The Old Weird America

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The Old Weird America

Author : Greil Marcus
ISBN : 1429961589
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 33.62 MB
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A Special Edition with a New Introduction and an Updated Discography This is Greil Marcus's acclaimed book on the secret music made by Bob Dylan and the Band in 1967, which introduced a phrase that has become part of the culture: "the old, weird America." It is this country that the book maps—the "playground of God, Satan, tricksters, Puritans, confidence men, illuminati, braggarts, preachers, anonymous poets of all stripes" (Luc Sante, New York magazine). In honor of Dylan's seventieth birthday, this special edition includes a new introduction, an updated discography, and a cover featuring never-before-seen photographs of the legendary recording sessions.
Category: Social Science

The Old Weird America

Author : Toby Kamps
ISBN : UOM:39015076125346
Genre : Art
File Size : 50.37 MB
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Edited by Polly Koch. Foreword by Linda Shearer. Introduction by Toby Kamps.
Category: Art

We Have Never Been Postmodern

Author : Steve Redhead
ISBN : 9780748688975
Genre : Art
File Size : 83.2 MB
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This book sets out a variety of reasons why we should move away from seeing the recent era as 'postmodern' and our culture as 'postmodernist' through a series of analyses of contemporary culture.
Category: Art

Bruce Springsteen Cultural Studies And The Runaway American Dream

Author : Dr Kenneth Womack
ISBN : 9781409495253
Genre : Music
File Size : 49.20 MB
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There is little question about the incredible power of Bruce Springsteen's work as a particularly transformative art, as a lyrical and musical fusion that never shies away from sifting through the rubble of human conflict. As Rolling Stone magazine's Parke Puterbaugh observes, Springsteen 'is a peerless songwriter and consummate artist whose every painstakingly crafted album serves as an impassioned and literate pulse taking of a generation's fortunes. He is the foremost live performer in the history of rock and roll, a self-described prisoner of the music he loves, for whom every show is played as if it might be his last.' In recent decades, Puterbaugh adds, 'Springsteen's music developed a conscience that didn't ignore the darkening of the runaway American Dream as the country greedily blundered its way through the 1980s' and into the sociocultural detritus of a new century paralysed by isolation and uncertainty. Bruce Springsteen, Cultural Studies, and the Runaway American Dream reflects the significant critical interest in understanding Springsteen's resounding impact upon the ways in which we think and feel about politics, religion, gender, and the pursuit of the American Dream. By assembling a host of essays that engage in interdisciplinary commentary regarding one of Western culture's most enduring artistic and socially radicalizing phenomena, this book offers a cohesive, intellectual, and often entertaining introduction to the many ways in which Springsteen continues to impact our lives by challenging our minds through his lyrics and music.
Category: Music

The Return Of The Chaos Monsters

Author : Gregory Mobley
ISBN : 9780802837462
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 49.64 MB
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Gregory Mobley plunges beneath the Bible's surface to reveal its "backstories" -- the tales that constitute the backbone of the people Israel and of the body of Christ. Viewing the Bible as "essentially, relentlessly story," Mobley provides an easy-to-understand sevenpart thematic overview of the Bible that guides readers through the drama of the Hebrew Bible, highlighting the interconnectedness of biblical stories. Each story is a variation on a single theme -- the dynamic interplay between order and chaos. Intriguing Ancient Near Eastern myths, personal anecdotes, and popular cultural references from movies, musical theater, and writers ranging from Dr. Seuss to William Blake pepper the book throughout. Arresting chapter and section titles such as "It's Love That Makes the World Go 'Round" and "Lord Bezek's Big Toes" capture the imagination, and Mobley's own lyrical, energetic writing style -- exercised on vibrant biblical material -- propels the reader forward. Readers will find his enthusiasm contagious!
Category: Literary Criticism

Under The Red White And Blue

Author : Greil Marcus
ISBN : 9780300252507
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 59.88 MB
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A deep dive into how F. Scott Fitzgerald’s vision of the American Dream has been understood, portrayed, distorted, misused, and kept alive Renowned critic Greil Marcus takes on the fascinating legacy of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. An enthralling parable (or a cheap metaphor) of the American Dream as a beckoning finger toward a con game, a kind of virus infecting artists of all sorts over nearly a century, Fitzgerald’s story has become a key to American culture and American life itself. Marcus follows the arc of The Great Gatsby from 1925 into the ways it has insinuated itself into works by writers such as Philip Roth and Raymond Chandler; found echoes in the work of performers from Jelly Roll Morton to Lana Del Rey; and continued to rewrite both its own story and that of the country at large in the hands of dramatists and filmmakers from the 1920s to John Collins’s 2006 Gatz and Baz Luhrmann’s critically reviled (here celebrated) 2013 movie version—the fourth, so far.
Category: Literary Criticism

