The Old, Weird America

The World of Bob Dylan's Basement Tapes

Marcus, Greil

Book - 2001
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Old, Weird America
Previously published as Invisible Republic and already considered a classic of modern American cultural criticism , The Old, Weird America is Greil Marcus's widely acclaimed book on the secret music (the so-called "Basement Tapes") made by Bob Dylan and the Band while in seclusion in Woodstock, New York, in 1967 - a folksy yet funky, furious yet hilarious music that remains as seductive and baffling today as it was more than thirty years ago.As Mark Sinker observed in The Wire : "Marcus's contention is that there can be found in American folk a community as deep, as electric, as perverse, and as conflicted as all America, and that the songs Dylan recorded out of the public eye, in a basement in Woodstock, are where that community as a whole gets to speak." But the country mapped out in this book, as Bruce Shapiro wrote in The Nation , "is not Woody Guthrie's land for made for you and me . . . It's what Marcus calls 'the old, weird America.'" This odd terrain, this strange yet familiar backdrop to our common cultural history - which Luc Sante (in New York magazine) termed the "playground of God, Satan, tricksters, Puritans, confidence men, illuminati, braggarts, preachers, anonymous poets of all stripes" - is the territory that Marcus has discovered in Dylan's most mysterious music. And his analysis of that territory "reads like a thriller" (Ken Tucker, Entertainment Weekly ) and exhibits "a mad, sparkling brilliance" (David Remnick, The New Yorker ) throughout. This new edition of The Old, Weird America includes an updated discography.

Publisher: New York : Picador USA/Henry Holt and Co., [2001].
ISBN: 0312420439
Characteristics: xxii, 293 p. ;,21 cm.
Additional Contributors: Dylan, Bob 1941-


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