😊

Regarding A Philosophy of Cover Songs:

The book is philosophically rich, engaging, and loaded with illuminating examples. It is worthy of sustained scholarly attention, but also accessible enough for a general audience. It would be an excellent book to adopt in any undergraduate course (at any level) on aesthetics and the philosophy of art, or in any introductory philosophy course with units on those topics— and not only because students can read it for free.

Brandon Polite

This is from Brandon’s review at the Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism. As far as I know, this is the first published review of the book.

A column, an address, a garden

  • A public-facing article that I wrote about cover songs appeared today at Psyche under the title They’re playing our song! The philosophical puzzle of cover songs. I was prompted to focus on just a single example, so most of my discussion revolves around “‘Crazy’ – not the Gnarls Barkley song, but the Patsy Cline song.” There’s some new stuff in it, although nothing that wasn’t at least anticipated in my earlier work.
  • Given the much-discussed mishegas, I’ve stopped using Twitter. My idle moments scrolling and posting have moved to Mastadon, where I’m @news4wombats@mastodon.social
  • My Philosophy of Art class is winding down, so I’m getting some summary student feedback. I asked students which of the artworks that we discussed was their favourite. The winner, by a large margin, was Martha Schwartz’s Bagel Garden.
Continue reading “A column, an address, a garden”

The heart of a lion and the wings of a bat

Limozeen’s so-called cover of “We Don’t Really Even Care About You” takes disaffected, lo-fi ‘90s indie rock and belts it out in the style of an ‘80s hair metal band—as if Poison were to cover Pavement.

at Aesthetics for Birds
Continue reading “The heart of a lion and the wings of a bat”

Why I love my publisher

My book, A Philosophy of Cover Songs, was published by Open Book Publishers. They are, as their website says, “a not-for-profit Social Enterprise run by academics who are committed to making high-quality and prize-winning research available to all, and… the hub of choice for a rapidly increasing international network of scholars who believe that it is time for academic publishing to become fairer, faster and more accessible.” They were my first-choice publisher for the book, and my experience with them has been great.

Continue reading “Why I love my publisher”

A post about a post at another blog that I wrote about a thing I wrote

My publisher asked for a short post to accompany the release of my book. It covers similar ground to one or two posts I’ve made here, but with a few twists.

The following was originally posted at the Open Book Publishers blog.

Continue reading “A post about a post at another blog that I wrote about a thing I wrote”

A thing I’ll be doing in June

This is going to be a thing.

The Ethics of Cover Songs

Friday, June 10, 3:00-5:00 EDT via Zoom

A cover song, on a typical definition, is a recording of a song that had earlier been recorded by someone else. Philosophers of music considering cover songs have debated the adequacy of this definition, argued about the aesthetic evaluation of covers, and worried about their metaphysical status. This panel asks instead about ethical issues that arise from recorded music. Are there obligations which artists have when recording covers? If there are, do they arise from general ethical considerations or from norms within musical communities?

Continue reading “A thing I’ll be doing in June”