Rock Over the Edge

Transformations in Popular Music Culture

Rock Over the Edge

Book Pages: 400 Illustrations: 8 b&w photos, 2 tables, 1 figure Published: April 2002

American Studies, Cultural Studies, Music > Popular Music

This collection brings new voices and new perspectives to the study of popular—and particularly rock—music. Focusing on a variety of artists and music forms, Rock Over the Edge asks what happens to rock criticism when rock is no longer a coherent concept. To work toward an answer, contributors investigate previously neglected genres and styles, such as “lo fi,” alternative country, and “rock en español,” while offering a fresh look at such familiar figures as Elvis Presley, the Beatles, and Kurt Cobain.
Bridging the disciplines of musicology and cultural studies, the collection has two primary goals: to seek out a language for talking about music culture and to look at the relationship of music to culture in general. The editors’ introduction provides a backward glance at recent rock criticism and also looks to the future of the rapidly expanding discipline of popular music studies. Taking seriously the implications of critical theory for the study of non-literary aesthetic endeavors, the volume also addresses such issues as the affective power of popular music and the psychic construction of fandom.
Rock Over the Edge will appeal to scholars and students in popular music studies and American Studies as well as general readers interested in popular music.

Contributors. Ian Balfour, Roger Beebe, Michael Coyle, Robert Fink, Denise Fulbrook, Tony Grajeda, Lawrence Grossberg, Trent Hill, Josh Kun, Jason Middleton, Lisa Ann Parks, Ben Saunders, John J. Sheinbaum, Gayle Wald, Warren Zanes


"[T]he book's appeal is its subject matter: recent popular music. Simply put, this book gives exposure to music that rarely receives attention from academics. . . . Rock Over the Edge is a welcome collection that should stir debate and intellectual dialogue among its readers. It succeeds by confronting the confusion surrounding the state of rock music, by delving into the unfamiliar terrain of newer popular music styles, and by revisiting and questioning many of popular music studies long held critical traditions." — Theo Cateforis , Notes

"[W]ell written . . . . [I]nsightful, imaginative, and innovative. . . . [An] engaging epistemological survey . . . ." — P.C. Naylor , Choice

“Smart, provocative, contradictory, suggestive, irritating, inspiring, exhaustive, exhausting and over the top—Rock Over the Edge takes the imperative of its title seriously, though often with a welcome sense of humor. Anyone who cares about popular music will find much in here to react to—either by shouting out in affirmation, or hurling the damn thing against the wall.” — Anthony DeCurtis, author of Rocking My Life Away: Writing About Music and Other Matters

“Well written and engaging, these essays combine high levels of scholarship with a much more intimate familiarity with popular musical culture than is common within popular music studies. The range of styles makes for a lively and even endearing collection.” — Will Straw, McGill University


Availability: In stock
Price: $29.95

Open Access

Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Roger Beebe is Assistant Professor of Film and Media Studies at the University of Florida.

Denise Fulbrook is Visiting Assistant Professor of English at Duke University.

Ben Saunders is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Oregon.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Introduction / Roger Beebe, Denise Fulbrook, and Ben Saunders

Discourses / Histories

Reflections of a Disappointed Popular Music Scholar / Lawrence Grossberg

Elvis Everywhere: Musicology and Popular Music Studies at the Twilight of the Canon / Robert Fink

“Think about What You’re Trying to Do to Me”: Rock Historiography and the Construction of a Race-Based Dialectic / John J. Sheinbaum

Hijacked Hits and Antic Authenticity: Cover Songs, Race, and Postwar Marketing / Michael Coyle

New Spaces / New Maps

Why Isn’t Country Music “Youth” Culture? / Trent Hill

Just A Girl? Rock Music, Feminism, and the Cultural Construction of Female Youth / Gayle Wald

Satellite Rhythms: Channel V, Asian Music Videos, and Transnational Gender / Lisa Parks

The “Feminization” of Rock / Tony Grajeda

Rock’s Reconquista / Josh Kun

Desires Affects

A Fan’s Notes: Identification, Desire, and the Haunted Sound Barrier / R. J. Warren Zanes

Mourning Becomes . . .? Kurt Cobain, Tupac Shakur, and the “Waning of Affect” / Roger Beebe

D. C. Punk and the Production of Authenticity / Jason Middleton

Queen Theory: Notes on the Pet Shop Boys / Ian Balfour


Sales/Territorial Rights: World

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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-2915-2 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-2900-8
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