FORTHCOMING

“The Challenges of Temporal Lobe Epilepsy”

Raritan: A Quarterly

"A beautifully written, powerful and profound memoir.
It is quite, quite overwhelming. Each sentence rings like crystal."

--Joyce Carol Oates

NEW

"The Feudal Unconscious:
Capitalism and the Family Romance"

October 159 (Winter 2017)
MIT Press




Now Available

Portuguese translation of THE MYTH OF POPULAR CULTURE (Blackwell Manifestos, 2010) now available from Tinta Negra (Rio de Janeiro, 2015)



OS MITOS DA CULTURA POP: DE DANTE A DYLAN

O renomado crítico cultural americano Perry Meisel detona as noções convencionais sobre a divisão entre “alta” e “baixa” cultura.

O autor transita pela provocante teoria de que a cultura pop experimentou ritmos dialéticos. A hábil análise que o livro apresenta de três tradições culturais duradouras – o romance norte-americano, Hollywood, e o rock inglês e americano – nos leva a um ciclo histórico da cultura pop que tem Dante como ponto de partida e revisita ícones como Wahrol, Melville, Hemingway, Twain, Eisenstein, Benjamin, Scorsese e Sinatra.



THE MYTH OF POPULAR CULTURE: FROM DANTE TO DYLAN

The Myth of Popular Culture discusses the dialectic of "highbrow" and "lowbrow" in popular culture through an examination of literature, film, and popular music. With topics ranging from John Keats to John Ford, the book responds to Adorno's theory that popular culture is not dialectical by showing that it is.

Available as eBooks

COURSE IN GENERAL LINGUISTICS. Trans. Wade Baskin. Co-ed. with Haun Saussy. By Ferdinand de Saussure (Columbia University Press, 2011)

THE MYTH OF POPULAR CULTURE: FROM DANTE TO DYLAN
(
Blackwell Manifestos, 2010)

THE LITERARY FREUD (Routledge, 2007)

THE COWBOY AND THE DANDY: CROSSING OVER FROM ROMANTICISM TO ROCK AND ROLL (Oxford University Press, 1998)

FREUD: A COLLECTION OF CRITICAL ESSAYS (Prentice-Hall, 1981)




4/14/10

Tom Scott: Tom Scott and the L.A. Express

by Perry Meisel

If musical taste is an index of sanity, Tom Scott and the L.A. Express must be among the healthiest people in the world. There's no sensible name for their kind of sound: instrumental rhythm and blues played with the rhythmic assumptions and technical resources of jazz and the open-mindedness of rock. That's not to call Tom scott's band still another example of the mechanical "jazzrock" practiced by groups as apparently distinct as the new Soft Machine and Tower of Power. No, the L.A. Express knows that belaboring your virtuosity is far from where it's at; that the real way to smoke is to be cool. The best art inevitably instructs as much as it gives pleasure.
The shocking immediacy of Scott's bleeding, golden tenor saxophone often obscures the extent of his ambition. Though he suggests King Curtis and Junior Walker, Fathead Newman and Wilton Felder, his playing is hardly mere imitation. Scott has instead forged a hip amalgam of these classic soul styles into a fresh and violently outspoken funk idiom. Indeed, Scott's one of the few young tenormen whose promise seems to me to justify placing his name near those of the masters.
The tunes that feature Scott on tenor (all but two) are the most satisfying on the album, especially the relatively simple stompers. "Strut Your Stuff," a Scott original, repeats a maddeningly restrained march line that's bound to turn up under your fingernails after a single listen. "Bless My Soul" and "Nunya" are somewhat less relaxed soul blitzes, though always supple, thanks to the ease of drummer John Guerin and bassist Max Bennett. Pianist Joe Sample (on apparent loan from the Crusaders since the Express's session work on Joni Mitchell's last album) turns in as much soloing as Scott; though he seems rather deliberately laid back, most sympathetic (and oddly so) to the amorphous balladeering of Scott's soprano on "Easy Life" and "Spindrift."

Originally published in The Boston Phoenix, April 30, 1974