All posts tagged: autobiography

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Popdose at Kirkus Reviews: “Ukulele Heroes”

 For almost 80 years, Kirkus Reviews has served as the industry bible for bookstore buyers, librarians, and ordinary readers alike. Now Popdose joins the Kirkus Book Bloggers Network to explore the best — and sometimes the worst — in pop-culture and celebrity books.  This week, a critic’s hero writes about his heroes… Ian Whitcomb is the reason I am a critic. That’s a bit of an overstatement, and maybe too much perfidy to lay at any one man’s door. But it is true that, more years ago than I care to remember, I ran across Whitcomb’s first book, 1972’s After the Ball: Pop Music from Rag to Rock — and I confess, Constant Reader, it CHANGED MY LIFE. Part historical survey, part musical autobiography, After the Ball crackled with wit and insight; Whitcomb’s voice was idiosyncratic, learned, and often screamingly funny. Like Greil Marcus (whose Mystery Train and Lipstick Traces were likewise important texts for me), Whitcomb excelled in drawing unexpected connections and charting secret histories — but without Marcus’s fog of pseudo-academic jive. Perhaps …