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Pop When the World Falls Apart: Music in the Shadow of Doubtby Eric Weisbard
Synopses & Reviews
Hearing Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan once said, was “like busting out of jail.” But what happens when popular music isn’t as simple as rock-and-roll rebellion? How does pop respond to such events as a decade-long war in Iraq and Hurricane Katrina? In Pop When the World Falls Apart, a diverse array of music writers, scholars, and enthusiasts reflect on popular music’s role—as commentary, as refuge, and as rallying cry—in times of military conflict, social upheaval, and cultural crisis.
Drawn from presentations at the annual Experience Music Project Pop Conference—hailed by Robert Christgau as “the best thing that’s ever happened to serious consideration of pop music”—the essays in this book include inquiries into the sonic dimension of war in Iraq; the cultural life of jazz in post-Katrina New Orleans; Isaac Hayes’s reappropriation of a country song, “By the Time I Get to Phoenix,” as a symbol of black nationalism; and punk rock pranks played on record execs looking for the next big thing in central Virginia. Offering a diverse range of voices, perspectives, and approaches, this volume mirrors the eclecticism of pop itself.
Contributors: Larry Blumenfeld , Austin Bunn, Nate Chinen, J. Martin Daughtry, Brian Goedde, Michelle Habell-Pallán, Jonathan Lethem, Eric Lott, Kembrew McLeod, Elena Passarello, Diane Pecknold, David Ritz, Carlo Rotella, Scott Seward, Tom Smucker, Greg Tate, Karen Tongson, Alexandra T. Vazquez, Oliver Wang, Eric Weisbard, Carl Wilson
Organized around the idea of crisis and adversity, be it personal, social, or categorical, the contributors to Pop When the World Falls Apart showcase the range of ways that pop music studies has responded to the social, political, and cultural shifts that are reshaping the world today.
Organized around the idea of crisis and adversity, be it personal, social, or categorical, the contributors to Pop When the World Falls Apart showcase the range of ways that pop music studies has responded to the social, political, and cultural shifts that are reshaping the world today. Topics addressed include the culture of jazz in post-Katrina New Orleans, how Isaac Hayes covered By the Time I Get to Phoenix as a response to the murder of Martin Luther King, Jr., desperate musical wannabes, Karen Carpenter withering in Orange County, and a hoax that drew record company talent scouts to the aptly chosen New Market, Virginia.
About the Author
Eric Weisbard organizes the annual Pop Conference at Experience Music Project in Seattle, and he is the editor of This Is Pop: In Search of the Elusive at Experience Music Project (2004). Previously he was the music editor at The Village Voice and a senior editor at Spin, for whom he edited the Spin Alternative Record Guide (1995).
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