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Sunday, March 27, 2016

Pop, Rock, and Soul Reader by David Brackett

I have been reading books that my youngest has to read for college out loud to him.  We have just finished the reading for a study of rock and roll in American culture that has been really fascinating, even if the reading for it hasn't always been.  This book is very densely written, but it was by far the best at conveying the popular culture of the time.  The book consists of interviews and articles written about key performers and overarching trends in rock and roll over the years, starting with the 1930's and 1940's and then going all the way through hip hop and ending with what the future holds given things like file sharing, Spotify, and the rapid decline of the CD.  It does not cover the ironic rise in popularity of the LP, which went out of favor and then out of print during my youth.  I have always preferred the warmth of the sound of LPs but have to admit that over 90% of the music I listen to comes directly through Spotify, and is often not of the very best sound quality.  However, there may be a time when I return to LPs.  Probably not.  You really have to have a lot of time on your hands, and college is the perfect time for that.  In any case this book is fascinating in that is it first person accounts from the time that the music they are writing or speaking about was happening, and it gives a very different perspective on the music and the performers.

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