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Description - It Still Moves by Amanda Petrusich

From country to blues, jazz to soul, bluegrass to the more recent alternative takes on these genres, "It Still Moves" looks at the paths trodden in American roots music and those to come. Taking the highway - perhaps that most potent symbol of American freedom - as her starting point, Amanda Petrusich's book explores how this melting pot of styles and influences all contribute to the rich and progressive sounds coming out of America today. Warm, entertaining and insightful, it is the first serious attempt to celebrate the much maligned and misunderstood term 'Americana'.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780571234202
ISBN-10: 0571234208
Format: Paperback
(233mm x 153mm x 23mm)
Pages: 304
Imprint: Faber & Faber
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Publish Date: 22-Jan-2009
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Other Editions - It Still Moves by Amanda Petrusich

Book Reviews - It Still Moves by Amanda Petrusich

US Kirkus Review » A solipsistic quest for authenticity, conducted with road map and library card - and without a clue.Music journalist Petrusich (Nick Drake's Pink Moon, 2007) purportedly set out to define "Americana," an umbrella term for tradition-oriented strains of country, blues and folk music. Neglecting to clearly delineate the boundaries of this non-genre for either herself or the reader, she hit the road through the South and Appalachia. The book's subtitle is an infuriating con. Far from being "lost," the highways through Memphis, Nashville and Clarksdale, Miss., to name a few of her destinations, have been driven so often that they require repaving - or at least more energetic and keen-eyed travelers than Petrusich. The music she writes about is neither obscure nor new; tiresomely familiar stories about Elvis Presley, Sun Records, Robert Johnson, the Carter Family and Woody Guthrie abound. Relying heavily on the work of earlier journalists and scholars, this maddeningly underreported volume often reads like a book report. Only two dozen new interviews are cited, most of those with performers who have been active for at least a decade; Petrusich is more comfortable talking with academics, other writers and the occasional publicist than with musicians. She devotes an irritating amount of space to descriptions of museums, archives, tourist traps, motel rooms and her roadside meals, as well as the scenery along the interstate. In the thousands of miles she covers, the author makes exactly one stop to check out the local music action, and that's at an upscale Clarksdale juke joint. In this navel-gazing context, it makes perfect sense that Petrusich would lamely dub the members of indie rock's neo-hippy-dippy "freak-folk" scene (many of whom derive their sound as much from British sources as American ones) as the truest exponents of contemporary Americana. You won't find "the next American music" here. (Kirkus Reviews)


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Author Biography - Amanda Petrusich

Amanda Petrusich is a writer for Pitchforkmedia.com and a senior contributing editor at Paste Magazine. Her work has appeared in Spin, the Village Voice and The Oxford American and she published a short book on Nick Drake's Pink Moon, as part of Continuum's 331/3 series. She has an MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia University and lives in Brooklyn, NY.

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