priscilla Presley. If Graceland seems holy, that’s because it is: Harrison unveils in Elvis’s allure a deeply spiritual dimension, showing how Elvis fans, over the decades, have anointed their idol with Christ-like qualities. Through Elvis’s extravagance, Harrison raises fascinating links between money and faith, and through Elvis’s life, he shows how the King actually fulfilled a host of roles ranging from hero to martyr to saint. Underpinning the whole story is Elvis’s extraordinary charisma and—lest we forget—his astonishing musical genius.
Fascinating, colorful, and deeply informative, this book is a must-have for any fan, anyone who was ever lucky enough to see Elvis alive or who hopes they might still be able to.
Sometimes a rock concert is more than just an event. Every so often a band’s performance becomes a musical milestone, a cultural watershed, a political statement, and a personal apotheosis. On any given night a rock concert can tell the truth about who we are, where we are, and what’s going on in music and life right now. In The Decibel Diaries, Carter Alan, longtime DJ and music director at WZLX in Boston, chronicles a lifetime in rock with a tour through fifty concerts that defined such moments—from Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young playing in the rain when Richard Nixon resigned to Talking Heads and the first stirrings of punk in the basement bars of New York and Boston to the bluegrass angel Alison Krauss and the adaptable veteran Robert Plant forging a plangent, plaintive postmodern synergy. For each event Alan shows us what it was like to be there and telescopes out to reveal how this show fit into the arc of the artist’s career, the artist’s place in music, and the music’s place in the wider world. Taken together, The Decibel Diaries is a visceral and visionary portrait of nearly fifty years of rock ’n’ roll.
Pursuing the dream of a musical vocation—particularly in rock music—is typically regarded as an adolescent pipedream. Music is marked as an appropriate leisure activity, but one that should be discarded upon entering adulthood. How then do many men and women aspire to forge careers in music upon entering adulthood?
In Destined for Greatness, sociologist Michael Ramirez examines the lives of forty-eight independent rock musicians who seek out such non-normative choices in a college town renowned for its music scene. He explores the rich life course trajectories of women and men to explore the extent to which pathways are structured to allow some, but not all, individuals to fashion careers in music worlds. Ramirez suggests a more nuanced understanding of factors that enable the pursuit of musical livelihoods well into adulthood.
When rock ’n’ roll emerged in the 1950s, ministers denounced it from their pulpits and Sunday school teachers warned of the music’s demonic origins. The big beat, said Billy Graham, was “ever working in the world for evil.” Yet by the early 2000s Christian rock had become a billion-dollar industry. The Devil’s Music tells the story of this transformation.
Rock’s origins lie in part with the energetic Southern Pentecostal churches where Elvis, Little Richard, James Brown, and other pioneers of the genre worshipped as children. Randall J. Stephens shows that the music, styles, and ideas of tongue-speaking churches powerfully influenced these early performers. As rock ’n’ roll’s popularity grew, white preachers tried to distance their flock from this “blasphemous jungle music,” with little success. By the 1960s, Christian leaders feared the Beatles really were more popular than Jesus, as John Lennon claimed.
Stephens argues that in the early days of rock ’n’ roll, faith served as a vehicle for whites’ racial fears. A decade later, evangelical Christians were at odds with the counterculture and the antiwar movement. By associating the music of blacks and hippies with godlessness, believers used their faith to justify racism and conservative politics. But in a reversal of strategy in the early 1970s, the same evangelicals embraced Christian rock as a way to express Jesus’s message within their own religious community and project it into a secular world. In Stephens’s compelling narrative, the result was a powerful fusion of conservatism and popular culture whose effects are still felt today.
Beginning in 1949, while Elvis Presley and Sun Records were still virtually unknown--and two full years before Alan Freed famously "discovered" rock 'n' roll--Dewey Phillips brought rock 'n' roll to the Memphis airwaves by playing Howlin' Wolf, B. B. King, and Muddy Waters on his nightly radio show Red, Hot and Blue. The mid-South's most popular white deejay, "Daddy-O-Dewey" is part of rock 'n' roll history for being the first major disc jockey to play Elvis Presley (and subsequently to conduct the first live, on-air interview with Elvis). This book illustrates Phillips's role in turning a huge white audience on to previously forbidden race music. His zeal for rhythm and blues legitimized the sound and set the stage for both Elvis's subsequent success and the rock 'n' roll revolution of the 1950s. Using personal interviews, documentary sources, and the oral history collections at the Center for Southern Folklore and the University of Memphis, Louis Cantor presents a very personal view of the disc jockey while arguing for his place as an essential part of rock 'n' roll history.
Can musicians really make the world more sustainable? Anthropologist Mark Pedelty, joined an eco-oriented band, the Hypoxic Punks, to find out. In his timely and exciting book, Ecomusicology, Pedelty explores the political ecology of rock, from local bands to global superstars. He examines the climate change controversies of U2's 360 Degrees stadium tour—deemed excessive by some—and the struggles of local folk singers who perform songs about the environment. In the process, he raises serious questions about the environmental effects and meanings on music.
Ecomusicology examines the global, national, regional, and historical contexts in which environmental pop is performed. Pedelty reveals the ecological potentials and pitfalls of contemporary popular music, in part through ethnographic fieldwork among performers, audiences, and activists. Ultimately, he explains how popular music dramatically reflects both the contradictions and dreams of communities searching for sustainability.
Eight miles long and four miles wide, Grand Island lies off the south shore of Lake Superior. It was once home to a sizable community of Chippewa Indians who lived in harmony with the land and with each other. Their tragic demise began early in the nineteenth century when their fellow tribesmen from the mainland goaded them into waging war against rival Sioux. The war party was decimated; only one young brave, Powers of the Air, lived to tell the story that celebrated the heroism of his band and formed the basis of the legend that survives today. Distinguished historian Loren R. Graham has spent more than forty years researching and reconstructing the poignant tale of Powers of the Air and his people. A Face in the Rock is an artful melding of human history and natural history; it is a fascinating narrative of the intimate relation between place and people.
Powers of the Air lived to witness the desecration of Grand Island by the fur and logging industries, the Christianization of the tribe, and the near total loss of the Chippewa language, history, and culture. Graham charts the plight of the Chippewa as white culture steadily encroaches, forcing the native people off the island and dispersing their community on the mainland. The story ends with happier events of the past two decades, including the protection of Grand Island within the National Forest system, and the resurgence of Chippewa culture.
Five Years Ahead of My Time: Garage Rock from the 1950s to the Present tells of a musical phenomenon whose continuing influence on global popular culture is immeasurable.
The story begins in 1950s America, when classic rock ’n’ roll was reaching middle age, and teenaged musicians kept its primal rawness going with rough-hewn instrumentals, practicing guitar riffs in their parents’ garages. In the mid-1960s came the Beatles and the British Invasion, and soon every neighborhood had its own garage band. Groups like the Sonics and 13th Floor Elevators burnt brightly but briefly, only to be rediscovered by a new generation of connoisseurs in the 1970s. Numerous compilation albums followed, spearheaded by Lenny Kaye’s iconic Nuggets, which resulted in garage rock’s rebirth during the 1980s and ’90s.
