JOE BONOMO’s books include This Must Be Where My Obsession with Infinity Began, Conversations with Greil Marcus, AC/DC’s Highway to Hell, Jerry Lee Lewis: Lost and Found, Installations (National Poetry Series), and Sweat: The Story of The Fleshtones, America’s Garage Band. A five-time Notable Essay selection at Best American Essays, he teaches at Northern Illinois University, and appears online at No Such Thing As Was (www.nosuchthingaswas.com) and at @BonomoJoe.
“[Bonomo] looks at the ways music influenced and underscored events throughout his life. The best essays here extend that gaze beyond his own life and into those of other artists and their audiences . . . [a] great collection.” —Publishers Weekly
“The writings he collects for this mix tape of memories are deep cuts . . . That is the appeal of this genre-spanning collection, along with the mix tapes: no special musical expertise is necessary for appreciating Bonomo’s point of view or the richly described nostalgia. Just drop the needle, hit play, scroll, or turn the page and enjoy.” —Booklist
“Bonomo’s passion for his subject matter is undeniable, and the verve with which he writes about music is endearing.” —Kirkus Reviews
“What is music? More importantly, what isn’t music? In Field Recordings from the Inside, Joe Bonomo looks at family and faith, country and culture, Mississippi and Memphis, life and death, with sharp eyes (and ears) and a strong heart, shining a light on the past to help arm the present to make sense of the future. If you want beautiful writing in the service of powerful emotions, you want this book.” —Ben Greenman, author of Mo Meta Blues and The Slippage
“It’s so easy for critics to spend all their time worrying over how pop music gets made—the granular technical details, what a song or record means in its various historical or social contexts. Joe Bonomo understands those things, but still returns to what’s arguably the most crucial component of art: how it makes us feel and what it does to our lives. Field Recordings from the Inside is a beautiful, revelatory book about what it means to be a human with headphones on.” —Amanda Petrusich, author of Do Not Sell At Any Price: The Wild, Obsessive Hunt for the World’s Rarest 78rpm Records
“Part memoir, part criticism, Field Recordings From The Inside maps the ways music can define and shape our lives—which, in Joe Bonomo’s case, encompasses local bands and Top 40 one-hit wonders, Hank Williams and Frank Sinatra, everything that gets inside if your ears are open enough.” —Alan Light, author of The Holy or the Broken and former Editor-Chief of Spin Magazine
“Field Recordings From The Inside is the first book I’ve encountered that expertly blends my two favorite kinds of writing: music criticism and the literary essay. Joe Bonomo combines sound, the self, and the “roll and prank” of an essayistic mind to create a book that skates between discussions of history, records, coming of age, literature, relationships, and great rock-and-rollers. This book is a thoughtful and sonorous pleasure from start to finish.” —Elena Passarello, author of Let Me Clear My Throat and Animals Strike Curious Poses