Blogging at the intersection of urban studies and popular music

Monthly archive November, 2011
the five-year plan: a review of "Love Goes to Buildings on Fire" by Will Hermes

the five-year plan: a review of “Love Goes to Buildings on Fire” by Will Hermes

New York music doesn’t lack for good books. Nor does the history of 1970s New York. The intersection of these two subjects has been so worked over in the past ten years, it would seem any worthwhile new title would have to move on to fresher fields. So it’s utterly remarkable how Will Hermes’ book Love...
between champagne and eviction: more new wave rent party

between champagne and eviction: more new wave rent party

My last post introduced an imaginary sub-genre that I call new wave rent party and covered the basics of its aesthetic principles and historic urban context. Here, I continue that discussion with some more material from 1977-81 era. Well, maybe a couple of years further on as well—the sub-genre went on a few more years past its historic sell-by...
living the urban crisis at the new wave rent party

living the urban crisis at the new wave rent party

I recently downloaded the reissued Human Switchboard album, Who’s Landing in my Hangar? Anthology 1977-1984, which set me off again obsessing about a subgenre of new wave that I’ve never really seen recognized.  I don’t even know how best to name this subgenre, although I’m convinced it has a musical coherence.  I’ll call it new wave rent...
remembering the serious triviality of pop music

remembering the serious triviality of pop music

Something left unelaborated in my review of Echotone (from the last two posts: here and here) is a larger uneasiness with the instrumentalization of independent or underground music — the reduction of pop music culture from an end in itself to a means for other ends.  Although this isn’t a new critique of post-punk music (i.e., music groups inspired...