Postmodern Conservative

Carl’s Rock Songbook No. 100: The Songbook at a Glance

A few years back, I started a blog-essay project that I call Carl’s Rock Songbook. I began it on the First Things version of Postmodern Conservative, which was for the first half of this year incorporated into First Thoughts. This summer, I have been pleased to be presenting these essays on the NRO version of Postmodern Conservative, and today, I find myself up to the 100th Songbook entry! So it’s time for a bit of retrospective consideration. Upcoming posts will seek to introduce the series more formally, laying out some the key themes developed within it, and spelling out some of the presuppositions that shape it.But if you’re interested in rock, I think you’ll pick up pretty quickly on the main things I’m up to simply by clicking on what pricks your curiosity below. If a regular introduction would help you, read the one I did for First Thoughts.

I’m also providing this link list because, for boring technical reasons, it is difficult getting about a third of them through First Things and, therefore, through any standard Internet search. That’s also why most the self-referential Songbook links I provide within the series no longer work — for those, you have to use the link names provided here. (Note: I have left out a handful of posts that were fairly incidental or of lesser quality, and there are two good ones listed below without a link, 87 and 89, because they seem to have gotten lost in the First Things archive.)  If you find a link that doesn’t function, please let me know in the comments.

So, fans of my Songbook should bookmark this. I’m trying to make a regular book out of it all, which, hopefully, will happen within the next year or so, but much will be reconfigured. These original posts will in some way remain the real thing.

1. The Zombies, “Time of the Season”

2. The Zombies, “Changes”

3. The Zombies, “Friends of Mine”

4. The Poetic Wisdom Paradox, Amplified

5. U2, “New Years Day”

6. Bob Dylan, “Blowin’ in the Wind”

7. Duke Ellington, “Come Sunday,” and The Velvet Underground, “Sunday Morning”

8. Bob Dylan, “Masters of War”

9. Marilynne Robinson, “I Miss Civilization”

10. Rock and Roll Patriotism

11. Rock and Roll Patriotism Defended

12. The Who, “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” and “My Generation”

13. The Ramones, “Bliztkrieg Bop”

14. Rock, Rock, Rock, Rock, Rock n’ Roll Grad School

15. Rock’s Social Geography

16. Rock’s Leftism

17. What Rock Does Well

18. David Bowie, “The Prettiest Star”

19. A Muse for the Middle

21. David Bowie, “Sunday”

22. Joe Pug, “I Do My Father’s Drugs”

23. The Beach Boys, “That’s Not Me”

25. Simon and Garfunkel, “Sounds of Silence”

26. The Three Stages of Modernity

28. Intermediate Modernity

31. The Beatles, “Eleanor Rigby”

32. The Zombies, “A Rose for Emily”

34. The Kinks, “Waterloo Sunset”

35. Robert Pacilio, “Rock of Ages”

36. Crystal Castles, “Baptism”

37. XTC, “Life Begins at the Hop”

38. The Gravedigger V, “Tomorrow Is Yesterday”

39. What Martha Bayles Said

41. The Cramps, “Goo-Goo Muck”

42. The Who, “Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere”

43. Roll Over Beethoven?

44. It Was the Dawning of the Age of the Harpsichord

46. The SMiLE That Wasn’t

47. Surfin’ the You-Tube with the Noise-Pop Beach Goths

48. Critical Notes on the Indie Rock Noise-Pop Boom

49. Simon Reynolds, Retromania

50. When the Future’s Over, Turn out the Lights

51. Simon Reyonlds and Kurt Andersen on Our Cultural Cul-de-Sac

52. Rock’s Recyclement Explained

53. What Are the Best Films about Popular Music?

54. The Serious Teaching of The School of Rock

55. Talking Back to Mr. S.

56. The Contagious Stupidity of Spinal Tap

57. The Cheerful Nihilism of Repo Man

58. Revolution’s Rush — Oliver Stone’s The Doors

59. Almost Famous on Sex, Drugs, and 70s Rock

60. David Bowie, “Fame”

61. Almost Famous, Part 3 — Lesser Rock Fame

62. Almost Famous, Part 4

63. Almost Famous, Part 5

66. The Greatness of Dave Gonzalez

67. How to Think about Disco

68. The Last Days of Disco

69. The Last Days of Disco Part 2

70. Social Dancing as a Key to Whit Stillman’s Films

71. Swingin’ Tips for Youth Group Leaders, Courtesy of Whit Stillman and Jane Austen

72. The Beatles, “It’s Only Love”

73. The Beatles, “All You Need Is Love”

74. Bayles on Beatles Music

75. Bayles on The Beatles Beating Motown

76. Rap and the Summer of ‘89

77. Is Conor Friedersdorf Right That We Need More Conservative Rap Critics?

78. Martha Bayles and I on Rap, Part I

79. Martha Bayles and I on Rap, Part II

80. Joan Baez, “Silver Dagger”

81. The Byrds, “I Knew I’d Want You”

82. What Are the Greatest Folk-Rock Songs?

83. What Are the Greatest Post-60s Folk-Rock Songs?

84. The Allah-Las, “Busman’s Holiday”

85.How the Songbook Explains Our Musical Decline

86. The Words and Music of Lou Reed

87. Karen Lafferty, “Seek Ye First”

88. Jefferson Airplane, “Let’s Get Together”

89. The Love World of Jefferson Airplane’s First LP

90. Jefferson Airplane, “Somebody to Love”

91. Love, “Alone Again Or”

92. Brotherly Love Came to Woodstock

93. Rock Goes to a Commune

94. Jefferson Airplane, “We Can Be Together”

95. Woods, “Are We Moving to the Left?”

96. John Lennon, “Imagine”

97. Imagine No Possessions

98. Imagine No Countries

99. The Ramones as Holocaust-Haunted Pop Art


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