Be it the White Stripes or the Black Keys, bands have consistently found inspiration in the simplicity and energy of garage rock. It is a revitalizing force, looking back to the past to forge the future of rock ’n’ roll. And this, for the first time, is its story.
For nearly twenty years, the much-beloved music magazine Roctober has featured work by some of the best underground cartoonists, exhaustive examinations of made-up genres such as “robot rock,” and an ongoing exploration of everything Sammy Davis Jr. ever sang, said, or did. But the heart of the magazine has always been the lengthy conversations with overlooked or forgotten artists. Flying Saucers Rock ’n’ Roll gathers the most compelling of these interviews. Eccentric, important artists—including the rockabilly icon Billy Lee Riley, the jazz musician and activist Oscar Brown Jr., the “Outlaw Country” singer David Allan Coe, and the pioneer rock ’n’ roll group the Treniers—give the most in-depth interviews of their lengthy careers. Obscure musicians, such as the Armenian-language novelty artist Guy Chookoorian and the frustrated interstellar glam act Zolar X, reveal fascinating lives lived at rock’s margins. Roctober’s legendarily dedicated writers convey telling anecdotes in the fervent, captivating prose that has long been appreciated by music enthusiasts. Along with the entertaining interviews, Flying Saucers Rock ’n’ Roll features more than sixty images from the pages of Roctober and ten illustrations created for the book by the underground rock ’n’ roll artist King Merinuk.
Contributors Steve Albini Ben Austen Jake Austen John Battles Bosco Ken Burke Mike Maltese King Merinuk Ken Mottet Jonathan Poletti James Porter "Colonel" Dan Sorenson Jacqueline Stewart
The most powerful forces on earth have shaped the landscape of Southeast Alaska. Scientists and visitors from around the world trek north to experience wild rivers, powerful glaciers, and breathtaking mountain peaks. Now, for the first time, a handy guide to the region is available. Complete with color illustrations revealing millions of years of geological history and in-depth descriptions of Sitka, Juneau, and Glacier Bay, Geology of Southeast Alaska is essential reading for anyone fascinated by rock and ice in motion.
Written by a geologist with over twenty-five years of experience in the north, Geology of Southeast Alaska will entertain and inform with abundant photographs and detailed drawings. Whether you want to understand the forces that shaped the state of Alaska, or you want to learn the basics of glacial movement, this compact, authoritative book is for you.
". . . a great blow-by-blow account of an exciting and still-legendary scene."
From the early days of John Lee Hooker to the heyday of Motown and beyond, Detroit has enjoyed a long reputation as one of the crucibles of American pop music. In Grit, Noise, and Revolution, David Carson turns the spotlight on those hard-rocking, long-haired musicians-influenced by Detroit's R&B heritage-who ultimately helped change the face of rock 'n' roll.
Carson tells the story of some of the great garage-inspired, blue-collar Motor City rock 'n' roll bands that exemplified the Detroit rock sound: The MC5, Iggy Pop and the Stooges, Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, SRC, the Bob Seger System, Ted Nugent and the Amboy Dukes, and Grand Funk Railroad.
An indispensable guide for rock aficionados, Grit, Noise, and Revolution features stories of these groundbreaking groups and is the first book to survey Detroit music of the 1960s and 70s-a pivotal era in rock music history.
"Guitarist Dennis Coffey was in that elite band of musicians who helped to create the Motown Sound."
"There can never be enough stories told from the vantage point of Motown's fabled Snake Pit, from one of the journeyman musicians working behind the scenes. Guitars, Bars, and Motown Superstars also shows just how frenetic and creative the Detroit music scene was in the '60s and '70s. But it's Dennis Coffey's personal story that's most gripping: the journey from Motown, to Billboard's Top Ten, to working the line at Chevrolet."
---Susan Whitall, Detroit News; author of Women of Motown
Under Berry Gordy, Motown was a place where studio musicians usually stood in the shadows, unlike the solo stars whose names appeared on the albums. Gordy held a tight rein on his musicians, forbidding them from playing for other record companies and denying them credit on his records.
In Guitars, Bars, and Motown Superstars, author and guitarist Dennis Coffey tells how he slipped Gordy's draconian rules and went on to success as both a Motown musician and a million-selling solo artist. He offers a fascinating backstage look at the Detroit, L.A., and New York music scenes in the '60s and '70s, with side trips to the smoky clubs and funky studios where the Motown sound was born.
Coffey is credited with creating a lot of that sound, including the famous guitar intro to the Temptations' classic "Cloud Nine." He played on hundreds of Motown albums, and introduced such innovations as the Wah Wah pedal into the Motown recording studio.
Guitars, Bars, and Motown Superstars is an entertaining and amusing memoir of one of the most dynamic and influential periods in contemporary pop culture, and a unique insight into the ups and downs of the studio guitar-for-hire. It's also a look at the dizzying rags-to-riches-and-back-again career of a rock musician who went from million-seller with a house in the Hollywood Hills, and ultimately back to his roots in the Detroit area. A must for fans of Motown, rock, and you-are-there pop-culture history.
From "rock & roll kid" to honorary member of Motown's elite rhythm section the Funk Brothers, Dennis Coffey was one of Detroit's most in-demand session guitarists. After leaving Motown, Coffey became a regular at Hitsville USA, playing on records for Marvin Gaye, the Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight, and Junior Walker. Most recently he appeared in the documentary Standing in the Shadows of Motown.
From baby boomers to millennials, attending a big music festival has basically become a cultural rite of passage in America. In Half a Million Strong, music writer and scholar Gina Arnold explores the history of large music festivals in America and examines their impact on American culture. Studying literature, films, journalism, and other archival detritus of the countercultural era, Arnold looks closely at a number of large and well-known festivals, including the Newport Folk Festival, Woodstock, Altamont, Wattstax, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, and others to map their cultural significance in the American experience. She finds that—far from being the utopian and communal spaces of spiritual regeneration that they claim for themselves— these large music festivals serve mostly to display the free market to consumers in its very best light.
In its open improvisations, lapidary lyrics, errant melodies, and relentless pursuit of spontaneity, the British experimental band Henry Cow pushed rock music to its limits. Its rotating personnel, sprung from rock, free jazz, and orchestral worlds, synthesized a distinct sound that troubled genre lines, and with this musical diversity came a mixed politics, including Maoism, communism, feminism, and Italian Marxism. In Henry Cow: The World Is a Problem Benjamin Piekut tells the band’s story—from its founding in Cambridge in 1968 and later affiliation with Virgin Records to its demise ten years later—and analyzes its varied efforts to link aesthetics with politics. Drawing on ninety interviews with Henry Cow musicians and crew, letters, notebooks, scores, journals, and meeting notes, Piekut traces the group’s pursuit of a political and musical collectivism, offering up its history as but one example of the vernacular avant-garde that emerged in the decades after World War II. Henry Cow’s story resonates far beyond its inimitable music; it speaks to the avant-garde’s unpredictable potential to transform the world.
"In Albin J. Zak III's highly original study, phonograph records are not just the medium for disseminating songs but musical works unto themselves. Fashioned from a mix of copyright law, recording studios and techniques, the talent of musicians and disc jockeys, the ingenuity and avarice of producers, and the appetites of record buyers, the all-powerful marketplace Zak describes is an unruly zone where music of, by, and for the people is made and anointed."