Remixing The Civil War

Author : Thomas J. Brown
ISBN : 9781421402512
Genre : History
File Size : 35.70 MB
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In his book The Legacy of the Civil War, Robert Penn Warren remarked that "the Civil War is, for the American imagination, the great single event of our history." This volume reconsiders whether, fifty years later, Warren's influential claim still holds true. Essays from scholars in art, literature, and history examine how the Civil War is represented and interpreted in contemporary culture. They look at the works of more than thirty artists and writers as well as multiple political movements to reveal the many and provocative ways in which Americans engage the Civil War today, including chapters on the importance of Abraham Lincoln to Barack Obama's presidential campaign, controversies over the Confederate flag, and the proliferation of "Juneteenth" observances. Special attention is paid to the works of African Americans and white southerners, for whom the Civil War was a revolutionary and defining moment. Such prominent scholars as Robert H. Brinkmeyer Jr., W. Fitzhugh Brundage, Kirk Savage, and Elizabeth Young explore the works of major artists and less well-known figures, including Bobbie Ann Mason, Kara Walker, Dario Robleto, and John Huddleston. The authors repeatedly find that Americans today openly and playfully manipulate familiar images of the Civil War to explore the malleability of traditional social categories such as national identity, gender, and race. With the sesquicentennial of the Civil War upon us, this collection continues the conversation Warren began fifty years ago, albeit in unorthodox and challenging ways, to offer fresh and stimulating perspectives on the war's presence in the collective imagination of the nation.
Category: History

No Simple Highway

Author : Peter Richardson
ISBN : 9781250021335
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 60.42 MB
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For almost three decades, the Grateful Dead was America's most popular touring band. No Simple Highway is the first book to ask the simple question of why—and attempt to answer it. Drawing on new research, interviews, and a fresh supply of material from the Grateful Dead archives, author Peter Richardson vividly recounts the Dead's colorful history, adding new insight into everything from the Acid Tests to the band's formation of their own record label to their massive late career success, while probing the riddle of the Dead's vast and durable appeal. Arguing that the band successfully tapped three powerful utopian ideals—for ecstasy, mobility, and community—it also shows how the Dead's lived experience with these ideals struck deep chords with two generations of American youth and continues today. Routinely caricatured by the mainstream media, the Grateful Dead are often portrayed as grizzled hippy throwbacks with a cult following of burned-out stoners. No Simple Highway corrects that impression, revealing them to be one of the most popular, versatile, and resilient music ensembles in the second half of the twentieth century. The band's history has been well-documented by insiders, but its unique and sustained appeal has yet to be explored fully. At last, this legendary American musical institution is given the serious and entertaining examination it richly deserves.
Category: Biography & Autobiography

Ultra Talk

Author : David Kirby
ISBN : 0820329096
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 65.59 MB
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In Ultra-Talk, David Kirby poses a simple question: What makes a cultural phenomenon truly great? Exploring a wide variety of "king-sized cultural monuments," Kirby argues that one qualification for greatness is that a phenomenon be embraced by both the elite and the general public. Further, he argues, it must be embraced repeatedly over time. Kirby turns his critical eye to subjects that have been studied and written about, sought after avidly, discussed passionately, and even resisted vigorously around the world. Auto racing, Dante, folk music, food, Leonardo da Vinci, films, poetry, religion, striptease, television, and the internet are just some of the topics he examines. In Rome, heads of state kneel before Bernini's statue of Saint Teresa in ecstasy, says Kirby, and so do people who can't read. And everyone watches TV. Ultra-Talk pays homage to the work of two towering writers and critics. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Giacomo Leopardi both stated that a book was valid only if it had been accepted by both an intellectual elite and a vast public. Kirby would have added a second requirement: that the book's--or cultural monument's--popularity must have traction over time. By standing on the shoulders of Goethe and Leopardi, Kirby offers a way to read, see, and savor a post-theoretical worldview that everybody can share.
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Spirits Rejoice

