Grown Up All Wrong: 75 Great Rock and Pop Artists from Vaudeville to Techno

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9780674003828: Grown Up All Wrong: 75 Great Rock and Pop Artists from Vaudeville to Techno
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Two generations of American music lovers have grown up listening with Robert Christgau, attuned to his inimitable blend of judgment, acuity, passion, erudition, wit, and caveat emptor. His writings, collected here, constitute a virtual encyclopedia of popular music over the past fifty years. Whether honoring the originators of rock and roll, celebrating established artists, or spreading the word about newer ones, the book is pure enjoyment, a pleasure that takes its cues from the sounds it chronicles.

A critical compendium of points of interest in American popular music and its far-flung diaspora, this book ranges from the 1950s singer-songwriter tradition through hip-hop, alternative, and beyond. With unfailing style and grace, Christgau negotiates the straits of great music and thorny politics, as in the cases of Public Enemy, blackface artist Emmett Miller, KRS-One, the Beastie Boys, and Lynyrd Skynyrd. He illuminates legends from pop music and the beginnings of rock and roll--George Gershwin, Nat King Cole, B. B. King, Chuck Berry, and Elvis Presley--and looks at the subtle transition to just plain "rock" in the music of Janis Joplin, the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Aretha Franklin, James Brown, and others. He praises the endless vitality of Al Green, George Clinton, and Neil Young. And from the Rolling Stones to Sonic Youth to Nirvana, from Bette Midler to Michael Jackson to DJ Shadow, he shows how money calls the tune in careers that aren't necessarily compromised by their intercourse with commerce.

Rock and punk and hip-hop, pop and world beat: this is the music of the second half of the twentieth century, skillfully framed in the work of a writer whose reach, insight, and perfect pitch make him one of the major cultural critics of our time.

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About the Author:

Robert Christgau is Senior Editor and Chief Music Critic at the Village Voice.

Review:

Applying the language and ideas of academic critical theory to popular music and adding a good dose of gonzoesque irreverence, Robert Christgau, the senior music critic at The Village Voice, created a brand of music writing that inspired a small but fierce group of critics at alternative weeklies. The subjects in Grown Up All Wrong...include Elvis Presley, the punk girl band Sleater-Kinney, the rap artist KRS-One, the country singer George Jones and the minstrel singer Emmett Miller, among many, many others. He writes on each with equal erudition, examining the artists and their music as both cultural products and influences. No pop act is too weird, arty, commercial or schlocky for Christgau's contemplation...The result is brilliant. (Laura Jamison New York Times Book Review)

Robert Christgau has earned his title as the dean of rock journalism by being honest--a critic who criticizes...A first-person eyewitness to rock's rise to glory, Christgau pens hundred-word mini-essays that leap sublimely from rock to rap to punk to soul to world music. Diving deeper into his favorite artists, the lengthy essays compiled for Grown Up All Wrong--culled mostly from [his] Voice columns--reveal a depth of understanding about...pop music, both as art and commercial proposition...Because Christgau prizes what the music means over what it sounds like or how well it sells, nearly every essay is readable, regardless of how well you know the artist. (Mark Athitakis Salon)

Robert Christgau loves rock--its fans, its 'big beat,' and last (but not most) the musicians themselves--and he loves rock's complicated, rebellious potential. Grown Up All Wrong collects decades of his declarations of love--from Nat King Cole to Sleater-Kinney--as they appeared in the Village Voice. Ranging from as short as one paragraph on 'Why the Beatles Broke Up' to 14 pages of homage to the early Stones and a gonzo essay about the Replacements that begins, 'I mean, fuck art,' these essays capture just how it feels to listen to all that noise, contradictions and all. (Village Voice)

Since the sixties, when he conceived rock criticism as a glorious expressive form free of high-art headaches, Robert Christgau has interrogated pop music with self-invented rigor. A critic and editor for more than twenty years at the Village Voice, Christgau propels a thorny complex of aesthetics, business and politics into his own Formula One commentary...Grown Up All Wrong discusses seventy-five artists in a collection of essays. They fall into groups about pioneers (Nat 'King' Cole, Elvis), Sixties legends (Hendrix, Aretha) and Seventies phenoms (Bonnie Raitt, Stevie Wonder); other sections highlight punk, hip-hop and pop. The book ends warmly, with looks at Neil Young, George Clinton and Al Green, all of whom, like Christgau, are now in their fifties and wide awake. (James Hunter Rolling Stone)

