Shake It up

Shake It up

Great American Writing on Rock and Pop From Elvis to Jay Z

Book - 2017
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Jonathan Lethem and Kevin Dettmar's Shake It Up invites the reader into the tumult and excitement of the rock revolution through fifty landmark pieces by a supergroup of writers on rock in all its variety, from heavy metal to disco, punk to hip-hop. Stanley Booth describes a recording session with Otis Redding; Ellen Willis traces the meteoric career of Janis Joplin; Ellen Sander recalls the chaotic world of Led Zeppelin on tour; Nick Tosches etches a portrait of the young Jerry Lee Lewis; Eve Babitz remembers Jim Morrison. Alongside are Lenny Kaye on acapella and Greg Tate on hip-hop, Vince Aletti on disco and Gerald Early on Motown; Robert Christgau on Prince, Nelson George on Marvin Gaye, Luc Sante on Bob Dylan, Hilton Als on Michael Jackson, Anthony DeCurtis on the Rolling Stones, Kelefa Sanneh on Jay Z. The story this anthology tells is a ongoing one: "it's too early," editors Jonathan Lethem and Kevin Dettmar note, for canon formation in a field so marvelously volatile a volatility that mirrors, still, that of pop music itself, which remains smokestack lightning. The writing here attempts to catch some in a bottle.
Publisher: New York :, Library of America,, [2017]
Branch Call Number: 781.64 SHA
Characteristics: xv, 601 pages ;,23 cm.
Notes: Includes bibliographical references (pages 559-566) and index.


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Oct 29, 2019

"Pamela Courson was someone with red hair and a heart embroidered on her pants over the place her anus would be. He was a backdoor man, and Pamela was the door. Pamela was the cool one...She would take Jim's favorite vest and write FAG in giant letters on the back in india ink...She was mean and she was cool. She liked to scare people. Pamela had control over Jim in real life. He made his audience suffer for that." "John Bonham dressed up as a waiter and served little Jimmy Page up on a room service cart to a flock of girls." "From B.C., they went down to Seattle, and from there, to Honolulu, where even a few days of sunshine and rest after a concert didn't get them back in good physical shape." "At Fillmore East, on the last date of the tour, i stopped in to say good-by, and godspeed. Two members of the group attacked me, shrieking and grabbing at my clothes, totally over the edge. I fought them off until Peter Grant rescued me but not before my dress had been ripped down the back." " ' What do you think of the Beatles?' Marvin Gaye: ' I like them. I like their instrumentation. Being something of a drummer, myself, I think Ringo plays good drums.' " When Steve Cropper and Otis have the outlines of a song, they are joined by the MGs. Booker and Duck come in first, followed by drummer Al Jackson. Duck is telling Booker about his new stereo record player, complete with components. ' You can turn down the one speaker and hear the words real clear. I been listening to REVOLVER and on YELLOW SUBMARINE, you know what one of them says? I think it's Ringo, and he says, 'Paul is a queer.' He really does, man. Bigger than shit, man. ' Paul is a queer.' " "Sam Cooke altered the melodies the way a jazz musician will, as a way of personalizing the tune. He drew on gospel, blues, and related idioms for his basic stylistic orientation, but while his melodic embellishments had a gospelish fluidity and timing, the intervals he sung were more common in jazz than in gospel or blues--more sixths than sevenths, as rene hall put it." " I can still marvel at the way Springsteen caught the mystery of living life on the edge and mythologized it perfectly in a way that one can do if one doesn't understand it too deeply, which can make for great pop music, if lousy literature." ' Two auteurs ( Springsteen and Landau) made records on which Great Rock is supported by Deep Ideas by a Peoples' Artist....BORN TO RUN is one of the worst mastered records ever...You never can tell." " (Stephen Crane, quoted by Berryman: 'An artist, i think, is nothing but a powerful memory that can move itself through certain experiences sideways and every artist must be in some things as powerless as a dead snake.' " The Final Comeback Of Axl Rose " " You read things that say that NIRVANA made GUNS AND ROSES obsolete, but GUNS AND ROSES were never made obsolete. They just sort of disintegrated. Closer to the truth is that GUNS AND ROSES made NIRVANA possible." There are two articles which feature the BEATLES. One is good; the other, mistakes the singing voice of Paul, for John. That means to me that the writer did not listen closely enough to the tune he was writing about (A DAY IN THE LIFE). To this writer, this is nigh near unforgiveable, as i learned about them, while i learned their voices. And it belies the tone of expertise, with which he writes his piece.

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