Popular music artists, as performers in the public eye, offer a privileged site for the witnessing and analysis of ageing and its mediation. The Late Voice undertakes such an analysis by considering issues of time, memory, innocence and experience in modern Anglophone popular song and the use by singers and songwriters of a 'late voice'. Lateness here refers to five primary issues: chronology (the stage in an artist's career); the vocal act (the ability to convincingly portray experience); afterlife (posthumous careers made possible by recorded sound); retrospection (how voices 'look back' or anticipate looking back); and the writing of age, experience, lateness and loss into song texts.
There has been recent growth in research on ageing and the experience of later stages of life, focusing on physical health, lifestyle and psychology, with work in the latter field intersecting with the field of memory studies. The Late Voice seeks to connect age, experience and lateness with particular performers and performance traditions via the identification and analysis of a late voice in singers and songwriters of mid-late twentieth century popular music.
In the aftermath of World War I, a sense of impasse and thwarted promise shaped the political and cultural spheres in Britain. Writers such as D. H. Lawrence, Hilda Doolittle, T. S. Eliot and Wyndham Lewis were among the literary figures who responded by pursuing vividness, autonomy and impersonality in their work. Yet the extent to which these practices were reflected in ideas about music from within the same milieu has remained unrecognised. Uncovering the work of composer-critics who worked alongside these figures - including Philip Heseltine (Peter Warlock), Cecil Gray and Kaikhosru Sorabji - Sarah Collins traces the shared tendencies of literary and musical modernisms in interwar Britain. Collins explores the political investments underpinning these tendencies, as well as the influence of English Nietzscheanism and related intellectual currents, arguing that a particular conception of the self, history, and the public characterised an ethos of 'lateness' within this milieu.
In the late sixties and early seventies, an impromptu collection of musicians colonized a eucalyptus-scented canyon deep in the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles and melded folk, rock, and savvy American pop into a sound that conquered the world as thoroughly as the songs of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones had before them. Thirty years later, the music made in Laurel Canyon continues to pour from radios, iPods, and concert stages around the world. During the canyon's golden era, the musicians who lived and worked there scored dozens of landmark hits, from "California Dreamin'" to "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes" to "It's Too Late," selling tens of millions of records and resetting the thermostat of pop culture.
In Laurel Canyon, veteran journalist Michael Walker tells the inside story of this unprecedented gathering of some of the baby boom's leading musical lights--including Joni Mitchell; Jim Morrison; Crosby, Stills, and Nash; John Mayall; the Mamas and the Papas; Carole King; the Eagles; and Frank Zappa, to name just a few--who turned Los Angeles into the music capital of the world and forever changed the way popular music is recorded, marketed, and consumed.
When LCD Soundsystem broke up in 2011, they left behind a small but remarkable catalog of music. On top of the genius singles and a longform composition for Nike, there was a trilogy of full-length albums. During that initial run, LCD Soundsystem-and the project's mastermind, James Murphy-were at the center of several 21st century developments in pop culture: indie music's growing mainstream clout, Brooklyn surpassing Manhattan as an epicenter of creativity in America, the collision and eventual erosion of genre perceptions, and the rapid and profound growth and impact of digital culture. Amidst this storm, Murphy crafted Sound Of Silver, the centerpiece of LCD's work.
At the time of Sound Of Silver's creation and release, Murphy was a man closing in on 40 while fronting a critically-adored band still on the ascent. This album was the first place where he earnestly grappled with questions of aging, of being an artist, and the decisions we make with the time we have left. Anchored by a series of colossal, intense dance-rock songs, Sound Of Silver called upon the rhythms of New York City in order to draw out, dissect, and ultimately rip open these meditations. By the time LCD Soundsystem reunited in 2016, Sound Of Silver had already proven to be a generational touchstone, living on as a document of what it's like to be alive in the 21st century.
Rock & roll was one of the most important cultural developments in post-World War II America, yet its origins are shrouded in myth and legend. Let's Rock reclaims the lost history of rock & roll. Based on years of research, as well as interviews with Bo Diddley, Pat Boone, and other rock & roll pioneers, the book offers new information and fresh perspectives about Elvis, the rise of rock & roll, and 1950s America. Rock & roll is intertwined with the rise of a post-World War II youth culture, the emergence of African Americans in society, the growth of consumer culture, technological change, the expansion of mass media, and the rise of a Cold War culture that endorsed traditional values to guard against communism. Richard Aquila's book demonstrates that early rock & roll was not as rebellious as common wisdom has it. The new sound reflected the conservatism and conformity of the 1950s as much as it did the era's conflict. Rock & roll supported centrist politics, traditional values, and mainstream attitudes toward race, gender, class, and ethnicity. The musical evidence proves that most teenagers of the 1950s were not that different from their parents and grandparents when it came to basic beliefs, interests, and pastimes. Young and old alike were preoccupied by the same concerns, tensions, and insecurities. Rock & roll continues to permeate the fabric of modern life, and understanding the music's origins reminds us of the common history we all share. Music lovers who grew up during rock & roll's early years as well as those who have come to it more recently will find Let's Rock an exciting historical and musical adventure.
