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Beyond the Valley of A Day in the Life
The Beatles, the Beach Boys & stepping outside history
by Pacôme Thiellement
The relationship between the Beach Boys and the Beatles is at the heart of some key issues in pop culture, namely: can pop music function as a tool of knowledge? And if so, how? Author and essayist Pacôme Thiellement has published several articles on pop music, poetry, and black magic; here he offers an exegesis of Beach Boys’ and Beatles’ masterpieces in the same vein as his book on pop and gnosis, Poppermost: Considérations sur la mort de Paul McCartney (Paris: Musica Falsa, 2002), a theory of pop culture elaborated through a comparison of the Beatles and the Residents.
Thiellement has also published an essay on Frank Zappa from an anthropological perspective ( Economie Eskimo: Le rêve de Zappa , Paris: Musica Falsa, 2005) and, most recently, a study of Nerval (L’homme électrique: Nerval et la vie, Paris: Musica Falsa).
A Pop Project in a Hick World
(Or, How Ultralocal Becomes a Respectable Place)
by Guadalupe Echevarría
In this text, Guadalupe Echevarria compares examples of the political power of pop in various yet specific contexts at different points in history. From the birth of American folk music to Brazilian tropicàlia via Bob Dylan, her essay offers insight into the transgressive function of experiences that juxtapose art, popular culture, and politics in an age of ultralocal critical theory.
Echevarria is the director of the École des beaux-arts in Bordeaux.