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The Rolling Stones' "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction": A History

Deconstructing the impact of the Rolling Stones' “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” and remembering how the song has fired our imaginations for the last 50 years.

Michael E. Ross
Books

Mr. Sanders' Blows to Washington in 'The Speech'

Sen. Bernie Sanders — the longest-serving Independent member in Congress — speaks as someone liberated from reflexive salutes to either the Democratic or Republican parties. His status as an Independent thinker is clear in his willingness to go upside the heads of Democrats and Republicans alike.

Reviews

Days and Nights in the Life of the Beatles Captured in 'The Lost Beatles Photographs'

The Lost Beatles Photographs documents the sunrise of four protean talents we can’t quite let go of yet, from an era whose innocence was as short-lived as it was unlikely to happen in the first place.

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It

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Disintegration: The Splintering of Black America

While Disintegration contains its share of frank, bracing, straight talk that dispels long-held notions about black Americans, one of Eugene Robinson’s underlying assumptions — that America persists in seeing black people as an experiential monolith — is not the defining absolute it used to be.

Music

'Life': Ladies and Gentlemen, the Rolling Stone

Because Keith Richards lived the book he’s written, he’s written a book that lives on.

Music

"Like a Rolling Stone" Revisited

“Like a Rolling Stone” perfectly embodies the heads-is-tails uncertainty of modern life, now and in long-ago 1965. More than just lyrically articulating the rock and roll mindset of liberation and risk, it contains the multitudes, distilling the collective experience of millions of lives caught, then and now, in the crossfire hurricane of modern life.

Michael E. Ross
Books

'The Men Who Would Be King' Reveals the Stuff That DreamWorks Was Undone By

With energy and a candor reflecting a veteran journalist unworried whether she'll eat lunch in that town again or not, author Nicole LaPorte reveals the parallels between the DreamWorks story and that of any dream's road to either reality or perdition.

Books

Up From Obscurity: 'Black Los Angeles American Dreams and Racial Realities'

A less celebrated Los Angeles comes to light in these essays, a place of people thought to be walk-on players in city history, people whose DNA in the region -- socially, culturally and literally -- indicates a full starring role.

Film

'Easy Rider': Dennis Hopper Explains America

Anticipating everything from the Kent State killings to the Branch Davidian siege, Easy Rider distills just how deeply freedom and authority are fundamentally antagonists in America. Sadly, especially in America.

Books

R&B’s Paterfamilias Johnny Otis: ‘Black by Persuasion’

Not long after Pete Seeger galvanized American progressives with folk music, and years before Bob Dylan brought social issues to the forefront of rock music, Johnny Otis was a "drum major for justice".

Books

Last Words by George Carlin with Tony Hendra

Part raucous credo, part comic pilgrim’s progress, this is George Carlin’s celebration of his own human condition and how he became not just a comedian, but a conscience.

Michael E. Ross
Books

Giants: The Parallel Lives of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln by John Stauffer

In John Stauffer's capable hands, the tug-of-war between Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass is a study in the evolution of both a friendship and a political world view.

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Twelve Books

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Communities of Play: Emergent Cultures in Multiplayer Games and Virtual Worlds by Celia Pearce

Pearce’s book illuminates the power of play and the impact of culture, and puts a spin on our perception of the immigrant experience.

Books

Reinventing Don Imus: Anatomy of an Excuse

Imus traffics in the tropes of hip-hop and black culture in general on an occasional, selective basis -- a cafeteria approach to cultural exploration as obvious as it is insincere.

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Backbeat

Books

By the Time We Got to Woodstock: The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Revolution of 1969

Pollock sees Woodstock as an index to where the culture had already been going, and where, given enormous social, political and economic forces at work in America, it was already destined to go.

Books

Homemade Hollywood by Clive Young

With the advent of the hand-held camera, a maverick cultural archetype was born: the brash, charming romantic taking advantage of popular fascination with the movies.

Michael E. Ross
Books

Pop Surf Culture by Brian Chidester & Domenic Priore

More than a catalog of beach-blanket movies or a survey of surf music, this book connects the historical dots between domestic US surf culture, the economic culture that made it marketable, and the foreign cultures that made it possible in the first place.

Michael E. Ross
Books

I Hate New Music by Dave Thompson

This work is offered as a kind of spiritual call to arms, a bid to reclaim rock music from the corporate takeover that's made the rock genre a shadow of its former swaggering self.

Michael E. Ross
Reviews

Savage Barbecue by Andrew Warnes

Warnes nimbly equates barbecue with those other indelible, necessary American pariahs: jazz and the blues — each not fully understood or appreciated but thoroughly recognized.

Michael E. Ross
Books

Comfortably Numb: The Inside Story of Pink Floyd

Like any sound biographer, Blake is the fly on the wall — but one careful not to breathe the smoke in the air. What could have been Pink Floyd hagiography has the weight and distance of clear-headed scholarship, charitable but candid.

Michael E. Ross
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