Reviews the twenty-five-year history of the Grateful Dead, a rock 'n' roll institution, offering photographs along with interviews with band members, friends, and notable "Dead Heads"
In this extensively researched ode to scandal, Peter Blecha recounts the travails of musicians who have dared to air "unacceptable" topics. Filled with several centuries' worth of raunchy sex ditties, morbid murder ballads, satanic songs, paeans to intoxication and radical political anthems, this book lays the censors' stories bare, and casts a much-needed spotlight on civil liberties and artistic freedom in our post-9/11 world. Highlights the work of hundreds of controversial musicians, including: the Beatles, Ray Charles, the Dixie Chicks, Dylan, Eminem, Billie Holiday, Nirvana, Elvis, Public Enemy, Sex Pistols, Springsteen, Zappa and others. "Blecha tells a story of how free we aren't. It's a story every music fan needs to know." - Dave Marsh
Greil Marcus has been called "simply peerless, not only as a rock writer but as a cultural historian" (Nick Hornby). It's appropriate, then, that he should choose to explore one of the most defining moments in American music: Bob Dylan's Basement Tapes.
It was 1967--the Summer of Love. Bob Dylan and five other musicians (later known as The Band) met in a bungalow in Woodstock, New York, and wrote and produced music that ignored the psychedelic sounds of the time, songs that would eventually become known simply as "The Basement Tapes." The group mined the history of American music and their own talents to produce legendary tracks that were bootleg issues before appearing in official release.
That is the alchemy that was practiced in the Basement Tapes laboratory, and "in that alchemy," Marcus writes, "is an undiscovered country, like the purloined letter hiding in plain sight." Marcus explores this music and the cauldron of the American experience in which it was formed in a book that illuminates America, then and now.
During the Great Depression, Lee Hays, the son of a Southern Methodist minister, used his music to life the hearts of sharecroppers and miners and union organizers. He helped bring black music to America's consciousness. He could make people laugh in times when there seemed little to laugh about. An Arkansas traveler and radical minstrel, he commented wryly on events and impaled reactionary southern congressmen on their own words. A kind of Mark Twain of the left, people said. But Lee Hays, for all his great size and talents and humor, was also a difficult man, plagued by self-doubts and a driving need to discombobulate any person or group that struck him as self-satisfied. Lonesome Traveler is the story of a prodigious talent with a zeal for changing the world. With Pete Seeger he formed the popular folksinging group the Weavers, which sang songs of social justice just as a tidal wave of red-hunting hit America. The rest of his legendary story will anger, touch, and delight.
Step behind the wheels of steel and into the world of professional DJs. The World of DJs and the Turntable Culture is the only book that clearly and thoroughly teaches the tools, technologies and techniques of contemporary DJing. It also goes further, exploring the culture, history and aesthetics of hip-hop, dance music and turntablism. Souvignier traces the turntable's evolution from consumer playback device into a professional musical instrument, right up to the latest CD scratching decks. He also traces the evolution of the DJ from selector and record announcer to producer/performer. This book features exclusive interviews with GrandWizzard Theodore (the inventor of scratching) and other superstars including DJ QBert, Rob Swift (X-ecutioners), Armand Van Helden and mash-up maven The Freelance Hellraiser. The wide ranging topics covered include a mechanical history of turntables and a DJ technology roundup; Alan Freed, Dick Clark and payola; John Cage's Cartridge Music; Grandmaster Flash; Jamaican sound systems; the rise and fall of disco; house, techno and garage music; a dictionary of scratches; and developing DJ skills. The World of DJs and the Turntable Culture includes hands-on chapters that explain the basic tools DJs use, teaches the fundamental techniques, and explores the creative possibilities for DJs. There is a special focus on state-of-the-art gear, spotlighting the most exciting, cutting-edge features.