Bob Dylan's lyrics are at once abstruse and evocative, urgent and timeless. But, as Mike Marqusee's compelling study makes clear, behind the anarchy and playfulness of Dylan's imagery lie meanings that are often highly charged with political and social concerns. politics that unlocked his own astonishing songwriting ability, evidenced by dazzling responses in the early 1960s to the civil rights movement and the threat of nuclear war. Marqusee traces the young song-writer's subsequent reluctance to be pigeonholed, his rejection of protest, and his turn to electric rock at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965. He shows the way folk tradition, modernism, and commercial popular culture are sublimely fused in Dylan's masterworks of the mid-1960s, notably on the albums Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde on Blonde, and discusses the artist's quest for American identity-amid the continuing carnage in Vietnam and growing chaos at home - in The Basement Tapes.
Written by one of jazz journalism's best and most knowledgeable critics, this book explores the full swing spectrum from its origins in the 1920s through its current retro resurgence. Features intriguing capsule biographies of 400 of the best musicians, from classic artists like Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman to retro swingers such as the Brian Setzer Orchestra and Lavay Smith and the Red Hot Skillet Lickers, with each artist's most notable CDs reviewed and rated, plus info on film appearances, books, and hard-to-find recordings. Includes insightful essays that explore this music's cultural impact, fun photos and swing memorabilia.
Mozart is the archetypal child prodigy whose genius triumphed over precociousness, and who later broke away from a loving but tyrannical father to pursue his vision unhampered. Peter Gay traces the development of the man and the composer who pushed every genre - especially opera - into new realms.
What little-known son of a famous genius has been called:"A musical blight" "A one-man plague" "History's most justifiably neglected composer" "The worst musician ever to trod organ pedals" "A pimple on the face of music" In this long-awaited hoax, possibly the most unimportant piece of scholarship in over two thousand years, Professor Peter Schickele has finally succeeded in ripping the veil of obscurity from the most unusual -- to put it kindly -- composer in the history of music: P.D.Q. Bach, the last and unquestionably the least of the great Johann Sebastian Bach's many children.
Robert Shelton wrote the rave review of Bob Dylan in the New York Times that is generally credited with being the piece that "discovered" him in 1961. Twenty-five years later, Shelton, who had followed Dylan's career faithfully, published No Direction Home . Here is the "empathetic and rather magnificent" ( Washington Post Book World ) story of Dylan, musician and phenomenon.
A Choice Outstanding Academic Book.
A musicologist and cultural critic as well as a professional musician, Robert Walser offers a comprehensive musical, social, and cultural analysis of heavy metal in Running with the Devil. Dismissed by critics and academics, condemned by parents and politicians, fervently embraced by legions of fans, heavy metal music attracts and embodies cultural conflicts that are central to our society. Walser explores how and why heavy metal works, both musically and socially, and at the same time uses metal to investigate contemporary formations of identity, community, gender, and power.
In her full-scale life of the most important composer-lyricist at work in musical theater today, Meryle Secrest, the biographer of Frank Lloyd Wright and Leonard Bernstein, draws on her conversations with Sondheim to bring us not only the master of modernist compositional style, but also the private man.
Here is the young boy son of a successful New York dress manufacturer, taught to play the piano by his father at age 4, shattered by his parents' divorce when he was 10, sent off to military schools, findings refuge with Oscar and Dorothy Hammerstein, determined to become just like Oscar.
Secrest writes about the years when Sondheim was struggling to gain a foothold in the theater. Here is his ascent to the peaks of the Broadway musical, from his success as lyricist with Leonard Bernstein on West Side Story to his first full Broadway score, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, to his almost 20-year collaboration with producer-director Hal Prince, which resulted in such productions as Company, Follies, Pacific Overtures, A Little Night Music, and more.
We see Sondheim at work with the likes of Ethel Merman, Richard Rodgers, Jerome Robbins, Bernadette Peters, and Lee Remick, as Secrest portrays the energy, the passion, the despair, the excitement, the genius, the color that have made the theater of Stephen Sondheim great and original.