Blogging at the intersection of urban studies and popular music

Posts tagged "higher education"
metro music: creativity, place and alienation in the career of Martha & the Muffins

metro music: creativity, place and alienation in the career of Martha & the Muffins

[Presented at the University of Toronto Department of Sociology on May 1, 2015. Thanks to Judith Taylor and John Hannigan for this opportunity.] It’s a pleasure to speak today on a new research project I’m working on. In anticipation of this talk, I had a couple of other topics I could have lectured on with...
I survived the grunge era: introduction to a screening of "Hype!"

I survived the grunge era: introduction to a screening of “Hype!”

Welcome to the first of a series of “lab sessions” this semester in conjunction with the Musical Urbanism seminar. Tonight we’re screening Hype!, a 1996 documentary that’s currently out of print. This means the version you’re watching was torrented by your professors. Although as we heard it’s also available on YouTube, I promised our students...
Restless Records, 1989: from an independent label intern's view

Restless Records, 1989: from an independent label intern’s view

The inspiration for my latest post: a request. How cool to find out @enigmarecords, where I did my first internship, is on @twitter. Tweet more, Enigma! What are the Effigies up to? — Mara Schwartz (@mara_schwartz) December 8, 2013 @MusicalUrbanism @EnigmaRecords I would like to read this. — Mara Schwartz (@mara_schwartz) December 9, 2013 In...
what could be cooler than Brooklyn? latest findings from Census data

what could be cooler than Brooklyn? latest findings from Census data

[Update 12 hours after originally publishing this essay: Well, this is interesting… and a little bit embarrassing: I seem to have misread the Census Flows Mapper data entirely incorrectly.  So much for the “test drive”; it’s like I pulled out of the car lot and onto the highway with the emergency brake on the whole...
studying the college music scene and beyond

studying the college music scene and beyond

Remember the bands that formed in college?  You heard them at dorm parties, frat parties, apartment parties, the campus bar, battle-of-the-bands competitions, and impromptu outdoor settings.  They practiced in dorm rooms, dorm basements, conservatory and theater rooms, backyard sheds, and laundry rooms, amusing/irritating neighbors and passers-by.  Many college rockers and rappers dreamed of making it...
the dull ubiquity of placeless music festivals

the dull ubiquity of placeless music festivals

Some questions for investigations here, presented in the form of a rant. As part of my research in musical urbanism, I consume a fair amount of music coverage in print and online. Jesus Christ, all I seem to find these days is “writing” about generic touring festivals headlined by Coldplay/Metallica/Fiona Apple/Beach House/you name it. News about new music...
positively Mt. Auburn Street: Joan Baez and the Cambridge Folk Scene, 1958-60

positively Mt. Auburn Street: Joan Baez and the Cambridge Folk Scene, 1958-60

The role of folk music in America’s postwar cultural and social history doesn’t lack for testimonies. Being the privileged soundtrack to the middle-class generation born during or just after the war, the story of how this music ‘changed the world’ won’t go unrecorded thanks to Baby Boomers’ economic and political hegemony. And yet the peculiar registers...
swimming in the music ecosystem: an interview with Scott Reitherman of Throw Me The Statue

swimming in the music ecosystem: an interview with Scott Reitherman of Throw Me The Statue

Scott Reitherman is the singer, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and main guy behind Throw Me The Statue, an indie-pop band based in Seattle. They have two albums out on Secretly Canadian, an independent label based out of Bloomington, Indiana, and are currently in the studio recording a third one. Their 2007 debut Moonbeams got a warm reception...
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...
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...
gathering no moss with Keith Richards

gathering no moss with Keith Richards

The beginning of the new semester has kept me from posting recently. Well, that and the excellent distraction provided by Keith Richards’ autobiography, Life. So much fun to read, and so much food for thought for someone who’s admittedly not the world’s biggest Stones fan. One theme that emerges loud and clear is his cosmopolitanism. Raised...

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