This is the home site of Nothing Has Been Done Before: Seeking the New in 21st Century American Popular Music, a book of music criticism written by Robert Loss and published by Bloomsbury Academic in 2017. The site is primarily a supplement to the book.

About the Book

Nothing Has Been Done Before: Seeking the New in 21st Century American Popular Music instigates a fresh debate about newness in American pop, rock ‘n’ roll, rap, folk, and R&B made since the turn of the millennium. Utilizing an interdisciplinary approach that combines music criticism, philosophy, and the literary essay, Robert Loss follows the stories of a diverse cast of musicians who seek the new by wrestling with the past, navigating the market, and speaking politically. The book does not forecast trends. It does not proclaim this or that genre, scene, or band to be new. Instead, it rethinks how we determine newness in popular music and leaves the rest of the decision-making up to you.

Nothing Has Been Done Before is the second book in the “Alternate Takes” series published by Bloomsbury Academic. The series “aims to examine popular music from critical perspectives that challenge the accepted ways of thinking about popular music in areas such as popular music history, popular music analysis, the music industry, and the popular music canon.” For more information, go here.

About the Author

Robert Loss is an Associate Professor in Writing, Literature, and Philosophy and Comics and Narrative Practice at the Columbus College of Art and Design in Columbus, Ohio. His writing about music has appeared in PopMatters, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Public Books, Ghettoblaster, and elsewhere. In addition to writing about comics and literature, he writes fiction and creative non-fiction. Loss has presented at numerous academic conferences including Curating Resistance: Punk as Archival Method (UCLA), the annual conference of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (Nashville), and the Prince from MPLS conference in Minneapolis. He has been playing music since the mid-1990s as a solo act, in The Wells, and in his current band, Blind Engineer.

For updates and more information, visit his home page.

Here are some links to other writing:

Contributor’s page at PopMatters

Contributor’s page at LARB