Rock, Counterculture and the Avant-Garde, 1966–1970: How the Beatles, Frank Zappa and the Velvet Underground Defined an Era
The convergence of rock music, counterculture politics and avant-garde aesthetics in the late 1960s underscored the careers of the Beatles, Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, and the Velvet Underground. This book examines these artists’ relationships to the historical avant-garde (Artaud, Brecht, Dada) and neo–avant-garde (Warhol, Pop Art, minimalism), considering their work in light of debates about modernism versus postmodernism. The author analyzes the performers’ use of dissonance and noise within popular music, the role of social commentary and controversial topics in songs, and the experiments with concert and studio performance. Albums discussed include Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, The White Album, Freak Out!, We’re Only in It for the Money, The Velvet Underground and Nico and White Light/White Heat, as well as John Lennon’s collaborations with Yoko Ono, the Zappa-produced Trout Mask Replica by Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band, and Nico’s The Marble Index.
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Abbey Road Absolutely Free Adorno Allen Apple Corps artistic audience avant-garde avant-garde/experimental music avant-rock backbeat band’s bass Beatles became becomes blues Cale Cale’s Captain Beefheart chord chorus classical concert counterculture criticism debut doo-wop drums effects Frank Zappa Freak genres guitar solo Harrison hippie improvisation instrumental John Cale John Lennon listener Lou Reed Love mass culture mass music McCartney McCartney’s Monkees Monster Magnet Mothers of Invention musicians Nico’s Ono’s overdubs parody pastiche Pepper performance piano Pink Floyd Plastic Ono Band played political popular music postmodern potential production promotional film psychedelic quoted record recounted Reed’s released Revolution riff rock and roll rock band rock music Rolling Stones satire sessions sexual singing Sister Ray social song sound Starr studio composition style tape Theater theoretical music track Trout Mask Replica Underground and Nico Velvet Underground Venus in Furs verse vocals Warhol White Album Yoko