---Richard Crawford, author of America's Musical Life: A History
"Wrestling clarity from the exuberant chaos of early rock 'n' roll, Albin Zak's I Don't Sound Like Nobody redefines our understanding of the record in the shaping of the post– World War II soundscape. Zak tracks the story which extends from Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra through Elvis and Buddy Holly to the Beatles and Bob Dylan with excursions into dozens of lesser known, but crucial, players in a game with few established rules. A crucial addition to the bookshelf."
---Craig Werner, author of A Change Is Gonna Come: Music, Race & the Soul of America
"I Don't Sound Like Nobody is a superb account of the transformation of American popular music in the 1950s. Albin Zak insightfully explores what recording actually means in terms of the process of making and consuming music. His discussion of the legal, aesthetic, and industrial ramifications of changes in the recording process over the course of the 1950s will make popular music scholars and record collectors reconsider what they think they know about the period."
---Rob Bowman, author of Soulsville, U.S.A.: The Story of Stax Records
"Informative, original, and entertaining. Through a narrative that is not only enlightening but also compelling, I Don't Sound Like Nobody probes the sources and mechanisms of change within post-war American popular music, shedding a cultural and historical light on the convergence of musical idioms that created '50s rock and roll."
---Stan Hawkins, author of Settling the Pop Score
"From the birth of the record industry through the legacy of Presley, the development of rock and roll, and the Beatles 'stunning arrival on the world's stage,' Albin Zak takes us on a journey of exceptional scholarship. The breadth of coverage and deep examination of recordings and repertoire reveal the author's reverence and sensitivity to the many dimensions and origins of this complex musical soundscape."
---William Moylan, author of Understanding and Crafting the Mix: The Art of Recording
The 1950s marked a radical transformation in American popular music as the nation drifted away from its love affair with big band swing to embrace the unschooled and unruly new sounds of rock 'n' roll.
The sudden flood of records from the margins of the music industry left impressions on the pop soundscape that would eventually reshape long-established listening habits and expectations, as well as conventions of songwriting, performance, and recording. When Elvis Presley claimed, "I don't sound like nobody," a year before he made his first commercial record, he unwittingly articulated the era's musical Zeitgeist.
The central story line of I Don't Sound Like Nobody is change itself. The book's characters include not just performers but engineers, producers, songwriters, label owners, radio personalities, and fans---all of them key players in the decade's musical transformation.
Written in engaging, accessible prose, Albin Zak's I Don't Sound Like Nobody approaches musical and historical issues of the 1950s through the lens of recordings and fashions a compelling story of the birth of a new musical language. The book belongs on the shelf of every modern music aficionado and every scholar of rock 'n' roll.
Albin J. Zak III is Professor of Music at the University at Albany, State University of New York. He is the editor of The Velvet Underground Companion and the author of The Poetics of Rock: Cutting Tracks, Making Records, a groundbreaking study of rock music production. Zak is also a record producer, songwriter, singer, and guitarist.
In Dylan Town: A Fan's Life
David Gaines University of Iowa Press, 2015 Library of Congress ML420.D98G35 2015 | Dewey Decimal 782.42164092
For fifty years, the music, words, story, and fans of Bob Dylan have fascinated David Gaines. As a son, a husband, a father, a teacher, and a passionate lover of the literary in all its guises, he has pursued the poetic fusion of knowledge and emotion all his life. More often than not, Dylan’s lyrics and music have expressed that fusion for him, and so he has encouraged others to acknowledge the musician or writer or painter or director or actor or athlete who matters deeply (perhaps a bit mysteriously) to them, and to deploy that enigmatic passion in service of self-knowledge and social connection. After all, one of the central reasons to be a fan is to compare notes, explore mysteries, and riff with fellow fans in a community of exploration.
Gaines’s personal journey toward creating such communities of passionate knowledge encompasses his own coming of age and marriages, fatherhood, and teaching. As a devoted fan who is also a professor of American literature, questions about teaching and learning are central to his experience. When asked, “Why Dylan?” he says, “He’s the writer I care about the most. He’s been the way into the best and longest running conversations I have ever had.” Talking with students, exchanging Dylan trivia with fellow fans, or cheering on fan-musicians doing Dylan covers during the Dylan Days festival, Gaines shows that, for many people, being a fan of popular culture couples serious critical and creative engagement with heartfelt commitment. Here, largely unheralded, the ideal of liberal education is realized every day.
Is It Still Good to Ya? sums up the career of longtime Village Voice stalwart Robert Christgau, who for half a century has been America's most widely respected rock critic, honoring a music he argues is only more enduring because it's sometimes simple or silly. While compiling historical overviews going back to Dionysus and the gramophone along with artist analyses that range from Louis Armstrong to M.I.A., this definitive collection also explores pop's African roots, response to 9/11, and evolution from the teen music of the '50s to an art form compelled to confront mortality as its heroes pass on. A final section combines searching obituaries of David Bowie, Prince, and Leonard Cohen with awed farewells to Bob Marley and Ornette Coleman.
Just around Midnight
Jack Hamilton Harvard University Press, 2016 Library of Congress ML3534.H336 2016 | Dewey Decimal 781.6609046
When Jimi Hendrix died, the idea of a black man playing lead guitar in a rock band seemed exotic. Yet ten years earlier, Chuck Berry had stood among the most influential rock and roll performers. Why did rock and roll become white? Jack Hamilton challenges the racial categories that distort standard histories of rock music and the 60s revolution.
On February 20, 2003, the deadliest rock concert in U.S. history took place at a roadhouse called The Station in West Warwick, Rhode Island. That night, in the few minutes it takes to play a hard-rock standard, the fate of many of the unsuspecting nightclub patrons was determined with awful certainty. The blaze was ignited when pyrotechnics set off by Great White, a 1980s heavy-metal band, lit flammable polyurethane “egg crate” foam sound insulation on the club’s walls. In less than 10 minutes, 96 people were dead and 200 more were injured, many catastrophically. The final death toll topped out, three months later, at the eerily unlikely round number of 100. The story of the fire, its causes, and its legal and human aftermath is one of lives put at risk by petty economic decisions—by a band, club owners, promoters, building inspectors, and product manufacturers. Any one of those decisions, made differently, might have averted the tragedy. Together, however, they reached a fatal critical mass. Killer Show is the first comprehensive exploration of the chain of events leading up to the fire, the conflagration itself, and the painstaking search for evidence to hold the guilty to account and obtain justice for the victims. Anyone who has entered an entertainment venue and wondered, “Could I get out of here in a hurry?” will identify with concertgoers at The Station. Fans of disaster nonfiction and forensic thrillers will find ample elements of both genres in Killer Show.
Les Paul: Guitar Wizard
Bob Jacobson Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2012 Library of Congress ML3930.P29J33 2012 | Dewey Decimal 787.87092
This addition to the Badger Biographies series for young readers tells the story of Les Paul, the legendary “Wizard of Waukesha,” who pioneered the solid body electric guitar, multi-track recording, and many other musical inventions. Fascinated since boyhood with musical technology, the young Les moved from experimenting with his mother’s player piano and phonograph to developing his own amplifier and tinkering with crystal radios.
