General Pop/Rock

  • All Music Guide As the name suggest, a very comprehensive guide to all forms of pop, rock and related musics.
  • Alternative Music Press An eclectic source on interesting trends in music from rock to classical to folks.
  • Archives of African American Music and Culture Includes blues, jazz, classical and other musical forms shaped by African Americans.
  • ArtistDirect: Music Very comprehensive mainstream site with links to message boards, chat rooms, fan sites, and news on performers.
  • Billboard Magazine Long the main industry magazine, famous for its top sellers charts. Site includes much useful info, especially on the business side of pop music.
  • Experience Music Project Located non-virtually in a stunning Frank Gehry designed building in Seattle, this virtual sight includes much great info on the history and present of rock music.
  • Lyrics World Excellent collection of lyrics to all Top 40 songs in every year from 1930 to 1999.
  • MTV Online Good commercial source for videos and information on mainstream music scene.
  • Very comprehensive commercial site for info on the industry and locating music online.
  • Rockmine A gold mine archive of non-commercial info on rock music, past and present.
  • Rolling Stone Magazine Good source for reviews and other information on current music scene.
  • Society for American Music Includes online access to the society's journal.
  • Union Songs Unique archive of lyrics (and sometimes music) to labor union songs through the decades.
  • VH1 Online Another major commercial source for pop and rock videos.
  • You Tube Music Videos Excellent resource current music videos, some classic ones and a few emerging artists from outside the mainstream.

Music Journals Online

  • Blues Access Distinctive blues magazine.
  • Film and Music Magazine All aspects of the intersection of music and movies.
  • Jelly Magazine Specializing in the blues.
  • Music and Politics Covers political aspects of many music genres.
  • Popular Musicology Online Fine academic writing on popular music.
  • Roots World World music journal.
  • Sing Out! Online resources from the classic folk revival magazine.
  • Transcultural Music Review Excellent on musical movements across borders and genres.

    Online Articles

    • Adorno Meets “Lo-Fi” Rock A brief critical aside from review/exploration
      of Sonic Youth’s Confusion Is Sex album.
    • Consumer Society and Authenticity: The (Il)Logic of Punk Practices An examination of the punk phenomenon(s) as a response to late capitalism and Reaganomics.
    • Dancing Between the Notes: Music and Asian American Panethnicity A look at two CDs (by folk group A Grain of Sand and hip-hop musician Jamez) and the influence music had on the Asian American community at the turn of this century.
    • 4 Real: Authenticity, Performance, and Rock Music Can a “real” rock star be “authentic”?
    • From Refrain to Rave: The Decline of Figure and the Rise of Ground A polemical piece about raves and what they might mean.
    • Genre and Recalcitrance: Country Music’s Move Uptown Examines the evolution/creation of the Nashville Sound.
    • Heavy Metal Islam A rather different look at the world of Islam.
    • Hard knock life? Cross-racial covering and the social construction of musical meaning from Coltrane and Baraka to Public Enemy and Jay-Z by Justin Cober-Lake.
    • I Am the Eye, You Are My Victim Explores “the pornographic quality of music video,” with a view to disarming it.
    • “I’ll Never Be an Angel”: Stories of Deception in Madonna’s Music A thorough analysis of several aspects of Madonna’s music.
    • On the Fifth Day in the Drizzling Rain: Travel and Gender Performativity in Bob Dylan's 'Isis' by Patrick Webster.
    • Poetic Devices in the Songs of Robert Johnson, King of the Delta Blues by B.R. Sharma. Interesting perspective on Johnson's unique lyrical output.
    • The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum: The Construction of Memories and the Sanitation of Threats Stewart Varner, in Reconstructrions tracing the museum as part of the mainstreaming of radical currents in rock.
    • The Poverty of Alt.Country A critique of the alternative country movement.
    • Rap, Black Rage, and Racial Difference A lengthy exploration of rap and hip-hop culture, specifically gangsta rap, calling attention to various issues.
    • Reading, Writing, & Rap: Literacy as Rap Sound System by Josh Kun.
    • Rhyme and Resist: Organizing the Hip-Hop Generation Can hip-hop provide a path into political action?
    • Satanic Verses: Lucifer, Literature and the Rise of the Rock Rebel by Sheila Whitely. Examines satanic themes in rock, from the Stones to Marilyn Manson.
    • Theorizing the Body in African-American Music by Susan McClary and Robert Walser. Looks at Western attitudes toward music and the body—which attitudes, the author claims, have distorted our perceptions of (and reactions to) African music and its African-American descendents.
    • Whose Fun? What Fun? Cyndi Lauper (Re)Covers 'Girls Just Wanna Have Fun' by Wayne Heisler.

      TV (Reed's) Guide to People You Should Listen to More

      • Blue Scholars
      • David Bowie
      • Leonard Cohen
      • Ani DiFranco
      • Bob Dylan
      • P.J. Harvey
      • Nine Inch Nails
      • Ozomatli
      • Public Enemy
      • Rage Against the Machine
      • Red Hot Chili Peppers
      • Santana
      • Sleater Kinney
      • Sweet Honey in the Rock
      • Talking Heads
      • Hip-Hop Culture and Rap


        • Blues Access Online: the “Distinctive Blues Magazine”
        • The Blue Highway. Tributes to blues greats, radio listings, Billboard’s top 15, and links to other sites.
        • BluesNet: the Internet’s Blues Resource Centre
        • The Blues Foundation History, awards, and preservation of the blues legacy.
        • Blues History
        • Early Blues Information about blues artists, records, and festivals and links to other blues websites.
        • Robert Johnson Notebooks “Lyrics and other info on the great blues man who sold his soul to devil before he had a chance to sell it to a record company exec.”
        • Maxwell Street Blues A history of the famous street that helped launch the careers of many Chicago blues musicians.
        • Mudcat Cafe Includes extensive database of lyrics to delta & other blues, as well as folk songs, and many other nice features.


