Rock Over the Edge: Transformations in Popular Music Culture

Duke University Press
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This collection brings new voices and new perspectives to the study of popular—and particularly rock—music. Focusing on a variety of artists and music forms, Rock Over the Edge asks what happens to rock criticism when rock is no longer a coherent concept. To work toward an answer, contributors investigate previously neglected genres and styles, such as “lo fi,” alternative country, and “rock en español,” while offering a fresh look at such familiar figures as Elvis Presley, the Beatles, and Kurt Cobain.
Bridging the disciplines of musicology and cultural studies, the collection has two primary goals: to seek out a language for talking about music culture and to look at the relationship of music to culture in general. The editors’ introduction provides a backward glance at recent rock criticism and also looks to the future of the rapidly expanding discipline of popular music studies. Taking seriously the implications of critical theory for the study of non-literary aesthetic endeavors, the volume also addresses such issues as the affective power of popular music and the psychic construction of fandom.
Rock Over the Edge will appeal to scholars and students in popular music studies and American Studies as well as general readers interested in popular music.

Contributors. Ian Balfour, Roger Beebe, Michael Coyle, Robert Fink, Denise Fulbrook, Tony Grajeda, Lawrence Grossberg, Trent Hill, Josh Kun, Jason Middleton, Lisa Ann Parks, Ben Saunders, John J. Sheinbaum, Gayle Wald, Warren Zanes

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About the author

Roger Beebe is Assistant Professor of Film and Media Studies at the University of Florida.

Denise Fulbrook is Visiting Assistant Professor of English at Duke University.

Ben Saunders is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Oregon.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Duke University Press
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Published on
Apr 2, 2002
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Pages
399
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ISBN
9780822383376
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Language
English
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Genres
Music / Genres & Styles / Rock
Music / History & Criticism
Social Science / Popular Culture
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Emerging from the same British music boom that birthed the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, Dave and Ray Davies’s band, the Kinks, became one of England’s most influential groups. Remembered best for such singles as “You Really Got Me,” “Lola,” and “Sunny Afternoon,” the Kinks produced 24 studio albums between 1964 and 1996. The Kinks’ prolific and varied catalog have made them both a mirror of and a counterfoil to nearly five decades of British and American culture.

The Kinks: A Thoroughly English Phenomenon examines the music and performance of this quintessentially English band and shows how aspects of everyday life such as work, play, buying a house, driving a car, drinking tea, getting drunk, and getting laid, affected and shaped their creative output. Through an investigation of their music, lyrics, and image, Carey Fleiner shows how the Kinks reflected both the ordinary and the absurd, sometimes confronting topics with anger and sometimes with self-deprecating humor. The Kinks follows the band’s trajectory more or less chronologically and explores themes such as growing up in post-war Britain, the packaging and exploitation of the “British Invasion” bands, satire and self-consciousness, sexuality and gender-bending, social and political pessimism, the comforts of family, and the effects of fame and fandom.

Fleiner’s investigation into the influences on and impact of the Kinks’ music takes readers on an engaging adventure through the musical culture of the ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s, revealing how the Kinks created an undeniable sound and image that still attracts new followers today.
National Bestseller * Named one of Rolling Stone's Best Music Books of 2018 * One of Newsweek's 50 Best Books of 2018 * A Billboard Best of 2018 * A New York Times Book Review "New and Noteworthy" selection

“A wise meditation on why classic rock stars keep trucking, both on the road and in our dreams. Every page is an irresistible argument starter.”—Rob Sheffield, Rolling Stone

The author of the critically acclaimed Your Favorite Band is Killing Me offers an eye-opening exploration of the state of classic rock, its past and future, the impact it has had, and what its loss would mean to an industry, a culture, and a way of life.

Since the late 1960s, a legendary cadre of artists—including the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, Fleetwood Mac, the Eagles, Black Sabbath, and the Who—has revolutionized popular culture and the sounds of our lives. While their songs still get airtime and some of these bands continue to tour, its idols are leaving the stage permanently. Can classic rock remain relevant as these legends die off, or will this major musical subculture fade away as many have before, Steven Hyden asks.

In this mix of personal memoir, criticism, and journalism, Hyden stands witness as classic rock reaches the precipice. Traveling to the eclectic places where geriatric rockers are still making music, he talks to the artists and fans who have aged with them, explores the ways that classic rock has changed the culture, investigates the rise and fall of classic rock radio, and turns to live bootlegs, tell-all rock biographies, and even the liner notes of rock’s greatest masterpieces to tell the story of what this music meant, and how it will be remembered, for fans like himself.

