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Found Highways has commented on (17) products.

All Hopped Up and Ready to Go: Music from the Streets of New York 1927-77 by Tony Fletcher
All Hopped Up and Ready to Go: Music from the Streets of New York 1927-77

Found Highways, March 12, 2010

This book is subtitled "Music from the Streets of New York," but it's a very entertaining history of American (including Latin American) pop music. If, like me, you don't care about the cult of New York City as much as postwar pop music, you'll still enjoy reading this book.

My favorite parts were the times I didn't live through myself--jazz, bebop, the male black R&B groups, and the so-called girl groups. But it also covers blues masters like Leadbelly, Harlem jazz bands, Latin music, left-wing political folk music and its revival in the 1960s, and punk, glam, and rap.



Tony Fletcher's history of pop music
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Have You Seen . . . ?: A Personal Introduction to 1,000 Films by David Thomson
Have You Seen . . . ?: A Personal Introduction to 1,000 Films

Found Highways, January 3, 2010

It will probably take me a few years to read about every one of the thousand films David Thomson saw fit to talk about in this book. That's fine.

Just like Thomson's Biographical Dictionary of Film, this book is wonderful for reference and browsing both.

"Have You Seen . . .?" is definitely the best film book of the last ten years.
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(2 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)



How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Roll: An Alternative History of American Popular Music by Elijah Wald
How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Roll: An Alternative History of American Popular Music

Found Highways, December 6, 2009

Hot jazz vs. sweet dance music. Elvis vs. Pat Boone. Duke Ellington vs. Paul Whiteman.

As conductor Mitch Miller put it, music from Bach to schlock.

The theme of this entertaining history of American popular music is that with change in the music business there was always continuity.

Music critics might prefer certain artists or particular kinds of music, but the people enjoying the music had their own preferences.

I started reading this book and couldn't put it down. I'm going to get Elijah Wald's other books on blues and popular music.
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(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)



The View from the Bridge: Memories of Star Trek and a Life in Hollywood by Nicholas Meyer
The View from the Bridge: Memories of Star Trek and a Life in Hollywood

Found Highways, September 6, 2009

The View from the Bridge is the most interesting book about how movies get made I've ever read. Nicholas Meyer talks about the art and the commerce both, and shows how each influences the other.

Even though Meyer makes it clear that making movies like Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is a business (he never would have gotten into what he at first considered ludicrous space opera if not for the money), he never once in this book uses the word “franchise.” His films are stories, and he wants audiences to relate to them as tales about real people, not as interchangeable portions of a video game. (As William Shatner said, even on Star Trek everyone is human.)

Meyer characterizes himself as not a creator but a re-creator of stories. He's still making films about real people, like The Human Stain, based on a Philip Roth novel. I hope he gets to make his version of Don Quixote someday.
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(3 of 5 readers found this comment helpful)



Married in America
Married in America

Found Highways, August 17, 2009

The stories in this documentary about the marriages of these nine couples are irresistible because they're true. Just as interesting as the documentary itself is a forty-minute interview with director Michael Apted about why and how he went about making it.

Apted distinguishes between two kinds of films that he makes--”movies” and “documentaries.”

Apted started his career making sociological TV documentaries in Britain like the 7 Up series (the model for Married in America), but he's also made star-driven Hollywood movies like Coal Miner's Daughter with Sissy Spacek, Gorky Park with William Hurt, Gorillas in the Mist with Sigourney Weaver, and The World Is Not Enough with Pierce Brosnan as James Bond.

In an improvement over the early films in the Up series, here Apted uses unobtrusive video and sound recording equipment so we can follow the married couples as they go out and live their lives rather than just watch them sitting on a couch talking about themselves.

Even so, these snapshots of nine marriages every few years only hint at the lives that are unfolding every day.
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(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)



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