Mystery Train: Images of America in Rock 'n' Roll Music Test | Final Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Marcus believes that "There's a Riot Goin' On" is an example of what?

2. According to Marcus in "Randy Newman," whose song was Randy Newman answering in his version of "Suzanne"?

3. Who wrote "We needed . . . to be violently stirred into life . . . intolerable social constraints grew daily upon us"?

4. Who claims that "every great artist must create for a great audience"?

5. According to Marcus, who is the focus in the song "Sail Away"?

Short Essay Questions

1. Compare and contrast Sly and Staggerlee as presented in "Sly Stone: The Myth of Staggerlee in the sections: Introduction and "Sly Stone." How are they similar? How are they different?

2. According to Marcus in "Elvis," what are Elvis Presley's roots?

3. How does Marcus define pop culture optimism and pessimism in "Sly Stone"?

4. In "Elvis," Marcus compares Elvis Presley to Abraham Lincoln, why?

5. According to Marcus in "Elvis," what racial issues exist with Elvis' music?

6. What is the epitaph written by John Hurt? Why does Marcus include the Stag-o-lee epitaph at the end of "Sly Stone: The Myth of Staggerlee"?

7. According to Marcus in "Sly Stone," why did Sly Stone create the album Riot ?

8. What type of risk does Randy Newman make in his music? What risk does he avoid?

9. According to Marcus in "Randy Newman" what is a shared culture? Why is the shared culture important?

10. In "Elvis," what is Elvis' "Rockabilly Moment" (141)?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The Band used a lot of symbolism in their songs. Focusing on one or two of the songs discussed in Mystery Train, write an essay examining the symbols used in the song. How does this use of symbolism affect the song? How does it affect your understanding of that song?

Essay Topic 2

In an essay explore the reasons that Greil Marcus would discuss, in the same section, the dark and funny music of Randy Newman, the light music of the Beach Boys, and the stark imagery of Raymond Chandler. What do they have in common? What makes them different? How does Randy Newman fit into the world of the Beach Boys and of Raymond Chandler?

Essay Topic 3

Both Harmonica Frank and Robert Johnson have some claim as the originator of rock 'n' roll. In an essay, compare and contrast the two men including their styles, their audiences, and their legacies. At the end of your essay, identify if Harmonica Frank, Robert Johnson, or both are the true originator of rock 'n' roll. Use details from Mystery Train to support your conclusions.

(see the answer keys)

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