The notion of "everyday life" is ubiquitous in the contemporary intellectual scene. While scholars frequently use this concept to signal a romantic return to the "common people," Berger and Del Negro are among the first to subject the term to theoretical scrutiny. This book explores how everyday life has been used in three intellectual traditions (American folklore, British cultural studies and French everyday life theory) and suggests a program for revitalizing anti-elitist approaches to culture. The book draws on studies of performance from around the globe, including the authors' work on heavy metal in the U.S. and the Italian passeggiata (ritual promenade), to explore the term "identity." Moving beyond truisms that depict performance as a medium for the loss of self or folklore as means of expressing identity, the authors explore the interplay of culture and agency in performance to illuminate the complex dynamics of reflexivity, identity and self. This book will speak to anyone interested in power and aesthetics in performance.
Joseph G. Schloss
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I'm usually pretty skeptical of books written about hip-hop by authors with PhD's. Most of the time, they don't get it. They aren't hip hop heads, although they might own a few Cd's. Mike Dyson, Tricia Rose, et cetera.
I think this book gets it right.
But the title of this book is misleading. It's not a how-to book on making hip hop beats.
It's an ethnographic study on hip hop producers, most of which are underground/college radio hip hop makers.
So chances are most Amazon customers won't know the names of the producers, or even be able to recognize any of their songs.
But if you know names like Paul C, Diamond D, Showbiz, Pete Rock, Premier, Dilla, Marley Marl, Supreme, Soulman, Dj Muro - this book is really good.
There are a lot of insider issues that producers talk about between themselves, but never really get into the main hip hop discussion, and so it has no chance of getting into the mainstream.
As a producer and music fan, I was inspired by this book. It's an academic study, but unlike other such works, it's also a page-turner. The author does a great job of mixing data with anecdotal evidence that comes from his field work, and the result reads like a well-organized historical narrative.
Perhaps my favorite aspect of this book was that it denies all the nonsense that other writers have asserted about hip-hop's use of sampling as only an ironic way of referencing the past. This book instead puts forth the idea, which I agree with as a music producer, that sounds are chosen because they simply sound pleasing when combined with one another. In this respect, sampled-based hip-hop is really no different from many types of electronic music: Compositions are built up by putting sounds into the mix that work well with what is already there, and this process continues until you have some kind of groove or atmosphere established. All this patronizing stuff about...
Interesting exploration of underground hip-hop production. A limited diversity of interviewees hampers its usefulness - I was incredibly disturbed when one interviewee said, unchallenged, that the use of live instruments was "not real hip-hop." Otherwise, an interesting, albeit short-sighted journey.
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