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Chasing the Light

The Cloud Cult Story

Mark Allister

“Cloud Cult’s grand, unkempt indie rock is at once jam band, emo, and avant-garde. Their songs, born out of personal tragedy, are otherworldly lessons in being human.” —Pitchfork During the past decade, Minnesota-grown band Cloud Cult has become one of the most inspirational indie bands, with a deeply devoted fan base and an approach to music and the environment that is hard not to admire. Beyond a musical biography, Chasing the Light tells the story of the heartbreaking yet affirming journey of lead singer and songwriter Craig Minowa and delves into the career of the band known by music lovers as the least cynical and most idealistic band in the country.

Tracing Cloud Cult’s rise to critical acclaim, author Mark Allister details the band’s defining moments, beginning with the death of Craig and Connie Minowa’s two-year-old son and the hundreds of songs that grew out of the tragic loss. Allister describes the band’s unique philosophy and principles, including how Minowa created a zero carbon footprint for the band’s recording and touring, adopting DIY and green-sustainable practices well before the ideas became mainstream. Allister also presents a first-person account of a day in the life of a quintessential indie band and conveys the immense emotional impact of Cloud Cult’s albums and live shows. Described by a fan in the book as “the anthem for the soul searcher in us all,” Cloud Cult’s music and message are both stirring and sincere.

Featuring rarely seen photos from Cloud Cult’s history and passionate testimonials by fans, Chasing the Light is a testament to the profound influence one band’s personal evolution can have on its followers and on indie rock aficionados in search of beauty, meaning, and redemption.

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The Chican@ Hip Hop Nation

Politics of a New Millennial Mestizaje

The population of Mexican-origin peoples in the United States is a diverse one, as reflected by age, class, gender, sexuality, and religion. Far from antiquated concepts of mestizaje, recent scholarship has shown that Mexican@/Chican@ culture is a mixture of indigenous, African, and Spanish and other European peoples and cultures. No one reflects this rich blend of cultures better than Chican@ rappers, whose lyrics and iconography can help to deepen our understanding of what it means to be Chican@ or Mexican@ today. While some identify as Mexican mestizos, others identify as indigenous people or base their identities on their class and racial/ethnic makeup. No less significant is the intimate level of contact between Chican@s and black Americans. Via a firm theoretical foundation and a collection of vibrant essays, Pancho McFarland explores the language and ethos of Chican@/Mexican@ hip hop and sheds new light on three distinct identities reflected in the music: indigenous/Mexica, Mexican nationalist/immigrant, and street hopper. With particular attention to the intersection of black and Chicano cultures, the author places exciting recent developments in music forms within the context of progressive social change, social justice, identity, and a new transnational, polycultural America.

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Chicano Rap

Gender and Violence in the Postindustrial Barrio

By Pancho McFarland

Powered by a driving beat, clever lyrics, and assertive attitudes, rap music and hip hop culture have engrossed American youth since the mid-1980s. Although the first rappers were African Americans, rap and hip hop culture quickly spread to other ethnic groups who have added their own cultural elements to the music. Chicano Rap offers the first in-depth look at how Chicano/a youth have adopted and adapted rap music and hip hop culture to express their views on gender and violence, as well as on how Chicano/a youth fit into a globalizing world. Pancho McFarland examines over five hundred songs and seventy rap artists from all the major Chicano rap regions—San Diego, San Francisco and Northern California, Texas, and Chicago and the Midwest. He discusses the cultural, political, historical, and economic contexts in which Chicano rap has emerged and how these have shaped the violence and misogyny often expressed in Chicano rap and hip hop. In particular, he argues that the misogyny and violence of Chicano rap are direct outcomes of the “patriarchal dominance paradigm” that governs human relations in the United States. McFarland also explains how globalization, economic restructuring, and the conservative shift in national politics have affected Chicano/a youth and Chicano rap. He concludes with a look at how Xicana feminists, some Chicano rappers, and other cultural workers are striving to reach Chicano/a youth with a democratic, peaceful, empowering, and liberating message.

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Choreographies of African Identities

Negritude, Dance, and the National Ballet of Senegal

Francesca Castaldi

Choreographies of African Identities traces interconnected interpretative frameworks around and about the National Ballet of Senegal. Using the metaphor of a dancing circle Castaldi's arguments cover the full spectrum of performance, from production to circulation and reception. Castaldi first situates the reader in a North American theater, focusing on the relationship between dancers and audiences as that between black performers and white spectators. She then examines the work of the National Ballet in relation to Leopold Sedar Senghor's Negritude ideology and cultural politics. Finally, the author addresses the circulation of dances in the streets, discotheques, and courtyards of Dakar, drawing attention to women dancers' occupation of the urban landscape.

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Christian Wolff

Michael Hicks

In this first interpretive narrative of the life and work of Christian Wolff, Michael Hicks and Christian Asplund trace the influences and sensibilities of a contemporary composer's atypical career path and restless imagination. Written in full cooperation with Wolff, including access to his papers, this volume is a much-needed introduction to a leading avant-garde composer still living, writing music, and speaking about his own work. _x000B__x000B_Wolff has pioneered various compositional and notational idioms, including overtly political music, indeterminacy, graphic scores, and extreme virtuosity. Hicks and Asplund cover Wolff's family life and formative years, his role as a founder of the New York School of composers, and the context of his life and work as part of the John Cage circle, as well as his departures from it. Critically assessing Wolff's place within the experimental musical field, this volume captures both his eloquence and reticence and provides insights into his broad interests and activities within music and beyond._x000B_

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The Christopher Small Reader

Christopher Small

The Christopher Small Reader is the fourth and final book in Christopher Small’s legacy as a composer, pianist, teacher, friend, provocateur, and influential outsider in classical music studies. It is at once a compendium of, a complement to, and an important addition to Small’s prior books: Musicking; Music, Society, Education; and Music of the Common Tongue. The Christopher Small Reader brings previously published work, some of it available in disparate locations, together with key excerpts from his three books, and other writings that remained unpublished at his passing in 2011, making available ideas that were not included in the earlier books and presenting an overview of his thought over the course of his life. The collection is a fitting capstone, providing rich insights into Small’s understanding of musicking as a crucial way of relating to the world.

