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Rock and Roll Explorer Guide to New York City

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From the churches and street corners of Harlem and The Bronx to the underground clubs of the East Village, New York City has been a musical mecca for generations, and Rock & Roll Explorer Guide to New York City is the definitive story of its development throughout the five boroughs. Plug in and walk the same streets a young Bob Dylan walked. See where Patti Smith, the Ramon From the churches and street corners of Harlem and The Bronx to the underground clubs of the East Village, New York City has been a musical mecca for generations, and Rock & Roll Explorer Guide to New York City is the definitive story of its development throughout the five boroughs. Plug in and walk the same streets a young Bob Dylan walked. See where Patti Smith, the Ramones, Beastie Boys, and Jeff Buckley played. Visit on foot the places Lou Reed mentions in his songs or where Paul Simon grew up; where the Strokes drowned their sorrows, Talking Heads created art and Jimi Hendrix found his vision. Rock and Roll Explorer Guide gives fans a behind-the-scenes look at how bands came together, scenes developed, and classic songs were written. Artists come and go, neighborhoods change, venues open and close, but the music lives on.


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From the churches and street corners of Harlem and The Bronx to the underground clubs of the East Village, New York City has been a musical mecca for generations, and Rock & Roll Explorer Guide to New York City is the definitive story of its development throughout the five boroughs. Plug in and walk the same streets a young Bob Dylan walked. See where Patti Smith, the Ramon From the churches and street corners of Harlem and The Bronx to the underground clubs of the East Village, New York City has been a musical mecca for generations, and Rock & Roll Explorer Guide to New York City is the definitive story of its development throughout the five boroughs. Plug in and walk the same streets a young Bob Dylan walked. See where Patti Smith, the Ramones, Beastie Boys, and Jeff Buckley played. Visit on foot the places Lou Reed mentions in his songs or where Paul Simon grew up; where the Strokes drowned their sorrows, Talking Heads created art and Jimi Hendrix found his vision. Rock and Roll Explorer Guide gives fans a behind-the-scenes look at how bands came together, scenes developed, and classic songs were written. Artists come and go, neighborhoods change, venues open and close, but the music lives on.

46 review for Rock and Roll Explorer Guide to New York City

  1. 4 out of 5

    Amy Chase

    This book is such a treasure trove of information about the history of rock and roll in New York City, and has clearly been very meticulously researched. The authors have somehow managed to find the locations of long-gone music sites where music history took place and then were quietly absorbed back into the fluctuating urban landscape. It's also really nicely designed and beautifully photographed, every page is filled with something interesting. I can hardly wait to get back to NY and walk arou This book is such a treasure trove of information about the history of rock and roll in New York City, and has clearly been very meticulously researched. The authors have somehow managed to find the locations of long-gone music sites where music history took place and then were quietly absorbed back into the fluctuating urban landscape. It's also really nicely designed and beautifully photographed, every page is filled with something interesting. I can hardly wait to get back to NY and walk around with this book as my tour guide! I'm hoping there will be more in this series!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Diana

    I was lucky enough to receive this book from NetGalley just prior to a trip to New York City. While there were a few issues with the book, mostly formatting, it helped me find quite a few things that I had no clue were here in NYC. I plan on using it a few more times before leaving if you want to find things other than The Dakota, Strawberry Fields, or the former home of CBGB's, this is a great book to pick up prior to your travels. I was lucky enough to receive this book from NetGalley just prior to a trip to New York City. While there were a few issues with the book, mostly formatting, it helped me find quite a few things that I had no clue were here in NYC. I plan on using it a few more times before leaving if you want to find things other than The Dakota, Strawberry Fields, or the former home of CBGB's, this is a great book to pick up prior to your travels.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jade

    I picked Rock and Roll Explorer Guide to New York City by Mike Katz and Crispin Kott because I love music and everything that pertains to music, and I thought it would be a cool walk through memory lane, an interesting way to walk through the streets in my head. I lived in NYC for many, many years, so a lot of the places listed in the book are known to me, and I have visited, frequented, or at least known about quite a lot of them. But there were also many that I didn’t know about, or didn’t kno I picked Rock and Roll Explorer Guide to New York City by Mike Katz and Crispin Kott because I love music and everything that pertains to music, and I thought it would be a cool walk through memory lane, an interesting way to walk through the streets in my head. I lived in NYC for many, many years, so a lot of the places listed in the book are known to me, and I have visited, frequented, or at least known about quite a lot of them. But there were also many that I didn’t know about, or didn’t know the history of, so it was really cool to read about them! Rock and Roll Explorer Guide to New York City is divided into areas of Manhattan and then the rest of the boroughs, and lists venues, homes, shops, street corners, recording studios, bars... Basically any location that has some kind of meaning or place in the history of music in NYC (or at least music in the 20th and 21st centuries). Some locations have just a few words, others span over several pages, and there are longer parts for iconic NYC musicians and bands, such as Lou Reed and Patti Smith, the Beastie Boys, New York Dolls, Blondie, Sonic Youth, The Ramones, and also a long part on Bob Dylan’s time in NYC. There is so much detail in this book! You can really tell how well the authors have done their research, visited places, visualized places, and talked to people. It’s such a cool book to own, peruse through, use as a way to see the city in a different light. I loved all of the pictures in the book: current day photos as well as old flyers and photos. It was obvious that a lot of time and care had been taken to curate and choose these images. One small gripe though: there are SO MANY LES locations that are missing! During the early 2000’s there were some iconic bars on Ludlow and Orchard where pretty famous musicians would hang out and/or work and they aren’t mentioned. I guess it was such a big part of my own life that maybe I think it’s more important or interesting than it really is though. But no mention of Lit, or Motorcity, or Orchard Bar? Pianos?? Cake Shop?? An omission in my opinion! But all in all Rock and Roll Explorer Guide to New York City is a super well-researched, smart, interesting, and cool book. Everywhere you go in NYC there is music to be found, hiding in the walls, in the memories of walls, in the air, and in the ground. This book does a great job of drawing a 3 dimensional map of it. Rock and Roll Explorer Guide to New York City will be published by Rowman & Littlefield on June 1st. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the advance copy!

