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Microphone Fiends: Youth Music and Youth Culture
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Microphone Fiends: Youth Music and Youth Culture

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  31 Ratings  ·  4 Reviews
Microphone Fiends, a collection of original essays and interviews, brings together some of the best known scholars, critics, journalists and performers to focus on the contemporary scene. It includes theoretical discussions of musical history along with social commentaries about genres like disco, metal and rap music, and case histories of specific movements like the Riot ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published June 23rd 1994 by Routledge (first published April 1st 1994)
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Dec 13, 2016 rated it liked it
Sadly, it’s taken me half a year to make it through Microphone Fiends. I won’t blame it on the book, a collection of 18 pieces (many of them short) plus an intro. Its outdatedness - its genesis was a 1992 conference at Princeton University - does generally detract from its value, although it sometimes enhances and amplifies it in interesting ways.

Having grown up during the “disco sucks” era, I personally was most enlightened by the pieces in the “Dance Continuum” section, particularly the statem
Chi Chi
Sep 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
Interesting collection of essays about music and youth culture, even if it's a little up and down (I still don't know the point of Robert Christgau's piece is). It covers a decent range of material, going from hip hop to disco to riot grrl, and has some interesting contributors like Willie Ninja to go along with academic writers like Tricia Rose.
Dec 08, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-for-school
I found it to be too dense and overly analytical.
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Jack Tomascak
Full disclosure - skipped a few essays that were dense/irrelevant (the loose definition of "youth music" including forms like heavy metal and samba was frustrating). Overall a good collection that functions most interestingly as a historical document -- interesting to see takes on Riot Grrrl, hip-hop, etc. through the political/cultural/social climates of the late 80s/early 90s. Lawrence Grossberg's clever work on the "rock formation" - challenging the rationale behind "rock is dead" mindsets an ...more
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Andrew Ross is Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University, and a social activist. A contributor to The Nation, the Village Voice, New York Times, and Artforum, he is the author of many books, including, most recently, Bird on Fire: Lessons from the World’s Least Sustainable City and Nice Work if You Can Get It: Life and Labor in Precarious Times.
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