SF Ferry Building

Author Event and Book Signing: Michael Koppy – Words and Music Into the Future


How did Neil Young become the “Poster Boy for Bad Songwriting”? Steve Sondheim on music: a) right? b) wrong? c) jealous? Why should composers study cultural critic Susan Sontag before even naming their songs? What makes Bob Dylan the “Donald Trump of Popular Music”? What does literary modernism have to do with what we hear every day? Paul McCartney: schooled by Sinatra, Elvis and Marvin Gaye—but did he actually learn the lesson? Was Edgar Allan Poe wrong about popular songs? Was George Carlin right?

Literary criticism, songwriting analysis, and cultural commentary, Words and Music Into the Future is an uncompromising examination of the current state of popular songs and songwriting in the English-speaking world. Devoid of hero worship and celebrity gossip, using mostly well-known songs from recent decades as examples, Michael Koppy presents a compelling case that listeners have been force-fed a steady diet of industrial illiteracy, and that the time has come for songwriting and song criticism to riser to greater heights.