Tag: Music & Sound

Boss Poet

Little has changed since Bruce Springsteen explained the origin of his song “Thunder Road” to a seething crowd at the Capitol Theater in Passaic, New Jersey, on September 19, 1978. “There was this ...

Election Day Jitters: A Playlist

Happy Election Day! Once you’ve cast your ballot, there’s not much to do except sit around and wait. Or refresh Twitter every five seconds for rumors about early turnout and voter suppression, get ...

Warren Zevon’s Desperado Pessimism

May 10th, 2016 marked the 40th anniversary of the hardest, truest, saddest, sickest pop-rock album you’ve never heard. Maybe you listened to it in 1976 if you read a lot of Hunter S. Thompson, or saw ...

Prince’s Erotic Democracy

In the 1980s, in the shadow of AIDS, Prince (along with Madonna) brought post-disco polymorphous perversity to the mainstream. As Richard Kim beautifully put it in The Nation last week, “If you were ...

Rick Moody Annotates David Bowie

In light of the passing of David Bowie, we asked Rick Moody, who’s written extensively on Bowie, to annotate the lyrics of “Joe the Lion.” Click the highlighted words to see his notes.     ...

The Female Body of Punk

A decade after the Sex Pistols were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the once marginal and vilified punk movement has, for better and worse, been thoroughly assimilated as a major ...

What World? Whose Algorithms?

In an arresting chapter in Carolyn L. Kane’s new book, Chromatic Algorithms: Synthetic Color, Computer Art, and Aesthetics after Code, she analyzes the movie Predator, which gives expression to ...

On The Horizon

“On The Horizon” is a new quarterly feature from Public Books that looks forward to the coming season’s notable events—literary and artistic, intellectual and pop-cultural—in and around New York City ...

The Best of 2015

It’s finally spring and we’ve settled comfortably in 2015’s controversies and think pieces, its soundtrack and landscape, its must-sees and many of its premieres and releases. But never fear: There ...

Nothing Has Been Done Before

Debate his song selections if you like, but in his latest book Greil Marcus is not out to craft a new Top 40—or, indeed, a Top 10. Instead, he’s out to challenge the basic principles by which the ...

Little Big-Time Garage

This is the latest installment of Public Streets, a biweekly urban observations series curated by Ellis Avery.   Virginia. Downtown Charlottesville. A man in a white suit walks down First ...

Saints on the Dollar

What would happen if you asked Gertrude Stein about the difference between culture and capital? Well, of course, dollar bills would fall from the heavens like flurries, all below would fan snow ...

Mysteryland

This is the latest installment of Public Streets, a biweekly urban observations series curated by Ellis Avery. “I have come here to lose the smog,” Joni Mitchell sings in her trademark falsetto, “and ...

Love, Factionally

Since 2003, Continuum Books and Bloomsbury have been publishing a series of short monographs on pop albums under the increasingly anachronistic title “33⅓.” At their best, the 33⅓ books, mostly ...