Blogging at the intersection of urban studies and popular music

Posts tagged "communion"
concert stories: an #aprilconcertchallenge collection

concert stories: an #aprilconcertchallenge collection

Last week, a Facebook meme made the rounds asking users to list “10 Concerts I’ve Been To, One is a Lie.” While I’m game for almost any music list meme, I didn’t participate because I got sucked into into a smaller one on Instagram created by an old punk rocker @bookishlife: the #aprilconcertchallenge. I think...
David Mancuso at Dub Spot Records

David Mancuso at Dub Spot Records

In this year of awful news, I wonder if we’re currently experiencing what evangelical Christians call the rapture. Only now the evangelicals remain on earth, while great people whose contributions made the world a better place are passing away almost daily. Just reviewing the music world memoriam since January: David Bowie, Lemmy, Glenn Frey, Blowfly...
new publications

new publications

I’ve had a couple of articles published in the past month. First, and most relevant to my musical urbanism project, an article about the proto-EU visions traced in the career of Simple Minds, “Sound in 70 Cities: The European Urbanism of Simple Minds,” has been published in a new edited volume: Unsichtbare Landschaften/Invisible Landscapes: Popular...
let the children use it: the School of Rock presents David Bowie

let the children use it: the School of Rock presents David Bowie

Last weekend I saw my nephew play drums in a David Bowie tribute concert at the School of Rock in Fort Washington (a suburb of Philadelphia).  Unsurprisingly, I had a blast. I mean, how could any Bowie fan resist the prospect of watching a rotating ensemble of middle- and high school-aged kids performing a 2+...
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,...
sound in 70 cities: the European urbanism of Simple Minds

sound in 70 cities: the European urbanism of Simple Minds

Dream, dream, dream It’s the eighties’ youthful theme Loving the city A theme for great cities And loved ones And love – “Wonderful In Young Life” (1981)   Americans know them mostly as “that Breakfast Club band” from the 80s, but Scotland’s Simple Minds have carried on in one form or another long enough to...
the view from suburbia: Dead Kennedys, Washington DC, 6-5-83

the view from suburbia: Dead Kennedys, Washington DC, 6-5-83

It’s been said 14 is the influential age in the development of our musical tastes.  That was the case for me: I find I regularly return to the music that I explored and embraced as my own back around 1983.  It wasn’t just what I heard that has shaped my ideas about ‘good’ music, though,...
the misanthropy of solo metal

the misanthropy of solo metal

In some regards, the development of heavy metal over the last 40 years can be understood to chart key phases in pop-music consumption under late capitalism: from mass culture to subculture to individualized culture.  This arc can be seen, first and most obviously, from the vantage point of heavy metal fandom. As Will Straw has...
on the stroll: a book review of "The Chitlin' Circuit and the Road to Rock 'n' Roll" by Preston Lauterbach

on the stroll: a book review of “The Chitlin’ Circuit and the Road to Rock ‘n’ Roll” by Preston Lauterbach

Cities shape music, we know, but how does music shape cities? To be specific, how can a DIY music industry heat up urban economies, enliven public spaces, foster local idioms and local traditions of artistic practice, and even create jobs? This question suggests the policy criteria adopted by creative-city analysts, as well as the legacy...
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...
Maryland Deathfest 2011: my photos and a first take

Maryland Deathfest 2011: my photos and a first take

Maryland Deathfest 2011, a set on Flickr. So much to chew on from my weekend in Baltimore. Talked to a lot of folks, got a decent look at a few local areas, did some record shopping, and became acquainted with National Bohemian beer, a.k.a. Natty Bo, the cheap beer of choice in Baltimore. Plus, I...
haunting the urban: dubstep

haunting the urban: dubstep

First post draws on Bassweight, a new documentary about the dubstep scene coming out of South London. The film begins with a DJ leading the camera on a daytime tour of Croydon’s sidewalks, pointing out a nightclub here or there atop anonymous commercial buildings before ending up at (what else?) a record store. At some point...

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