Part 1


Here’s Prince and the Revolution unveiling “Purple Rain” live at First Avenue, Minneapolis, August 3, 1983, the scene that opens the book. The whole show was available on YouTube for a while but it’s been taken down. Let’s just say there might be other ways to find it, though. Here’s a link to a great collection of documents from that night.

A wonderful conversation with Arthur Danto in 2010 provides some context for his philosophy.

I briefly discuss Greil Marcus’ The History of Rock ‘n’ Roll in Ten Songs, which was important to the formation of my thinking in Nothing Has Been Done Before. Here’s an interesting talk Marcus gave about his book accompanied by members of The Mekons playing all kinds of songs, including Joy Division’s “Transmission.”

Springsteen’s interview on The Late Show w/Stephen Colbert, quoted near the end of the Prologue:

This is perhaps a placeholder for a more accessible entry point into Badiou’s philosophy, particularly that of the event. (More Badiou will be included on the “Liner Notes” page.)

Part 1: The Past in the Present

Chapter 1: Revivals Are Revisions

Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, “Revelator” (official video, 2001)


A mesmerizing YouTube performance of Welch’s “I Dream a Highway.” There are at least 150 years of history in this performance. The video lag is oddly hypnotizing.

Douglas Rushkoff talking about present shock and presentism.

The Fairfield Four appearing in O Brother, Where Art Thou?

The Carolina Chocolate Drops perform “Snowden’s Jig (Genuine Negro Jig)” live “in an alleyway in Fresno CA with special guest Danny ‘Slapjazz’ Barber.” Most likely recorded in 2010.

A trailer for a documentary about “Dixie” that apparently remains unfinished? CCD plays “Snowden’s Jig (Genuine Negro Jig)” and discusses it a bit.

And, as a gentle segue, Bob Dylan and band performing “Dixie” in Masked & Anonymous (2003).

Chapter 2: “Love and Theft”: Transgression and the Cultural Archive

Television commercial for “Love and Theft” in 2001. I forgot this existed.

Dylan on tour in 2002, after “Love and Theft” was released. Starts with the Al Santos intro I quote in the book. A tender version of “Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum” starts @ 21:00.

I can’t find any video of Boris Groys talking about On the New. Here, however, he discusses the role of the museum in the art world. From a 2016 talk at the Walker Arts Center in Minneapolis.

There are additional Groys talks on the “Liner Notes” page.

You should really watch The Other Side of the Mirror, but here’s “Maggie’s Farm” from the 1965 Newport Folk Festival electric set.

The entire San Francisco 1965 “song and dance man” press conference/jousting match. “Mr. Dylan is a poet,” says the guy who introduces him. “He will answer questions about everything from atomic science to, uh, riddles and rhymes. Go!”

Johnny and Jack’s “Uncle John’s Bongos” (1961). Compare to Dylan’s “Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum.”

Chapter 3: The Problem of Knowing Too Much

The Wrens’ “Everyone Chooses Sides” from The Meadowlands (2003). I can’t post the music video, it’s too dumb. Completely undercuts the pain and scathing honesty in the song.

Simon Reynolds discussing Retromania in 2011.

Archers of Loaf, Curse of the Loaf, live show discussed in this chapter, including “Greatest of All Time.” Recorded August 19/20, 2011 at the Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro, NC. I recommend checking out the documentary What Did You Expect? which is available at Amazon Prime among others.

Video for “Losing My Edge” by LCD Soundsystem (2005). Find the full version. This is about three and a half minutes short.

Working on finding video clips from Guided By Voices Appreciation Night in 2009. For now, here’s a clip of GBV performing “Dayton, OH 19 Something and 5” in 2004, before their first breakup, with Tobin Sprout. In Columbus, Ohio, at the Alrosa Villa. I was very drunk at this show. Stick around for the end of the clip and Pollard’s theories about what it should take to get into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Chapter 4: Sounds Before Our Time

Drive-By Truckers’ “Let There Be Rock” from Southern Rock Opera (2001, re-released on Lost Highway in 2002).

Not sure if this is an official video or a fan video, but here’s Lazerhawk’s “Distress Signal” from Redline (2010).

An animated and live-action performance of F.T. Marinetti’s “Futurist Manifesto.” A bit on the corny side, but the music begins with echoes of synthwave.

“Style” for the synthwave connection. Not a fan of the video. From 1989 (2014).