Pop Music and the Press

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Overview

Since the 1950s, writing about popular music has become a staple of popular culture. Rolling Stone, Vibe, and The Source as well as music columns in major newspapers target consumers who take their music seriously. Rapidly proliferating fanzines, websites, and internet discussion groups enable virtually anyone to engage in popular music criticism. Until now, however, no one has tackled popular music criticism as a genre of journalism with a particular history and evolution.

Pop Music and the Press looks at the major publications and journalists who have shaped this criticism, influencing the public's ideas about the music's significance and quality. The contributors to the volume include academics and journalists; several wear both hats, and some are musicians as well. Their essays illuminate the complex relationships of the music industry, print media, critical practice, and rock culture. (And they repeatedly dispel the notion that being a journalist is the next best thing to being a rock star.)

Author Biography: Steve Jones is Professor of Communication at the University of Illinois, Chicago. Among his books are CyberSociety: Computer-Mediated Communication and Community (editor) and Rock Formation: Popular Music, Technology, and Mass Communication.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
A compilation of essays from scholars and professional music critics, this is a highly academic look at the practice of music criticism, the craft's brief history, and the trends that shape the opinions of American and British music writers. While the history lesson and excerpts by highly regarded protocritics like Lester Bangs and Robert Christgau are enjoyable, the book truly shines when it examines ongoing industry issues such as giving equal opportunity to women musicians and how to cover properly the death of a musical legend. Editor Jones (communications, Univ. of Illinois, Chicago) and his contributors aren't afraid to criticize the critics, but in doing so they sometimes sink to the methods they're denouncing. Missing are in-depth meditations on the importance of underground music fanzines and the sudden rise of Internet rock criticism. Overall, however, this book provides a thought-provoking and inspiring look at the practice of music criticism. Recommended for academic libraries. Robert Morast, "Argus Leader," Sioux Falls, SD Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781566399654
  • Publisher: Temple University Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/2002
  • Series: Sound Matters Series
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.21 (w) x 9.27 (h) x 1.03 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
The Intro: Popular Music, Media, and the Written Word 1
1 Re-Viewing Rock Writing: Narratives of Popular Music Criticism 19
2 Brit Crit: Turning Points in British Rock Criticism, 1960-1990 41
3 Word Power: A Brief, Highly Opinionated History of Hip-Hop Journalism 65
4 Critical Senility vs. Overcomprehension: Rock Criticism and the Lesson of the Avant-Garde 72
5 Consumers' Guides: The Political Economy of the Music Press and the Democracy of Critical Discourse 81
6 Between Rock and a Hard Place: Gender and Rock Criticism 93
7 Exclusive! The British Press and Popular Music: The Story So Far ... 114
8 Abandoning the Absolute: Transcendence and Gender in Popular Music Discourse 134
9 The Politics and History of Hip-Hop Journalism 156
10 Jewel Case: Pop Stars, Poets, and the Press 171
11 Taking Country Music Seriously: Coverage of the 1990s Boom 183
12 Sweet Nothings: Presentation of Women Musicians in Pop Journalism 202
13 "The Day the Music Died" - Again: Newspaper Coverage of the Deaths of Popular Musicians 219
14 Fragments of a Sociology of Rock Criticism 235
The Outro 247
About the Contributors 253
Index 257
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