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Footsteps in the Dark: The Hidden Histories of Popular Music
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Footsteps in the Dark: The Hidden Histories of Popular Music

4.2 of 5 stars 4.20  ·  rating details  ·  15 ratings  ·  5 reviews
Most pop songs are short-lived. They appear suddenly and, if they catch on, seem to be everywhere at once before disappearing again into obscurity. Yet some songs resonate more deeply—often in ways that reflect broader historical and cultural changes.

In Footsteps in the Dark, George Lipsitz illuminates these secret meanings, offering imaginative interpretations of a wide r
Paperback, 360 pages
Published August 1st 2007 by Univ Of Minnesota Press (first published 2007)
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Oct 22, 2007 Maythee rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: The Musically Curious
This book is incredibly well researched and thought provoking. It's also just plain fascinating. It was my American Studies reading group's recent selection and I found myself underlining numerous passages that I'm likely to cite in the future. Some of the best chapters are Lipsitz's take on boy bands and pop stars, the Hip Hop indecency hearings, the fascist underpinnings of Dominican merengue, and the general conclusion that music is always a collective act that cross borders, boundaries, tast ...more
Sarah Beaudoin
Footsteps in the Dark focuses on the stories behind music, specifically examining the political and social forces that influence what becomes mainstream and what remains in the fringes. Lipsitz explores issues of racial passing, political oppression, nationalism, violence, and more, while explaining and demonstrating the difficulty of discussing music in any sort of linear fashion. Lipsitz focuses on the commercialization of the music industry, repeatedly demonstrating the ways in which marketin ...more
histories of popular music of various sorts -- I liked his iconoclastic approach and his wide-ranging knowledge of popular (and more academic or elite) culture, because he could discuss Willa Cather's My Antonia along with the New Orleans 'krewes' of African Americans posing as Native American warriors... In some cases, though, he gets a little off the topic of popular music and into more political history. Still, I enjoyed reading it, and I felt like I had attended a series of good lectures.
Advocating for music to be studied and used as an "alternative archive of history" that would have the power to reflect the shared experiences and memories of the songs the listeners participate
mad loving it so far...
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“Popular music is not history, but it can be read historically, dialogically, and symptomatically to produce valuable evidence about change over time. Popular music can mark the present as history, helping us understand where we have been and where we are going.” 1 likes
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