  4. 5 out of 5

    JAnn Bowers

    This book was awesome, if you are a true music fan at heart. I felt as if I was literally walking the streets of New York on a tour with Mike and Crispin. They brought the lives of Bob Dylan and so many more great ones into focus with stories in rich with music history.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ashton Stacey

    Part guidebook, part history lesson this great book provides an inside look at the rich development of New York City's iconic music scene through time and place. This book was so detailed and as someone who has never visited NYC it was cool to be able to visualize the places that were such important pieces of the iconic NYC music history. If I ever get the chance to go this book will definitely have a special place in my suitcase! Part guidebook, part history lesson this great book provides an inside look at the rich development of New York City's iconic music scene through time and place. This book was so detailed and as someone who has never visited NYC it was cool to be able to visualize the places that were such important pieces of the iconic NYC music history. If I ever get the chance to go this book will definitely have a special place in my suitcase!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    Great compilation of famous places and people in rock and roll in NYC. Unfortunately, a lot of the places have closed down but I love that the creators included a mark to distinguish this.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Courtney

    There are a myriad of books about the architectural history of New York City. There are similarly a myriad of books about rock and roll history. What Katz and Kott set out to do in their "Rock and Roll Explorer Guide to New York City" is successfully mash up these two genres and provide the reader with a geographic history of the greats of not just rock and roll, but New York City's long lineage of music from the doo-wop of the 1940s through to contemporary pop, R&B and rap. As noted in the intr There are a myriad of books about the architectural history of New York City. There are similarly a myriad of books about rock and roll history. What Katz and Kott set out to do in their "Rock and Roll Explorer Guide to New York City" is successfully mash up these two genres and provide the reader with a geographic history of the greats of not just rock and roll, but New York City's long lineage of music from the doo-wop of the 1940s through to contemporary pop, R&B and rap. As noted in the introduction, it would be impossible to be exhaustive in including every musician and location in a single volume, so Katz and Kott appear to have selected according to their own musical preferences combined with a emphasis on the formative, influential, and (at the time) avant-garde. The vast majority of the book also focuses on the people and places of New York City's rock history from the 60s through 80s. The result, although by no means comprehensive, is compelling. The "Rock and Roll Explorer Guide" potentially has three distinct audiences, all of which are likely dedicated fans of rock music: those who live in New York City, those who are visitors to New York City, and those who are not visiting but who are interested in the subject matter of how a city influenced the development of musical history. All three groups will find the book to be a worthwhile and illuminating read. For residents of New York City, the "Rock and Roll Explorer Guide" is probably the most compelling: its format, as arranged by borough, allows for the reader to at-a-glance peruse what landmarks may be buildings they pass while walking home from the subway, on their way to pick up groceries, or out for a leisurely Sunday stroll. It allows the reader to see his or her neighborhood in a new light, and unlock meaning in buildings, blocks, or streets that may have been previous rushed past without a second glance. The format of addresses, with the interspersed photographs of building exteriors, also serves this audience well. For visitors to New York City, the book could be used in several ways. Like the residents, visitors, could use through arrangement by borough to identify music history landmarks in the vicinity, and seek them out. Alternately, if a visitor has a specific interest in one part of music history (an era, a musician), the index as well as the inset sections which focus on singular musicians for several pages, will be a useful tool for identifying the exact locations of interest. However, for visitors who are less familiar with New York's geography, the inclusion of addresses without a map may pose a challenge for understanding the topography of locations in relationship to each other, and indeed the arrangement by borough, with such a wide span of focus throughout musical history, as well as with such a wide span of buildings and locations (sometimes with only one or two accompanying descriptive sentences each), may make it more difficult to hold the attention of a reader with a more focused interest. For readers who are not visiting New York City, but who are simply reading because they are interested in the subject matter, the most compelling part of the "Rock and Roll Explorer Guide to New York City" is likely to be the inset sections with more focused content highlighting individual musicians and bands, especially the subset of these sections which weave the descriptions of locations into a broader narrative of the musician's or band's history. These sections, many spanning several pages, include The Ronettes, The Beatles, The Beastie Boys, New York Dolls, Bob Dylan (a highlight), Blondie, Sonic Youth, The Strokes, Talking Heads, Ramones, Simon & Garfunkel (another highlight), and Kiss. This reader group may also find especially compelling the entries for individual buildings and locations that have an especially rich and multi-layered musical history spanning several musicians or bands, such as the Brill Building, the Apollo Theater, or Max's Kansas City. When reading, as someone less intimately familiar with the geography of street layout in New York City, I often wished I had a map: what would a day in the life of Patti Smith look like? If I wanted to walk her old neighborhood, from her apartment to her coffee shop or favorite bar, what would the route be? (I suppose it is a wish for a sort of historical Marauder's Map, for the Harry Potter fans out there.) I also wished that the book spent more time focusing on the places and people where the richest stories could be told, and cut out the one-sentence buildings. Given that it would be impossible to be encyclopedic, instead of trying, why not focus on the meatiest subject matter? For the locations that merit it, I would have found it fascinating if the authors had expanded the discussion even further: how did the history of the musicians who frequented those spots interweave with the literary, visual arts, and broader socio-political context of the space at the time? What were the underlying factors that caused certain neighborhoods or spaces become hot beds for certain musical movements? Although Katz and Kott touch on these subjects, their format may do them a disservice in restricting their ability to dive deeper into these types of topics. Despite these small notes on potential considerations for a second edition, "Rock and Roll Explorer Guide to New York City" is an impressive, well-researched book that clearly was born out of passion and love: both for the music it triumphs, and the city that music calls home. No matter which way you choose to read "Rock and Roll Explorer Guide to New York City," the book proves to be a fascinating and compelling look into the way in which the geography of space served to influence the music that was created there.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Cassandra

