Synopses & Reviews
Hearing Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan once said, was andldquo;like busting out of jail.andrdquo; But what happens when popular music isnandrsquo;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 musicandrsquo;s roleandmdash;as commentary, as refuge, and as rallying cryandmdash;in times of military conflict, social upheaval, and cultural crisis.
Drawn from presentations at the annual Experience Music Project Pop Conferenceandmdash;hailed by Robert Christgau as andldquo;the best thing thatandrsquo;s ever happened to serious consideration of pop musicandrdquo;andmdash;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 Hayesandrsquo;s reappropriation of a country song, andldquo;By the Time I Get to Phoenix,andrdquo; 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-Pallandaacute;n, 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).
Table of Contents
Introduction / Eric Weisbard 1
Collapsing Distance: The Love-Song of the Wanna-Be, or The Fannish Auteur / Jonathan Lethem 7
Black Rockers vs. Blackies Who Rock, or The Difference between Race and Music / Greg Tate 15
Toward an Ethics of Knowing Nothing / Alexandra T. Vazquez 27
Divided Byline: How a Student of Leslie Fiedler and a Colleague of Charles Keil Became the Ghostwriter for Everybody from Ray Charles to Cornell West / David Ritz 40
Boring and Horrifying Whiteness: The Rise and Fall of Reaganism as Prefigured by the Career Arcs of Carpenters, Lawrence Welk, and the Beach Boys in 1973and#8211;74 / Tom Smucker 47
Perfect is Dead: Karen Carpenter, Theodor Adorno, and the Radio, or If Hooks Could Kill / Eric Lott 62
Agents of Orange: Studio K and Cloud 9 / Karen Tongson 82
Belliphonic Sounds and Indoctrinated Ears: The Dynamics of Military Listening in Wartime Iraq / J. Martin Daughtry 111
Since the Flood: Scenes for the Fight for New Orleans Jazz Culture / Larry Blumenfeld 145
(Over the) Rainbow Warrior: Israel Kamakawiwo'ole and Another Kind of Somewhere / Nate Chinen 176
Travel with Me: Country Music, Race, and Remembrance / Diane Pecknold 185
The Comfort Zone: Shaping the Retro-Soul Audience / Oliver Wang 201
Within Limits: On the Greatness of Magic Slim / Carlo Rotella 230
Urban Music in the Teenage Heartland / Brian Goedde, Austin Bunn, and Elena Passarello 240
andquot;Death to Racism and Punk Revisionismandquot;: Alice Bag's Vexing Voice and the Unspeakable Influence of Canciand#243;n Ranchera on Hollywood Punk / Michelle Habell-Palland#225;n 247
Of Wolves and Vibrancy: A Brief Explanation of the Marriage Made in Hell between Folk Music, Dead Cultures, Myth, and Highly Technical Modern Extreme Metal / Scott Seward 271
The New Market Affair: Media Pranks, the Music Industry's Last Big Gold Rush, and the Hunt for Hits in the Shenandoah Valley / Kembrew McLeod 282
All That Is Solid Melts into Schmaltz: Poptimism vs. the Guilty Displeasure / Carl Wilson 299