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The conclusion ends the book with a meditation on musical memory and nostalgia as they relate to popular music criticism and historiography. Subjects broached include illusory perceptions of history either falling into a rut or constantly progressing forward toward perfection; the inability in real time to be conclusive about where pop culture stands; the inevitably of forgetfulness, especially for one lacking a sense of smell and perhaps limited in other sensory capacities as well; the passage through accidental mental wormholes upon hearing an even innocuous pop radio hit from one’s distant past; the assumption that Internet-era downloading and iPod-shuffling fold together generations of popular music, which are said to now happily coexist and thereby thwart pop’s further development; and whether rock criticism’s most interesting conversations are in its past.

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