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The Old, Weird America: The World of Bob Dylan's Basement Tapesby Greil Marcus
Synopses & Reviews
Previously published as Invisible Republic and already considered a classic of modern American cultural criticism, The Old, Weird America is Greil Marcus's widely acclaimed book on the secret music (the so-called "Basement Tapes") made by Bob Dylan and the Band while in seclusion in Woodstock, New York, in 1967--a folksy yet funky, furious yet hilarious music that remains as seductive and baffling today as it was more than thirty years ago.
As Mark Sinker observed in The Wire: "Marcus's contention is that there can be found in American folk a community as deep, as electric, as perverse, and as conflicted as all America, and that the songs Dylan recorded out of the public eye, in a basement in Woodstock, are where that community as a whole gets to speak." But the country mapped out in this book, as Bruce Shapiro wrote in The Nation, "is not Woody Guthrie's land for made for you and me . . . It's what Marcus calls 'the old, weird America.'" This odd terrain, this strange yet familiar backdrop to our common cultural history--which Luc Sante (in New York magazine) termed the "playground of God, Satan, tricksters, Puritans, confidence men, illuminati, braggarts, preachers, anonymous poets of all stripes"--is the territory that Marcus has discovered in Dylan's most mysterious music. And his analysis of that territory "reads like a thriller" (Ken Tucker, Entertainment Weekly) and exhibits "a mad, sparkling brilliance" (David Remnick, The New Yorker) throughout. This new edition of The Old, Weird America includes an updated discography.
"This book is terminal, goes deeply into the subconscious and plows through that period of time like a rake. Greil Marcus has done it again." (Bob Dylan) END
A Special Edition with a New Introduction and an Updated Discography
This is Greil Marcuss acclaimed book on the secret music made by Bob Dylan and the Band in 1967, which introduced a phrase that has become part of the culture: “the old, weird America.” It is this country that the book maps—the “playground of God, Satan, tricksters, Puritans, confidence men, illuminati, braggarts, preachers, anonymous poets of all stripes” (Luc Sante, New York magazine). In honor of Dylans seventieth birthday, this special edition includes a new introduction, an updated discography, and a cover featuring never-before-seen photographs of the legendary recording sessions.
Previously published as Invisible Republic, Greil Marcus's acclaimed book on the secret music made by Bob Dylan and The Band in 1967 introduced a phrase that has become part of the culture: "the old, weird America". This new edition includes an updated discography.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -233) and index. Discography: p. -278.
About the Author
One of America's most original and incisive critics of pop music and pop culture, Greil Marcus is the author of Double Trouble, Dead Elvis, Lipstick Traces, and Mystery Train. He lives in Berkeley, California.
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