Twilight of the Gods is also Hyden’s story. Celebrating his love of this incredible music that has taken him from adolescence to fatherhood, he ponders two essential questions: Is it time to give up on his childhood heroes, or can this music teach him about growing old with his hopes and dreams intact? And what can we all learn from rock gods and their music—are they ephemeral or eternal?

This extensively revised and expanded fifth edition of Understanding Popular Music Culture provides an accessible and comprehensive introduction to the production, distribution, consumption and meaning of popular music, and the debates that surround popular culture and popular music.

Reflecting the continued proliferation of popular music studies, the new music industry in a digital age, and the emergence of new stars, this new edition has been reorganized and extensively updated throughout, making for a more coherent and sequenced coverage of the field. These updates include:

two new chapters entitled ‘The Real Thing’: Authenticity, covers and the canon and ‘Time Will Pass You By’: Histories and popular memory new case studies on artists including The Rolling Stones, Lorde, One Direction and Taylor Swift further examples of musical texts, genres, and performers throughout including additional coverage of Electronic Dance Music expanded coverage on the importance of the back catalogue and the box set; reality television and the music biopic greater attention to the role and impact of the internet and digital developments in relation to production, dissemination, mediation and consumption; including the role of social network sites and streaming services each chapter now has its own set of expanded references to facilitate further investigation.

Additional resources for students and teachers can also be found on the companion website (www.routledge.com/cw/shuker), which includes additional case studies, links to relevant websites and a discography of popular music metagenres.

Covering”the musical practice of one artist recording or performing another composer's song”has always been an attribute of popular music. In 2009, the internet database Second Hand Songs estimated that there are 40,000 songs with at least one cover version. Some of the more common variations of this "appropriationist" method of musical quotation include traditional forms such as patriotic anthems, religious hymns such as Amazing Grace, Muzak's instrumental interpretations, Christmas classics, and children's songs. Novelty and comedy collections from parodists such as Weird Al Yankovic also align in the cover category, as does the "larcenous art" of sampling, and technological variations in dance remixes and mash-ups. Film and television soundtracks and advertisers increasingly rely on versions of familiar pop tunes to assist in marketing their narratives and products. The cover phenomenon in popular culture may be viewed as a postmodern manifestation in music as artists revisit, reinterpret and re-examine a significant cross section of musical styles, periods, genres, individual records, and other artists and their catalogues of works.The cover complex, with its multiple variations, issues, contexts, and re-contextualizations comprises an important and rich popular culture text. These re-recordings represent artifacts which embody artistic, social, cultural, historical, commercial, biographical, and novel meanings. Through homage, allusion, apprenticeship, and parody, among other modes, these diverse musical quotations express, preserve, and distribute popular culture, popular music and their intersecting historical narratives. Play it Again represents the first collection of critical perspectives on the many facets of cover songs in popular music.
Music videos are available on more channels, in more formats, and in more countries than ever before. While MTV—the network that introduced music video to most viewers—is moving away from music video programming, other media developments signal the longevity and dynamism of the form. Among these are the proliferation of niche-based cable and satellite channels, the globalization of music video production and programming, and the availability of videos not just on television but also via cell phones, DVDs, enhanced CDs, PDAs, and the Internet. In the context of this transformed media landscape, Medium Cool showcases a new generation of scholarship on music video. Scholars of film, media, and music revisit and revise existing research as they provide historically and theoretically expansive new perspectives on music video as a cultural form.

The essays take on a range of topics, including questions of authenticity, the tension between high-art influences and mass-cultural appeal, the prehistory of music video, and the production and dissemination of music videos outside the United States. Among the thirteen essays are a consideration of how the rapper Jay-Z uses music video as the primary site for performing, solidifying, and discarding his various personas; an examination of the recent emergence of indigenous music video production in Papua New Guinea; and an analysis of the cultural issues being negotiated within Finland’s developing music video industry. Contributors explore precursors to contemporary music videos, including 1950s music television programs such as American Bandstand, Elvis’s internationally broadcast 1973 Aloha from Hawaii concert, and different types of short musical films that could be viewed in “musical jukeboxes” of the 1940s and 1960s. Whether theorizing music video in connection to postmodernism or rethinking the relation between sound and the visual image, the essays in Medium Cool reveal music video as rich terrain for further scholarly investigation.

Contributors. Roger Beebe, Norma Coates, Kay Dickinson, Cynthia Fuchs, Philip Hayward, Amy Herzog, Antti-Ville Kärjä, Melissa McCartney, Jason Middleton, Lisa Parks, Kip Pegley, Maureen Turim, Carol Vernallis, Warren Zanes

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