Author : Jason C. Bivins
ISBN : 9780190230937
Genre : Music
File Size : 37.86 MB
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In Spirits Rejoice! Jason Bivins explores the relationship between American religion and American music, and the places where religion and jazz have overlapped. Much writing about jazz tends toward glorified discographies or impressionistic descriptions of the actual sounds. Rather than providing a history, or series of biographical entries, Spirits Rejoice! takes to heart a central characteristic of jazz itself and improvises, generating a collection of themes, pursuits, reoccurring foci, and interpretations. Bivins riffs on interviews, liner notes, journals, audience reception, and critical commentary, producing a work that argues for the centrality of religious experiences to any legitimate understanding of jazz, while also suggesting that jazz opens up new interpretations of American religious history. Bivins examines themes such as musical creativity as related to specific religious traditions, jazz as a form of ritual and healing, and jazz cosmologies and metaphysics. Spirits Rejoice! connects Religious Studies to Jazz Studies through thematic portraits, and a vast number of interviews to propose a new, improvisationally fluid archive for thinking about religion, race, and sound in the United States. Bivins's conclusions explore how the sound of spirits rejoicing challenges not only prevailing understandings of race and music, but also the way we think about religion. Spirits Rejoice! is an essential volume for any student of jazz, American religion, or American culture.
Category: Music

Sublime Spaces And Visionary Worlds

Author : Leslie Umberger
ISBN : 1568987285
Genre : Art
File Size : 25.18 MB
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The need to personalize our surroundings is a defining human characteristic. For some this need becomes a compulsion to transform their personal surroundings into works of art. The John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, has undertaken the mission to preserve these environments, which are presented for the first time in Sublime Spaces and Visionary Worlds. This colorful and inspiring book features the work of twenty-two vernacular artists whose locales, personal histories, and reasons for art-making vary widely but who all share a powerful connection to the home as art. Featured projects range from art environments that remain intact, such as Simon Rodia's Watts Towers in California, tosites lost over the years such as Emery Blagdon's six hundred elaborate "Healing Machines," made of copper, aluminum, tinfoil, magnets, ribbons, farm-machinery parts, painted light bulbs, beads, coffee-can lids, and more. Sublime Spaces and Visionary Worlds is the first book to explore these spectacularly offbeat spaces in detail.From "Original Rhinestone Cowboy" Loy Bowlin's wall-to-wall glitter-and-foil living room to the concrete bestiary of "witch of Fox Point" Mary Nohl, each artist and project is described in detail through a wealth of visuals and text. Sublime Spaces and Visionary Worlds reminds us that our decorative choices tell the world not just what we like but who we are.
Category: Art

It Still Moves

Author : Amanda Petrusich
ISBN : 1429957557
Genre : Music
File Size : 33.84 MB
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"Where lies the boundary between meaning and sentiment? Between memory and nostalgia? America and Americana? What is and what was? Does it move?" --Donovon Hohn, A Romance of Rust Part travelogue, part cultural criticism, part music appreciation, It Still Moves does for today's avant folk scene what Greil Marcus did for Dylan and The Basement Tapes. Amanda Petrusich outlines the sounds of the new, weird America—honoring the rich tradition of gospel, bluegrass, country, folk, and rock that feeds it, while simultaneously exploring the American character as personified in all of these genres historically. Through interviews, road stories, geographical and sociological interpretations, and detailed music criticism, Petrusich traces the rise of Americana music from its gospel origins through its new and compelling incarnations (as evidenced in bands and artists from Elvis to Iron and Wine, the Carter Family to Animal Collective, Johnny Cash to Will Oldham) and explores how the genre is adapting to the twenty-first century. Ultimately the book is an examination of all things American: guitars, cars, kids, motion, passion, enterprise, and change, in a fervent attempt to reconcile the American past with the American present, using only dusty records and highway maps as guides.
Category: Music

