978-0-8223-2184-2 / 9780822321842

Rocking My Life Away: Writing about Music and Other Matters


Publisher:Duke University Press Books



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About the book:

Rolling Stone contributing editor Anthony DeCurtis's collection of articles and essays often feels more like a scrapbook than a book, as it includes a number of well-written, but hardly deathless, record reviews and profiles. DeCurtis is on firmest ground in reprinting essays on late-'80s and early-'90s rock and rap controversies, although current updates on these ongoing cultural battles would have made welcome inclusions. A previously unpublished interview with R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck is at the heart of Rocking My Life Away, however, and it makes the volume worth buying. In it, longtime friends DeCurtis and Buck engage in a lengthy discussion that takes in everything from R.E.M.'s efforts to stay musically fresh in the face of immense success to the idea of remaining in love with new sounds into one's middle age to the aesthetic and political failures of Forrest Gump. The piece also serves as a welcome rejoinder to fans who question the validity of rock criticism as a whole, with Buck heartily praising the thought-provoking and entertaining nature of the best of the form. Visits with the Stones, Prince, and U2 are also eye-opening, if less surprising than the author's debriefing of Buck. --Rickey Wright

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