Extended Play: Sounding Off from John Cage to Dr. Funkenstein


Using cultural critique and textual theory, Corbett addresses a broad spectrum of issues, such as the status of recorded music in postmodern culture; the politics of self-censorship, experimentation, and alternativism in the music industry; and the use of metaphors of space and madness in the work of African American musicians.
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Using cultural critique and textual theory, Corbett addresses a broad spectrum of issues, such as the status of recorded music in postmodern culture; the politics of self-censorship, experimentation, and alternativism in the music industry; and the use of metaphors of space and madness in the work of African American musicians.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Corbett's musical tastes run the experimental gamut bordered by such contemporary iconoclasts as the late sound poet John Cage, Fluxus and extra-terrestrial funk ringmaster George Clinton. The late Sun Ra and such unacknowledged living geniuses of ``free'' music as Derek Bailey, Anthony Braxton and Peter Brotzmann receive their due as well. In this collection of theoretical essays, artist profiles and interviews, Corbett exhibits a thorough knowledge of experimental music and its makers but doesn't always seem to decide for whom he's writing--the musical layman, to whom many of his subjects mean nothing, or the academic musician. The theoretical essays that open the book are dense with endnotes and insider jargon. The artist profiles and interviews are characterized by a looser, friendlier variety of authority. Corbett's profile of Pinetop Perkins chronicles the piano great's career with such blues legends as Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker while his 1992 interview with John Cage is as provocative in its structure as the acclaimed composer's work. Extended Play offers rare, caring glimpses of gifted musicians few music fans know, but should. A ``Guide to Further Listening'' provides a brief discography for each of the book's subjects. (June)
Library Journal
Using obscure and familiar figures from around the world as touchstones for portraits, interviews, and essays, Corbett roams an incredible breadth of musical territory: blues and jazz, contemporary classical, funk and rap, free improvisation, rock, and reggae. His true talent becomes clear as he exits surface terrain to guide the reader through a labyrinth of philosophical and intellectual thought amid the musical landscape. His interview techniques (particularly with Cage), breadth and depth of knowledge and understanding, and use of words in a way that imparts wisdom and provokes deep thought all shine. This work shows Corbett to be an important writer of our time; recommended for serious musicians and all others who enjoy the "outside."-Cynthia Ann Cordes, Onondaga Cty. P.L., Syracuse, N.Y.
From the Publisher

"Fascinating and at times brilliant, Extended Play addresses a number of issues that circle around ‘music’ in ways that are new and stimulating, and explores them with wit, intelligence, and sophistication. Corbett is an important thinker, as well as a good journalist—a rare combination."—John Szwed, John Musser Professor of African and Afro-American studies, American studies, Music, and Anthropology, Yale University

"One of the most important aspects of Corbett’s trawl along the musical fringe is that it denies the genre definitions that usually constrain music books—this is not a book about jazz or rock or art music but about all of them. It is precisely this which enables him to address the broad questions about the effect of technology, globalization, etc. on our sense of what it is to make and listen to music. An outstanding work—lucidly written, well organized, engaged, and intelligent. It is certainly one of the most stimulating books on music I've read in the last couple of years."—Simon Frith, author of Sound Effects and Music for Pleasure

"Yes, contemporary musical creativity is alive and well and well-celebrated in this valuable book. Great music that often has audiences of three people is here discussed along with great music that has audiences of thousands."—Michael Snow, film, sound, and visual artist, and editor of a collection of essays, Music/Sound

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780822314738
  • Publisher: Duke University Press Books
  • Publication date: 5/28/1994
  • Pages: 360
  • Product dimensions: 6.23 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 1.05 (d)

Meet the Author

John Corbett is a a regular contributor to such magazines as Down Beat, Option, The Wire, and New Art Examiner, and his scholarly work has appeared in October, Stanford Humanities Review, and Semiotext(e). He teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and hosts two weekly radio programs.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Earmeals and Expubedience 1
Brothers from Another Planet: The Space Madness of Lee "Scratch" Perry, Sun Ra, and George Clinton 7
Spate of Flux: On the Unofficial Return of the Fluxus Impetus 25
Free, Single, and Disengaged: Listening Pleasure and the Popular Music Object 32
Siren Song to Banshee Wail: On the Status of the Background Vocalist 56
Bleep This, Motherf*!#er: The Semiotics of Profanity in Popular Music 68
Ex Uno Plura: Milford Graves, Evan Parker, and the Schizoanalysis of Musical Performance 74
Postmodernism - Go, Figure: Smell, Sound, and Subliminal Suggestion 88
Hal Russell: The Fires That Burn in Hal 109
Ikue Mori/Catherine Jauniaux: When the Twain Meet 115
Ed Wilkerson, Jr.: One Bold Soul 120
Lee Perry: Tabula Rasta - The Upsetter Starts from Scratch 126
Franz Koglmann: Meister of Melancholy 135
Pinetop Perkins: Boogie + Woogie 139
Barry Guy/London Jazz Composers Orchestra: LJCO 2 U 141
George Clinton: Every Dog Has His Day 144
Fred Anderson/Von Freeman: On the Radical Lounge Tip 155
Sainkho Namtchylak: Madame Butterfly Knows Only Enough 160
Sun Ra: Eulogy and Light 163
John Cage: The Conversation Game 181
Steve Beresford: M.O.R. and More 192
Evan Parker: Saxophone Botany 201
Anthony Braxton: From Planet to Planet 209
Alton Abraham: Brother's Keeper 218
Derek Bailey: Free Retirement Plan 228
Peter Brotzmann: Machine Gun Etiquette 247
Han Bennink: Swing Softly and Play with a Big Stick 260
The Ex: Live Free...Or Try 270
George Clinton: The Hair of the Dog 277
Nicolas Collins: Trombipulation 293
Jon Rose: The Violable Tradition 298
Sun Ra: Gravity and Levity 308
Extending Play: A Guide to Further Listening 319
Index 331
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