The Shape Of Things To Come

Author : Greil Marcus
ISBN : 9781466804227
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 41.73 MB
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From the author of Mystery Train and Lipstick Traces, an exhilarating and provocative investigation of the tangle of American identity "America is a place and a story, made up of exuberance and suspicion, crime and liberation, lynch mobs and escapes; its greatest testaments are made of portents and warnings, biblical allusions that lose all certainty in the American air." It is this story of self-invention and nationhood that Greil Marcus rediscovers, beginning with John Winthrop's invocation of America as a "city on the hill," Lincoln's second inaugural address, and Martin Luther King Jr.'s speech about his American dream. Listening to these prophetic founding statements, Marcus explores America's promise as a New Jerusalem and the nature of its covenant: first with God, and then with its own citizens. In the nineteenth century, this vision of the nation's story was told in public as part of common discourse, to be fought over in plain speech and flights of gorgeous rhetoric. Since then, Marcus argues, it has become cryptic, a story told more in art than in politics. He traces it across the continent and through time, hearing the tale in the disparate voices of writers, filmmakers, performers, and actors: Philip Roth, David Lynch, David Thomas, Allen Ginsberg, Sheryl Lee, and Bill Pullman. In The Shape of Things to Come, the future and the past merge in extraordinary and uncanny ways, and Marcus proves once again that he is our most imaginative and original cultural critic.
Category: Social Science

The New Encyclopedia Of Southern Culture

Author : Larry J. Griffin
ISBN : 9780807882542
Genre : Reference
File Size : 67.98 MB
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This volume of The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture offers a timely, authoritative, and interdisciplinary exploration of issues related to social class in the South from the colonial era to the present. With introductory essays by J. Wayne Flynt and by editors Larry J. Griffin and Peggy G. Hargis, the volume is a comprehensive, stand-alone reference to this complex subject, which underpins the history of the region and shapes its future. In 58 thematic essays and 103 topical entries, the contributors explore the effects of class on all aspects of life in the South--its role in Indian removal, the Civil War, the New Deal, and the civil rights movement, for example, and how it has been manifested in religion, sports, country and gospel music, and matters of gender. Artisans and the working class, indentured workers and steelworkers, the Freedmen's Bureau and the Knights of Labor are all examined. This volume provides a full investigation of social class in the region and situates class concerns at the center of our understanding of Southern culture.
Category: Reference

Vampira

Author : W. Scott Poole
ISBN : 9781619024205
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 56.63 MB
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The new book from award-winning historian W. Scott Poole is a whip-smart piece of pop culture detailing the story of cult horror figure Vampira that actually tells the much wider story of 1950s America and its treatment of women and sex, as well as capturing a fascinating swath of Los Angeles history. In Vampire, Poole gives us the eclectic life of the dancer, stripper, actress, and artist Maila Nurmi, who would reinvent herself as Vampira during the backdrop of 1950s America, an era of both chilling conformity and the nascent rumblings of the countercultural response that led from the Beats and free jazz to the stirring of the LGBT movement and the hardcore punk scene in the bohemian enclave along Melrose Avenue. A veteran of the New York stage and late nights at Hollywood's hipster hangouts, Nurmi would eventually be linked to Elvis, Orson Welles, and James Dean, as well as stylist and photographer Rudi Gernreich, founder of the Mattachine Society and designer of the thong. Thanks to rumors of a romance between Vampira and James Dean, his tragic death inspired the circulation of stories that she had cursed him and, better yet, had access to his dead body for use in her dark arts. In Poole's expert hands, Vampira is more than the story of a highly creative artist continually reinventing herself, but a parable of the runaway housewife bursting the bounds of our straight-laced conventions with an exuberant display of camp, sex, and creative individuality that owed something to the morbid New Yorker cartoons of Charles Addams, the evil queen from Disney's Snow White, and the popular, underground bondage magazine Bizarre, and forward to the staged excesses of Madonna and Lady Gaga. Vampira is a wildly compelling tour through a forgotten piece of pop cultural history, one with both cultish and literary merit, sure to capture the imagination of Vampira fans new and old.
Category: Biography & Autobiography