    I was so excited when I came across this ARC on NetGalley, as I am obsessed with all things related to New York City. And this one did not disappoint! I learned many things about the city, through a Rock and Roll state of mind, and now I can't wait to start planning our next trip with this facts in mind! Thank you to NetGalley, as well as the publisher for providing me with a digital copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review. I was so excited when I came across this ARC on NetGalley, as I am obsessed with all things related to New York City. And this one did not disappoint! I learned many things about the city, through a Rock and Roll state of mind, and now I can't wait to start planning our next trip with this facts in mind! Thank you to NetGalley, as well as the publisher for providing me with a digital copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    This is more than just a tour guide; it's a history of modern music - from jazz to R&B to punk to hip hop - and a history of New York City itself. Most of the listings are grouped by neighborhood/area, so you get a feel for what each part of the city has been like throughout the past half century. There are also interesting profiles on some of New York's most influential bands: The Ramones, The Talking Heads, Sonic Youth, Bob Dylan, etc. While there are pictures of some of the locations scattere This is more than just a tour guide; it's a history of modern music - from jazz to R&B to punk to hip hop - and a history of New York City itself. Most of the listings are grouped by neighborhood/area, so you get a feel for what each part of the city has been like throughout the past half century. There are also interesting profiles on some of New York's most influential bands: The Ramones, The Talking Heads, Sonic Youth, Bob Dylan, etc. While there are pictures of some of the locations scattered throughout, I would've liked more, especially of the more famous places for those of us who've never seen them. It was also a bit confusing that the images didn't always fall on the same page as the listing they matched. And of course, as I'm sure everyone on Earth would say, I felt like they missed some important artists and places, while focusing a LOT on certain musicians or scenes. I know it's impossible to cover everything, though, so I'll wait to see what Volume 2 has to offer ;) *Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC, provided by the author and/or the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea Rose

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jina Miller

  12. 5 out of 5

    Bart Silberman

  13. 4 out of 5

    Orion Talley

  14. 5 out of 5

    Katie

  15. 4 out of 5

    Olivia A

  16. 4 out of 5

    ijunka

  17. 5 out of 5

    Leza

  18. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mike Katz

  20. 5 out of 5

    Crispin Kott

  21. 5 out of 5

    Betty

  22. 4 out of 5

    Eve Levine

  23. 4 out of 5

    Tessa

  24. 5 out of 5

    Riley Fitzgerald

  25. 5 out of 5

    Dawn

  26. 4 out of 5

    John

  27. 5 out of 5

    Amy

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lynda

  29. 4 out of 5

    Matias Abramowicz

  30. 4 out of 5

    Renee Sheehan

  31. 4 out of 5

    Cristie Underwood

  32. 4 out of 5

    Kody

  33. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia Shannon

  34. 4 out of 5

    Tess

  35. 5 out of 5

    Caitlin

  36. 5 out of 5

    Trevor Stevens

  37. 5 out of 5

    Natalie Kovacs

  38. 4 out of 5

    Hilary

  39. 5 out of 5

    Kim

  40. 5 out of 5

    Jordan Stepp

  41. 5 out of 5

    Bria Johnson

  42. 5 out of 5

    Abigail

  43. 4 out of 5

    Ricardo Barreto

  44. 4 out of 5

    Leah Loschiavo

  45. 5 out of 5

    Katie Barner

  46. 4 out of 5

    WHPL Reference

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