Friday, Jan 26, 2024 7:00p -

Brookline Booksmith
279 Harvard St
Brookline, MA

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Lectures & Conferences, Meetup

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In person at Brookline Booksmith! Celebrate the release of Old Town Road with author Chris Molanphy, in conversation with Maura Johnston.

Register for the event!

RSVP to let us know you're coming! Depending on the volume of responses, an RSVP may be required for entrance to the event. You will also be alerted to important details about the program, including safety requirements, cancellations, and book signing updates.


Barring technical difficulty, this event will be livestreamed to our store YouTube channel. No registration is required for the livestream.

Reserve a book!

Books will be available for purchase at the event, but you can ensure that you get a copy by preordering on this page. You can pick your book up after 6:30PM on the day of the event.

Can't make it to the event? Preorder the book here to have it signed, and choose to have it held or shipped from the store!

Book orders are processed for pickup or shipping after ticket sales have closed.

Old Town Road

In Old Town Road, Chris Molanphy considers Lil Nas X's debut single as pop artifact, chart phenomenon, and cultural watershed. "Old Town Road" was more than a massive hit, with the most weeks at No. 1 in Billboard Hot 100 history. It is also a prism through which to track the evolution of popular music consumption and the ways race influences how the music industry categorizes songs and artists. By both lionizing and satirizing genre tropes—it's a country song built from an alternative rock sample, a hip-hop song in which nobody raps, a comical song that transcends novelty, and a queer anthem—Lil Nas X troubles the very idea of genre. Ultimately, Molanphy shows how "Old Town Road" channeled decades of Americana to point the way toward our cultural future.

Chris Molanphy is a chart analyst and pop critic who writes about the intersection of culture and commerce in popular music. For Slate, he created and hosts the Hit Parade podcast and writes their “Why Is This Song No. 1?” series. His work has also appeared in Rolling StonePitchforkVulture, NPR Music’s The RecordThe Village VoiceBillboard and CMJ. Chris has also been a frequent guest on National Public Radio (All Things ConsideredOn the MediaPlanet MoneySoundcheck), on SiriusXM and on numerous podcasts including the Culture GabfestThe Gist and the New York Times Popcast.

Maura Johnston is a regular contributor to The Boston Globe and an adjunct instructor at Boston College, as well as a DJ on uncertain.fm. She lives in Allston.

About Brookline Booksmith

We are one of New England’s premier independent bookstores, family-owned and locally run since 1961. We offer an extensive selection of new, used, and bargain books; unique, beautiful gifts; award-winning events series; and specialty foods. Every day, we strive to foster community through the written word, represent a diverse range of voices and histories, and inspire conversations that enrich our lives. Find more at brooklinebooksmith.com!


This event will take place at street level. If possible, the event will be livestreamed to YouTube. ASL interpretation may be provided (based on the availability of interpreters) but must be requested at least 2 weeks in advance of the event. Seats are limited. Please email us at [email protected] as soon as possible if you require ASL interpretation, guaranteed seating, or other accommodations. We will do our best to serve your needs!

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01/26/2024 19:00:00 01/26/2024 20:00:00 America/New_York Chris Molanphy with Maura Johnston: Old Town Road <p><strong>In person at Brookline Booksmith! Celebrate the release of&nbsp;<em>Old Town Road</em>&nbsp;with author Chris Molanphy, in conversation with Maura Johnston.</strong></p><p><br></p><p><st... Brookline Booksmith, Brookline, MA false MM/DD/YYYY

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