Shake It Up: Great American Writing on Rock and Pop from Elvis to Jay Z: A Library of America Special Publication

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Music writing is a curious beast because it’s as inclusive as it is divisive. One writer’s genius is another’s overrated hack. One album’s symphonic brilliance is atonal sonic chaos to a different listener. Music is the ultimate Schrodinger’s box because the cat is alive, dead, both, neither, kicking ass, wasting vinyl, maturing, devolving, inspiring, and dispiriting all at once.

Shake It Up collects dozens of pieces of writing about rock and pop music across hundreds of pages, and every form of nonfiction and creative nonfiction you can imagine is represented. It’s all here, from reviews and analyses to personal anecdotes and blatantly biased putdowns. The gamut of music writing is covered within these pages.

There will be names you know and names you don’t — everyone from Lester Bangs and Chuck Klosterman to Ellen Willis and Jessica Hopper — and they’ve all got opinions. But rarely will you see so many voices with so many disparate opinions gathered in one place. That’s the real strength of Shake It Up: the sheer, massive, across-the-board sampling of music writing from decades of enthusiastic listening.

You won’t like everything here, but you will love some of it, and you’ll learn plenty along the way.


Reviewed By:

Author Jonathan Lethem, Editor • Kevin Dettmar, Editor
Star Count 4/5
Format Hard
Page Count 580 pages
Publisher Library of America
Publish Date 2017-May-23
ISBN 9781598535310
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue June 2017
Category Music & Movies
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