It Still Moves

It Still Moves

Lost Songs, Lost Highways, and the Search for the Next American Music

Book - 2008
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Where lies the boundary between meaning and sentiment? Between memory and nostalgia? America and Americana? What is and what was? Does it move?--Donovon Hohn, A Romance of Rust Part travelogue, part cultural criticism, part music appreciation, It Still Moves does for today's avant folk scene what Greil Marcus did for Dylan and The Basement Tapes, Amanda Petrusich outlines the sounds of the new, weird America--honoring the rich tradition of gospel, bluegrass, country, folk, and rock that feeds it, while simultaneously exploring the American character as personified in all of these genres historically. Through interviews, road stories, geographical and sociological interpretations, and detailed music criticism, Petrusich traces the rise of Americana music from its gospel origins through its new and compelling incarnations (as evidenced in bands and artists from Elvis to Iron and Wine, the Carter Family to Animal Collective, Johnny Cash to Will Oldham) and explores how the genre is adapting to the twenty-first century. Ultimately the book is an examination of all things American: guitars, cars, kids, motion, passion, enterprise, and change, in a fervent attempt to reconcile the American past with the American present, using only dusty records and highway maps as guides.
Publisher: New York : Faber and Faber, 2008.
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780865479500
086547950X
Branch Call Number: 781.6409 PETRUSIC
Characteristics: 290 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm.

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lukasevansherman
Dec 11, 2015

Former Pitchfork writer Amanda Petrusich, whose last book was about Nick Drake's "Pink Moon," tackles the ever popular and elusive subject of American music-its roots, its definition, its meaning. She interweaves her road trip to important musical cities (Memphis, Nashville) with interviews and observations. It's an entertaining, if not terribly illuminating read that seems to draw pretty heavily on Greil Marcus's "Invisible Republic" and Pete Doggett's "Are You Ready for the Country." What would make her book original is if she dwelt more on current manifestations of American music, but she only devotes a short, imperfect chapter to it. She also has a bad habit of using "I" quite a bit. Reads well and will get you listening to some good music, but others have done it better.

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