After leaving his hometown of Waukesha at age 17 to pursue a musical career—a decision his mother supported—the budding jazz guitarist lived in Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles, in each city finding a new audience and new musical partnerships. A regular on the radio, Les became a fixture in early television, appearing on the Ed Sullivan Show, and later, a show of his own with partner Mary Ford. Along the way, he overcame numerous physical challenges, including recovery from electric shock and rehabilitation after a horrific car accident—both of which threatened his musical career. And yet, Les Paul pushed musical technology forward more than any other musician of the twentieth century. This Grammy Hall of Fame inductee died in 2009, making Les Paul: Guitar Wizard a timely addition to the series. This lively story is rounded out with sidebars on radio call letters and how an electric guitar works, a full discography, and over 60 historic photographs.
Bruce Springsteen might be the quintessential American rock musician but his songs have resonated with fans from all walks of life and from all over the world. This unique collection features reflections from a diverse array of writers who explain what Springsteen means to them and describe how they have been moved, shaped, and challenged by his music.
Contributors to Long Walk Home include novelists like Richard Russo, rock critics like Greil Marcus and Gillian Gaar, and other noted Springsteen scholars and fans such as A. O. Scott, Peter Ames Carlin, and Paul Muldoon. They reveal how Springsteen’s albums served as the soundtrack to their lives while also exploring the meaning of his music and the lessons it offers its listeners. The stories in this collection range from the tale of how “Growin’ Up” helped a lonely Indian girl adjust to life in the American South to the saga of a group of young Australians who turned to Born to Run to cope with their country’s 1975 constitutional crisis. These essays examine the big questions at the heart of Springsteen’s music, demonstrating the ways his songs have resonated for millions of listeners for nearly five decades.
Commemorating the Boss’s seventieth birthday, Long Walk Home explores Springsteen’s legacy and provides a stirring set of testimonials that illustrate why his music matters.
Dubbed the Margaret Mead of heavy metal, Donna Gaines is a walking, talking oxymoron, a turnpike intellectual. A Misfit's Manifesto is the story of her wild-in-the-burbs odyssey-from overweight yeshiva girl to savvy street-punk sociologist. Isolated, angry, and depressed through most of her adolescence and early adulthood, she found truth and beauty in the least likely places. Wandering the craggy terrain of Rockaway Beach, Queens, Gaines embarked upon a path to enlightenment involving sex, drugs, rock & roll, sociology, cosmetology, True Love, the occult, tattoos, science fiction, pizza, guns, comic books, and surfing-by Web and by sea.
For Gaines, dignity, joy, and communion came not from family, organized religion, or mandatory schooling, but in the sound of doo-wop, surf music, acid rock, then punk, trash metal, and hardcore. "For most of my life," she writes, "music was the only way to connect that wouldn't eventually kill me."
Through all the ripped nights of binge-drinking, pill-popping, and nightclubbing, Gaines became an acclaimed author, scholar, and expert on teen suicide. In an age of conformity and censorship, she defends popular culture as a powerful spiritual force-a vibrant, valid connection to God. A meditation on alienation and engagement, this memoir is an outcast's journey into the black-hole sun, where Divine love and light are found-even in Ramones songs.
This edition includes a scholarly introduction that considers memoir as a sociological as well as literary genre, as a reflexive means of understanding the self in social context while nurturing a sociological imagination. Social memoir, Gaines argues, illuminates problems like alienation, marginality, addiction, and suicide, while making sociology more user-friendly and public. Now this work of dazzling originality and iconoclasm that has inspired misfits everywhere is an ideal text for classroom use, making complex social theory exciting, timely, and relevant for students.
Popular music has long been a powerful force for social change. Protest songs have served as anthems regarding war, racism, sexism, ecological destruction and so many other crucial issues.
Music Is Power takes us on a guided tour through the past 100 years of politically-conscious music, from Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie to Green Day and NWA. Covering a wide variety of genres, including reggae, country, metal, psychedelia, rap, punk, folk and soul, Brad Schreiber demonstrates how musicians can take a variety of approaches— angry rallying cries, mournful elegies to the victims of injustice, or even humorous mockeries of authority—to fight for a fairer world. While shining a spotlight on Phil Ochs, Gil Scott-Heron, The Dead Kennedys and other seminal, politicized artists, he also gives readers a new appreciation of classic acts such as Lesley Gore, James Brown, and Black Sabbath, who overcame limitations in their industry to create politically potent music
Music Is Power tells fascinating stories about the origins and the impact of dozens of world-changing songs, while revealing political context and the personal challenges of legendary artists from Bob Dylan to Bob Marley.
On February 2, 1968, the Electric Factory, Philadelphia's first major venue for the era's new music, opened with a show featuring the Chambers Brothers. Performing their neosoul and gospel sounds in a warm and inviting venue, they declared, "My soul's been psychedelicized!"-a feeling that the Factory's cofounder, Larry Magid, has been experiencing ever since.
In My Soul's Been Psychedelicized, Magid presents a spectacular photographic history of the bands and solo acts that have performed at the Electric Factory and at other venues in Factory-produced concerts over the past four decades. The book includes concert posters, photographs, and promotional items featuring both rising stars and established performers, such as Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Bette Midler, Elvis Presley, Tina Turner, Pearl Jam and many, many more.
The images—candid and celebratory—create a one-of-a-kind history of rock and roll, from the wild 1960s to the Live Aid concert in 1985 and the closing of the Philadelphia Spectrum in 2009. Magid's vivid recollections constitute a who's who of pop music and culture. As one of the great concert producers, he shares his unique perspective on the business, talking about how it has changed and how lasting careers have been carefully developed.
For anyone who has ever attended a concert at the Electric Factory—or for anyone who missed a show—My Soul's Been Psychedelicized will bring back great memories of the music and the musicians.
The Outlaws of Cave-in-Rock
Otto A. Rothert. Foreword by Robert Clark Southern Illinois University Press, 1996 Library of Congress F549.C37R8 1996 | Dewey Decimal 977.398
Exceptionally rare and valued by book collectors, Otto A. Rothert’ s riveting saga of the outlaws and scoundrels of Cave-in-Rock chronicles the adventures of an audacious cast of river pirates and highwaymen who operated in and around the famous Ohio River cavern from 1795 through 1820 (adventures featured in Disney’ s Davy Crockett and the film How the West Was Won). Once sporting the enticing sign "Liquor Vault and House for Entertainment," this beautiful cavern location decoyed the unsuspecting by offering a venue for food, drink, and rest.
Compellingly lively, The Outlaws of Cave-in-Rock is nonetheless the work of a scholar, a historian who documents his findings and leaves a detailed bibliographical trail. Presenting many eyewitness accounts, Rothert supplies the lore and legend of the colorful villains of Cave-in-Rock. Always maintaining the difference between stories he tells with historical authority and those that are pure speculation, Rothert provides both a fascinating narrative and a valuable regional history.
When it first appeared in the early 1970s, glam rock not only caused a stir among audiences and performers, it also stood counterculture and psychedelic rock on their heads. Glam rock was outrageous and overtly theatrical, and its unforgettable characters-adorned with flamboyant costumes and heavy makeup and accompanied by elaborately constructed sets-were personified by performers such as Marc Bolan, David Bowie, Bryan Ferry, and Suzi Quatro. A sea change in rock performance had occurred.
