February, 1940: After a decade of worldwide depression, World War II had begun in Europe and Asia. With Germany on the march, and Japan at war with China, the global crisis was in a crescendo. America’s top songwriter, Irving Berlin, had captured the nation’s mood a little more than a year before with his patriotic hymn, "God Bless America."
In this sweeping and dramatic narrative, Alex Ross, music critic for The New Yorker, weaves together the histories of the twentieth century and its music, from Vienna before the First World War to Paris in the twenties; from Hitler's Germany and Stalin's Russia to downtown New York in the sixties and seventies up to the present. Learn More
National Book Award nominee, critic and one of America’s least compromising satirists, Alexander Theroux takes a comprehensive look at the colorful language of pop lyrics and the realm of rock music in general in The Grammar of Rock: silly song titles; maddening instrumentals; shrieking divas; clunker lines; the worst (and best) songs ever written; geniuses of the art; movie stars who should never have raised their voice in song but who were too shameless to refuse a mic; and the excesses of awful Christmas recordings. Learn More
Between 2004 and 2007, James Mollison attended pop concerts across Europe and the USA with a mobile photography studio, inviting fans of each music star or band to pose for their portrait outside the gig.
A smart, scathing look at the most hell-bent performers of our time: Here are profiles of everyone you'd expect (and a few you wouldn't) - Brian Wilson, Miles Davis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, Sid Vicious, and Kurt Cobain. Learn More
Kenny Hamber was born in Baltimore in 1943. Growing up in the projects there, he was strongly drawn to singing (much more so than to general education). After embarking on a musical journey as a member of a vocal harmony group, he struck out on his own as a solo singer just as soul music's golden age was dawning. Learn More
Crackling with sexual tension, comic flourishes, macabre drama, and science fiction cliches, rock posters are as vibrant and varied as the music they celebrate - and more popular today than ever. Learn More
Ian F. Svenonius' experience as an iconic underground rock musician—playing in such highly influential and revolutionary outfits as The Make-Up and The Nation of Ulysses—gives him special insight on techniques for not only starting but also surviving a rock 'n' roll group. Learn More
What will people think if you play Van Morrison at your funeral? When was the last time you listened to Pet Sounds? How does a mandolin solo illustrate or clarify the plight of Eskimos, anyway? Learn More
In the wake of Modern Guilt and The Information, Beck’s latest project comes in an almost-forgotten form—twenty songs existing only as individual pieces of sheet music, never before released or recorded. Learn More
The 1960s were a period of radical cultural, social, and political upheaval in the United States and around the globe; yet in just three years, between 1969 and 1972, Village Voice "Scenes" columnist, WPLJ FM radio host, and cult figure Howard Smith got to the heart of it all by talking it out—both on and—off the record. Learn More
If Howard Kaylan had sung only one song, the Turtles' 1967 No. 1 smash hit "Happy Together," his place in rock-and-roll history would still be secure. But that recording, named in 1999 by BMI as one of the top 50 songs of the 20th century, with over five million radio plays, is only the tip of a rather eye-opening iceberg. Learn More