New York Rock: From the Rise of the Velvet Underground to the Fall of CBGB

Steven Blush. St. Martin’s Griffin, $21.99 trade paper (480p) ISBN 978-125008361-6
The majority of this music history focuses on the already-well-documented scene at the legendary (now closed) venue CBGB in New York City, but its most interesting passages discuss the scenes that preceded and followed the punk movement. Blush, senior editor at Paper, has compiled a sweeping oral history of New York rock. The songwriting of Tin Pan Alley and the productions of the Brill Building provide the pop-centric context for the rise of the short and fast punk songs by groups like the Ramones. Scenes discussing the aftermath of the punk movement on disparate scenes throughout the city are highlights. The chapter on New York hardcore discusses the music created by young working-class musicians from Queens, and how their songs responded to a changing, gentrifying city in the 1980s and 1990s. At times, the book lacks focus and devolves into lists of bands. Blush’s work is sweeping in scope but lacks any central theme holding its different parts together. However, its contents provide an excellent starting point for those researching New York City’s music. Agent: James Fitzgerald, James Fitzgerald Agency. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 07/11/2016
Release date: 10/04/2016
Ebook - 978-1-250-08362-3
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