Apocalypse Jukebox: The End of the World in American Popular Music (Paperback)

The End of the World in American Popular Music

By Edward Whitelock, David Janssen

Soft Skull Press, 9781593762216, 324pp.

Publication Date: January 13, 2009

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Description

From its indefinite beginnings through its broad commercialization and endless reinterpretation, American rock-and-roll music has been preoccupied with an end-of-the-world mentality that extends through the whole of American popular music. In Apocalypse Jukebox, Edward Whitelock and David Janssen trace these connections through American music genres, uncovering a mix of paranoia and hope that characterizes so much of the nation's history.
From the book's opening scene, set in the American South during a terrifying 1833 meteor shower, the sense of doom is both palpable and inescapable; a deep foreboding that shadows every subsequent development in American popular music and, as Whitelock and Janssen contend, stands as a key to understanding and explicating America itself.
Whitelock and Janssen examine the diversity of apocalyptic influences within North American recorded music, focusing in particular upon a number of influential performers, including Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, John Coltrane, Devo, R.E.M., Sleater-Kinney, and Green Day. In Apocalypse Jukebox, Whitelock and Janssen reveal apocalypse as a permanent and central part of the American character while establishing rock-and-roll as a true reflection of that character.
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