S. Alexander Reed is Associate Professor of Music at Ithaca College. He is the author of the books Assimilate: A Critical History of Industrial Music (2013 Oxford University Press) and Laurie Anderson's Big Science (2021 Oxford University Press). He also co-wrote the 33 1/3 volume on They Might Be Giants' Flood (2014 Bloomsbury).
A scholar and maker of popular and experimental musics, he has published in the Journal of Popular Music Studies, Popular Music and Society, Perspectives of New Music, the Journal of Popular Music Education, ImageTexT, Music Theory Spectrum, and the Journal of Musicological Research. He is founder and former chair of the Popular Music Study Group of the American Musicological Society, and has served on the board of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music’s US branch.
Alex has received awards, fellowships, and residencies at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Mellon Foundation, Contemporary Arts International, and the Association for Recorded Sound Collections. An expert on postpunk and electronic musics, his current projects concern musical futurology, genre theory, and archival management. Active as a musician, he has toured internationally and released seven albums with his bands Seeming and ThouShaltNot. Alex has also produced dozens of records for others, and his work has aired on MTV and in popular television such as Gossip Girl.
At Ithaca College, Alex has taught music theory and courses on popular culture, including rock music, punk, gothic aesthetics, songwriting, and the work of David Bowie. He is also founder of the Ithaca Music Forum, the college’s musicology colloquium. Before joining the faculty at Ithaca, Alex taught at NYU’s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music, the University of Florida, and the College of William & Mary. He holds a Ph.D. in composition and music theory from the University of Pittsburgh, and holds degrees in music and English literature from the College of Wooster. Alex has a nonzero number of cats, and loves Ithaca.