Yet glam was as much about substance as style, and Performing Glam Rock delves into the many ways glam paved the way for new explorations of identity in terms of gender, sexuality, and performance. Philip Auslander positions glam historically and examines it as a set of performance strategies, exploring the ways in which glam rock-while celebrating the showmanship of 1950s rock and roll-began to undermine rock's adherence to the ideology of authenticity in the late 1960s.
In this important study of a too-often-overlooked phenomenon, Auslander takes a fresh look at the genius of the glam movement and introduces glam to a new generation of performance enthusiasts and scholars alike.
Philip Auslander is Professor in the School of Literature, Communication, and Culture at the Georgia Institute of Technology and author of numerous books, including Liveness: Performance in a Mediatized Culture and Presence and Resistance: Postmodernism and Cultural Politics in Contemporary American Performance. He is editor of the major reference work Performance: Critical Concepts and coeditor, with Carrie Sandahl, of Bodies in Commotion: Disability and Performance.
Unless you lived through the 1970s, it seems impossible to understand it at all. Drug delirium, groovy fashion, religious cults, mega corporations, glitzy glam, hard rock, global unrest—from our 2018 perspective, the seventies are often remembered as a bizarre blur of bohemianism and disco. With Pick Up the Pieces, John Corbett transports us back in time to this thrillingly tumultuous era through a playful exploration of its music. Song by song, album by album, he draws our imaginations back into one of the wildest decades in history.
Rock. Disco. Pop. Soul. Jazz. Folk. Funk. The music scene of the 1970s was as varied as it was exhilarating, but the decade’s diversity of sound has never been captured in one book before now. Pick Up the Pieces gives a panoramic view of the era’s music and culture through seventy-eight essays that allow readers to dip in and out of the decade at random or immerse themselves completely in Corbett’s chronological journey.
An inviting mix of skilled music criticism and cultural observation, Pick Up the Pieces is also a coming-of-age story, tracking the author’s absorption in music as he grows from age seven to seventeen. Along with entertaining personal observations and stories, Corbett includes little-known insights into musicians from Pink Floyd, Joni Mitchell, James Brown, and Fleetwood Mac to the Residents, Devo, Gal Costa, and Julius Hemphill.
A master DJ on the page, Corbett takes us through the curated playlist that is Pick Up the Pieces with captivating melody of language and powerful enthusiasm for the era. This funny, energetic book will have readers longing nostalgically for a decade long past.
From the 1920s on, popular music in Southeast Asia was a mass-audience phenomenon that drew new connections between indigenous musical styles and contemporary genres from elsewhere to create new, hybrid forms. This book presents a cultural history of modern Southeast Asia from the vantage point of popular music, considering not just singers and musicians but their fans as well, showing how the music was intrinsically bound up with modern life and the societal changes that came with it. Reaching new audiences across national borders, popular music of the period helped push social change, and at times served as a medium for expressions of social or political discontent.
The most compelling art form to emerge from the United States in the second half of the twentieth century, rock & roll stands in an edgy relationship with its own mythology, its own musicological history and the broader culture in which it plays a part. In Present Tense, Anthony DeCurtis brings together writers from a wide variety of fields to explore how rock & roll is made, consumed, and experienced in our time. In this collection, Greil Marcus creates a collage of words and pictures that evokes and explores Elvis Presley's grisly fate as an American cultural image, while Robert Palmer tells the gripping tale of the origins and meanings of the electric guitar. Rap music, MTV, and the issue of gender identity in the work of Bruce Springsteen all undergo thorough examination; rock & roll's complex relationship with the forces of censorship gets a remarkably fresh reading; and the mainstreaming of rock & roll in the 1980s is detailed and analyzed. And, in an interview with Laurie Anderson and an essay by Atlanta musician Jeff Calder, the artists speak for themselves.
Contributors. Jeff Calder, Anthony DeCurtis, Mark Dery, Paul Evans, Glenn Gass, Trent Hill, Michael Jarrett, Alan Light, Greil Marcus, Robert Palmer, Robert B. Ray, Dan Rubey, David R. Shumway, Martha Nell Smith, Paul Smith
Race, Rock, and Elvis
Michael T. Bertrand University of Illinois Press, 2000 Library of Congress ML3918.R63B47 2000 | Dewey Decimal 781.660975
In Race, Rock, and Elvis, Michael T. Bertrand contends that popular music, specifically Elvis's brand of rock 'n' roll, helped revise racial attitudes after World War II. Observing that youthful fans of rhythm and blues, rock 'n' roll, and other black-inspired music seemed more inclined than their segregationist elders to ignore the color line, Bertrand links popular music with a more general relaxation, led by white youths, of the historical denigration of blacks in the South. The tradition of southern racism, successfully communicated to previous generations, failed for the first time when confronted with the demand for rock 'n' roll by a new, national, commercialized youth culture.
In a narrative peppered with the colorful observations of ordinary southerners, Bertrand argues that appreciating black music made possible a new recognition of blacks as fellow human beings. Bertrand documents black enthusiasm for Elvis and cites the racially mixed audiences that flocked to the new music at a time when adults expected separate performances for black and white audiences. He describes the critical role of radio and recordings in blurring the color line and notes that these media made black culture available to appreciative whites on an unprecedented scale. He also shows how music was used to define and express the values of a southern working-class youth culture in transition, as young whites, many of them trying to orient themselves in an unfamiliar urban setting, embraced black music and culture as a means of identifying themselves.
By adding rock 'n' roll to the mix of factors that fed into civil rights advances in the South, Race, Rock, and Elvis shows how the music, with its rituals and vehicles, symbolized the vast potential for racial accord inherent in postwar society.
Blaring the Cream anthem “I Feel Free,” WBCN went on the air in March 1968 as an experiment in free-form rock on the fledgling FM radio band. It broadcast its final song, Pink Floyd’s “Shine On You Crazy Diamond,” in August 2009. In between, WBCN became the musical, cultural, and political voice of the young people of Boston and New England, sustaining a vibrant local music scene that launched such artists as the J. Geils Band, Aerosmith, James Taylor, Boston, the Cars, and the Dropkick Murphys, as well as paving the way for Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, U2, and many others. Along the way, WBCN both pioneered and defined progressive rock radio, the dominant format for a generation of listeners. Brilliantly told by Carter Alan—and featuring the voices of station insiders and the artists they loved—Radio Free Boston is the story of a city; of artistic freedom, of music and politics and identity; and of the cultural, technological, and financial forces that killed rock radio.
From rap to folk to punk, music has often sought to shape its listeners’ political views, uniting them as a global community and inspiring them to take action. Yet the rallying potential of music can also be harnessed for sinister ends. As this groundbreaking new book reveals, white-power music has served as a key recruiting tool for neo-Nazi and racist hate groups worldwide.
