Keeping Pop on the Radar

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When Greil Marcus first published his landmark book Mystery Train in 1975, American culture was something you could talk about as a single thing. We all watched the same menu of TV shows, and pop music was truly popular –- it seemed like everyone knew the words to “American Pie,” for example. Now, American culture is so fractured that it’s hard for even the most “pop” of pop music fails to reach more than perhaps a quarter or a third of the population. So just how important is pop music on our cultural landscape these days?

Weigh in: Does rock 'n' roll music still matter today?