The Jukebox in the Garden

David Ingram, The Jukebox in the Garden: Ecocriticism and American Popular Music Since 1960 (Rodopi, 2010)

Times Higher Education

17 March 2011

Leo Marx, in The Machine in the Garden distinguished between ‘popular and sentimental’ pastoral on the one hand, and the ‘imaginative and complex’ pastoral on the other. Ingram queries this distinction, and is certainly loath to make it within ‘pop’ itself. For instance, he refuses to dismiss the apparently naïve nostalgia for a rural past which informs the harmonies of folk, of country and of country rock, even while drawing our attention to the more discordant, and potentially more ecologically challenging, sounds of avant-garde dystopian rock, of indie music and of hip-hop. This book works both as survey and speculation. As such, it invites us to rethink music that is all too often taken for granted.