Hailed by many as the dean of American rock criticism, Christgau, senior music critic of The Village Voice, is arguably the person most responsible for making [rock] criticism a serious discipline...It is as a cultural critic...rather than as a 'rock writer' that Christgau tackles popular music. Although Grown Up All Wrong is a series of essays...ostensibly about artists from George Gershwin through KRS-One, it is also about our times. Eschewing the standard line that rock was born from a union of blues and country music, Christgau looks to more mainstream traditions of popular music, and reflects on Nat King Cole and blackface vaudevillian Emmett Miller to find the reasons for our contemporary tastes. Poking behind the myths...he seeks to decipher why we love this music--or why we ought to. Discussing contemporary acts, he sets out to explain context as much as sound...and lovingly depicts scenes to which fans of any sound can relate. (Clea Simon Boston Globe)

Smart, literary, self-assured, heartfelt and politically conscious...[Christgau] offer[s] insights aplenty for any aspiring aficionado interested in pondering popular music as much as grooving to it...Christgau's book reads like the musing of a professional hipster; he's the guy you want to go to concerts with, because he makes pop music feel like a ritual experience...Known as the 'dean of rock critics' for being one of the first, he is a true believer in rock and roll, and much as he can be terrifyingly silly...he is also wonderfully serious about the subtleties of this rather rude and crass genre of popular music. (Michael Kramer Newsday)

When Christgau is good...he's a stimulating idea man. His curiosity is boundless, he has a formidable knowledge of a wide range of genres, and his insights on everyone from Chuck Berry to Sleater-Kinney are enough to make every other music journalist bow down in envy. (Greg Kot Chicago Tribune)

Robert Christgau's Grown Up All Wrong is a superb compendium of the noted New York music authority's always readable and ever insightful writings on music from the '50s to the present day, from Gershwin and Presley to Cheb Khaled and DJ Shadow. Put together, the scope of his writings makes for a huge and all-encompassing, rewarding and enlightening book. (Ross Fortune Time Out)

[Christgau] is both infuriating and refreshingly sharp. (Mark Blake Q Magazine)

Whether you love him or hate him, everyone in the racket owes a debt to Robert Christgau. He may not have been the first rock critic, but he was certainly the first to make a career out of it and he casts a large shadow over all music writers...Grown Up All Wrong is Christgau's love letter to the form that has nourished him, and that he has nourished for 30 years...He is undoubtedly one of the best at untangling the various strands of the pop apparatus. (Peter Shapiro Wire)

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Book Description Harvard University Press. Paperback. Condition: New. 512 pages. Dimensions: 9.2in. x 6.2in. x 1.4in.Two generations of American music lovers have grown up listening with Robert Christgau, attuned to his inimitable blend of judgment, acuity, passion, erudition, wit, and caveat emptor. His writings, collected here, constitute a virtual encyclopedia of popular music over the past fifty years. Whether honoring the originators of rock and roll, celebrating established artists, or spreading the word about newer ones, the book is pure enjoyment, a pleasure that takes its cues from the sounds it chronicles. A critical compendium of points of interest in American popular music and its far-flung diaspora, this book ranges from the 1950s singer-songwriter tradition through hip-hop, alternative, and beyond. With unfailing style and grace, Christgau negotiates the straits of great music and thorny politics, as in the cases of Public Enemy, blackface artist Emmett Miller, KRS-One, the Beastie Boys, and Lynyrd Skynyrd. He illuminates legends from pop music and the beginnings of rock and roll--George Gershwin, Nat King Cole, B. B. King, Chuck Berry, and Elvis Presley--and looks at the subtle transition to just plain rock in the music of Janis Joplin, the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Aretha Franklin, James Brown, and others. He praises the endless vitality of Al Green, George Clinton, and Neil Young. And from the Rolling Stones to Sonic Youth to Nirvana, from Bette Midler to Michael Jackson to DJ Shadow, he shows how money calls the tune in careers that arent necessarily compromised by their intercourse with commerce. Rock and punk and hip-hop, pop and world beat: this is the music of the second half of the twentieth century, skillfully framed in the work of a writer whose reach, insight, and perfect pitch make him one of the major cultural critics of our time. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Seller Inventory # 9780674003828

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