Amanda Petrusich is the author of It Still Moves: Lost Songs, Lost Highways, and the Search for the Next American Music and Pink Moon, an installment in Continuum/Bloomsbury’s acclaimed 33 1/3 series. Her writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, Pitchfork, Spin, and The Oxford American, where she is a contributing editor. In 2016, she was named one of the 100 most influential people in Brooklyn culture by Brooklyn Magazine. She holds an M.F.A. from Columbia University, and has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the New York Foundation for the Humanities and the MacDowell Colony. An assistant professor in the writing program at NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study, she teaches advanced courses on criticism and musical subcultures. She lives in Brooklyn.
Representing Sound elucidates the base technical ontology, the machine essence, of every recorded musical communication. In so doing, it suggests the broad contours of an unprecedented theoretical basis for considering recording practice that posits no fundamental relationship between it and live performance. Representing Sound thus complicates common conceptions of sound to include different ontological states. This seemingly simple notion–that the acoustic phenomena we encounter in concert are, by nature, different from those we encounter when we listen to records–should have profound consequences for the way everyone, from musicologists to rock stars, considers recording practice.
In the tradition of books like Marshall McLuhan’s and Quentin Fiore’s The Medium Is The Massage (1968), Representing Sound sets its text within more than one hundred original visual artworks, each designed to reinforce the essay’s broader creative resonances. This allows readers to approach the larger ontological argument either atomistically (i.e., on a frame-by-frame basis) or holistically, depending on their creative or analytic needs. In this way, Representing Sound provides a possible model for creative scholarly work in the impending post-book era.
Guy's epic story stands at the absolute nexus of modern blues. He came to Chicago from rural Louisiana in the fifties—the very moment when urban blues were electrifying our culture. He was a regular session player at Chess Records. Willie Dixon was his mentor. He was a sideman in the bands of Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf. He and Junior Wells formed a band of their own. In the sixties, he became a recording star in his own right.
When I Left Home tells Guy's picaresque story in his own unique voice, that of a storyteller who remembers everything, including blues masters in their prime and the exploding, evolving culture of music that happened all around him.
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.
Arguably the most gifted artist of her generation, Amy Winehouse died tragically young, aged just twenty-seven. With a worldwide fan base and millions of record sales to her name, she should have had the world at her feet. Yet in the years prior to her death, she battled with addiction and was frequently the subject of lurid tabloid headlines.
Amy’s mother, Janis, knew her in a way that no one else did. In this warm, poignant, and at times heartbreaking memoir, she tells the full story of the daughter she loved so much. As the world watched the rise of a superstar, then the free fall of an addict to her tragic death, Janis simply saw her Amy: the daughter she’d given birth to, the girl she’d raised and stood by despite her unruly behavior, the girl whose body she was forced to identify two days after her death—and the girl she’s grieved for every day since.
Including rare photographs and extracts from Amy’s childhood journals, Loving Amy offers a new and intimate perspective on the life and untimely death of a musical icon.