New Books in Music

Interviews with Scholars of Music about their New Books



      Franz Rickaby, et al., “Pinery Boys: Songs and Songcatching in the Lumberjack Era” (U Wisconsin Press, 2017)

      Gretchen Dykstra‘s career to date is both impressive and wide-ranging. She was the founding President of the Times Square Alliance, the former Commissioner of the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs, and the founding President of the 9/11 Memorial Foundation. She is also a writer, and in this New Books in Folklore episode, she is interviewed about her biography of her grandfather, Franz Rickaby, which features in Pinery Boys: Songs and Songcatching in the Lumberjack Era (University of...



      Jonathan R. Wynn, “Music/City: American Festivals and Placemaking in Austin, Nashville, and Newport” (U of Chicago, 2015)

      A city in its original state is arbitrary and has no meaning. The act of placemaking is a multifaceted process in the planning, designing, and management of public spaces. The social construction of meaning is a process that capitalizes on the assets, inspiration, and potential of a public space. This meaning is constructed from the social and emotional sentiments that people evoke from the city. The structural and physical aspects of the city are less important. Jonathan R. Wynn, the author...



      Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow, “Personal Stereo” (Bloomsbury Academic, 2017)

      Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow‘s book, Personal Stereo (Bloomsbury Academic, 2017) , which is part of the Object Lessons series, offers a compelling and expertly researched study of the Sony Walkman, taking into account the device’s controversial origin story, the seismic cultural impact on society in the 1980s, the worries of diminishing social interactions, and the philosophical implications of listening to music within one’s own private bubble. All this is channeled through a...



      Mark Fleischman, “Inside Studio 54” (Rare Bird Books, 2017)

      Studio 54 opened its doors 40 years ago and since that time it has held a place in American popular culture. Studio 54 was the place to go dancing to great music, mingle with celebrities and beautiful people, and do drugs night after night. In his historical and cultural memoir as the owner of Studio 54, Mark Fleischman takes readers behind the scenes and the into the basement rooms and dark corners of the night club. Inside Studio 54: The Real Story of Sex, Drugs, and Rock ‘n Roll...



      Jenny Natasha and Tom Boniface-Webb, “I Was Britpopped: The A-Z of Britpop” (Valley Press, 2017)

      I Was Britpopped: The A-Z of Britpop (Valley Press, 2017) is a comprehensive guide to the people, the bands, the places, and the events that shaped British music in the mid-to-late 1990s. Taking on the form of a A-Z guide, the book doesn’t gloss over even the most remote B-Side or bands who only fleetingly played a role in the genre. Every entry is carefully researched and expertly written to paint a picture of a music scene that was at once full of some of the most creative and...



      Richard Power Sayeed, “1997: The Future that Never Happened (Zed Books, 2017)

      Richard Power Sayeed’s book, 1997: The Future that Never Happened (Zed Books, 2017), is a brilliant and exhaustively researched account of the late 1990s. The subject matter covered is broad. From music to politics, from feminism to the media, it paints a picture of an era in which those living and invested in British society never had it so good. The outlook was sunny, yet this positive future never materialised.
      Richard Power Sayeed is a writer and documentary maker based in...



      Daniel Kane, “Do You Have a Band?”: Poetry and Punk Rock in New York City” (Columbia UP, 2017)

      Often, poetry and punk rock are seen as distinct activities that occur in different locations with separate audiences. Many would also ascribe to them varying levels of cultural and political capital.
      Daniel Kane, the author of Do You Have a Band?: Poetry and Punk Rock in New York City (Columbia University Press, 2017) challenges these notions and explores the interaction between the New York Schools of Poetry and early punk music. In this podcast, we discuss how poets, such as Frank...



      Joel Dinerstein, “The Origins of Cool in Postwar America” (U. Chicago Press, 2017)

      In his new book, The Origins of Cool in Postwar America (University of Chicago Press, 2017), Cultural Studies scholar Joel Dinerstein explores the cultural history of cool and the codes that defined the style and attitude of this relatively new concept. Using cultural icons such as Lester Young, Humphrey Bogart, Albert Camus, Billie Holiday, Jack Kerouac, Marlon Brando, Miles Davis, and Lorraine Hansberry to name a few, Dinerstein weaves an image of cool in the 1940s and 1950s as it...



      Rebecca Mitchell, “Nietzsche’s Orphans: Music, Metaphysics, and the Twilight of the Russian Empire” (Yale UP, 2015)

      At the close of the nineteenth century, Europe was teeming with apocalyptic dreams of destruction and renewal. In Nietzsche’s Orphans: Music, Metaphysics, and the Twilight of the Russian Empire (Yale University Press, 2015), Rebecca Mitchell traces how in late imperial Russia, music came to be seen as a transcendent force that offered salvation from the era’s atmosphere of decadence and decline. At the turn of the century, Nietzsche’s The Birth of Tragedy became a major...



      Rosemary Lucy Hill, “Gender, Metal and the Media: Women Fans and the Gendered Experience of Music” (Palgrave Macmillan 2016)

      How do women experience and participate in Metal?
      This question forms the core of Gender, Metal and the Media: Women Fans and the Gendered Experience of Music (Palgrave Macmillan 2016), the new book from Rosemary Lucy Hill, a lecturer in sociology at the University of Leeds. Hill’s book is both empirically detailed, drawing on analysis of Metal media, and theoretically rich, engaging with a range of work on music and gender. The book outlines the imagined community of Metal,...