Live via Zoom:
Tuesday, October 19, 7:30 PM ET
Kelefa Sanneh presents Major Labels: A History of Music in Seven Genres
In conversation with Zoe Chace
Greenlight is honored to welcome New Yorker staff writer and acclaimed pop-music critic Kelefa Sanneh, whose first book Major Labels is nothing less than the entire history of popular music over the past fifty years refracted through the big genres that have defined and dominated it— rock, R&B, country, punk, hip-hop, dance music, and pop. In the course of an epic, delightful, probing and personal journey, Sanneh explores how popular music unites and divides us, charting the way genres become communities, why we love what we love, and why we so often hate what other people love. Described by Alex Ross (author of Wagnerism and The Rest is Noise) as “the most elegant history of popular music ever written”, Major Labels is a celebration of divisions, of hit singles and influential cult classics, of favorites and fights. Sanneh will talk with Zoe Chace, a producer at This American Life and the co-creator of The Improvement Association, a podcast from Serial and The New York Times.
Kelefa Sanneh photo credit: Jason Nocito
Zoe Chace photo credit: Whitney Dangerfield
An epic achievement and a huge delight, the entire history of popular music over the past fifty years refracted through the big genres that have defined and dominated it: rock, R&B, country, punk, hip-hop, dance music, and pop
Kelefa Sanneh, one of the essential voices of our time on music and culture, has made a deep study of how popular music unites and divides us, charting the way genres become communities, shape-shifting across the years, giving us a way to track larger forces and controversies. In Major Labels, Sanneh distills a career’s worth of knowledge about music and musicians into a brilliant and omnivorous reckoning with popular music—as an art form (actually, a bunch of art forms), as a cultural and economic force, and as a tool that we use to build our identities.