Blogging at the intersection of urban studies and popular music

Posts tagged "collective memory"
the commodification of Appalachian music: guest blog by Julia Simcoe

the commodification of Appalachian music: guest blog by Julia Simcoe

[This past year, I had the delight to supervise two Vassar College senior theses that, through no effort of mine, were inspiring and insightful examples of research in musical urbanism. With these students’ permission, I’m going to share their theses on this blog. The first comes from Sociology major Julia Simcoe (‘16), whose work reflects...
a few words about Glenn Frey

a few words about Glenn Frey

They say the deaths of significant cultural figures come in threes. It seems you don’t get to choose those three, because here we are: Lemmy Kilmeister. David Bowie. And now, Glenn Frey. Growing up a music snob, certain groups you naturally come to disdain and mock. The Eagles and Glenn Frey in particular filled that...
a video playlist of Pulp and other Sheffield music

a video playlist of Pulp and other Sheffield music

In preparation for the Musical Urbanism course readings on Sheffield, England, we’ve put together this playlist of music documentaries and promo videos to get you further acquainted with the city, its music scene, and our point of departure, the band Pulp.   PULP VIDEOS When reading Owen Hatherley’s book Uncommon: An Essay on Pulp, it...
Paul Robeson and the Peekskill riots: with essay by Dick Flacks

Paul Robeson and the Peekskill riots: with essay by Dick Flacks

August 27 marks a chilling anniversary in the Hudson Valley’s musical geography: 65 years ago, Paul Robeson was to perform a concert in Peekskill that culminated in violence and effectively ended his career.  I asked sociologist Dick Flacks, author of Playing for Change: Music and Musicians in the Service of Social Movements, to elaborate. Paul...
a history of rave: from the UK to Ultra Miami

a history of rave: from the UK to Ultra Miami

Almost six months since the Ultra Music Festival held its ninth annual event in Miami, an official “aftermovie” was just released two days ago.  It’s so bonkers and over the top in how it depicts the state of the art in rave culture, it calls for a juxtaposition with an earlier moment in rave culture,...
utopia sound: Todd Rundgren's Woodstock

utopia sound: Todd Rundgren’s Woodstock

Awhile back, I argued that Woodstock—at once a place, a culture/nostalgia industry, and a sensibility—exerts a tremendous hold on geographical self-imaginary of the surrounding Hudson River Valley in which it’s located (and where I live).  To pry back the myth of Woodstock a bit, I’ll occasionally share some historical research on Woodstock’s musical geography.  In this...

why I’m not listening to music to commemorate 9/11

Three days from now, many of us will spend some time remembering where we were and what we were doing on that day ten years earlier.  I remember learning that two planes had crashed into New York City’s World Trade Center at a morning department meeting, then passing on the news to my 10:30 am...
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...
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...
how Joy Division came to sound like Manchester

how Joy Division came to sound like Manchester

[Update: this blog post has been expanded and revised into an article for the Journal of Popular Music Studies.] I’m always puzzled when I hear how Elvis Presley or Mick Jagger “sounded black” when they first appeared on the radio.  Back in the 70s, when I was a kid listening commercial radio that played pop,...
adventures in arts-based urban revitalization: the RoboCop statue in Detroit

adventures in arts-based urban revitalization: the RoboCop statue in Detroit

On February 7th, someone tweeted the mayor of Detroit with a passing thought: “Philadelphia has a statue of Rocky & Robocop would kick Rocky’s butt. He’s a GREAT ambassador for Detroit.”  The city’s mayor (and former NBA all star) Dave Bing replied, “There are not any plans to erect a statue to Robocop. Thank you...

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