"A one-of-a-kind guide to rock music’s resonance in every aspect of our lives.”—David Kirby, Wall Street Journal
“A smart set of suggestions for further reading, viewing, and listening by a most trustworthy guide.”—Kirkus Reviews
For decades, celebrated author Greil Marcus has applied his unmatched critical apparatus to everything from music, television, radio, and politics to overheard comments, advertisements, and happenstance street encounters—an eclectic collection of what he calls “everyday culture and found objects.”
This book collects hundreds of items from the crisscrossing spectrum of culture and politics throughout the tumultuous past six years of American life, an essential travel guide to the scorched landscape of recent history. Tracking the evolution of national identity during the Trump administration, Marcus spotlights the most whip-smart cultural artifacts to compose a mosaic portrait of American society, replete with unexpected heroes and villains, absurdity and its consequences, humor and despair, terror and defiance—as seen through media, music, and more.
Bursting with Marcus’s effortless, no-nonsense, unapologetic verve, this book features seventy-three columns from 2014 through February 2021.
“Mr. Marcus is a world-class cultural spelunker . . . More Real Life Rock [is] a one-of-a-kind guide to rock music’s resonance in every aspect of our lives.”—David Kirby, Wall Street Journal
“For decades, Greil Marcus has attempted to define the whole of American culture as his life’s work. From hip-hop to opera, from outer space to political unrest, from black to white, from a thousand years ago until tomorrow. This collection of essays, critiques, questions, and revelations shows how far a brilliant, active, open and observant mind can go toward understanding an amalgamated culture that has never understood itself.”—Walter Mosley
“This new collection of Marcus’ long-running column continues his role as a great chronicler of the highways and byways of American culture. This book feels like reading the diary of a friend who had noticed things I’d missed and seen deeper into what I‘d noticed.”—Morgan Neville
“The world is moving so fast that some days it feels impossible to stop, listen and look. In ten years, fifty years, or tomorrow, Greil Marcus’s Real Life Rock Top 10 will be there for you, pointing the way to things you missed, but even better, opening doors to new ways of thinking about everything you thought you knew.”—Stephanie Zacharek
“Marcus’ enthusiasm is contagious; he doesn’t only share his knowledge, he wants you to go out and experience it firsthand. This record of short reviews and previews reads like a poetry volume and connects the dots between so many contemporary subjects.”—Christian Marclay
“Marcus brings an acute, intellectually dexterous, aesthetically and politically informed attention to the music in question. These essays are an astounding contribution to both music and cultural history.”—Thomas Lutz, Los Angeles Review of Books