Field Recordings from the Inside: Essays

Field Recordings from the Inside: Essays

by Joe Bonomo


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Using as its epigraph and unifying principle Luc Sante’s notion that “Every human being is an archeological site,” Field Recordings from the Inside provides a deep and personal examination at the impact of music on our lives. Bonomo effortlessly moves between the personal and the critical, investigating the ways in which music defines our personalities, tells histories, and offers mysterious, often unbidden access into the human condition. The book explores the vagaries and richness of music and music-making—from rock and roll, punk, and R&B to Frank Sinatra, Nashville country, and Delta blues—as well as the work of a diverse group of artists and figures—Charles Lamb, music writer Lester Bangs, painter and television personality Bob Ross, child country musician Troy Hess, and songwriter Greg Cartwright.

Mining the often complex natures and shapes of the creative process, Field Recordings from the Inside is a singular work that blends music appreciation, criticism, and pop culture from one of the most critically acclaimed music writers of our time.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781593766627
Publisher: Catapult
Publication date: 02/14/2017
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Joe Bonomo's books include This Must Be Where My Obsession with Infinity Began, Conversations with Greil Marcus (Literary Conversations Series), AC/DC's Highway to Hell (33 1/3 Series), Jerry Lee Lewis: Lost and Found, Installations (National Poetry Series), and Sweat: The Story of The Fleshtones, America's Garage Band. A five-time "Notable Essay" selection at Best American Essays, he teaches at Northern Illinois University, and appears online at No Such Thing As Was ( and at @BonomoJoe.

Table of Contents

Origin Stories 1

Field Recordings from the Inside 9

Sonic Boy 19

Fantasy Park 37

Hold Your Phone to This Essay and Select Tag Now 43

Don't You Know That It's So? 61

Journey to the Moon 79

In The Morning I'll Rise Above 89

Bafflement, Clarity, and Malice 105

Origin Stories 129

Lamb and Lester 133

How to be Powerful and Triumphant and Lonely all at the Same Time: The Many Changes of Greg Cartwright 145

Brand New Cadillac 181

Hunting Larry Hunting Hank 185

I Would have had to have been a Different Person to Listen to Hüsker Dü 219

Mama Loved the Ways of the World 223

Learning Empathy with Sinatra 245

Origin Stories 251

Notes 255

Acknowledgments 261

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