Reichsrock shines a light on the international white-power music industry, the fandoms it has spawned, and the virulently racist beliefs it perpetuates. Kirsten Dyck not only investigates how white-power bands and their fans have used the internet to spread their message globally, but also considers how distinctly local white-power scenes have emerged in Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Latin America, the United States, and many other sites. While exploring how white-power bands draw from a common well of nationalist, racist, and neo-Nazi ideologies, the book thus also illuminates how white-power musicians adapt their music to different locations, many of which have their own terms for defining whiteness and racial otherness.
Closely tracking the online presence of white-power musicians and their fans, Dyck analyzes the virtual forums and media they use to articulate their hateful rhetoric. This book also demonstrates how this fandom has sparked spectacular violence in the real world, from bombings to mass shootings. Reichsrock thus sounds an urgent message about a global menace.
You know it when you hear it, but can you say what it is? How you know? Why you either love or loathe it? What makes it original or derivative? To a music that tends to render its aficionados and detractors equally inarticulate, Theodore Gracyk brings a rare critical clarity. His book tells us once and for all what makes rock music rock. A happy marriage of aesthetic theory and the aesthetic practice that moved a generation, Rhythm and Noise is the only thorough-going account of rock as a distinct artistic medium rather than a species of popular culture. What’s in a name? “Rock” or “Rock ’n’ Roll?” Grayck argues that rock and roll is actually a performance style, one in a number of musical styles comprising rock. What distinguishes rock, Gracyk tells us, is how it is mediated by technology: The art is in the recording. The lesson is a heady one, entailing a tour through the history of rock music from Elvis Presley’s first recordings in 1954 to Kurt Cobain’s suicide in 1994. Gracyk takes us through key recordings, lets us hear what rock musicians and their critics have to say, shows us how other kinds of music compare, and gives us the philosophical background to make more than passing sense of the medium. His work takes up the common myths and stereotypes about rock, popular and academic, and focuses on the features of the music that electrify fans and consistently generate controversy. When Elvis came to town, did southern sheriffs say that rock was barbaric and addictive? Well so did Theodor Adorno, in his way, and Allan Bloom, in his, and Gracyk takes aim at this charge as it echoes through the era of recorded music. He looks at what rock has to do with romanticism and, even more, with commercialism. And he questions the orthodoxy of making grand distinctions between “serious” and “popular” art. Keenly attuned to the nuances of music and of all the ways that we can think about it, this exhilarating book tunes us in, as no other has, to the complex role of rock in American culture.
The original architects of rock ’n’ roll were black musicians including Little Richard, Etta James, and Chuck Berry. Jimi Hendrix electrified rock with his explosive guitar in the late 1960s. Yet by the 1980s, rock music produced by African Americans no longer seemed to be “authentically black.” Particularly within the music industry, the prevailing view was that no one—not black audiences, not white audiences, and not black musicians—had an interest in black rock. In 1985 New York-based black musicians and writers formed the Black Rock Coalition (brc) to challenge that notion and create outlets for black rock music. A second branch of the coalition started in Los Angeles in 1989. Under the auspices of the brc, musicians organized performances and produced recordings and radio and television shows featuring black rock. The first book to focus on the brc, Right to Rock is, like the coalition itself, about the connections between race and music, identity and authenticity, art and politics, and power and change. Maureen Mahon observed and participated in brc activities in New York and Los Angeles, and she conducted interviews with more than two dozen brc members. In Right to Rock she offers an in-depth account of how, for nearly twenty years, members of the brc have broadened understandings of black identity and black culture through rock music.
"The poet makes himself into a visionary by a long derangement of all the senses."—Rimbaud
In 1968 Jim Morrison, founder and lead singer of the rock band the Doors, wrote to Wallace Fowlie, a scholar of French literature and a professor at Duke University. Morrison thanked Fowlie for producing an English translation of the complete poems of Rimbaud. He needed the translation, he said, because, "I don’t read French that easily. . . . I am a rock singer and your book travels around with me." Fourteen years later, when Fowlie first heard the music of the Doors, he recognized the influence of Rimbaud in Morrison’s lyrics.
In Rimbaud and Jim Morrison Fowlie, a master of the form of the memoir, reconstructs the lives of the two youthful poets from a personal perspective. In their twinned stories he discovers an uncanny symmetry, a pattern far richer than the simple truth that both led lives full of adventure and both made poetry of their thirst for the liberation of the self. The result is an engaging account of the connections between an exceptional French symbolist who gave up writing poetry at the age of twenty, died young, and whose poems are still avidly read to this day, and an American rock musician whose brief career ignited an entire generation and has continued to fascinate millions around the world in the twenty years since his death in Paris. In this dual portrait, Fowlie gives us a glimpse of the affinities and resemblances between European literary traditions and American rock music and youth culture in the late twentieth century.
A personal meditation on two unusual, yet emblematic, cultural figures, this book also stands as a summary of a noted scholar’s lifelong reflections on creative artists.
Chuck Eddy is one of the most entertaining, idiosyncratic, influential, and prolific music critics of the past three decades. His byline has appeared everywhere from the Village Voice and Rolling Stone to Creem, Spin,and Vibe. Eddy is a consistently incisive journalist, unafraid to explore and defend genres that other critics look down on or ignore. His interviews with subjects ranging from the Beastie Boys, the Pet Shop Boys, Robert Plant, and Teena Marie to the Flaming Lips, AC/DC, and Eminem’s grandmother are unforgettable. His review of a 1985 Aerosmith album reportedly inspired the producer Rick Rubin to pair the rockers with Run DMC. In the eighties, Eddy was one of the first critics to widely cover indie rock, and he has since brought his signature hyper-caffeinated, hyper-hyphenated style to bear on heavy metal, hip-hop, country—you name it. Rock and Roll Always Forgets features the best, most provocative reviews, interviews, columns, and essays written by this singular critic. Essential reading for music scholars and fans, it may well be the definitive time-capsule comment on pop music at the turn of the twenty-first century.
From 1954 to 1984, the media made rock n’ roll an international language. In this era of rapidly changing technology, styles and culture changed dramatically, too. In the 1950s, wild-eyed Southern boys burst into national consciousness on 45 rpm records, and then 1960s British rockers made the transition from 45s to LPs. By the 1970s, rockers were competing with television, and soon MTV made obsolete the music-only formats that had first popularized rock n’ roll.
Paper is temporarily out of stock, Cloth (0-87972-368-8) is available at the paper price until further notice.
Rock 'n' Roll Movies
Sterritt, David Rutgers University Press, 2018 Library of Congress PN1995.9.M86S75 2017 | Dewey Decimal 791.436578
Rock ‘n’ Roll Movies presents an eclectic look at the many manifestations of rock in motion pictures, from teen-oriented B-movies to Hollywood blockbusters to avant-garde meditations to reverent biopics to animated shorts to performance documentaries. Acclaimed film critic David Sterritt considers the diverse ways that filmmakers have regarded rock ‘n’ roll, some cynically cashing in on its popularity and others responding to the music as sincere fans, some depicting rock as harmless fun and others representing it as an open challenge to mainstream norms.
Two tiny trilobites in a vast Cambrian ocean drift past sea cucumber parasols and a shaggy, tree-like sponge. Snail tracks loop enigmatically against brushed-gray Silurian slate, and ghostly white crinoids feather a Devonian seascape. A delicate pterosaur flies bravely into the Jurassic gloom, while a Tyrannosaurus rex so big that its teeth fill our field of vision stalks the deep orange sands that mark the end of the Cretaceous period.
