Princeton Today: This History of Rock n’ Roll (In Ten Songs)


Rock critic and scholar Greil Marcus released the book “The History of Rock ‘n’ Roll in Ten Songs” with Yale Press this fall.

The book is an unusual take on a subject that has been written about extensively. Unlike all previous versions of rock ’n’ roll history, the book omits almost every iconic performer and ignores the storied events and turning points that everyone knows. Instead Marcus has selected ten songs recorded between 1956 and 2008 and has explored how each song  embodies rock ’n’ roll.

Marcus will discuss the book tonight with Princeton University Professor  Sean Wilentz at 6 p.m. at Labyrinth Books, 122 Nassau Street, Princeton. The even is free and open to the public.

Marcus writes the “Elephant Dancing” column for Interview and “Real Life Rock Top Ten” for The Believer, and teaches graduate courses in American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He lives in Oakland, California. His books include “Mystery Train: Images of America in Rock ’n’ Roll Music” and “Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the Twentieth Century.” He is co-edited “A New Literary History of America” with Werner Sollors.

Wilentz studies U.S. social and political history. He is the author of the 2012 book “360 Sound: The Columbia Records Story.”


Sunny, high of 32.


Taking on Big Public Health Challenges – David Kessler, a former U.S. Food and Drug Administration commissioner, will present a public lecture titled, “Taking on Big Public Health Challenges: Tobacco and Obesity,” at 4:30 p.m.  in Dodds Auditorium, Robertson Hall, at Princeton University. The event is free and open to the public.

The IRS and the Small Business Owner – Seminar on the IRS and the Small Business Owner presented by Richard Costow from Princeton SCORE at the Princeton Public Library. 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Princeton Public Library Community Room, 65 Witherspoon Street, Princeton. Free.

Princeton School Board Public Meeting – The monthly regular school board meeting will be held at 8 p.m. at Princeton High School.

Screening of  “La graine et le mulet” – Rockefeller College and the Department of French and Italian at Princeton University will screen “La graine et le mulet (The Secret of the Grain)” at 7 p.m. in the Rockefeller College Theater. The 2007 film follows a 60-year-old man who wants to give up his shipyard job to open his own restaurant. All screenings are in French with English subtitles.

The San Francisco Symphony Performs at McCarter Theatre – In his 20 years as music director of the San Francisco Symphony, Michael Tilson Thomas has put the orchestra on the map.  7:30 p.m. Matthews Theatre. Tickets $72 and up (limited tickets still available).

Princeton Sound Kitchen – The Fidelio Trio performs new works by Quinn Collins, Ninfea Cruttwell-Reade, Viet Cuong, Amanda Feery, Emma O’Halloran, and Jason Treuting. Sponsored by the Princeton University Department of Music. 8 p.m. Taplin Auditorium, Princeton University. Free.


As of 7:45 a.m. an NJ Transit train broke down in one of the Hudson tunnels. Trains in and out of New York subject to delays of up to half an hour or more.