        Further Reference

        Select Bibliography

        Few topics on popular culture can be adequately researched on the Web alone. These reading suggestions are designed as beginning points for further offline study.

        Aparicio, Frances. Listening to Salsa: Gender, Latin Popular Music and Puerto Rican Cultures. Hanover, NH: University Press of New England, 1998.
        Aparicio combines musicology, sociology, ethnic studies and women's studies perspectives into a rich look at the cultural meanings of popular music, both in the Euro-american culture and in Latina/o cultures.
        Adorno, Theodor. “On Popular Music.” On Record: Rock, Pop, and The Written Word, ed. Simon Frith and Andrew Goodwin, 301-314. Pantheon Books, 1990.
        Classic essay on the relation between form and content in popular music that is too easily dismissed for its dismissal of pop.
        Bennett, Andy; Barry Shank; and Jayson Toynbee, eds. The Popular Music Studies Reader. Routledge, 2006.
        Brackett, David. Interpreting Popular Music. University of California Press, 2000.
        Brackett, David, ed. The Pop, Rock, and Soul Reader, 2nd ed. Oxford University Press, 2008.
        Burns, Lori, and Melissa Lafrance, eds. Disruptive Divas: Feminism, Identity, and Popular Music. Routledge, 2002.
        Chang, Jeff. Can't Stop, Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation. New York, St. Martin's Press, 2005.
        Great social and musical analysis of the evolution of hip-hop culture over the decades
        Clayton, Martin, Trevor Herbert, and Richard Middleton, eds. The Cultural Study of Music. New York: Routledge, 2003.
        Wide-ranging anthology for advanced study. See especially essays by Herbert, Titon, Stokes, and Laing.
        Evans, David, ed. Ramblin’ on my Mind: New Perspectives on the Blues. University of Illinois Press, 2008.
        Frith, Simon, ed. World Music, Politics, and Social Change. London: University of Manchester Press, 1989.
        Rich study of the complexity of music moving across national lines to shape social change.
        --, Will Straw, and John Street, eds. The Cambridge Companion to Pop and Rock. Cambridge University Press, 2001.
        Garofalo, Reebee. ed. Rockin’ the Boat: Mass Music and Mass Movements. Boston: South End Press, 1992.
        Best collection of essays on political pop music and benefit rock.
        --. Rockin’ Out: Popular Music in the USA. Prentice Hall, 2007.
        One of the better introductory texts.
        Kaplan, E. Ann. Rocking Around the Clock: Music Television, Postmodernism and Consumer Culture. New York: Methuen, 1987.
        Sophisticated analysis of the relations among MTV videos, consumer culture, and the psychodynamics of identity formation in youth.
        Keyes, Cheryl L. Rap Music and Street Consciousness. University of Illinois Press, 2002.
        Lipsitz, George. Dangerous Crossroads: Popular Music, Postmodernism and the Poetics of Place. London; New York: Verso, 1994.
        Incisive study of various musical ethnic subcultures and their complex negotiations with the dominant culture and their co-resisters in a global/local struggle over meaning.
        Marcus, Greil. Mystery Train: Images of America in Rock and Roll Music. New York: E. P. Dutton, 1975.
        The revised American Studies dissertation of one of America’s foremost rock critics is a searching study of the gritty roots of what has become glossy pop culture.
        Moore, Allan F., ed. Critical Essays in Popular Musicology. Ashgate, 2007.
        Pratt, Ray. Rhythm and Resistance: The Political Uses of Popular Music. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Books, 1994.
        Examines the political impact of spirituals, gospel, the blues, and rock ‘n’ roll in American culture.
        Rose, Tricia. Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America. Hanover, NH: Published by University Press of New England for Wesleyan University Press, 1994.
        Arguably still the best book on rap, this study analyses both the political economic cultural roots of rap, and its social meanings.
        Ross, Andrew, Tricia Rose, and Andrew Rose, eds. Microphone Fiends: Youth Music and Youth Culture. New York: Routledge, 1994.
        Excellent collection of essays on rock, rap, heavy metal, dance scenes, and the youth cultures that surround them.
        Shank, Barry. Dissonant Identities: The Rock'n'Roll Scene in Austin, Texas. Wesleyan University Press, 1994.
        Excellent study of how a local music scene interacts with wider cultural and political forces.
        --. “From Rice to Ice: The Face of Race in Rock and Pop,” in The Cambridge Companion to Pop and Rock, ed. Simon Frith, Will Straw, and John Street, 256-271. Cambridge University Press, 2001.
        Walser, Robert. Running with the Devil: Power, Gender, and Madness in Heavy Metal Music. Wesleyan University Press, 1993.
        Whiteley, Sheila. Women and Popular Music: Sexuality, Identity, and Subjectivity. Routledge, 2000.
        --, and Jennifer Rycenga, eds. Queering the Popular Pitch. Routledge, 2006.
        Fine set of essays on popular music and dissonant sexualities.

        For an extensive bibliographic resource, see the Popular Music Studies Database of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music.