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Chris O’LearyRebel Rebel

Zero Books, 2015

by Rich Schur on June 20, 2015

Chris O'Leary

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Who is David Bowie? Fans and critics have debated this question throughout his lengthy and storied career. Chris O'Leary, in his new book Rebel Rebel (Zero Books, 2015) meticulously examines Bowie's earliest recordings and provides crucial insight into how Bowie wrote and recorded these songs. O'Leary considers Bowie's influences and how his desire for commercial success caused him to experiment with a wide range of styles. These early years provide crucial clues of understanding who Bowie is. The podcast explores these questions and more. O'Leary also recommends a number of "lost" Bowie songs that are worth a listen.

Chris O'Leary is a writer and editor. He also writes a blog dedicated to David Bowie.

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Felicia McCarrenFrench Moves: The Cultural Politics of le hip hop

June 10, 2015

Felicia McCarren's latest book, French Moves: The Cultural Politics of le hip hop (Oxford University Press, 2013) explores the fascinating evolution of this urban dance form in the French context. Following the choreography and performances of key figures from the hip hop world in France, McCarren's is a history that pays close attention to dancers and their moves, […]

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Can sociology explain punk? In a new book, Networks of Sound, Style, and Subversion: The Punk and Post-Punk Worlds of Manchester, London, Liverpool, and Sheffield, 1975-80 (Manchester University Press, 2015), Nick Crossley from the University of Manchester offers an important new perspective on the birth of punk and post-punk in London, Liverpool, Manchester and Sheffield in […]

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Donald DeardorffBruce Springsteen: American Poet and Prophet

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Heather AugustynSka: The Rhythm of Liberation

February 2, 2015

What is Ska music? This is a deceptively complicated question. In this podcast Heather Augustyn, the author of Ska: The Rhythm of Liberation (Scarecrow Press, 2013) discusses ska’s journey from a local music in 1950s and 1960s Jamaica, its journey to Great Britain and its fusion with punk and other 1970s musical forms, and then its arrival […]

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Cultural memory of World War II frequently draws on swing music and the USO dance floor as symbols of how the country came together in support of the war effort. Frequently, the term “the Greatest Generation” is used to exemplify patriotism and self-sacrifice. Digging beyond nostalgic remembrances, Sherrie Tucker’s Dance Floor Democracy: The Social Geography of […]

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[Cross-posted from New Books in Pop Culture] The last few decades has seen a turn toward traditional forms of American music; call it Americana, alternative country, or a new folk revival.  In “I Hear America Singing”: Folk Music and National Identity (Temple University Press, 2014), Rachel Clare Donaldson, an independent scholar based in Baltimore, offers a history of the […]

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Nadine HubbsRednecks, Queers, and Country Music

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[Cross-posted from New Books in Pop Culture] Academics don't pay enough attention to class.  And when we do, too often we only magnify the tendency for working class subjects to be defined according to middle class norms; and according to those norms, they, not surprisingly, fail in one way or another, justifying their position beneath the […]

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