The Music and Art of Radiohead (Ashgate Popular and Folk Music Series) (英語) ペーパーバック – 2005/4/28
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The Music and Art of Radiohead provides compelling close readings of the English band's music, lyrics, album cover art and music videos as well as critical commentary on interviews, reviews and the documentary film Meeting People is Easy. Established and emerging academic scholars engage with Radiohead's music and art via concerns of broader implication to contemporary cultural studies. Topics range from the band's various musical and multivalent social contexts to their contested situation within a global market economy; from asking the question, 'how free is art?' to considering the band's musical influences and radical sonic explorations. Together, the essays form a comprehensive discussion of Radiohead's entire oeuvre, from Pablo Honey to Hail to the Thief, with a special focus on the critically acclaimed best-selling albums Kid A and Amnesiac.
'... this collection proves that Radiohead are worth a little goatee-twiddling.' www.hero.ac.uk '... a worthwhile venture for readers eager to explore Radiohead's artistic and cultural dimensions...' Popular Music商品の説明をすべて表示する
As a Radiohead fan and someone with a background in music performance and musicology, I'm delighted that "serious writing" about Radiohead exists, but I'm also disappointed that I didn't get to learn more cool stuff about my all-time favorite rock group. While each essay's thesis is intriguing, most of the supportive material (the bulk of the book) is dry and pedantic. Few paragraphs are without obligatory references to the usual suspects (Kant, Benjamin, Adorno, Derrida, Foucault, and Barthes--is that all academics do? state something sort of interesting and then "prove" it by citing marginally related works by established academics?), hackneyed expressions like "What is at stake is ...," and not-really-real words like "invagination" and "vocalic." (Yes, I know they're in the dictionary, but would you use them?)
That being said there are definitely a few standouts. "Kid Adorno" by Curtis White starts out in a deadpan academic voice complete with discussions of Adorno's aesthetic theories only to break out into a completely subjective screed as it takes on Nick Hornby's notoriously negative review of the Radiohead album Kid A (The New Yorker, 2000). I actually laughed out loud throughout the second half of this piece. In breaking out of the academic-writing mode, White's piece functions equally as a defense of Kid A and a critique of academic writing. I would love to read more pieces like this one. I also enjoyed Paul Lansky's "My Radiohead Adventure" because it's the composer's first-person memoir of writing a piece of electronic art music (sampled 30 years later in Radiohead's "Idioteque") and a description of how Radiohead came to use Lanksy's piece and how they composed "Idioteque." This is the type of content I was hoping to find more of. I admit it; I was looking for something more journalistic, like Alex Ross's New Yorker piece.
In summary, this book does what it sets out to do. I like the way it discusses the band's videos and album art as well as its music. It's just that the writing is dully academic in its style and approach. And if you've already done any amount of serious thinking about Radiohead, you've probably already figured most of this stuff out for yourself.
P.S. I enjoyed your listmania entry Sr. Tate