History Of Rock N Roll In Ten Songs

Author : Greil Marcus
ISBN : 9780300190304
Genre : Music
File Size : 68.94 MB
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The legendary critic and author of Mystery Train “ingeniously retells the tale of rock and roll” (Publishers Weekly, starred review). Unlike previous versions of rock ’n’ roll history, this book omits almost every iconic performer and ignores the storied events and turning points everyone knows. Instead, in a daring stroke, Greil Marcus selects ten songs and dramatizes how each embodies rock ’n’ roll as a thing in itself, in the story it tells, inhabits, and acts out—a new language, something new under the sun. “Transmission” by Joy Division. “All I Could Do Was Cry” by Etta James and then Beyoncé. “To Know Him Is to Love Him,” first by the Teddy Bears and almost half a century later by Amy Winehouse. In Marcus’s hands these and other songs tell the story of the music, which is, at bottom, the story of the desire for freedom in all its unruly and liberating glory. Slipping the constraints of chronology, Marcus braids together past and present, holding up to the light the ways that these striking songs fall through time and circumstance, gaining momentum and meaning, astonishing us by upending our presumptions and prejudices. This book, by a founder of contemporary rock criticism—and its most gifted and incisive practitioner—is destined to become an enduring classic. “One of the epic figures in rock writing.”—The New York Times Book Review “Marcus is our greatest cultural critic, not only because of what he says but also, as with rock-and-roll itself, how he says it.”—The Washington Post Winner of the Deems Taylor Virgil Thomson Award in Music Criticism, given by the American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers
Category: Music

Weird America

Author : Jim Brandon
ISBN : WISC:89058353483
Genre : History
File Size : 55.20 MB
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A state-by-state compilation of descriptions of ghost towns, rock carvings, unusual structures, canyons, and other strange archaeological, geological, and anthropological discoveries
Category: History

Stories Done

Author : Mikal Gilmore
ISBN : 1416594531
Genre : Music
File Size : 56.14 MB
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The 1960s and 1970s represent a rare moment in our cultural history -- music was exploring unprecedented territories, literature was undergoing a radical reinvention, politics polarized the nation, and youth culture was at the zenith of its influence. There has never been, nor is there likely to be, another generation that matches the contributions of the artists of that time period. In this poignant book, journalist Mikal Gilmore weaves a narrative of the '60s and '70s as he examines the lives of the era's most important cultural icons. Keeping the power of rock & roll at the forefront, Gilmore gathers together stories about major artists from every field -- George Harrison, Ken Kesey, Johnny Cash, Allen Ginsberg, to name just a few. Gilmore reveals the truth about this idealized period in history, never shying away from the ugly influences that brought many of rock's most exciting figures to their knees. He examines how Jim Morrison's alcoholism led to the star's death at the age of twenty-seven, how Jerry Garcia's drug problems brought him to the brink of death so many times that his bandmates did not believe the news of his actual demise, how Pink Floyd struggled with the guilt of kicking out founding member Syd Barrett because of his debilitating mental illness. As Gilmore examines the dark side of these complicated figures, he paints a picture of the environment that bred them, taking readers from the rough streets of Liverpool (and its more comfortable suburbs) to the hippie haven of Haight-Ashbury that hosted the infamous Summer of Love. But what resulted from these lives and those times, Gilmore argues, was worth the risk -- in fact, it may be inseparable from those hard costs. The lives of these dynamic and diverse figures are intertwined with Gilmore's exploration of the social, political, and emotional characteristics that defined the era. His insights and examinations combine to create a eulogy for a formative period of American history.
Category: Music

Rebellion In Black And White

Author : Robert Cohen
ISBN : 9781421408514
Genre : Education
File Size : 75.23 MB
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Rebellion in Black and White offers a panoramic view of southern student activism in the 1960s. Original scholarly essays demonstrate how southern students promoted desegregation, racial equality, free speech, academic freedom, world peace, gender equity, sexual liberation, Black Power, and the personal freedoms associated with the counterculture of the decade. Most accounts of the 1960s student movement and the New Left have been northern-centered, focusing on rebellions at the University of California, Berkeley, Columbia University, and others. And yet, students at southern colleges and universities also organized and acted to change race and gender relations and to end the Vietnam War. Southern students took longer to rebel due to the south’s legacy of segregation, its military tradition, and its Bible Belt convictions, but their efforts were just as effective as those in the north. Rebellion in Black and White sheds light on higher education, students, culture, and politics of the American south. Edited by Robert Cohen and David J. Snyder, the book features the work of both seasoned historians and a new generation of scholars offering fresh perspectives on the civil rights movement and many others. Contributors: Dan T. Carter David T. Farber Jelani Favors Wesley Hogan Christopher A. Huff Nicholas G. Meriwether Gregg L. Michel Kelly Morrow Doug Rossinow Cleveland L. Sellers Jr. Gary S. Sprayberry Marcia G. Synnott Jeffrey A. Turner Erica Whittington Joy Ann Williamson-Lott
Category: Education