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Marooned: The Next Generation of Desert Island Discs
     

Marooned: The Next Generation of Desert Island Discs

by Phil Freeman
 

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Featuring original contributions from today's leading music critics, Marooned is a revealing snapshot of the current state of pop music criticism. A follow-up and homage to Greil Marcus's rock-and-roll classic Stranded, Marooned asks the same question: What album would you bring to a desert island, and why?WITH ESSAYS BY: Matt Ashare * Tom

Overview

Featuring original contributions from today's leading music critics, Marooned is a revealing snapshot of the current state of pop music criticism. A follow-up and homage to Greil Marcus's rock-and-roll classic Stranded, Marooned asks the same question: What album would you bring to a desert island, and why?WITH ESSAYS BY: Matt Ashare * Tom Breihan * Aaron Burgess * Jon Caramanica * Daphne Carr * Jeff Chang * Ian Christie * Kandia Crazy Horse * John Darnielle * Laina Dawes * Geeta Dayal * Rob Harvilla * Jess Harvell * Michaelangelo Matos * Anthony Miccio * Amy Phillips * Dave Queen * Ned Raggett * Simon Reynolds * Chris Ryan * Scott Seward * Greg Tate * Derek Taylor * Douglas Wolk

Editorial Reviews

The concept of "desert island discs" owes a huge debt to Stranded, an iconic 1979 anthology in which music journalist Greil Marcus posed a provocative question to 20 colleagues: What is the one album you simply cannot imagine living without -- and why? Literate, impassioned, and deeply personal, the responses reflected the eclectic musical tastes of the first generation raised on rock 'n' roll. Now, nearly three decades later, Phil Freeman follows up with a new collection of essays by today's leading critics that proves how much the landscape of popular music has changed since the 1970s. Highlighting the work of artists as widely divergent as Stereolab, Elton John, Divine Styler, and Miles Davis, these essays celebrate a dazzling, dizzying array of musical forms (some of which simply did not exist pre-Stranded). And in this era of the iPod shuffle, they also serve as powerful reminders that the album will always be the soundtrack to our lives.
Metal Edge
[The] writers in Marooned never shy away from wise-ass humor, or from reflecting upon personal memories their chosen album conjures up, which makes this volume stick out from all the other list books.
Library Journal

Way back in 1979, noted pop music critic Greil Marcus put together the classic book Stranded: Rock and Roll for a Desert Island. Music critic Freeman (Running the Voodoo Down: The Electric Music of Miles Davis) has asked today's generation of music critics the same question: "What album would you bring to a desert island, and why?" Not surprisingly, the essays Freeman collects emphasize heavy metal, punk, and hip-hop much more than Marcus's book did; however, there is still a rich diversity, with essays on the Cars, Sonny Rollins, Dionne Warwick, and Elton John interspersed among those on heavier albums. While some readers may focus on the specifics of particular essays, the most valuable things to be learned from this book are how critics think and what educated listeners respond to intellectually, emotionally, and viscerally. It is also an interesting read for the diversity of writing styles represented. Highly recommended for all public libraries; academic libraries with collections in popular music criticism will surely want to add as well.
—James E. Perone

Kirkus Reviews
Off-key 21st-century reprise of the pioneering anthology Stranded (1979). In that influential roundup of original essays, editor Greil Marcus asked some of the best first-generation rock critics, "If you had only one album to take with you if you were left on a remote island, what would it be? And why?" Their answers sparked some memorable writing: Lester Bangs on Van Morrison, Ed Ward on the "5" Royales, Langdon Winner on Captain Beefheart, Robert Christgau on the New York Dolls, etc. Playing this game has since become common coin among music scribes and obsessive fans, an ongoing popularity that presumably spawned this sequel. Regrettably, editor Freeman and 19 others, many of them graduates of the Village Voice school of solipsistic criticism, don't come close to duplicating their predecessors' effects and insights. The majority of the selected albums are head-scratchers, pure and simple. A quarter of those polled select heavy-metal releases of varying degrees of obscurity and worthlessness. Second-tier pop and rock, plus a few quality (and decades-old) jazz titles, are also represented. Surprisingly, given the genre's cultural impact, only two rap albums make the grade: obscure sets by Divine Styler (Spiral Walls Containing Autumns of Light) and Brand Nubian (One For All). In a volume painfully short on humor, it's notable that Dave Queen's treatise on the Scorpions' Virgin Killer and Ian Christie's piece about Iron Maiden's Killers are the funniest entries: Who says metal fans can't laugh at themselves? The reliable Simon Reynolds (writing about English folkie John Martyn) and Jeff Chang (on New Orleans funk legends The Meters) are the rare contributors who combine taste, knowledgeand writing skill. Most of the rest indulge in unconvincing navel-gazing. In a class by itself is Kandia Crazy Horse's incomprehensible homage to a lesser Stephen Stills album (Manassas) that suddenly and mystifyingly metamorphoses into a tract about English soul-boy Lewis Taylor. At least the title is apt: Most of these critics should be abandoned on an island, along with their albums.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780306816406
Publisher:
Da Capo Press
Publication date:
09/10/2007
Sold by:
Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
352
File size:
480 KB

Meet the Author

Phil Freeman is the author of Running the Voodoo Down. He has written for the Village Voice, Down Beat, Revolver, and the Seattle Weekly. He lives in Elizabeth, New Jersey.

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