Blogging at the intersection of urban studies and popular music

Monthly archive August, 2011
what's local? a review of "The Dears: Lost in the Plot" by Lorraine Carpenter

what’s local? a review of “The Dears: Lost in the Plot” by Lorraine Carpenter

Does it diminish a musician’s accomplishments to view them through his or her place of origin?  Does the prism of the “hometown” assign the stigma of parochialism or, worse, artistic failure, implying that the musician never got out of the minor leagues, or never wanted to? Consider how we don’t find it fundamentally necessary to...
institutionalizing utopia: the predicament of the music festival

institutionalizing utopia: the predicament of the music festival

These are fat days for music festivals, it seems.  Festivals for alternative music, heavy metal, electronic and dance, classical and jazz, festivals featuring music and film, festivals featuring music and academic lectures, festivals featuring acts who reunite just to play festivals—a whole lot of music festivals!  Not to mention the music festival’s baby brothers and...
under the shadow of Woodstock: listening to the Hudson Valley

under the shadow of Woodstock: listening to the Hudson Valley

Another problem with the “Brooklynization of Hudson River Valley” thesis that I discussed in my last post is that the music in these parts isn’t very hip.  That’s not a judgment, just a statement of fact if by “hip” we mean the product or embrace of 20-something hipsters who disproportionately reside in Brooklyn. However, the Hudson Valley...
looking for the Hudson Valley hipster

looking for the Hudson Valley hipster

In the town where I live, there’s been a lot of chatter over a recent NY Times article which reports how Brooklynites (an apparent synonym for NYC’s mobile, creative types) are descending upon the Hudson Valley area some 75 miles north of the city to live, visit, consume, and generally do their Brooklyn thing.  Local businesses,...
the end of the line in Sheffield: Sex City? a review of "Uncommon: An Essay on Pulp" by Owen Hatherley

the end of the line in Sheffield: Sex City? a review of “Uncommon: An Essay on Pulp” by Owen Hatherley

With the horribly regressive debt-ceiling legislation passed by the U.S. Congress today, the West took yet another step toward making the neoliberal dream — gutting social programs, enshrining the market as the means and end of social well-being, idealizing upward mobility and the consumer good life, and leaving the lower classes to their own fate...