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Counterculture Kaleidoscope: Musical and Cultural Perspectives on Late Sixties San Francisco Hardcover – June 10, 2008

3 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Nadya Zimmerman received her Ph.D. in musicology at the University of California Los Angeles. Currently she teaches at Cornish College of the Arts in Seaattle, Washington.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: University of Michigan Press; 1 edition (June 10, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0472115588
  • ISBN-13: 978-0472115587
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,161,421 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
There's so much wrong with this book it's difficult to even know where to start. It's a highly cynical and reductive book and, most egregiously for an author with a PhD in musicology, is filled with bad musical analysis. Although she sometimes acknowledges differences within the San Francisco counterculture, they are never taken up into her analysis; rather than acknowledging the ways in which they problematize her overall argument, she instead papers over them as strange exceptions to what she insists are otherwise valid generalizations. For example, she wholly conflates the views of the Diggers and the Grateful Dead, never acknowledging the profound differences between them. And while critiquing the Dead in terms of their relation to women in the views expressed by their songs, she understands them wholly abstractly, never in terms of their performance, context, reception history and never acknowledges the important role women played not only in their audience, their crew (Betty Cantor!) or that there was a woman as a full member of the band from 1971 to '79. No, "Sugar Magnolia's harmonic structure is not derived from the blues (p. 106) nor . She further inexplicably states that the song "was considered in mainstream popular culture to be a characteristic example of the Dead's 'countercultural' music, though it didn't appear on vinyl until the 1970 American Beauty album" (106) giving no citation that would justify the claim nor acknowledging that the song was in fact debuted in concert in June of 1970! Then, hilariously, she reads into a IV-I cadence a troubling invocation of the "pastoral." She can't even get right (p.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
Hardcover,175 pages of text,29 pages of notes,13 pages of bibliography,and 9 pages of acknowledgments (2 pages) and index. No photographs-which might have been helpful,except for a b&w photo from the Be-In,1967,and a b&w reproduction of the "Gathering of the Tribes" poster. The author could have incorporated photos/graphic reproductions of period books,newspapers,posters,leaflets,etc. for visual depth,while staying away from the typical photos of bands and hippies. Printed on acid-free paper.

This book looks at the 60's counterculture in the San Fransisco area (the Haight-Ashbury district) from a slightly different perspective-that this movement was neither truly organized against the then current culture,and that it was an innocent time of "love and peace",that led to rank,"hip" commercialism. Having lived in the San Francisco Bay area during the era in question,and attending the various gatherings,I can attest to the basic premise of the author,Nadia Zimmerman,as being true. About as far as "organization" went,the love-ins,be-ins,the various "protest" rallies,and the wave of concerts (where everyone who was there couldn't believe that there were so many other people like them) was about the epitome of organization. That period of my life was some of the most interesting,entertaining,exciting years of my life. It was a time when people believed in everything and nothing. When making money the traditional way was looked down on. There was always something happening,some new group to go hear,some kind of "get-together" in the park-it truly was a special era. It was an era when people wanted to live their lives in a manner they believed to be better than the one in which they grew up -something the author goes into in great detail.
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Format: Hardcover
Over analysis of the Counterculture Music scene by an author who probably never dropped acid or smoked pot. It's a Sober examination of music that was meant to be consumed along with psychedelics of the time.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Awesome experience. My niece was beside herself
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