These are just a few scenes from the magnificent drama that unfolds in glorious full color and three-dimensional texture in Rock of Ages, Sands of Time. Each of Barbara Page's 544 contiguous painted panels represents a million years of the history of life on earth, with fossil plants and animals depicted at the same scale and in association with each other just as they might be found by a paleontologist in the field. A muted rainbow of background colors evoke the rocks in which the fossils were found—the Texas Red Beds, for instance, or the yellow Solnhofen limestone—and keystone events are shown metaphorically, with fat rolls of paint marking major extinctions or continental drift.
To fully experience the awesome impact of an eon's worth of time spread across 500 feet of bas-relief panels, you'd have to visit the Museum of the Earth in Ithaca, New York, where Page's specially commissioned work will be installed when the museum opens in 2002. But this book is the next best thing. Not only does it contain crisp color reproductions of each painting, but it also includes an accessible essay from paleontologist Warren Allmon giving the scientific context behind the art.
For fossil lovers of all ages, and anyone interested in the merging of art and science, Rock of Ages, Sands of Time will be the find of a lifetime.
Evangelicals and Republicans have been powerful—and active—allies in American politics since the 1970s. But as public opinions have changed, are young evangelicals’ political identities and attitudes on key issues changing too? And if so, why? In Rock of Ages, Jeremiah Castle answers these questions to understand their important implications for American politics and society.
Castle develops his own theory of public opinion among young evangelicals to predict and explain their political attitudes and voting behavior. Relying on both survey data and his own interviews with evangelical college students, he shows that while some young evangelicals may be more liberal in their attitudes on some issues, most are just as firmly Republican, conservative, and pro-life on abortion as the previous generation.
Rock of Ages considers not only what makes young evangelicals different from the previous generation, but also what that means for both the church and American politics.
This collection brings new voices and new perspectives to the study of popular—and particularly rock—music. Focusing on a variety of artists and music forms, Rock Over the Edge asks what happens to rock criticism when rock is no longer a coherent concept. To work toward an answer, contributors investigate previously neglected genres and styles, such as “lo fi,” alternative country, and “rock en español,” while offering a fresh look at such familiar figures as Elvis Presley, the Beatles, and Kurt Cobain. Bridging the disciplines of musicology and cultural studies, the collection has two primary goals: to seek out a language for talking about music culture and to look at the relationship of music to culture in general. The editors’ introduction provides a backward glance at recent rock criticism and also looks to the future of the rapidly expanding discipline of popular music studies. Taking seriously the implications of critical theory for the study of non-literary aesthetic endeavors, the volume also addresses such issues as the affective power of popular music and the psychic construction of fandom. Rock Over the Edge will appeal to scholars and students in popular music studies and American Studies as well as general readers interested in popular music.
Contributors. Ian Balfour, Roger Beebe, Michael Coyle, Robert Fink, Denise Fulbrook, Tony Grajeda, Lawrence Grossberg, Trent Hill, Josh Kun, Jason Middleton, Lisa Ann Parks, Ben Saunders, John J. Sheinbaum, Gayle Wald, Warren Zanes
Every nation in the Americas—from indigenous Peru to revolutionary Cuba—has been touched by the cultural and musical impact of rock. Rockin’ Las Américas is the first book to explore the production, dissemination, and consumption of rock music throughout the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, Brazil, the Andes, and the Southern Cone as well as among Latinos in the United States.
The contributors include experts in music, history, literature, culture, sociology, and anthropology, as well as practicing <I>rockeros</I> and <I>rockeras</I>. The multidisciplinary, transnational, and comparative perspectives they bring to the topic serve to address a broad range of fundamental questions about rock in Latin and Latino America, including: Why did rock become such a controversial cultural force in the region? In what ways has rock served as a medium for expressing national identities? How are unique questions of race, class, and gender inscribed in Latin American rock? What makes Latin American rock Latin American? <I>Rockin’ Las Américas</I> is an essential book for anyone who hopes to understand the complexities of Latin American culture today.
Rocking My Life Away represents nearly twenty years of writing by one of the premier critics of popular music in America today. In these pieces from Rolling Stone, the New York Times, and other publications, Anthony DeCurtis reveals his ongoing engagement with rock & roll as artistic forum, source of personal inspiration, and compelling site of cultural struggle. Including significant new work—liner notes commissioned for the Phil Spector box set and a spirited discussion with Peter Buck of R.E.M. about rock criticism, for example—DeCurtis also ventures with insight and power beyond the world of rock & roll. A joint profile of the political writers Neil Sheehan and Taylor Branch and provocative looks at the work of novelists Don DeLillo and T. Coraghessan Boyle round out this eclectic collection.
In this captivating and complex portrait of an American sports legend, Russell Sullivan confirms Rocky Marciano's place as a symbol and cultural icon of his era. As much as he embodied the wholesome, rags-to-riches patriotism of a true American hero, he also reflected the racial and ethnic tensions festering behind the country's benevolent facade.
Spirited, fast-paced, and rich in detail, Rocky Marciano is the first book to place the boxer in the context of his times. Capturing his athletic accomplishments against the colorful backdrop of the 1950s fight scene, Sullivan examines how Marciano's career reflected the glamour and scandal of boxing as well as tenor of his times.
Given the explosion in recent years of scholarship exploring the ways in which disability is manifested and performed in numerous cultural spaces, it’s surprising that until now there has never been a single monograph study covering the important intersection of popular music and disability. George McKay’s Shakin’ All Over is a cross-disciplinary examination of the ways in which popular music performers have addressed disability: in their songs, in their live performances, and in various media presentations.
By looking closely into the work of artists such as Johnny Rotten, Neil Young, Johnnie Ray, Ian Dury, Teddy Pendergrass, Curtis Mayfield, and Joni Mitchell, McKay investigates such questions as how popular music works to obscure and accommodate the presence of people with disabilities in its cultural practice. He also examines how popular musicians have articulated the experiences of disability (or sought to pass), or have used their cultural arena for disability advocacy purposes.
"A variety of approaches are brought to bear on fascinating repertoire, but with the underlying aim of better understanding some brilliant music. There’s nothing more exciting in music writing than something which entices you to listen to what’s familiar to you in a new way, and this collection brings such excitement in abundance."
---Allan Moore, author of Jethro Tull: Aqualung and Rock: The Primary Text
"These essays bring together a remarkable range of tools and perspectives to such diverse topics and contexts as the behind-the-scenes collaborations of composers, performers, arrangers, producers and engineers; pop culture; narratology; and race, politics and gender. The reader continuously benefits from a complementary lineup of sensitive ears that discover novelty in the familiar, exposing the heart of many rock and pop classics through imaginative and authoritative prose."
---Walter Everett, author of The Foundations of Rock and The Beatles as Musicians
The nine essays in Sounding Out Pop work together to map the myriad styles and genres of the pop-rock universe through detailed case studies that confront the music from a variety of engaging, thought-provoking perspectives---from historical to music-analytic, aesthetic to ethnographic, with several authors drawing liberally from ideas in other disciplines. The range of bands and artists covered is as vast and varied as the more than fifty-year history of pop and rock music, from the Coasters and Roy Orbison to Marvin Gaye, Bob Dylan, Radiohead, Beck, Genesis, Tori Amos, and the Police. Together these diverse essays cover a broad spectrum of studies ideally suited for classroom use and for other readers interested in gaining a deeper knowledge of the way popular music works.