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A City Called Heaven

Chicago and the Birth of Gospel Music

Robert M Marovich

In A City Called Heaven , gospel announcer and music historian Robert Marovich shines a light on the humble origins of a majestic genre and its indispensable bond to the city where it found its voice: Chicago. Marovich follows gospel music from early hymns and camp meetings through the Great Migration that brought it to Chicago. In time, the music grew into the sanctified soundtrack of the city's mainline black Protestant churches. In addition to drawing on print media and ephemera, Marovich mines hours of interviews with nearly fifty artists, ministers, and historians--as well as discussions with relatives and friends of past gospel pioneers--to recover many forgotten singers, musicians, songwriters, and industry leaders. He also examines how a lack of economic opportunity bred an entrepreneurial spirit that fueled gospel music's rise to popularity and opened a gate to social mobility for a number of its practitioners. As Marovich shows, gospel music expressed a yearning for freedom from earthly pains, racial prejudice, and life's hardships. In the end, it proved to be a sound too mighty and too joyous for even church walls to hold.

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The City of Musical Memory

Salsa, Record Grooves and Popular Culture in Cali, Colombia

Lise A. Waxer

Salsa is a popular dance music developed by Puerto Ricans in New York City during the 1960s and 70s, based on Afro-Cuban forms. By the 1980s, the Colombian metropolis of Cali emerged on the global stage as an important center for salsa consumption and performance. Despite their geographic distance from the Caribbean and from Hispanic Caribbean migrants in New York City, Calenos (people from Cali) claim unity with Cubans, Puerto Ricans and New York Latinos by virtue of their having adopted salsa as their own. The City of Musical Memory explores this local adoption of salsa and its Afro-Caribbean antecedents in relation to national and regional musical styles, shedding light on salsa's spread to other Latin American cities. Cali's case disputes the prevalent academic notion that live music is more "real" or "authentic" than its recorded versions, since in this city salsa recordings were until recently much more important than musicians themselves, and continued to be influential in the live scene. This book makes valuable contributions to ongoing discussions about the place of technology in music culture and the complex negotiations of local and transnational cultural identities.

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Classic Chic

Music, Fashion, and Modernism

Mary E. Davis

Music and fashion: the deep connection between these two expressive worlds is firmly entrenched. Yet little attention has been paid to the association of sound and style in the early twentieth century—a period of remarkable and often parallel developments in both high fashion and the arts, including music. This beautifully written book, lavishly illustrated with fashion plates and photographs, explores the relationship between music and fashion, elegantly charting the importance of these arts to the rise of transatlantic modernism. Focusing on the emergence of the movement known as Neoclassicism, Mary E. Davis demonstrates that new aesthetic approaches were related to fashion in a manner that was perfectly attuned to the tastes of jazz-age sophisticates. Looking in particular at three couturiers—Paul Poiret, Germaine Bongard, and Coco Chanel—and three breakthrough fashion magazines—La Gazette du Bon Ton, Vanity Fair, and Vogue—Davis illuminates for the first time the ways in which fashion's imperatives of originality and constant change influenced composers such as Erik Satie, Igor Stravinsky, and Les Six. She also considers the role played by the Ballets Russes, and explores the contributions of artists including costume and set designer Léon Bakst, writer and director Jean Cocteau, Amédée Ozenfant, and Pablo Picasso. The first study to situate music in this rich context, Classic Chic demonstrates the profound importance of the linked endeavors of composition and couture to modernist thought. In addition to its innovative approach to this important moment in history, Davis's focus on the social aspects of the story makes the book a tremendously engaging read.

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Classic Jazz

A Personal View of the Music and the Musicians

Floyd Levin

Floyd Levin, an award-winning jazz writer, has personally known many of the jazz greats who contributed to the music's colorful history. In this collection of his articles, published mostly in jazz magazines over a fifty-year period, Levin takes us into the nightclubs, the recording studios, the record companies, and, most compellingly, into the lives of the musicians who made the great moments of the traditional jazz and swing eras. Brilliantly weaving anecdotal material, primary research, and music analysis into every chapter, Classic Jazz: A Personal View of the Music and the Musicians is a gold mine of information on a rich segment of American popular music.

This collection of articles begins with Levin's first published piece and includes several new articles that were inspired by his work on this compilation. The articles are organized thematically, beginning with a piece on Kid Ory's early recordings and ending with a newly written article about the campaign to put up a monument to Louis Armstrong in New Orleans. Along the way, Levin gives in-depth profiles of many well-known jazz legends, such as Jelly Roll Morton, Duke Ellington, and Louis Armstrong, and many lesser-known figures who contributed greatly to the development of jazz.

Extensively illustrated with previously unpublished photographs from Levin's personal collection, this wonderfully readable and extremely personal book is full of information that is not available elsewhere. Classic Jazz: A Personal View of the Music and the Musicians will be celebrated by jazz scholars and fans everywhere for the overview it provides of the music's evolution, and for the love of jazz it inspires on every page.

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