In this compulsively readable, fascinating, and provocative guide to classical music, Norman Lebrecht, one of the world's most widely read cultural commentators tells the story of the rise of the classical recording industry from Caruso's first notes to the heyday of Bernstein, Glenn Gould, Callas, and von Karajan.Lebrecht compellingly demonstrates that classical recording has reached its end point-but this is not simply an expos? of decline and fall. It is, for the first time, the full story of a minor art form, analyzing the cultural revolution wrought by Schnabel, Toscanini, Callas, Rattle, the Three Tenors, and Charlotte Church. It is the story of how stars were made and broken by the record business; how a war criminal conspired with a concentration-camp victim to create a record empire; and how advancing technology, boardroom wars, public credulity and unscrupulous exploitation shaped the musical backdrop to our modern lives. The book ends with a suitable shrine to classical recording: the author's critical selection of the 100 most important recordings-and the 20 most appalling. Filled with memorable incidents and unforgettable personalities-from Goddard Lieberson, legendary head of CBS Masterworks who signed his letters as God; to Georg Solti, who turned the Chicago Symphony into " the loudest symphony on earth"-this is at once the captivating story of the life and death of classical recording and an opinioned, insider's guide to appreciating the genre, now and for years to come.
Daniel M. Neuman offers an account of North Indian Hindustani music culture and the changing social context of which it is part, as expressed in the thoughts and actions of its professional musicians.Drawing primarily from fieldwork performed in Delhi in 1969-71--from interviewing musicians, learning and performing on the Indian fiddle, and speaking with music connoisseurs--Neuman examines the cultural and social matrix in which Hindustani music is nurtured, listened and attended to, cultivated, and consumed in contemporary India. Through his interpretation of the impact that modern media, educational institutions, and public performances exert on the music and musicians, Neuman highlights the drama of a great musical tradition engaging a changing world, and presents the adaptive strategies its practitioners employ to practice their art. His work has gained the distinction of introducing a new approach to research on Indian music, and appears in this edition with a new preface by the author.
Drawing on key elements from musical thought in inter-war Hungary, this 2007 book provides a unique perspective on the nation's musical heritage both inside and outside Hungary's borders during the Cold War. Although Ligeti became part of the Western avant-garde after he left Hungary in 1956, archival sources illuminate his ongoing contact with Hungarian musicians, and their shifting perspective on his work. Kurtag's music was more obviously involved with Hungarian traditions, was entangled with the Soviet occupation, and was a contributing part of the city's diverse musical culture. However, from the mid-1960s onwards, critics identified his music as an artistic and moral 'truth' distinct from the broader musical life of Budapest: it was an idealized symbol of life beyond the everyday in Hungary. Grounding her interpretations of works in these complex political circumstances, Beckles Willson is nonetheless sympathetic to arguments by Ligeti, Kurtag and Budapest music critics that their music might have a life beyond nationalist and Cold War ideology."
Bob Dylan is the prince of self-reinvention and deflection. Whether it's the folkies of Greenwich Village, the student movement of the 1960s and 1970s, Born Again Christians, the Chabad Lubavitch community, or English Department postmodernists, specific intellectual and sociopolitical groups have repeatedly claimed Bob Dylan as their spokesperson. But in the words of filmmaker Todd Haynes, who cast six actors to depict different facets of Dylan's life and artistic personae in his 2009 film I'm Not There, "The minute you try to grab hold of Dylan, he's no longer where he was."In Light Come Shining, writer Andrew McCarron uses psychological tools to examine three major turning points - or transformations - in Bob Dylan's life: the aftermath of his 1966 motorcycle "accident," his Born Again conversion in 1978, and his recommitment to songwriting and performing in 1987. With fascinating insight, McCarron reveals how a common script undergirds Dylan's self-explanations of these changes; and, at the heart of this script, illuminates a fascinating story of spiritual death and rebirth that has captivated us all for generations.
How do you tell the key of a piece-without looking at a score? How do you know when a musical work ended before an audience applauds or a radio announcer returns on air? Was there, in fact, a 'breakdown of tonality' in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries? These questions and others are the focus of David Wulstan's Listen Again: A New History of Music. He also shows where the nuove musiche of the early Baroque era came from and what the two critical but unlinked chords in the middle of Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. III signify. Previous literature in music does not properly address these questions and innumerable others. In Listen Again, Wulstan illustrates how music from Bach to Bart k was far less "revolutionary" than customarily imagined and that the "inversionist" doctrine of Rameau and kindred acoustical misconceptions, courtesy of Heinrich Schenker and other analysts, solve fewer problems than their purveyor claim. In Listen Again, Wulstan takes to task early theorists, who were mostly clerics who ignored non-ecclesiastical music, and their modern equivalents, who consider only the blinding white of the written or printed score, whilst ignoring music as heard and interpreted by the ear and brain. Instead, Wulstan enquires into the musical activities of the common folk to addressing key issues that early and modern theorists have regularly overlooked. The book will appeal anyone who has dismissed "harmony," "theory" and the like as alien, in effect, to practical music. Readers will find in Listen Again that the true history of music has far more practical relevance for performers than the aridity of music theory coursework, demonstrating by example how this work a book about music, not, as in the case of so much theoretical work, a "book about books."