Mark Spicer is Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies in Music at Hunter College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York. His writings have appeared in Contemporary Music Review, Gamut, Music Theory Online, twentieth-century music, and other scholarly journals and essay collections.
John Covach is Professor of Music at the University of Rochester and Professor of Theory at the Eastman School of Music. He is the author of the college textbook What's That Sound? An Introduction to Rock and Its History and the coeditor of Understanding Rock, American Rock and the Classical Music Tradition, and Traditions, Institutions, and American Popular Music.
In Terminated for Reasons of Taste, veteran rock critic Chuck Eddy writes that "rock'n'roll history is written by the winners. Which stinks, because the losers have always played a big role in keeping rock interesting." Rock's losers share top billing with its winners in this new collection of Eddy's writing. In pieces culled from outlets as varied as the Village Voice, Creem magazine, the streaming site Rhapsody, music message boards, and his high school newspaper, Eddy covers everything from the Beastie Boys to 1920s country music, Taylor Swift to German new wave, Bruce Springsteen to occult metal. With an encyclopedic knowledge, unabashed irreverence, and a captivating style, Eddy rips up popular music histories and stitches them back together using his appreciation of the lost, ignored, and maligned. In so doing, he shows how pop music is bigger, and more multidimensional and compelling than most people can imagine.
The tumultuous decade of the 1960s in America gave birth to many new ideas and forms of expression, among them the rock musical. An unlikely offspring of the performing arts, the rock musical appeared when two highly distinctive and American art forms joined onstage in New York City. The Theater Will Rock explores the history of the rock musical, which has since evolved to become one of the most important cultural influences on American musical theater and a major cultural export. Packed with candid commentary by members of New York's vibrant theater community, The Theater Will Rock traces the rock musical's evolution over nearly fifty years, in popular productions such as Hair, The Who's Tommy, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Little Shop of Horrors, Rent, and Mamma Mia!---and in notable flops such as The Capeman.
"A much-needed study of the impact of rock music on the musical theater and its resulting challenges, complexities, failures, and successes. Anyone interested in Broadway will learn a great deal from this book."
---William Everett, author of The Musical: A Research Guide to Musical Theatre
"This well-written account puts the highs and lows of producing staged rock musicals in New York City into perspective and is well worth reading for the depth of insight it provides."
---Studies in Musical Theatre
Elizabeth L. Wollman is Assistant Professor of Music at Baruch College, City University of New York.
Tomorrow Never Knows takes us back to the primal scene of the 1960s and asks: what happened when young people got high and listened to rock as if it really mattered—as if it offered meaning and sustenance, not just escape and entertainment? What did young people hear in the music of Dylan, Hendrix, or the Beatles? Bromell's pursuit of these questions radically revises our understanding of rock, psychedelics, and their relation to the politics of the 60s, exploring the period's controversial legacy, and the reasons why being "experienced" has been an essential part of American youth culture to the present day.
To visitors it is Canyon de Chelly, a scenic wonder of the Southwest whose vistas reward travelers willing to venture off the beaten track. But to the Diné, it is Tséyi', "the place deep in the rock," a site that many have long called home. Now from deep in the heart of the Diné homeland comes an extraordinary book, a sensitive merging of words and images that reflects the sublime spirit of Canyon de Chelly.
Diné poet Laura Tohe draws deeply on her heritage to create lyrical writings that are rooted in the canyon but universal in spirit, while photographer Stephen Strom captures images that reveal the very soul of this ancient place. Tohe’s words take readers on a journey from the canyon rim down sheer sandstone walls to its rich bottomlands; from the memory of Kit Carson’s rifle shots and the forced march of the Navajo people to the longings of modern lovers. Her poems view the land through Diné eyes, blending history, tradition, and personal reflection while remaining grounded in Strom’s delicate yet striking images. These photographs are not typical of most southwestern landscapes. Strom’s eye for the subtleties and mysticism of the canyon creates powerful images that linger in the mind long after the pages are turned, compelling us to look at the earth in new ways.
Tséyi' / Deep in the Rock is a unique evocation of Canyon de Chelly and the people whose lives and spirits are connected to it. It is a collaboration that conjures the power of stories and images, inviting us to enter a world of harmony and be touched by its singularly haunting beauty.
Rock and roll pioneer and Newport native Sonny Burgess is a member of the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. In this book full of personal interviews and remembrances, Burgess and his band tell of their original recordings for Sun Records in the 1950s; their shows with greats such as Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and Jerry Lee Lewis; and their success in the contemporary rockabilly revival. This also is the history of a once prominent and spirited Delta community of extensive agricultural wealth. Newport was home to numerous music clubs that hosted national artists as well as illicit backroom gambling. Burgess is a product of this history, and his vivacious music is shaped by his hometown and the dramatic transformation of southern rural life it witnessed.
Why the Grateful Dead Matter
Michael Benson University Press of New England, 2016 Library of Congress ML421.G72B46 2015 | Dewey Decimal 782.421660922
In Why the Grateful Dead Matter, veteran writer and lifelong Deadhead Michael Benson argues that the Grateful Dead are not simply a successful rock-and-roll band but a phenomenon central to American culture. He defends the proposition that the Grateful Dead are, in fact, a musical movement as transformative as any -ism in the artistic history of this century and the last. And a lot more fun than most. From the street festivals of Haight-Ashbury to the cross-country acid tests with the Merry Pranksters, and from the sound-and-light show at the Great Pyramid at Giza to the ecstatic outpouring of joy at Soldier Field in the summer of ’15, the Grateful Dead have been at the center of American life, music, and karmic flow for fifty years. In Why the Grateful Dead Matter, Michael Benson brings it all back to life and makes a compelling case for the band’s lasting cultural importance.
Lively, readable nature writing. As she details several treks through the beautiful, rocky canyons, [Zwinger's] feel for the animals and plants native to this arid region enhances the precise sketches which punctuate the text. Readers interested in ancient Indian cultures of the Southwest will also find fascinating reading, as Zwinger describes their campsites and lifestyles. —Library Journal
Media portrayals of Orthodox Jewish women frequently depict powerless, silent individuals who are at best naive to live an Orthodox lifestyle, and who are at worst, coerced into it. Karen E. H. Skinazi delves beyond this stereotype in Women of Valor to identify a powerful tradition of feminist literary portrayals of Orthodox women, often created by Orthodox women themselves. She examines Orthodox women as they appear in memoirs, comics, novels, and movies, and speaks with the authors, filmmakers, and musicians who create these representations. Throughout the work, Skinazi threads lines from the poem “Eshes Chayil,” the Biblical description of an Orthodox “Woman of Valor.” This proverb unites Orthodoxy and feminism in a complex relationship, where Orthodox women continuously question, challenge, and negotiate Orthodox and feminist values. Ultimately, these women create paths that unite their work, passions, and families under the framework of an “Eshes Chayil,” a woman who situates religious conviction within her own power.