The A to X of Alternative Music
What do AC/DC and Aphex Twin have in common? David Bowie and Butthole Surfers? The Clash and the Chemical Brothers? On the surface, very little. Yet they are all representative of the most important movement in modern music - Alternative.
What makes these acts alternative? And why do we care? The A to X of Alternative Music answers these questions. Based on a show on pioneering London-based radio station Xfm, this is both the story of the greatest music ever made and an investigation into what it means to be cutting-edge.
The book covers global giants like Bob Dylan, Prince, Nirvana and Radiohead; cult favourites like Joy Division, the Pixies, the Sex Pistols and the Velvet Underground; as well as lesser-known pioneers like Can, Fela Kuti, MC5 and Spacemen 3.
Alphabetically organized entries assess each act on the basis of their claim to alternative status according to three criteria: working practice, musical output and cultural perception. These acts have rejected the accepted or easy route to success, avoiding commercial imperatives and cliché to make inspiring and influential music that has won devoted - in some cases fanatical - followings.
The entries place artists in their musical and chronological context, providing the background to key scenes and tracing links - both formal and aesthetic - between these seminal acts. The book is also a buyers' guide for established and new fans of alternative music, with each entry recommending key releases. The A to X of Alternative Music is the essential reference companion for anyone who loves music made - and listened to - outside the mainstream.
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The A to X of alternative musicUser Review - Book Verdict
What do the Doors, Prince, Joy Division, Sonic Youth, Bob Dylan, and the Butthole Surfers have in common? According to Taylor, a U.K. radio personality, these diverse musicians have developed careers outside of the pop music mainstream. Here, he profiles those and dozens of other such artists (the book takes its title from the name of Taylor's radio show on London's Xfm) and includes recommended releases (e.g., "What to buy first," "And then"). While his insight into the artists' significance is valuable, the highly eclectic nature of his choices causes the book to lose focus; further confusion results from the discrepancy between Taylor's broad definition of alternative music and that of Americans, who tend to apply the term only to the bands that emerged from the Seattle grunge scene in the early 1990s. Although the biographical entries are usually well written, concise, and full of critical perception, Taylor makes occasional and entirely avoidable factual errors. For example, contrary to what he says, the Doors recorded two albums after the death of Jim Morrison (Other Voices and Full Circle ). Bottom Line Potentially valuable but not essential, this is recommended for larger public libraries. Smaller libraries might prefer more general reference books like The All Music Guide to Popular Music .--James E. Perone, Mount Union Coll., Alliance, OH
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A To X Of Alternative Music
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Steve Taylor Presents The A To X Of Alternative Music On London-Based Radio Station Xfm And Is A Lecturer In Media Studies At Thames Valley University. ...
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The A to X of Alternative Music, Steve Taylor, What do AC/DC and Aphex Twin have in common? David Bowie and Butthole Surfers? The Clash and the Chemical ...
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